Tuesday

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and Kick-Off


June 9 & 10, 2012
Madison Square Park


Pork Out With Your Fork Out on Southern-inspired fare from the country’s top pit masters available for $8 plate. Food, Live Music, Cooking Seminars. Event admission is free.

Kick-Off the weekend's festivities on Friday, June 8th, 6:00pm - 9:00pm at Blue Smoke with the Potlikker Film Festival premiere of “Madison Square Pork” alongside a special barbecue menu. Tickets http://southernfoodways.org/events/potlikker/index.html

Filmmaker Joe York celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Big Apple Block Party featuring a documentary on the four founding pitmasters, including 17th Street Barbecue, Mike Mills considered by his peers a true pioneer, legend and leading force in the barbecue world for almost 30 years. Twitter @17thstreetbbq

Saturday

New Taste UWS: COMFORT CLASSICS 2012


comfort food

 noun

Definition of COMFORT FOOD

: food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.

Aperol Spritz

When you're feeling happy or blue, or just in a blah mood, there's usually only one thing you can turn to, good ol' COMFORT FOOD! Now, imagine indulging in all the comfort classics reinvented in New York style in one yummy night.  New Taste of the Upper West Side "Comfort Classics" delivered a fabulous foodie evening filled with innovative comfort foods. 35 of Upper West Side's popular chefs and restaurants gathered to cook-up their inventive interpretation of comfort foods that any sophisticated adult would relish while, the fat kid inside of all of us would giggle in bliss. Travel Channel's Adam Richman (Man v. Food Nation) and Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern) hosted the food frenzy party with special guests, Tony Abou-Gamin (Modern Mixologist) and Ellie Krieger who signed and gave out copies of her book Comfort Food Fix.

Chef Marc Murphy shows his Ditch Dog

When you walk in to this event you really need to asses the situation and plan a strategy. You're surrounded by all your favorite food cravings; but don't worry, you will get to them all. Start off with an Aperol Spritz, then when no one is looking... ATTACK!  Hit one station at a time. Get a Ditch Dog topped with Mac & Cheese at Ditch Plains, Grilled Cheese & Gazpacho at Whole Foods, an Isabella's Slider, a Veggie Quesadilla and a shot of tequila at Mamajuana, then a Shake Shack Corn Dog followed by a 5 Napkin Burger. 5000 calories later, take a breath before Round 2 begins.

Under the tent

Time to get your drink on! With so many to choose from it's time to navigate and figure out whether to make a splash at Arrogant Frog wines, Four Roses Bourbon, Zyr Vodka or Blue Moon Beer? Ah, what-the-hell try them all! Then, off to the dance floor with DJ Phresh spinning at the turn table where some man is really getting his groove on, while the crowd surrounds him with cheers! Woohoo... GO MAN GO!


Artie"s Deli

Now that you've worked up an appetite. Ready? Set? Virgil's BBQ Ribs, Indie Food & Wine TBLT sandwich, Artie's Deli Pastrami Sandwich and another 5 Napkin Burger. Try Bodrum Mediterranean restaurant's Mitite Kofta, Piyaz with Pilaf rice, but watch out because it's pipping hot! How about Kangaroo Shepard's pie from Sunburnt Calf? Yup. Cafe Frida tenia una mini Mixiote de Cordero con Guacamole muy rico!


5 Napkin Burger
10,000 calories later and it's time for dessert! Sarabeth herself tempts everyone with her scrumptious bread pudding. Bombolini has well, BOMBOLINI! Stop and stare at the giant bacon cake by Baconery while noshing on chocolate covered bacon strips, then move on to Gazela's Place for Baklava. Grab some chocolate chip, sugar and M & M Insomnia Cookies to-go because, if you're at all like me, you'll eat them later when you can't get to sleep.






New Taste UWS: Best of the West 2012


Porterhouse Chef Michael Lomonaco French Dip Sandwich

New York City has the best of everything and this weekend was no exception. The Whole Foods Market New Taste Of The Upper West Side's "Best of the West" is where you got to taste the BEST!

Joe Battaglia N.Y. Big Band


The fifth annual Best of the West at New Taste of the Upper West Side showcased just that, at this years party held under its' grand tent that took up the block on the corner of Columbus Avenue between 76 & 77 streets. Forty renowned chefs and restaurants, wine and spirits galore and all while Joe Battaglia & The New York Big Band played, keeping every one's hips swinging and feet tapping.



Tony Abou-Gamin was on hand mixing his specialty cocktail "Sara's Smile" that kept many smiling all night long. A concoction of Voli Lemon Vodka, St Germain Elderflower, Aperol, Ruby Red Grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup.

Toasted Gnocci, White Truffle Crema, Parmesan

The Upper West Side has so many wonderful restaurants, tasting so much great food from such talented chefs at one time, all in one place is a delicious opportunity. Best of the West is a multicultural affair that gives a prolific look into the great diversity that makes up the neighborhood. French - Bar Boulud, Japanese - Blue Ribbon Sushi, Cuban - Calle Ocho, Greek - Kefi, Mexican - Rosa Mexicano, Italian - Salumeria Rosi, and New American - The Smith. Just to name a few; after all, there were FORTY restaurants present!

Alice's Tea Cup Pumpkin Scones



This year New Taste of the Upper West Side honored Upper West Sider Gael Greene, former New York Magazine restaurant critic and founder of Citymeals-on-Wheels which helps to guarantee that West Side senior citizens receive meals throughout the year through the delivery program. When I asked Gail if she was happy to be at Best of the West? She answered, "Yes, I'm getting paid!" Then, preceded to tell me about how Citymeals-on-Wheels benefits from these types of events and how much older people from the neighborhood need these programs and how it is appreciated and supported by the community. Of course, then I complimented her on her hat, since she is famous for her flashy hats.



New Taste of the Upper West Side "Best of the West" is a really good time. Besides, any time you can start the evening with a fancy morsel of Cured Carrot, Chicken Feed topped with a Quail Egg by Dovetail then, move on to a Porter House French Dip Sandwich and end the evening drinking a Frozen Hot Chocolate made by Jacques Torres... Well, it's the BEST!






Rosa Mexicano Fresh Guacamole
Lincoln RestaurantBlue Ribbon Sushi Hand RollsGastroarte Tomato 6 Ways
Chef Jacques Torres
Mr. Chocolate and Madame Chocolat















New Taste UWS Best of the West, a set on Flickr.