Foodies Toast Long Island’s Top Chefs at Taste The Greats

Chefs and foodies packed The Mansion at Oyster Bay for Taste The Greats
Chefs and foodies packed The Mansion at Oyster Bay for Taste The Greats (Photos by Ed Shin)

Foodies Toast Long Island’s Top Chefs at Taste The Greats

Long Island’s culinary stars were out Thursday night when leading chefs from many of the region’s most sought-after restaurants served up their most delicious dishes during the annual Taste The Greats event.

Hundreds of foodies flocked to The Mansion at Oyster Bay in Woodbury to taste incredible cuisine with unique wines, craft beers and spirits during an evening that celebrated the best of food and drink

“The event is fantastic. Lots of great food is around, but it gives us a chance to be in front of people who enjoy food experiences,” said Jason Yearwood, business development officer for Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., which was promoting its food and rum festival, to be held Oct. 19-23. “We’re here today to showcase Barbados as a culinary destination. Food and drink are pillars of our tourism offerings.”

taste the greats
Taste the Greats event sponsors

The event was hosted by Schneps Media, the parent company of the Long Island Press, Dan’s Papers, and dozens of other publications across New York, Philadelphia, and Florida.

“It’s good to showcase what we do at the restaurants, to see our customers and meet new ones,” said Chef and Co-Owner Eric LeVine, of 317 Main Street and Vico Restaurant , who recently  won best chef on Long Island in the Bethpage Best of Long Island awards. “This brings out a level of clientele who enjoy a new experience, which is what we do.”

Joseph Fortuna, a partner at 317 Main Street, the Nutty Irishman and Vico, all in Farmingdale, said the evening lets restaurants reach diners who might not otherwise discover them. 

“I think it’s a great event to showcase the great dishes and cocktails that we do,” Fortuna said.

Baiting Hallow Family Vineyard
Baiting Hallow Family Vineyard

Participating culinary artists were chefs from Pecado in Bay Shore, Good Ground Tavern at Canoe Place Inn in Hampton Bays, 317/Vico in Farmingdale, Mirabelle Restaurant & Tavern in Stony Brook, Juniper in Westbury, Spuntino in Garden City, Avo Taco in New Hyde Park, Arlo Kitchen & Bar in Northport, Mansion at Oyster Bay in Woodbury, Anchor Down in Seaford and Merrick, Braun’s Kitchen in Cutchogue, Ruta Oaxaca in Patchogue, La Factoria de Empanadas, Spiro’s in Rocky Point, Ice Cream Social in Commack and Greenlawn, Noema in Huntington, R.AIRE in Hampton Bays, Orwashers in Roslyn, View in Oakdale, Chocology in Stony Brook, Gurney’s in Montauk, Tashana’s Kitchen in Patchogue, The Pudding Lady in Bohemia and the 2 Happy Hippies.

“It’s fun to get out and be part of the community on Long Island and use local products like North Fork Oyster Co.,” said Christopher Watts, executive chef at Gurney’s Restaurant. “Just having some small farmers and artisans lets us  give our guests a really cool experience from close to the resort. It’s a really nice, symbiotic relationship. We’re helping them. They’re helping us. We’re helping the community.”

The evening also featured adult beverages from Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, McCall Wines, Tito’s cocktails, Truly Hard Seltzer and brews from Coney Island Brewing Company, Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, Blue Moon, and Corona, among many more flowing libations.

Barbados rum punch
Barbados rum punch

“I think they do an incredible job. You can see a lot of planning goes into it,” said Ernie Canadeo, chairman of the EGC Group, an advertising and marketing agency based in Melville. “People look forward to it. It’s providing a tremendous value in a difficult economy.”

He said the event gives residents a chance to find a vast range of cuisine in one room, going from booth to booth. “It’s always a pleasure to discover new restaurants and wineries,” Canadeo added. “They’re all here, in one place. It’s like doing a restaurant tour of Long Island in one night.”

Erin Chase, a resident who attended the event two consecutive years, said she looks forward to it as a way to truly taste good food from various restaurants.

“The food is exquisite. You don’t get to try food like this every day,” Chase said. “I love that they brought in local vineyards. It showcases Long Island wine and not just any other wine.”

Titos Cocktails goodies
Tito’s cocktails & goodies

DJ Ethan spun tunes for the main event from and then took it up a notch for the VIP afterparty, when guests enjoyed special, fun eats and cocktails in an exclusive lounge.

“We’re here to showcase our Long Island wines,” said Miguel Martin, general manager for McCall Wines in Cutchogue, adding that the winery was set to open the following day, welcoming visitors.

Sponsors include Long Island Press, Dan’s Papers, Lex Weill, Barbados and Serene, Trumer Pils, BHFV, La Croix, Corona, Blue Moon, Tito’s and the presenting sponsor, Yieldstreet.

Yieldstreet wine tasting
Yieldstreet wine tasting