Earlier this summer, eight award winning chefs launched a foodie’s dream come true – the Seaport Food Lab. A unique pop-up dining experience nestled in a formerly empty space of the Financial District’s new Seaport area, this pre-fixe party represents the culinary mastery of some of the gastro giants of the eating arena. Names like Dale Talde, Wylie Dufresne, and Alon Shaya, among others, are taking downtown by storm with their never-before tasted creations.
Last Wednesday, I had the fortunate opportunity to be one of those taste testers for the Dale Talde experience. Having heard plenty about the former Top Chef contestant turned famed restaurateur, I couldn’t be more excited to finally get my chance to feast like a true foodie!
As I walked across a black and white checkered floor to my indicated seat at one of many communal tables lined against an aqua painted wall, I really didn’t know what to expect. I sat across from my friend and we began to chit chat with our soon-to-be noshing neighbors.
In typical fashion, the waiter came to take our drink order and served us water. We continued chatting and soon enough were sipping on carefully crafted libations prepared and served from Mr. Cannon, the Seaport’s speakeasy, eager to learn when we’d be served food to settle our starving, and probably curiously anxious, stomachs.
After what seemed like an “eat-ernity”, Chef Talde suddenly emerged and opened with a cheerful welcome speech. We listened, clinked glasses and clapped with excitement. Talde exited. In the blink of an eye, picture-perfect plates of food flowed from the kitchen onto our wooden dining tables. And flowed. And flowed some more.
It was a seemingly endless banquet of Talde’s traditional Filipino-inspired iterations, all served family style. First, we were served a huge heaping of Crispy Papaya and Watermelon Salad (probably my favorite thing on the menu). Then Coconut Bread with Chicken Liver Mousse. Then Lacquered Quail, Pork and Wood Ear Mushroom Sausage with diced Black Walnuts. And that’s not it.
All together, the night’s dinner consisted of nine total dishes, servings big enough to serve a small army. And as if that wasn’t enough, the team also presented options for those with dietary restrictions, all equally delicious and dynamic.
We ate and drank, drank and ate, until our stomachs thought it was a bad idea to continue. It was delicious and daring, interesting and intimate and most of all, another beautiful experience that merits a chapter in the “only in New York City” book, my favorite book of all.
If you want in on this edible action, Seaport Food Lab is in operation until October 11th, ending with Chef Wylie Dufresne. But don’t wait because tickets are hot and will be gone before you know it. For tickets, visit https://www.seaportdistrict.nyc/foodlab.html.