When I found out that Scoopt St was organizing the Taste of Midtown East, I just had to mark my calendar, gather a few friends, grab the deal. After having such a great time at their Taste of 7th Street crawl in February, I knew this going to be a fun time as well.
The Taste of Midtown East was this past weekend. With the Scoop St deal, you get to sample about $50 worth of signature dishes and drinks from 5 selected restaurants in the Midtown East area. Best part of all, the voucher only cost $18 and was valid for the whole weekend. More about how Scoop St works.
So Saturday October 2nd, I met up with some friends for a fun afternoon of food adventures. The plan was to hit up all the restaurants in one day. We were hungry and we were ready!
First stop… Mama Mexico, located at 214 E 49th Street. We arrive a little before 1pm. When we walked in, we were greeted by the waiter. We told him we were here for the Taste of Midtown East and showed him our Scoop St vouchers. However, he didn’t appear to know what we were talking about and told us he would consult the manager. He sat us down at a table, gave us menus, and brought us some chips and salsa. After a little confusion, the manager clarified things and marked off our vouchers. Apparently, the staff was not aware of the Scoop St deal.
Here, we had a sample serving of the Mama Nachos. There were ground beef, chicken, cheese, re-fried beans, and jalapeno peppers, on top of four pieces of nachos. Ha, yes… exactly four pieces.
The nachos were pretty alright. It was a good appetizer to start off our adventure. It was a bit awkward when the manager approached us and told us that we had to leave tips for the waiter since we had table service. We were a bit thrown off by the confusion, but we happily did so anyway.
Next, we head over to Public House, located at 140 E 41st Street, for a drink. We sat at the very long bar. Each of us was offered a choice of either a domestic beer, house wine, or well drink. The restaurant looks pretty neat in the inside. There’s flat screen monitors and also a projector screen. It looks like it can get pretty rowdy during the evening, especially during sport events.
After wards, we took a slightly longer walk to Casaville, at 633 2nd Avenue. Casaville is a French/Moroccan restaurant with a Spanish inspired tapas menu. The restaurant has both indoor and sidewalk dining. The atmosphere is very festive and cozy at the same time. Although, I think I might be allergic to one of their plants I was sitting next to. I felt much better after switching seats.
Here, we had a glass of their red wine Sangria and a plate of their Croquette du Jour. They also brought out some complimentary bread and infused olive oil. The sangria was delightful. The croquette was delicious.
The portions were very generous. I’m definitely interested in returning to check out their happy hour specials during the week. I read that they have belly dancers there sometimes too.
Our stomachs were very satisfied and we were feeling quite happy ourselves from the drinks. We had two more places to go. Next, we walked over to Soba Totto located at 211 East 43rd Street. The manager was such a friendly and cute lady. She told us that the restaurant is normally closed at this hour and that they opened earlier just for the Taste of Midtown East event. She had all the food packaged in small containers. She also gave us a coupon for our next visit.
Here, we enjoyed the Duck Confit with dried Yuzu along with complimentary small dishes of curly fries and edamame. She also poured us each a shot of sake. I picked the Daisai 23, which I came across just the day before. She told us they are known for their fabulous soba noodles, but they are serving the duck confit which is part of their daily specials.
Last stop… Zengo. This Latin/Asian fusion restaurant is located at 622 3rd Avenue. This place is huge and the decor is spectacular. There’s three levels. Downstairs, there’s La Biblioteca de Tequila, the tequila library/bar. There’s over 400 varieties of tequila down there to try. Up in the mezzanine-level, there’s a Sake and Shochu lounge, where you can enjoy their extensive list of wines and spirits. The main level is a large dining area with lots of tables, booths, and a bar on the side.
This place looks so awesome. There’s these suspended wood beams hanging from the ceiling, wrought iron screens by the windows, and this gigantic, but elegant iron chandelier.
We went over to the bar and grabbed a few seats. For the deal, they were offering a choice of either the Thai Chicken Empanadas or the Steamed Vegetable Dumplings.
The Thai Chicken Empanadas features chicken with chile poblano and oaxaca cheese, topped with a mango-curry salsa. It was delicious! That mango-curry salsa was very tasty.
The Steamed Dumplings was served in a bamboo steamer along with a vinegar-soy dipping sauce. Very tasty as well. I would definitely have to come back to check out their Tequila Library downstairs some time. They also have happy hour specials from 5pm to 7pm. Nice!
This Taste of Midtown East experience was definitely very different from the previous Taste of 7th Street. The previous crawl was much more crowded and intense. I remember waiting on one line after the other and trying to eat our foods while standing on the jammed pack sidewalk. This time, the restaurants were more scattered and experience was much more relaxed. Being able to sit and chat at the restaurants was nice. The locations were a good distance apart, giving us time to walk, digest a bit, and prepare for the next serving. Even with gratuity at each location, getting all that food and drinks was still a great deal! I was so stuffed by the end of the crawl. That was definitely a good amount of food for one afternoon. Surprisingly, even though I realized that I had been eating for the past 5 hours, I still managed to make it to my dinner plans at 6pm.
Look forward to the next one. I wonder which neighborhood is next!