This Weekend: New Taste of the Upper West Side – May 18th & 19th

Huge tent on Columbus Ave at The New Taste of the Upper West Side in Manhattan.

Yes, NYC food events are getting to be almost dime a dozen these days: from the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party (this June, in Madison Square Park), to the summer-long Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, to the Stone Street Oyster Festival every fall, to the first-ever, oddly-named Great GoogaMooga in Prospect Park (this weekend!), to on and on and on, it seems like not a week goes by without something tempting us to grab some friends and go and gorge in a large, communal setting. That said, it just so happens that one of the city's best food fests is happening this weekend, the New Taste of the Upper West Side 2012, under a huge tent on Columbus Avenue (right near Shake Shack and the Museum of Natural History), and sponsored, in part, by yours truly, Glenwood.  

Chefs preparing oysters in shells at the New Taste of Upper West Side.

The New Taste of the Upper West Side 2012 is offering two separate feasts this year, both featuring signature dishes and tastings and treats from local chefs, and it's tough to pick which one would be more fun. Friday is all about Comfort Classics, hosted by Travel Channel's Adam Richman (Man v. Food Nation) and Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods), with DJ Phresh on the ones and twos, wines and cocktails via Southern Wine and Spirits, and starring fresh takes on old-school favorites from 35 different UWS eateries. There's a ton of good-sounding things here, including plenty from the best upper west side restaurants like Luke's Lobster, Barney Greengrass, Five Napkin Burger, Sarabeth's, Mamajuana, and Ed's Chowder House. The price for Comfort Classics is $95 ($170 for two), for all you can eat and drink between 7:00 and 10:00 pm.     

Spoons with bite sized delicacies by local UWS restaurants at New Taste food festival.

Saturday night at New Taste of the Upper West Side 2012 is a bit more upscale, with the Best of West showcasing seasonal fare from 40 of the neighborhood's most acclaimed chefs and restaurants. There's too much that appeals to list everything here, but we'd definitely be taking plates from Blue Ribbon Sushi, Nice Matin, Bar Boulud, Gastroarte, Lincoln, Salumeria Rosi, Jean Georges, and Jacques Torres. Gael Greene will be honored, Joe Bataglia and The New York Big Band will be swinging to the standards, and the wine will be flowing like, well, wine. Best of the West costs $125 per ticket ($200 VIP passes are sold out), and you can drink and dine from 7:00 until 9:30. 

Desserts by Magnolia Bakery at the New Taste of Upper West Side in NYC.

New Taste of the Upper West Side 2012 Details

New Taste of the Upper West Side 2012 will be held this Friday and Saturday night, May 18th and 19th. Tickets are available for advance purchase online. Proceeds from both nights go to Citymeals-on-Wheels, the O'Shea School complex Greenhouse Classroom project, and the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District. All photos from Taste of the Upper West Side 2011, via Socially Superlative. For more information about everything, please see the New Taste of the Upper West Side 2012 website, here


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