When Smorgasburg returns to the great outdoors next weekend, it'll bring with it a slew of new food vendors ready to take on the crowds in East River State Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 5. Each year the popular market brings in new talent to supplement stalwarts like Milk Truck, Dough doughnuts and Mighty Quinn's. So who's poised to be this year's Ramen Burger? Let's dig in.
Of the 21 newbie vendors, there are a few standouts ripe for Instagram fodder. First up, the mozzarella "bombs" from Big Mozz: fresh mozzarella—made on-site—injected with pestos and other savory sauces like amped up burrata. A variety of Scotch egg interpretations from The Imperial Egg sound fun, like the Japanese-style chicken sauce wrapped around a boiled egg and served with sweet soy aioli. And we're likely to see quite a few folks gnawing on duck legs on the bone, cooked confit-style in their own fat by the folks at Duck Season.
It's not all industry rookies this year, as Williamsburg local Antica Pesa expands their reach past Berry Street with a mobile version of their gourmet Italian fare. Likewise, LES newcomer Birds & Bubbles will debut a Nashville hot chicken sandwich at the market, an item not available at the restaurant proper. And then there's social justice-oriented food truck Snowday, who are whipping up even more excellent maple-themed goodies this year. Indian-style tacos made from paratha courtesy of Goa-Taco will also be on-site.
But of all the newcomers, the unique von Kava offering from Mas Farmhouse's Jonathan Kava is positioned to be the one with the biggest foodiot draw. Instead of grab-and-go like the traditional setup, this booth features a sit-down tasting menu lasting for 15-minutes, during which diners are served a multi-course meal for between $9-$13. The menu's likely to change throughout the season, but expect dishes like white asparagus soup with charred ramps to start, followed by poached cod with pickled fiddlehead ferns and smoked shiitake mushrooms, and finally a caramel petit four to finish.
Check out the complete lineup below and start organizing your game plan for April 4th, 5th and beyond.
- Antica Pesa: frittata di pasta (spaghetti with lamb ragu grilled into a burger shape), eggplant parmagiana and pizza bianca made with mortadella on focaccia
- Best Buds Burritos: San Diego-style burritos stuffed with carne asada, sauces and french fries, as befits the city's style
- Big Mozz: Mozzarella cheese made at the booth itself; served on a sandwich with pork loin or as a "bomb" injected with sauces
- Birds & Bubbles: Nashville hot chicken with deviled egg sauce and dill pickle served on a biscuit
- The Cardinal Bakery: Vegetarian sandwiches on homemade bread plus PB&J cookies
- Curd's the Word: Beer-battered cheese curds
- Dorset Maple Reserve: Maple-based candies and other snacks plus bottles of traditional maple syrup from their Southern Vermont farm
- Duck Season: Whole leg-thigh duck confit served on the bone or on a sandwich; duck-fat-fried new potatoes
- Goa-Taco: Indian paratha bread tacos stuffed with meats and more
- The Imperial Egg: Riffs on the Scotch egg like Moroccan spiced lamb with smoked yogurt and Japanese-style chicken sausage with sweet soy aioli
- Lolita's: Spanish Iberico ham sliced to order or served in "happy porks" sandwiches
- Manousheh: Dome-cooked Lebanese flatbreads with labneh, thyme-cheese, Nutella and more
- Piece of Velvet: Red, blue and green velvet cupcakes and cakes plus other flavors
- Stand Coffee: Coffee shop serving Cafe Grumpy coffee
- Rise & Swine: House-cured bacon served on breakfast sandwiches plus vegan pink peppercorn/aged soy bacon/avocado/pickled cucumber and ginger sandwich and a French Toast sandwich
- Shuka: Interpretations on the Israeli egg dish shakshuka in red, green and white sauces
- Snowday: "Sugar on Snow:" maple syrup snow served on a stick
- Tango Chile Sauce: Vinegar-based mild, medium and hot sauces served in squeeze bottles
- Tink's Red Ginger Cocktail Sauce: Red ginger cocktail sauce sold in jars for shrimp dipping or meat marinades
- von Kava: A unique sit-down, tasting menu from Jonathan Kava of Mas Farmhouse. The 15-minute experience includes dishes like crab fitters with bacon beurre blanc; pork loin with smoked gnocchi and carrot stew; and caramel petit fours