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New Taste of the Upper West Side 2014: Best of the West

An aerial contortionist pouring Prosecco for guests

New Taste of the Upper West Side is an annual series of food events that benefits The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), not-for-profit corporation, and one of New York City’s official business districts. The BID area, from West 67th Street to West 82nd Street, is a continuous stretch of shops and restaurants, including the American Museum of Natural History and the New-York Historical Society. All commercial properties within the area are members of the BID. Our focus is on making our area a superb public space, so that business thrives and the quality of life for visitors and those living and working in the area is enhanced.

The New Taste of the Upper West Side is always throw a good and fun time besides it’s for a good cause for the neighborhood, as I have been attending their events for the past three years (2013, 2012, and 2011). The Best of the West highlights over 40 celebrated chefs and restaurateurs that’s located in the Upper West Side.

Every year at the Best of the West event, there’s always an aerial contortionist that could pour you a glass of Prosecco near the entrance besides astounding you how she could defy gravity and manage not to feel the blood rushing to the head.


Here are the highlights:

Chef Daniel Boulud (on the right holding the sheet pan) and his team
Grilled Israeli kofte with pine nuts, tahini, scallion salad by Boulud Sud
Chilled veal porchetta with tonnato sauce and caper powder from Bar Boulud

This year, the BID honored world-renowned chef and owner Daniel Boulud of Daniel, Café Boulud, db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Boulud Sud and Epicerie Boulud. (I managed to sneak a photo of him posing with his team.) His two Upper West Side restaurants, Boulud Sud, which served grilled Israeli kofte with pine nuts, tahini, scallion salad and Bar Boulud served chilled veal porchetta with tonnato sauce and caper powder were delicious, as expected.

Chefs plating at Jean-Georges Restaurant's table
Flaked Peekytoe crab, sugar snap peas, miso, jalapeno and soy sauce

Though another big named chef, Jean-Georges was not present, his team were being on top of their game and plated an elegant and delicious bowl of flaked Peekytoe crab, sugar snap peas, miso, jalapeno and soy sauce. It’s a true expression of what Jean-Georges restaurant is all about — an elegant fusion of Asian flavors with haute French cuisine.

My various temaki rolls at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

My favorite whenever I attend this event, is Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill‘s temaki rolls. They bring out three chefs to expedite the made-to-order temaki (hand rolls) filled with a choice of spicy crab, spicy tuna, salmon, vegetable (cucumber and carrot), and yellowtail and yuzu pepper. It’s always delicious when you have the warm, sticky sushi rice mixed with the chilled filling and crisp nori.

Lobster roll by Mermaid Inn

Mermaid Inn (UWS) stuck with the classic lobster rolls that were simply good and very apt for summer.

Chilled Thai beef salad, chilies, watermelon & peanuts by Porter House New York

Porter House New York served up vibrant bites of chilled Thai beef salad, chilies, watermelon that was very tasty and was quite generous with the slices of tender beef.

MeisterShack burger from Shake Shack Upper West Side
Fromage blanc strawberry frozen custard by Shake Shack Upper West Side

Shake Shack (Upper West Side) served up whole MeisterShack burgers, a delectable cheeseburger topped with crispy ale-marinated shallots and Shack sauce and Fromage blanc strawberry frozen custard that stole my heart and made me wish I had room for a few more scoops of this wonderful creamy, frozen treat.

MrB's cocktail from Molecular Bar by Junior Merino

Of the many drinks that were offered at this event, I really liked Molecular Bar by Junior Merino‘s MrB’s cocktail made of Irishman Single Malt, grilled pineapple juice, grilled grapefruit juice, black pepper, ginger, Dainzu agave nectar, lemon, and topped with chipotle & guava foam. Sweet, refreshing and the foam does enhance the fruit flavors of the drink.

To view more photos of this event, please CLICK HERE or view the gallery below: