In the West Village, You Get Just A Taste for Free

From the cover band in the street's first few strums of "Wonderwall," it was clear Tuesday would be one special night in the West Village. With chefs marching out tray after tray of free food for three hours for A Taste of West Village, the '90s rock hits were just the icing on the cake.

Well, there wasn't any cake, but there was pie (pizza from Grimaldi's), plus bison burgers from Lazare, even meatballs from Cru--something for everyone present, except the pint-sized trophy dogs, which could only look on with malice from inside their owner's purses.

May we recommend beginning the night with this romantic table in the middle of the street? You'll have excellent sight lines of the trolleys and the band.

Mi Cocina offered quesadillas gratis, though they remained just out of reach for this furball. Waiting in line for a handout made a great opportunity to stand around gawking right back at the patio diners.

Lazare's mini bison burger, all yours for a low, low $1 donation to the North Texas Food Bank.

At Cru, meanwhile, chef Paul Singhapong kept trays of meatballs coming out of the kitchen, and drizzling sauce over them himself before handing each one over. The Mi Cocina-Lazare-Taco Diner triangle was the most heavily trafficked corner of the village early in the evening, but music stages and sample tables got in on the fun as far out as Cork and P.D. Johnson's sandwich stop.

A $5 donation bought entry into a drawing for dinner for four at any West Village spot, and with donation spots at each restaurant's sample table, the food bank was the night's big winner.

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