Fall’s premier food festival brought a sell-out crowd to the 2018 Taste @ Port Jefferson on Saturday, October 20, as top chefs came with their A-game to the Port Jefferson Village Center and served up an unforgettable evening.
Plates were piled high with tastes for every palate, from short rib sliders by Danford’s Wave Seafood Kitchen to the Steam Room’s baked clams, grilled cheese from Meltology and tofu-topped Don Buri Rice Bowls from Slurp Ramen, seared tuna wontons by the Waterview Port Jefferson Country Club, chicken parmesan and meatballs from Branchinelli’s and a mac-and-cheese-spicy wing plate from L.I. Pour House Bar & Grill and more. If you have any favorite foodie shots from the night, share them with us on Instagram.
Paraco’s fun giveaways—those mini squeezable propane tanks are genius!—the adorable subjects at the Pet Portraits table and the incredible cars from Brown’s Alfa Romeo gave people reason to put their plates and glasses down for a few moments, and then it was back to the delicious fare.
Mexican-inspired fare was out in full force, and guests couldn’t get enough. Dos MexiCuban Cantina’s chicken, beef and spinach empanadas were a crowd favorite, as were the Barito’s chicken and carnitas tacos, and the mahi mahi tacos from Southampton’s own Union Cantina, which also poured its award-winning margaritas.
Additional toasts were raised with Russell’s Reserve bourbon, Fat Tire and Modelo beers, Long Island o’Oldtymer Moonshine, Port Jeff Brewing Company craft beers, and an assortment of bai beverages, all while guests strolled through the festive tent surrounded by gorgeous seasonal décor created by Fenelon Landscapes and danced the night away to 1 Step Ahead. We couldn’t help but get up on our feet to their rollicking renditions of “Rolling in the Deep,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and other favorites.
Savory always needs a sweet counterpoint, and the delectable desserts did not disappoint! It was hard to choose a favorite from among the bread pudding from Danford’s, gelato from Roger’s Frigate, fried Twinkies from L.I. Pour House Bar & Grill, treats from A Cake in Time, and the fudge and ice cream from Kilwin’s. Happily, we could have them all.
Upstairs in the water-view BNB Bank VIP Lounge, while Paul Scollo and Kate Van Dorn sang some sweet tunes, the libations flowed as revelers indulged in Modelo beer; red, white and rosé wine pours; Matthew McConaughey’s signature Wild Turkey Longbranch bourbon; and everyone’s favorite Aperol Spritz cocktail. VIP guests were also treated to exclusive tastes including Union Cantina-passed hors d’oeuvres (love those chicken lollipops!), meatballs and spanakopita by Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace, an artfully displayed ode to fromage by C’est Cheese, and a raw bar of oysters, clams and shrimp by Port Jeff Lobster House that drew oohs and aahs all night. Local’s macarons and assorted desserts provided the perfect finish.
The Taste @ Port Jefferson isn’t just about good taste, but also about doing good works. This year, the event honored St. Charles Hospital Executive Chef Thomas Mulzoff, who took over the helm of the hospital’s food services in January. He and his team showed off their gastronomic game with a spread of roast turkey soup, potted beef chuck roast, roasted Brussels sprouts and a roasted root vegetable cobbler, and Mulzoff’s gracious acceptance of the honor showcased just one way the local culinary community gives back all year long.