Jun 2010

Central Park Conservancy's 'Taste Of Summer'

New York City - Outdoor parties are a way of life in the Hamptons. In New York City, they're rare. When the Central Park Conservancy is the host for an al fresco evening, it's bound to be special. And this year, their "Taste of Summer" - a gourmet delight, was spectacular.

The Conservancy chose the Naumburg Bandshell, a spot in the middle of the Park, just south of Bethesda Fountain. Then they created a city of interconnecting, towering white tents so that guests could roam and sample tastings from 40 of New York's most popular restaurants that were providing mouth-watering treats from their respective menus.

As evenings go, the weather was perfect. Conservancy President Doug Blonsky and Gillian Miniter, President of the Women's Committee welcomed over 1000 guests. Geisha, Manaña, Serafina and Brasserie Cognac from the Serafina Restaurant Group hosted the VIP Lounge. Before an hour passed, DJ Tom Finn played music so enticing that Muffie Potter Aston, Sylvester Miniter, Alexandra Lebenthal, Edmundo Huerta and Somers Farkas gave into the rhythms and started the dancing, which lasted until almost 12 midnight.

The event's Trustee Chairmen were Jay Mandelbaum and Norman Selby. Committee members included Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Vittorio and Charlotte Assaf, Fabio Granato, Angel Sanchez, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, David Patrick Columbia, Elyse and Michael Newhouse, Liz and Jeff Peek, Patsy and Jeff Tarr, Laurie Tisch, Patrick McMullan, Margaret Munzer Loeb and Daniel Loeb, Carol Bell, Noreen Buckfire, Lydia Fenet, Darren Henault, Kristy and Jonathan Korngold, Jill Lafer, Connie Anne Phillips, Gina Tuttle, Kathryn C. Patterson, Elizabeth Belfer, Diana and Joe DiMenna, Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, Ann Tenenbaum and Tom Lee, Alison Minton, Selmin Arat and Rebecca Campbell.

Also traveling from restaurant station to restaurant station, were Karen and Richard LeFrak, Susan Fales Hill, Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Mario Buatta, Amy Tarr, Eric Javits, Jr., Alison and Andy Brod, Yesim Philip, Geoffrey Bradfield, Danielle Rossi and Jeff Hirsch.

Some of the restaurants participating included: Asia de Cuba, Bice Ristorante, BLT Market, The Carlyle, China Grill, The 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.

It's understatement to say the evening was a success. It raised $600,000. The Funds will help the Conservancy, which is responsible for 85 percent of the Park's $26 million dollar budget to maintain and preserve Central Park.