NYC's "Best Food Event" Celebrates its 24th Year

Photo by Carey Wagner

Photo by Carey Wagner

Over 1,200 community members, neighborhood partners, elected officials, and local foodies mingled with top chefs from Union Square’s culinary community while enjoying samplings of the best dishes the neighborhood has to offer, as part of the Union Square Partnership’s 24th Annual Harvest in the Square on Thursday, September 19 at Union Square Park.

The highly anticipated foodie extravaganza offered food enthusiasts unlimited tastings of signature dishes, paired with local wines and microbrews, while raising important funds to support USP’s work to beautify, improve and program the Union Square neighborhood. This year’s event raised more than $371,000, bringing the collective amount raised over the last 24 years to more than $7 million.

“Year after year, Harvest in the Square brings the community together under one tent for an unforgettable evening filled with vibrant food and excitement,” said Jennifer Falk, Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership. “We would like to thank the participating restaurants for their tireless efforts to ensure a flawless event. We’ve already begun to prepare for our 25th Annual Harvest in the Square next year and look forward to another successful night!”

Guests savored the evening, sampling tastings of the season created by top chefs – many of which featured fresh produce from the Union Square Greenmarket. Harvest dishes included Bocce USQ’s seasonal pizza with roasted brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella; Breads Bakery’s debut Medovik pastry; Le Coq Rico’s Chef’s Ratatouille with homemade chicken sausage; Daily Provisions’ Roast Beef Sliders; Casa Mono & Bar Jamon’s Green Gazpacho with Greenmarket Salad; and more. The seasonal bites were paired with wines and microbrews from New York State and beyond.

During the event, foodies strolled along the aisles ogling the unending options while enjoying music by DJ Traxs. A seating area located outside of the tent provided space for foodies to enjoy their bites al fresco.

The renowned 2019 lineup included 61 restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries and cocktail bars. Returning favorite eateries included Restaurant Chair Bocce USQ, Union Square Cafe, Nur, Tarallucci e Vino, Breads Bakery, Laut, Daily Provisions, Tocqueville, and more. New restaurants joining Harvest for the first time this year included Caffe Panna, Gupshup, Nutella Cafe, Ole & Steen, BarBacon, Casa Apicii, and The Stand.

Wineries, breweries, and beverages included Brooklyn Brewery, Brotherhood America's Oldest Winery, Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, Gupshup, GuS Grown-up Soda, Hickory Ledges Farm – Full Moonshine, Irving Farm New York, New York Distilling Company, Ravines Wine Cellars, Taconic Distillery, The Lenz Winery, The Library of Distilled Spirits, Tricana Imports – Fine International Wines and Warwick Valley Winery & Black Dirt Distillery.

Starbright Floral Design provided all decor for the evening, including the “Making Union Square Bloom” flower wall, and bouquets guests could take home as gifts. The Brooklyn Press powered live printing on tote bags featuring the event’s design. All event designs were completed by local design firm ThoughtMatter. Many of the chefs use fresh ingredients from GrowNYC’s Greenmarket (with the help of a stipend from the Union Square Partnership), plus the organization helps us clear the North Plaza as we begin setting up for Harvest. The plaza is kept clean before, during, and after the event with the help of USP’s Clean Team from Streetplus. The big Harvest tent is designed and built by Goshow Architects, and the whole event runs smoothly thanks to Bear Dallis Associates, Inc. and NYC College of Technology, CUNY Hospitality Management.

For the second year in a row, the Union Square Partnership took the pledge to make Harvest in the Square a zero waste event, working to help both the event exhibitors and the event attendees learn how to separate their waste, divert waste from landfill, and save leftover food from going to waste. While the event has partnered with City Harvest for the past 23 years to rescue unprepared food, this year USP partnered with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to rescue leftover prepared dishes to be brought to local shelters, and Common Ground Compost to separate waste streams and divert waste to landfill. All guests did their part too - they received a fork at the entrance and reused it all night long!

Founded in 1995, Harvest in the Square has brought the Union Square community together for over two decades to celebrate the neighborhood’s rich culinary scene.

The Union Square Partnership’s 24th Annual Harvest in the Square was presented in partnership with Con Edison and NYC Parks. Jason Leeds of Bocce USQ served as this year’s Restaurant Chair, and Garry Tornberg of Tricana Imports served as the Wine Chair.

Thank you for our 2019 sponsors for their generous contributions to help make Union Square bloom year-round. We’ll see you next year for the 25th anniversary of Harvest in the Square!

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