Press Release

June 6, 2019

Central Park Conservancy Hosts Taste of Summer Benefit Featuring Top NYC Restaurants at Iconic Bethesda Terrace

On Wednesday, June 5, the Central Park Conservancy kicked off summer in Central Park with its annual Taste of Summer benefit at the Park’s iconic Bethesda Terrace. More than 800 friends of the Conservancy enjoyed an unforgettable evening of dancing, delectable food and seasonal cocktails from some of New York City’s best restaurants. Generously supported by the event’s presenting sponsor, Macquarie, the benefit raised $900,000 in support of the Conservancy’s mission to restore, maintain, and enhance Central Park.

“Taste of Summer is a terrific way for New Yorkers to kick off the summer season at one of the City’s most beautiful and iconic locations,” said Elizabeth W. Smith, President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “We salute the wonderful restaurants who make this evening possible, and our supporters who are vital to the Conservancy’s restoration and management of Central Park.”

Event Chairmen Joyce and Barry Cohen, Kristy and Jonathan Korngold, Evelyn and David McCabe, and Gillian and Sylvester Miniter were joined by Culinary Chair, Chef David Burtka, and Honorary Chairs, Laurie and Jay Mandelbaum, Melissa Vail, and Norman C. Selby. Host Committee members and notable attendees included Debra and Leon Black, Chef Todd English, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Harrison, Gillian Hearst, Sharon and Bill Jacob, Central Park Conservancy Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Alexia Leuschen, Elyse and Michael Newhouse, Yesim Philip, and Michelle Smith, among others.

The Plaza hosted the Taste Café and served bites from Café D’Avignon, Eloise at The Plaza, Lady M Cake Boutique, Ora di Pasta, The Palm Court, Pizza Rollio, Sabi Sushi and Todd English at The Plaza. Featured restaurants included Amali, Beauty + Essex, Benoit New York, Bridgewater Chocolate, Canard, Inc., Casa Lever, DaDong NY, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections, Doughnut Plant, FELICE, Felix Roasting Co. Fine & Rare, Junoon, The Loeb Boathouse Central Park, Loi Estiatorio, The Meatball Shop, The Milling Room, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. OddFellows Ice Cream Co., Rahi, The Regency Bar + Grill at Loews Regency New York Hotel, Rotisserie Georgette, Sant Ambroeus, Sen Sakana, Serendipity 3, Shake Shack, Sistina Restaurant, The Smith, Southgate Bar + Restaurant, Speedy Romeo, Tavern on the Green, Thalassa Restaurant, Toloache 82, and Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar.

Guests sipped fresh cocktails from William Grant & Sons, wine from 90+ Cellars, beer from Brooklyn Brewery, and water from Acqua Panna.

About the Central Park Conservancy

The Central Park Conservancy is a private, not-for-profit organization that manages Central Park and is responsible for raising the Park's annual operating budget. The Conservancy’s staff of more than 300 is responsible for all aspects of the Park’s stewardship, from day-to-day maintenance and operations to continued restoration and rebuilding projects. Additionally, the Conservancy operates the Park’s visitor centers, provides public programs, and serves as a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. For more information, please visit

Press Inquiries

Mary Caraccioli at the Central Park Conservancy [email protected]

Kerry Aronchick of Optimist Consulting [email protected]

Event Inquiries

Laura Hall at the Central Park Conservancy [email protected]

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    Photo by: Zach Hilty/
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    Photo by: Zach Hilty/