15 Minutes

September 2010

Gotham Eateries Add Spice To Al Fresco Celebration

Story by Roger Webster

FOR an al fresco evening the Central Park Conservancy chose a spot adjacent to the band shell at 72ndStreet, just south of Bethesda Fountain. Underneath towering white tents, guests sampled specialties from 40 of New York’s most popular restaurants.

Doug Blonsky, president of the Conservancy, and Gillian Miniter, president of the Women’s Committee, welcomed more than 1,000 guests. Serafina Restaurant Group’s Geisha, Manaña, Serafina and Brasserie Cognac hosted the VIP Lounge with tables of culinary delights. The music from DJ Tom Finn was so enticing that before an hour passed, Muffie Potter AstonSylvester MiniterAlexandra Lebenthal, EdMundo Huerta and Somers Farkas surrendered to the rhythms with abandon.

Committee members included Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Charlotte and Vittorio AssafFabio GranatoAngel Sanchez, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, David Patrick Columbia, Elyse and Michael Newhouse, Liz and Jeff Peek, Patsy and Jeff Tarr, Laurie TischPatrick McMullan, Margaret Munzer Loeb and Daniel Loeb, Carol Bell, Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, Ann Tenenbaumand Tom Lee, Alison Minton, Selmin Arat and Rebecca Campbell.

Traveling from the various restaurant stations and making recommendations to their friends were Karen and Richard LeFrak, Susan Fales Hill, Park Commissioner Adrian BenepeLaurie Mandelbaum, Mario BuattaAmy Tarr, Eric Javits, Jr.Alisonand Andy Brod, Nissa and Bill KourakosSarah Evans, Geoffrey BradfieldDanielle Rossi and Jeff Hirsch. The event’s trustee chairmen were Jay Mandelbaum and Norman Selby.

Among the restaurants providing mouth-watering tastes were Asia de Cuba, Bice Ristorante, BLT Market, the Carlyle, China Grill, Central Park Boathouse, Ciao Bella Gelato, Gordon Ramsay at the London NYC, Ivy Bakery, Maya, the Oak Room, Osteria Del Circo, The Palm Court, Pampano, Park Avenue Summer, Peanut Butter & Co., Quality Meats, Redeye Grill, Rouge Tomate, SD26, Serendipity 3, Shelly’s Trattoria, SUSHISAMBA Park, Telepan, Thalassa, the Modern and Trattoria Dell’Arte.

The event raised $600,000 to help the Conservancy, which is responsible for 85 percent of Central Park’s $26 million budget.