Upper West siders, can you smell that? Can you smell the overwhelming aroma of more than 80 restaurants cooking up innovatively delicious concoctions over by West 76th and 77th streets? You’re about to. The New Taste of the Upper West Side is returning for its eighth year equipped with some of the most sought after local restaurants and their world-class chefs. As if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, each event of this three-day festival will be hosted by a variety of celebrity hosts. This is sure to be a culinary affair to remember.
The New Taste of the Upper West Side is an annual food festival created by the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District, a non-profit organization with the intention of cultivating a culinary celebration while raising money for community development. All proceeds from the event go toward neighborhood improvement and beautification projects which include Columbus Avenue BIS’s own Sustainable Streetscape project as well as The Wellness in the Schools program, Greenhouse Classroom, and Theodore Roosevelt Park.
Barbara Adler, Executive Director of the Columbus Avenue BID says, “This amazing three-day event has enabled our BID to give back to the community in so many important ways. Now in its eighth year, it has been crowned New York’s top neighborhood food festival and continues to be a boon to our local restaurants and businesses.”
The celebration consists of three nights, each with its own individual theme and celebratory festivities. The first of the three, entitled “Soirée in the Park,” will take place on Wednesday, May 27 from 7:30 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. at Theodore Roosevelt Park. Guests are invited to attend an outdoor cocktail event in which champagne and hor d’oeuvres will be served from local restaurants including Sarabeth’s and Luke’s Lobster. Live music will be provided as the New Taste of the Upper West Side celebrates Theodore Roosevelt Park.
The New Taste of the Upper West Side will then host “Comfort Classics” on Friday, May 29 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Columbus Avenue between West 76th and 77th Streets. Here, guests are invited to attend “Comfort Classics” in which 40 Upper West Side restaurants—including Momofuku Milk Bar, Serafina, and Shake Shack—present their most creative home-style dish. Each restaurant thus competes for the “Best Comfort Food Dish.” “Comfort Classics,” presented by Sysco, will be hosted by NBC’s Adam Richman, host of “Food Fighters” and acclaimed author of Straight Up Tasty. Richman will be joined by, special guest, Katie Lee of The Food Network who will autograph copies of her new book Endless Summer Cookbook. To top it off there will be an assortment of international wines, inventive cocktails, and a live performance from Silver Arrow Band.
The festival will conclude with “Best of the West” on Saturday, May 30 from on Columbus Avenue between West 76th and 77th streets. This year, “Best of the West” will also feature a V.I.P. option that includes access to a private lounge with bottomless champagne, gift bags, and private book signings of cookbooks, courtesy of the event, from Anne Burrell and Marc Murphy. The V.I.P. experience will take place before “Best of the West,” at 6:30pm, where guests will be brought to chefs before those of general admission. “Best of West” acts as the culmination of the food festival. The focus of the event will be to celebrate fine cuisine on the West Side with 40 of New York City’s most noteworthy restaurants and chefs. Such restaurants include Boulud Sud, Redfarm, and Dovetail. Anne Burrell, of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” and Marc Murphy of Food Network’s “Chopped,” will host the event, which will take place under an elegant white tent.
Be sure to check out Columbus Avenue BIS’s annual New Taste of the Upper West Side for a culinary treat!