By Julie Shapiro
TRIBECA — More restaurants than ever before will dish up tastes of their gourmet cuisine at the 18th annual Taste of Tribeca this Saturday.
The 75 participating chefs include "Iron Chef" star Marc Forgione, who will serve bison prime rib with ramp chimichurri, and Ed Cotton from "Top Chef," whose Plein Sud bistro will offer pork and hazelnut rillettes on mini brioche with tomato jam.
The $45 tickets buy participants six "tastes" from any of the restaurants, and the money goes to support arts programs in local schools.
Foodies will want to check out chef Andrew Carmellini's Locanda Verde, which is joining Taste of Tribeca for the first time this year and will serve lamb meatballs with pecorino. Other sure crowd pleasers are the orecchiette with spicy sausage and butternut squash from Roc, the mini teriyaki burger from Greenwich Grill and the mixed seafood ceviche from The Harrison.
One of the participating restaurants hasn't even opened yet: Sarabeth's Tribeca, which is coming this summer to the former Bazzini space, will serve up a preview of its mini crabcakes with cream of tomato soup and cookies.
For dessert, Duane Park Patisserie is bringing back their perennially popular molten chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate sauce, while newcomer Mrs. Cupcake will offer chocolate-covered cupcake balls and two-bite mini-cupcakes.
Taste of Tribeca co-chair Jimmy Carbone said he hopes to break last year's record of 4,200 tickets and sell at least 4,500 this year.
The event raises tens of thousands of dollars for P.S. 234 and P.S. 150, enabling the schools to offer arts and enrichment programs, including ballroom dancing, author visits and music and theater classes.
Those who get tired of eating at Saturday's event can partake in a free self-guided wine tour, with tastings at five local shops.
For the younger set, a Kids' Zone will offer events and performances throughout the day, along with crafts, face painting and balloons.
Taste of Tribeca will take place May 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Duane Street between Greenwich and Hudson streets. Tickets are $45 on the day of the event or $40 if purchased online before 12 a.m. May 20.