Neighborhood flavor: Bay Ridgites eat up at 21st-annual ‘Taste of the Ridge’

Neighborhood flavor: Bay Ridgites eat up at 21st-annual ‘Taste of the Ridge’
Eat up: Ridgites dished out and ate up some of the nabe’s tastiest foods at the Taste of the Ridge event on Oct. 1 at St. Patrick’s Church.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

There was no separation between church and taste last Sunday!

Ridgites flocked to St. Patrick’s Church on Oct. 1 for the 21st-annual Taste of the Ridge event, which brought together vendors from nearly fifty local restaurants to hawk their appetizers, entrees, and desserts. All the funds raised will benefit the church and its accompanying school, according to the church’s pastor, and local restaurateurs brought a wide — and tasty — range of dishes to the event.

“The food was outstandingly delicious,” said Monsignor Michael Hardiman. “And there was an outstanding variety of food.”

For $20, locals could sample as many dishes as they liked over the two-hour event. One Ridgite said that her ticket was well worth the small sum.

“It was more than worth it,” said Snow Nelson, who attended for the first time and brought her son Maximus along. “I had probably six meals, and we got to take some home, also. There were a lot of different restaurants”

Nelson sampled pizza from Campania’s, noodles from 86 Noodles, falafel from Tanoreen, and tiramisu from Bay Ridge Pizza, among other dishes. She said Maximus tried Lock Yard’s new “goomba” hot dog, which chef Pat Pacelli created. The restaurant’s owner said that the hot dog topped with broccoli rabe, marinara sauce, and Parmesan cheese has become a new signature offer.

“It went over really well,” Chris Ghiorzi said. “It’s a special that the chef created a few weeks ago. It’s been moving very quickly for us, so we figured we wanted everyone to try it.”

The “goomba” has become so popular that Ghiorzi said he plans to add it to the restaurant’s permanent menu.

A few tables down, the husband-and-wife proprietors of the Brooklyn Firefly had twenty of their specialty pizzas on offer, including margherita and vegan pies, as well as their other signatures, such as the Lord of Brooklyn (topped with sweet and spicy sausage), the Verrazano (with arugula, pesto, ricotta, and pears), and the 86th Street Pie (topped with pepperoni, basil, and olive oil). One of the owners said that the family enjoyed attending the event for the first time and meeting other local restaurateurs.

“I think it was a great way to be in the mix with the other restaurants that were there,” said Donna Mcleer, who owns the business with her husband, Michael.

The pair also brought along their children Ruby and Dylan, who had a great time eating up.

“They loved it,” Mcleer said. “Dylan was serving and he got a big kick out of helping out, and they also went around and tasted stuff from the other restaurants.”

Ghiorzi of Lock Yard said that the restaurant has been showing up to the event for a few years, and that this year’s crowd was an especially good one.

“I thought there was a really good turnout,” he said. “Our food ran out, which is always good for us.”

And he applauded the grub gathering for bringing the community together for a good cause.

“We like that it’s a very community-centric event,” he said. “We reached a lot of people that we don’t normally see. We’re a bar restaurant, so we reach people who are more restaurant-goers at an event like this.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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