Category Archives: Event

10th Annual Taste of the Upper West Side This May

I’m a downtown girl, but my favorite reason to head uptown is the Taste of the Upper West Side. It’s a great celebration of restaurants and chefs in the neighborhood. This year, it is being held Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20. Each night there’s a unique and fun event with a DJ and plenty of food from your favorite area restaurants.

Summer in the City: Surf & Turf, an event hosted by celebrity chefs Alex Guarnaschelli & Adam Richman, along with Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic and author of A Meatloaf in Every Oven
When: Friday, May 19, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where:  Grand Tent, O’Shea Complex Schoolyard, Columbus Avenue between West 76th and 77th Streets
Participating restaurants include Maison Pickle, The Fat Monk, Kirsh Bakery, Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, Momofuku Milk Bar, Shake Shack, Playa Betty’s, The Meatball Shop, Han Dynasty…to name a few.
Cost:  $105 per person or 2 for $185
The first 200 ticket purchasers will receive a copy of Alex Guarnaschelli’s OldSchool Comfort Food or Frank Bruni’s A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Two Chatty Cooks, One Iconic Dish and Dozens of Recipes from Mom’s to Mario Batali’s.                                                      

 

Best of the West VIP Reception Presented by 21 West End, an event hosted by Jesse Palmer, host of Disney’s ESPN and ABC Networks, along with James Beard Award-winners Chef April Bloomfield and Restaurateur Ken Friedman
When: Saturday, May 20th, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Grand Tent, O’Shea Complex Schoolyard, Columbus Avenue between West 76th and 77th Streets
Participating restaurants include Jean Georges, Boulud Sud, Rosa Mexiano, The Leopard at des Artistes, Jacques Torres Chocolate, Carmine’sto name a few.
VIP Cost: $225 per person (VIP ticket holders have a private lounge area and receive a gift bag.)
The first 100 VIP Ticket purchasers will receive a complimentary,
signed copy of April Bloomfield’s new book (one per order, only).

 

Best of the West Presented by Park West Village, an event hosted by Jesse Palmer, host of Disney’s ESPN and ABC Networks, along with James Beard Award-winners Chef April Bloomfield and Restaurateur Ken Friedman
When: Saturday, May 20th
General Admission: 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Grand Tent, O’Shea Complex Schoolyard, Columbus Avenue between West 76th and 77th Streets
Participating restaurants include Jean Georges, Boulud Sud, Rosa Mexiano, The Leopard at des Artistes, Jacques Torres Chocolate, Carmine’sto name a few.
General Admission Cost:  $135 per person or 2 for $250

 

The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (“BID”), a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, created the annual event and donates all net proceeds to the area for improvement and beautification projects.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://tasteuws.com/

New Taste of the Upper West Side June 3-4

The 9th annual New Taste of the Upper West Side, a two-night celebration of the restaurants and chefs of the Upper West Side, is scheduled for June 3-4, 2016.  This is an event you don’t want to miss and one of my favorite food events in the city. (I’ve written about New Taste of the Upper West Side before.) This year, event hosts include Anne Burrell, host of Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America and author of “Own Your Kitchen,” Alex Guarnaschelli, chef/owner of Butter, judge on Food Network’s Chopped, mentor on Food Network’s All-Star Academy & author of “Old-School Comfort Food,”  and Sara Gore of NBC’s New York Live and Open House.

Each night, over 45 area restaurants will be participating, some new and some returning, including Momofuku Milk Bar, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, Sarabeth’s, The Meatball Shop, Parm, RedFarm, Luke’s Lobster, Shake Shack, Rosa Mexicano, Tavern on the Green, and The Ribbon. Participating chefs include Sarabeth Levine, Christina Tosi, Jacques Torres, Cesare Casella, Rich Torrisi and Bruce & Eric Bromberg.

Events include:

Friday, June 3rd at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM                                             Summer in the City: Surf & Turf
Presented by Glenwood

Enjoy surf, turf and other summer favorites from 45 area restaurants in a chic beach setting.  Try the offerings of the yet-to-be named restaurant debut from two-time Michelin-star chef April Bloomfield with partner Ken Friedman (Spotted Pig, The Breslin); and Maison Pickle, the newest restaurant from the Jacob’s Pickles team. Other newcomers include Jin RamenHan Dynasty and Playa Betty’s, along with past participants, such as Momofuku Milk Bar, The Meatball ShopJacob’s PicklesShake Shack and AG Kitchen.

Where:  Under a grand tent on Columbus Ave between West 76th and 77th Streets in the O’Shea Complex Schoolyard                                                              Cost: $105 per person or 2 for $185

Saturday, June 4th at 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM                                              BEST OF THE WEST

Best of the West is an event celebrating the Upper West Side’s most famous and celebrated restaurants and chefs. There will be wonderful cuisine, world-class wines and cocktails, and music by Joe Battaglia & The New York Big Band. Neighborhood newcomers include Crave FishbarOlma Caviar Boutique & LoungeOrwasher’s Bakery and Amorino Gelato along with returning favorites including RedFarmBoulud SudDovetailJacques Torres and Rosa Mexicano.

Where:  Under a grand tent on Columbus Ave between West 76th and 77th Streets in the O’Shea Complex Schoolyard                                                             Cost: $135 per person or 2 for $250

Saturday, June 4th at 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Best of the West VIP Presented by 21 West End

Best of the West also offers a VIP experience, Best of the West VIP, with exclusive access to a private lounge and bar and Caviar Lounge by Olma Caviar. VIP guests receive a gift bag of goodies from Upper West Side sponsors. VIP admission starts an hour earlier than the event, so you have early access to the 45 chefs and their sample offerings.

Cost: $225 per person

This year’s sponsors include 21 West End, Argo, Glenwood, DNA Info, New York Post, West Side Spirit, Barritt’s Ginger Beer, Brusco Group, Rosa Mexicano, Cargill, Rishi Tea and Boston Beer Company.

The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (“BID”), a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, created the annual event and donates all net proceeds to the area for improvement and beautification projects, such as the Columbus Avenue BID’s Sustainable Streetscape project, the Wellness in the Schools program, Greenhouse Classroom, Citymeals-on-Wheels and Theodore Roosevelt Park.

Recap of Best of the West 2015

The Smith, gnocchi, white truffle

Toasted ricotta gnocchi with white truffle cream from The Smith

Last weekend, I attended Best of the West, the third and final night of New Taste of the Upper West Side, the annual food event celebrating the chefs and restaurants of the Upper West Side.  It was a beautiful evening–though not clear enough for Manhattanhenge, but perfect for the festivities going on under the tent as the sun set and the stars twinkled above the upper Manhattan sky.

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This year’s event featured 44 restaurants and many wineries and breweries, serving up tastes of their best dishes and drinks.

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I wish I could’ve tried all of the options, but I did my best to eat my way around the entire tent.

The food is definitely the highlight of the evening, and I was happy to try the offerings.

Bromberg, The Ribbon

Chopped liver on rye crackers from The Ribbon

 

RedFarm

Chicken & watercress dumplings from RedFarm

 

Ed's Chowder House

Skuna Bay salmon sliders with pickled pepper relish & aioli on a Martins potato bun from Ed’s Chowder House

 

Cesca Enoteca & Trattoria, stracciatella

House-made stracciatella served over fettunta with a spring rhubarb compote and fresh mint from Cesca Enoteca & Trattoria

 

Sysco Metro NY

Chilled shrimp over farro salad from Sysco Metro NY

 

Cesare Casella

Cesare Casella salami station

My vegetarian friend was also happy, as there were a lot of options for vegetarians.  In fact, some of my favorite dishes of the evening were vegetarian ones.  The chipotle grilled seitan with corn salsa and avocado mousse from Candle Cafe West was a delicious favorite.

Candle Cafe West, seitan

Chipotle grilled seitan with corn salsa and avocado mousse from Candle Cafe West

The barbecued turnips, avocado, pumpkin seeds from Dovetail was delicious as well.  Our vegetarian favorite was the toasted ricotta gnocchi with white truffle cream from The Smith (and yes, we did have seconds!).

For the sweet tooth, there were a number of options–from classics like brookies at Alice’s Tea Cup and  banana pudding

banana pudding, Magnolia Bakery

Banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery

and whoopie pies at Magnolia Bakery to beautiful pastry creations like Driscoll strawberry parfait verrine from Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres

Strawberry parfait verrine from Jacques Torres

and strawberry tiramisu from Jean-Georges.

Jean-Georges

Strawberry tiramisu from Jean-Georges

The dessert standout was the salted caramel macaron spiked with Remy Martin Cognac 1738 from Mille-Feuille Bakery.  Oh, boy, did this have a kick!

Mille-Feuille Bakery, Remy Martin, macaron

Salted caramel & Remy Martin Cognac 1738 macaron from Mille-Feuille Bakery

Best of the West offers a VIP option where doors open an hour earlier, as well as offering other perks like a gift bag of goodies and a private lounge area.  I like the VIP option because it is less crowded and there are no lines to wait to try the food.  Also, the VIP hour gives you a better opportunity to meet your favorite chefs for a photo and chat.

Lauren Scala, WNBC “Today in New York” host was MC and hosts included Anne Burrell, chef and host of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America”

Anne Burrell

Anne Burrell in the VIP lounge

and Marc Murphy, chef and host of Food Network’s “Chopped.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the entertainment.  As you walked through the tent, you were greeted by glamorous beauties on stilts

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and a corde lisse artist a la Cirque du Soleil.

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A DJ spinning great house, dance and techno music divided the night with Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band for a night of Dina music heaven.  Some folks danced, especially as the night wore on.  And of course, the night ended–too soon–with the band’s rendition of New York, New York.

May Is International Mediterranean Diet Month

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month.  The Mediterranean Diet was “discovered” in the 1950s by Ancel Keys who noticed the low incidence of heart disease amongst Italians, but it was eaten by Italians and other cultures in the Mediterranean since ancient times.  It is a healthy diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, nuts and fish.  Oldways, a nonprofit that promotes health and tradition, created International Mediterranean Diet Month to showcase this healthy diet.

Macaron Day 2015

Today is Macaron Day 2015.  Today, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can get a free macaron at participating pastry shops.  Some shops include my favorites Francois Payard, Epicerie Boulud, Bouchon Bakery, Spot Dessert Bar, Sugar and Plumm, but there are many more.  For any additional macarons that you buy, a portion of the proceeds go to City Harvest, fighting hunger in NYC.

macarons

Start a Foodie Book Club

Enter the GIVEAWAY in honor of my 1000th post!  The deadline has been extended until Dec. 15.

I’m not in a book club, but I want to be.  I love all kinds of books, but I think it would be fun to start a foodie book club and make a treat that accompanies the book.  I’d like to do this with fiction and nonfiction foodie books.  Here are some of my ideas for fiction books and recipes:

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel–This is one of my favorite books.  Quail in rose petal sauce is not something I would normally eat, but in this book, it sounds divine!

Chocolat by Joanne Harris–This is a close second.  Of course, I’d have to serve some kind of chocolate with chili pepper.

Brownies and Broomsticks series by Bailey Cates–A fun mystery series with a lot of recipes of bakery items to choose from.  You could win one of these to start your own book club this month!

Some Enchanted Eclair

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl–I’ve wanted to read this book by Ruth for some time.  I’d have to make something that Ruth reviewed.

The Dinner by Herman Koch–I’ve read differing reviews of this book, so I’d like to read it and see what I think.  How about a book discussion over dinner?

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender–I love the idea of food evoking emotion, so I’m sure I’d love this book.  I’d have to serve lemon cake.

Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses by Meredith Mileti–Always interested in a NYC story.  I’d serve something you’d find at a NYC trattoria.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg–I remember the movie, but I’ve never read the book.  Of course, fried green tomatoes would be on the menu.

Mangoes and Quince by Carol Field–A novel of a woman finding herself through cooking.

What foodie books would you want to read for your book club?

Weekend Whets 5/30

5th Annual Crawfish Boil, Saturday, May 31, 2014, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. or 5 p.m., Sycamore Flowershop + Bar,1118 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn:  $25 for a large bucket of crawfish and a pint of seasonal Abita Beer.

New Taste of the Upper West Side, through May 31, 2014, Columbus Circle between 76th and 77th Streets, Upper West Side, Manhattan:  Celebrate UWS restaurants and chefs with food tastings and music.

Annual Hawai`i Potluck Picnic in Central Park, Sunday, June 1, 2014, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Summit Rock, Central Park, Manhattan:  Hawaiian style potluck with ono food, kanikapila Hawaiian music and hula.  Bring something to share for the potluck.

Caviar in the Park, Sunday, June 1, 2014, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Heckscher Playground, 65th Street Transverse, Central Park, Manhattan:  Food from Cafe Habana, No. 7 Sub, Momofuku Milk Bar and more with outdoor games and live music.  $20.

Taste of Times Square, Monday, June 2, 2014, 46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue, Restaurant Row, Manhattan:  Enjoy tastings from area restaurants.

Slow Food NYC’s annual (s)low down fundraiser, Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Astor Center, Lafayette Street, Manhattan:  Slow Food’s annual fundraiser with food and cocktail tastings and bluegrass music.  Tickets $130+.

Texas Chili Cook-off, Saturday, June 7, 2014, Noon to 5 p.m., West 79th Street Boat Basin, Upper West Side, Manhattan:  Chili tastings and competition.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, Saturday & Sunday, June 7 & 8, 2014, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Madison Square Park, Manhattan:  Sample bbq from well-known bbq restaurants around the country.

Dinner with Ruth Reichl, Sunday, June 8, 2014, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Contrada, East Village, Manhattan:  Four-course dinner with Ruth’s reading and discussing her new book Delicious!.

Summer by the Sea: The 29th Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels, Monday, June 9, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Rockefeller Center, Midtown, Manhattan:  Fundraising event featuring food tastings from NYC area chefs.

Food Photography and Blogging Workshop, May & June, 2014, Private Dining Room (PDR) @ Naturally Delicious, Brooklyn: Four classes with Karen Wise on camera fundamentals, shooting in restaurants and editing images. $175 per class or $675 for all four.

Big Apple Barbecue, Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, 2014, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Madison Square Park, Manhattan: Sample barbecue from around the country.

14th Annual Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival, Sunday, June 8, Noon to 4 p.m., Lower East Side:  Celebrate the food and culture of the Chinese and Jewish community of the area.

A Night of Film and Food, James Beard Foundation, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:30 p.m., Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Lincoln Center, Manhattan:  Jiro Dreams of Sushi followed by a reception featuring some of New York’s finest chefs, sake, beer and wine.  $50-$70.

The Duckathlon presented by D’Artagnan, Saturday, June 14, 2014, Noon to 5 p.m., Metropolitan Pavilion, Chelsea, Manhattan:  Culinary competition.  Teams or singles.  $54-$60.

Taste of Bushwick, Monday, June 16, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr Street, Brooklyn:  Party with food from local restaurants.

Solstice Session at the Arrogant Swine, June 21, 2014, The Arrogant Swine, Brooklyn:  Celebrate summer solstice with a pig roast, pulled-pork sandwiches, local beers and cornhole.  $40.

Bryant Park BBQ, Wednesday, June 25th 2014, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Bryant Park, Midtown Manhattan:  Food from ’wichcraft for a summer bbq.  $60-$70.

A California Olive Oil Tasting, June 26, 2014, 3 p.m., SD26 Restaurant and WineBar,19 East 26th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues), Manhattan: Taste different styles of olive oil and learn how it is produced.  $20-$35.

Brooklyn Eats, Friday June 27th, 2014, 630 Flushing Avenue, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn:  Brooklyn’s first food and beverage trade show.

Ham and Cheese Party, Monday, June 30, 2014, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., The Ides at Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn:  Prosciutto and award-winning cheeses.  Free.