Earlier this year Little Italy/NoLIta neighbors huffed and puffed and threatened to shorten the annual Feast of San Gennaro festival down—to no avail. The 11-day street bonanza just reopened, all the way up to Houston, on Mulberry Street and will be there through September 25. But, on the plus side, the organizers say they've heard your complaints and are trying to spice things up this year with more foodie-friendly fare and shorter hours.
As in the past there will be lots of events—a cannoli giveaway! olive oil tastings! live music!—in addition to the standard stalls of fried foods, cheap crap and drunken revelers. That much talked about fashion show is even actually going to happen at 2 p.m. on the last day of the Feast—they've even got a dj! And then there is the foodie stuff. In addition to the foodie all-stars from Torrisi Italian Specialties, who will be offering samples of their soon to open Parm's menu (plus something special just for the Feast) another one of the fall newcomers we're excited for will be there: Saul Bolton, who is opening up Red Sauce later this year, will be serving up Brooklyn Banger's spicy Italian sausages and meatball parmigiana sandwiches as well. Also, the Franks from Frankies Spuntino are there, as are folks from L'Artusi, Stellina and the Breslin. Oh, and Dewey Dufresne, father of WD-50's Wylie Dufresne, has a stall showing off the food from his upcoming sandwich shot BYGGYZ. Honestly? Not bad.
Will this year's Feast bring the festival back to its roots or will it just continue its slide into just another street fair? We really won't know until it is over. Either way, if you live on Mulberry Street? We hope you've got earplugs. Or are taking a vacation.