We Chek’d it and we Rec’d it (pun intended). On Saturday night Chekmark Eats’ annual anniversary party took place at the amazing (members only) two story Magnises townhouse in the West Village. Some of the best restaurants and bakeries in the city came out to provide their signature dishes and everyone was fully hydrated with Rekorderlig Cider, the refreshing Swedish beverage that comes in Strawberry Lime, Wild Berries and Pear. Live entertainment from the Foodie Magician had guests dropping their cake balls (hey Carly’s Better Bites) and seeing things disappear before their eyes. DJ Remarkable kept the party jamming with a remix of tunes, and the DIY photo booth with turkey head and lobster hats stole the show, but not as much as the food.
The spread included Perilla’s Top Chef Winner Harold Dieterle’s Chilled Cucumber Salad with Quinoa, Tomatoes, Anchovies and a Creamy Cumin Dressing. The salad was refreshing, light and the anchovies really kicked it off making it something unique and interesting for those who aren’t always adventurous eaters. People were shoveling portions of these into cups by the end of the night to get one last fix. (FYI this salad is a side available on their dinner menu right now but without anchovies).
Spasso, North River, Bamboo Bites, Cevich, The Meatball Shop, International Wings Factory
Bamboo Bites served Mango and Sesame Bites on Coconut Rice that I’m still craving paired with Chicken Satay Bites with a peanut sauce. These are perfect menu items to have when you are hosting a party as you can just pick them up and pop them in your mouth and it’s not messy. They cater and are at Smorgasburg. People were claiming that the new East Village restaurant, North River, made the best deviled eggs that they’ve ever had. Those were gone in minutes. Their Farro Salad with Surf Clam, Sour Cream Dressing and Herbs was nutty, a great texture and I loved the clam addition. GustOrganics, the first certified organic restaurant in New York, provided the vegetarian show -topper which were seitan and bell pepper skewers that actually tasted like meat. Burger and Barrel’s voluptuous chicken lollipops were gone before I could even get my hands on them- which is a good thing. Full stomachs = happy people. Spasso’s homemade Stracciatella Cheese Crostini with Marinated Tomatoes and Saba took everyone to Italy and paired perfectly with the Rekorderlig Cider. The cheese was high quality and melted in your mouth instantaneously. It reminded me how I really need to go back to visit this place for a proper meal.Rubirosa graced the party with its four specialty pies: Rubirosa Supreme, Vodka, Classic and Tie Dye. Everyone already knows about their famous vodka pizza, but you should really give that Tie-Dye with vodka, tomato, pesto and fresh mozzarella a try. It’s legit. My most impressive bite of the night was from the new ceviche spot in Union Square, Cevich. I loved the Back to Cali taco which was White Fish Ceviche with Chipotle Mayo, Avocado, Jalapeño & Mango. International Wings Factory shared all kinds of flavors such as: Black Pepper, Teriyaki, Original Confession and Vietnamese Chile Mango. For all you football fans out there, you need to get after these for Monday night football this fall.
Everyone’s favorite meatball, The Meatball Shop, put a smile on every guest’s face and were on every plate. Veggie Pesto, Chicken and Parmesan Cream, Spicy Pork and Spicy Meat Sauce and Beef and Tomato Sauce all showed up. The Spicy Pork and Spicy Meat sauce might have given the chicken and pesto combo, that I always get, a run for its money. The best thing about this was there were so many meatball flavors and combos to try, and it never got old. The Mashed Potatoes, which I had never tried before, were buttery and awesome and were continuously eaten through the wee hours of the morning.
For the grand finale of dessert, we were graced by the presence of the best babka in the world courtesy of Breads Bakery. The gooey bread and chocolate combo knocked our socks off. In fact, now is a perfect time to go buy these for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the next couple weeks. Brookie’s Cookies are adorable, something you can order online and send to your friends whenever you need a birthday delivery. The Cinnafun cookie sandwich is incredible with a layer of a little icing smushed in between two mini cinnamon sugar coated sugar cookies. The tie-dye and cookies and cream are also delicious and soft. Carly’s Better Bites, a gluten free cake bite company, is the kind of dessert you want to bring to any party as a hostess gift. She makes all kinds of flavors such as red velvet, funfetti, chocolate chip, cookie dough (this was my fave). They are covered in icing and pop right into your mouth. No party is party without a cake! Cake Boss Cafe made a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.
Overall, the night was a huge success and ended with a game of limbo, a dance party and sour patch kids. A big shout out goes to Kristine who won the instagram contest and a $100 Zagat dining gift card. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate, all the amazing restaurants and bakeries, but most of all to all of you who keep me going and keep reading right here. To view more photos of the night see @Chekmark Eats on instagram and search for: #ChekmarkTurns3.
Breads Bakery Babka