Next weekend is the 8th annual New Taste of the Upper West Side, a 3-night local-food party that raises money for neighborhood projects, parks and schools, and we are going!
On Columbus Avenue between 76th and 77th street, expect big name, big flavor events on Wednesday, Friday and Saturdaynights. We are excited about any event highlighting our favorite Manhattan neighborhood, but this one is pretty big, with some pretty serious restaurants making a showing, celebrities hosting events, and even some food samples from restaurants that will be opening in the next few months. Plus, all of these events will have lots of wine and cocktails!
Wednesday night’s event, Soiree In the Park, benefits the Theodore Roosevelt Park, which is the actual name of the meandering green area surrounding the Natural History Museum, where many locals go to walk pets, stroll with babies, or read the paper — myself included. This event is mostly a cocktail party with champagne, snacks from Sarabeth’s, Luke’s Lobster, Calle Ocho, and one of I love the Upper West Side’s newest favorites, the Milling Room, and classical music.
Friday night the 29th at 7:00 begins Comfort Classics, a big eating night hosted by Andy Richter, the evening will be full of homestyle specialties from local restaurants, including our favorite Southern spot, Jacob’s Pickles, the winner of longest wait ever (but worth it!) for an UWS brunch, the delicious Good Enough to Eat, and the always-fabulous Momofuku Milk Bar, home of salty ice creams, cereal milks, and crack pie — and Christina Tosi, their chef, who is a new judge on Masterchef, will be there! We can also count on yummy neighborhood standbys like Bistro Citron, Isabella’s, Gabriella’s, Insomnia Cookies, and 5-Napkin Burger, and there’ll be a chance to taste a bunch of newbies: Ella’s Kitchen, Gotham Market and Georgia & Aliou’s treats. There will also be live music from the Silver Arrow Band.
Saturday night (the 30th) saves the best for last: The Best of the West starts at 7:30 p.m. — and if you want to come say “hi” to us at I love the Upper West Side, we will be there all evening. Look for us near some of the amazing high-end offerings from local chefs throughout the evening, including Daniel Boulud, John Fraser (Dovetail), Jacques Torres, Rich Torrisi (Parm), Joe Ng (Red Farm) and Michael Psilakis (Kefi! and Fishtail), all of which we have absolutely loved and can’t wait to see what they make for this event. You might also find us at Andanada, Cesca, Candle Cafe, Cafe Luxembourg, Salumeria Rosi, Mille Feuille… I guess we plan to eat a lot! But we *really* can’t wait to see what the not-even-open-yet Ribbonpeople bring. Tavern on the Green and the Loeb Boathouse are also participating, and the event is being hosted by Anne Burrell and Marc Murphy, both accomplished chefs themselves, and music will be by Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band.
We hope to meet some of you there — any suggestions before we go? Have you been before? Want to hear the story of why I couldn’t go last year? Leave us a comment!