It hasn’t quite been midsummer yet but the sweltering slosh of heat and humidity awashes the city, making fatigue and temper run high. Too hot to hang out at crowded event, too humid for outdoor bars. But I couldn’t resist the ticket to attend the Greenmarket’s free Night Market in Union Square. I found the event by chance when I was perusing through the list of Eventbrite recommendation.
I love night markets. In Boston, when the sun set, Hay Market is still flooded with markets and stalls, fresh seafood and oysters abound. Growing up, my mother’s friend would invite us over for day and night eating, BBQ, pho, hot pot. It didn’t matter the time of year, we would always be eating. I love food, despite trying to be on a diet. I work out intensively not to just be healthy but to eat and eat some more without guilt.
Union Square’s Greenmarket is a haven for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat. Farms after farms boast that they are the freshest stall, the best tasting food, all organic and non-pesticide. Sometimes, it makes me wonder if they are just using marketing words and are not really practicing it.
Normally, the Greenmarket stays open until sun down. The Night Market opened from 4-8PM. It would have been more aptly named, the Evening Market (the word Twilight is forever ruined by that horrendous book, if one could even call it a book).
I left work a bit earlier than normal, in order to make it in time. It was lucky I did because by 7PM, most of the stalls were sold out of food.
Since I had registered to attend the free event, I received a $1 coupon off one dish from each stall. It came so handy as I felt like I bought everything. (Good thing I didn’t snack during the day.)
There are about 20 restaurants participating in the event. The proceeds go to the Greenmarket.
The first stall was Toqueville. They handed vegetable dish: radish, lemon verbena, goat yogurt and candied almond. I couldn’t have it due to allergy but my boyfriend devoured it and exclaimed that we must eat at the restaurant.
Our second was one of my favorite, though all the stalls were exceptional. It was a cold soup, perfect for the weather. In fact, all the food we had were cold. Monument Lane offered gazpacho: peaches, heirloom tomato with shrimp. So delicious! I still salivate at the thought.
Who could have guessed that ‘Wichcraft made yummy food? I always assumed, having seen their stall at Bryant Park that they made crappy overpriced sandwiches. But actually, they make other food. Fennel with watermelon over fluke ceviche (roasted almonds as garnish) was the perfect cold temperature dish with lots of water base to cool one down.
Moseying across, Union Square Cafe offered jet cold linguine with clams tossed in olive oil and garlic sauce and for dessert, peach turnover. The linguine tasted like it was handmade! The perfect amount of sauce and thickness without feeling gluttonous.
By this point, all other food was out of greed. I had a sampling of pickled eggs on toast, strawberry oatmeal cookie from Cart in the Park, drooling over fried eggplants and lobster chilled corn soup.
At Hearth and Terroir, I finished my greed with blueberry lemon trifle and fresh marscapone.
All this food required water to quench. My boyfriend had tea with ginger, cayenne, and maple syrup, which I called the Beyonce diet drink.
I went for a more traditional mint tea with ginger.
Ah, the night was young, the air scented of lavender, basil, and mint, the occasional waft of seafood smell. We wondered around a little more, picking up honey, focaccia, and meat for the next day. A great idea for a night market leaving a very happy customer, sated and wanting more.