Downtown residents are gathering in person, finally. Sampling fares from 35 local downtown restaurants, luncheons, neighbors and foodies filled Fosun Plaza (between Liberty & Pine, and Nassau & William) at lunchtime on Tuesday, June 7, delighted with the return of Dine Around Downtown sponsored in part by Downtown Alliance.
Bright sunshine and live jazz added to a vibe of New Yorkers happy to hang out, having fun while sampling the variety of dishes on nearby restaurant menus at this annual Lower Manhattan foodie festival.
Keeping it simple, restaurants served two or three dishes from their menus that people could easily take to various seats, including picnic tables under umbrellas on the north side of the plaza. Menu items ranged from $5-$9.
Restaurants served sliders of all kinds: beef, meatballs, pulled pork, lobster and ribs. There was no shortage of meat offerings – ribeye or other steak sandwiches, brisket burgers, lamb chops or chicken skewers and also seafood selections of crab cakes, burgers or shrimp dumplings, lobster rolls or tuna nachos.
Variations of mac and cheese have appeared on many menus as well as other side dishes. Non-meat eaters choose from chickpea stew (samosa chaat), falafel, gnocchi (Pomodero or pesto), skewered vegetables, spinach cheese pie or various salads. Soft drinks like apple cider, watermelon juice, or lychee mango lassi helped wash it all down. Fast lines snaked around the square at many stands.
Author and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito signed copies of his keto book and at the Downtown Alliance booth, a prize wheel offered visitors a chance to get a tee or hat that touted DowntownNYC. The outdoor food festival provided many professionals with their lunch; they balanced their selections, bringing them back to the office.
Local Hudson Square resident Al Di Raffaele met three friends from Brooklyn. “After the incredibly tasty brisket burger I ate, I had a really fresh Greek salad,” Di Rafaele reports. “We all ordered different things, ate under the red umbrellas doing a whole afternoon,” he said, admitting to having left completely stuffed. “We had a great time.”