There is more to Fall than the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Case in point: the Annual Harvest in the Square festival returns to Union Square Park tonight, with gourmet tastings by the who-and-the-what of local restaurants and wines, and over one-thousand people trying to pull off the color orange.
In its 19th year the festival will bring the full menu from 40 neighborhood restaurants to the North Plaza, including Barbounia, Union Square Cafe, and Laut. It's clear from the menu that chefs are foregoing the traditional canned pumpkin flavoring and grocery-store pie fare in favor of butternut squash caponata bruschetta with handmade ricotta, currants and thyme, and pork belly and bacon tacos with cider apple pico de gallo (for example). The seasonal fare will be paired with wines and microbrews from the greater New York area, and the festival ambitiously claims that tastings will be "unlimited."
The event, which begins at 7:30pm in the North Plaza, kicks off what is sure to be an interminably long holiday season with epicurean aplomb. Plus, the $150 ticket cost (get them online and show up early) goes to support the Union Square Partnership, a non-profit that maintains the clean, kale-filled Union Square Park we know and love.