New York Celebrates the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival and the Mooncake Festival, falls on this Sunday, the 30th. While to the Chinese and Vietnamese it symbolizes the fall and harvest time, it also means plenty of parties, feasts, and festivities for New Yorkers. 

Downtown, at the Yunnan restaurant Lotus Blue, a 10-course Moon Festival Banquet will commence on Sunday for $88. For this lavish dinner, executive chef Kian Lam Kho will serve stir-fried lobster with green Sichuan peppercorn, crispy chicken with pu’erh tea, pea shoots in peanut broth, and the traditional mooncakes, though his version comes flavored with rose petal and pistachios.  They also offer a vegetarian option with lotus root soup and Yunnan pseudo ginseng, fried purple yam, and hot and sour wood ear soup.  

At the New Amsterdam Market by the South Street Seaport, they feature Asian-inspired foods by guest chefs and market venues, including chef Simpson Wong from Wong and Wasan. Brooklyn Cured will make banh mi, Home by the Range has tom kha gai down, and Black Tree Sandwich will whip up bulgogi. If you just want an excuse to gorge on traditional mooncakes all day, you can pick some up at Fay Da Bakery

Finally, what is a festival without a parade? At Sara Roosevelt Park (between Canal Street and Forsyth Street) the 10th Annual Autumn Moon Festival and Children’s Lantern Parade will commence at 11am and go until 5pm, which includes traditional performances, food stalls and a glorious dragon cake made by people from the Cake Boss that will feed 1,000 people after the parade. Now that, is a cake to celebrate. 

Village Voice’s Choice Eats Event Last Night, Guided Photo Tour Inside

When you stick hundreds of New Yorkers into a space the size of an amphitheatre, filled with over 80 of the five borough’s top restaurants, alcoholic beverages, and desserts, and tell them it’s “all-you-can-eat and drink,” what happens?

We turn into CAVE PEOPLE. Voracious, thirsty, hungry cavemen and women. Wildly primitive desires emerged at last night’s Choice Eats event, as men and women aggressively made their way to the front of the shoelace-long lines, grabbed for the largest meat-covered crostini, shrimp roll, and bowl of salted caramel ice cream, and ran around with toppled food platters and sauce-covered fingers.
 
So we were full after 15 minutes, or we have some frou-frou diet to attend to. Who cares! For one night, we went wild. And it was oh-so-necessary.
 
Here’s our guided photo tour of the evening’s best:
 
Doughtnut Plant
 
Doughnut Plant’s peanut butter glaze and blackberry jelly donut. I’m still full, but I’m still craving this. 
 
Kafana
 
Scrumptious sausages at Kafana.
 
Bep
 
Bep’s mango salad makes healthy delicious. 
 
Ample Hills Creamery
 
Ample Hills Creamery’s Salted Crack Caramel ice cream. Made with salted butter caramel ice cream and bits of their "crack." Aptly named. 
 
Mile End
 
Mile End’s smoked meat bun. Sweet. Fluffy. Meaty. 
 
Tanoreen
 
Fried brussel sprouts topped with yogurt, tahini, and pomegranate sauce. Tanoreen does it again. 
 
Good Batch
 
The Good Batch’s chocolate chip cookies. So soft, but chewy, yet doughy. An enigma, actually.
 
Fay Da Bakery
 
Fay Da Bakery’s pork bun. Always the best.
 
S'more Bakery
 
S’mores Bakery. Toasted right infront of you. 
 
Ditch Plains
 
Ditch Plains’ mac ‘n’ cheese-covered hot dog. It’s worth the heart attack.