BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK & ANNA SPIVAK
No slim pickin’s in the Slope!
Over 40 of Park Slope’s most mouth-watering eateries were on hand at the Grand Prospect Hall on Wednesday, April 1 for the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District’s annual Taste of Fifth – a smorgasbord of samples from foodie favorites on Fifth Avenue.
All evening, both diners and dishers were seen juggling plates and emptying taps all while giving back to the nabe, with some of the night’s proceeds benefiting local charities.
We started by sampling some of Backyard Restaurant and Bar’s signature New England Clam Chowder. Priced at $10 a serving and paired with bite-size oyster crackers, the recipe – belonging to manager R. Alex Murray’s grandmother – was just as warm and inviting as it was delicious.
La Villa Pizza drew us in with a buffet style display of classic Italian eats. The Piadina, a $13 specialty sandwich, was served on flat bread fresh from the restaurant’s wood burning oven and boasted imported smoked prosciutto, wild arugula and homemade local mozzarella, a delightful and savory treat that was molto bene across the board.
The eatery’s Siciliana square pizza was a standout – its thick deep dish crust topped with whole milk mozzarella and certified organic Italian tomato and basil sauce. An eight-slice pie goes for $17 while a small deep dish personal sells for just $13.
Hitting all the bases with its Latin, Vegan and certified kosher cuisine, V Spot caters to a variety of different palates, all which would surely be pleased with the Colombian empanada. For $8, the classic Latin “turnover” features two flour tortillas packed with potato, carrot, onion, corn, cilantro and Latin seasoned seitan.
When it came to Yayo’s Latin Cuisine, the pressed Sandwich Cubano ($9) was the main attraction, sporting a deliciously fluffy bun, and featuring roasted pork, Swiss cheese, and sweet pickles.
Alvaro Cruceta, who has been with the Latin restaurant for three years, spilled that this was his second time at this event and that the fun is in getting to know the other vendors.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Cruceta. “It has definitely given us a certain level of exposure and this event is also helping us get in touch with more of our community.”
On the other side of the aisle, Los Pollitos wowed the crowd with its bottomless bowl of fresh-made guacamole, each batch hand-made in front of patrons. The delectable blend of avocado, spices and citrus had us coming back for seconds…and maybe even thirds.
Two Boots pizza certainly brings flair to Fifth. Aside from classics like cheese and pepperoni, the pizza joint’s claim to fame are pies like the Bayou Beast (spiced shrimp, crawfish, Andouille, jalapenos and mozzarella), the Tony Clifton (shiitake mushrooms, Vidalia onions, sweet red pepper pesto and mozzarella), and the V for Vegan, a delightfully light but satisfying vegan pie featuring artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, red onions, sweet red pepper pesto, basil pesto and daiya non-dairy cheese. Two Boot’s large pies cost around $25; a slice can be snagged for $4.
Prospect Bar & Grill’s four cheese mac and cheese ($14) was just as warm and ooey-gooey as it was chock full of flavor. The melt-in-your mouth helping paired perfectly with South Pub’s serving of Adirondack Brewery’s Death Wish IPA – a coffee-flavored beer whose rich flavor and less-than-bitter aftertaste left us wishing for anything but death, maybe another pint.
Finally, we indulged in dessert, starting with Du Jour whose bite-sized macaroons were a light and fluffy favorite of ours, as well as its spin on the classic Rice Krispie Treat, each dressed in a coat of chocolate.
Buttermilk Bakeshop hit a sweet spot with us as we tried its Red Velvet Whoopies ($3), two small cakes banded together with sweet and rich cannoli cream, a stand-out treat as their bright red color, topped with powdered sugar, was hard to miss, and just as hard to forget.
With tummies full, and macaroons for the road, a Taste of Fifth left us feeling more than satisfied and swelling with Brooklyn pride.