Last night, I had a blast at the Best of the West at the New Taste of the Upper West Side. The highlight of the night was meeting chocolatier Jacques Torres, one of my favorites, and Jesus Nunez of Graffit. (I told Chef Nunez how I disagreed with Adam Platt’s review.) I sampled delights from many different restaurants. During the VIP hour, it is much easier to circulate the room, as there are fewer people. It’s a better way to meet and speak with the chefs before the doors open to general admission tickets and things get really crowded. Due to the crowds, I wasn’t able to get the names and elements of each dish. However, I tried many and my favorite was the fava bean totelloni from Nice Martin. I also liked the selection from Graffit with its exploration of wine, pistachio and quince. Another favorite was one of the desserts at the Valrhona booth. A note should be mentioned about the band, Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band. They played all the old favorites like Sweet Caroline, Sing Sing Sing, In the Mood, Brown-Eyed Girl, New York New York.