After an entire evening of indulging on Comfort Classics at the first night of the Taste of the Upper West, it was time for round two for the 2011 Best of the West. Dana Cowin, Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine was honored and celebrated for her multitude of contributions to the culinary world.
The evening was brought on by over 40 of the top vendors/restaurants in the UWS. Despite the hefty price tag, tickets for the VIP session, the extra hour in the beginning, was sold out soon after tickets were up for sale. All guests enjoyed music by the great DJ that switched off with Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band, getting the crowd pumped for more feasting.
Calle Ocho served a heap of their delicious ceviche in ginormo clam shells.
Cafe Luxembourg served up delicious bite-sized lobster rolls with a side of their signature chocolates.
Rosa Mexicano, one of the platinum sponsors of the night, had heaps of guacamole that we secretly put atop our other dishes.
The guacamole, for example, paired great with the tuna and aioli sliders from Ed’s Chowder House.
Fish Tag came up with a clever single serving spoonful of tilefish crudo with piquillo peppers, almonds, muscat grapes, and and shishito aioli. Instead of struggling with plates and extraneous utensils, you could pop these effortlessly into your mouth and savor the experience as you mosey on over to the next table.
For dessert, Jacques Torres was serving up ice cream with cookies of all different flavors and combinations, but more outstanding were their homemade sugar donuts.
Alice’s Tea Cup served up scones, mini cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and an absurd amount of pastries to satisfy our sweettooths.
As usual, Mangolia’s was a huge hit. My hope is that they are trying to get people away from the cupcake fad that is soon fading away by overwhelming us with their delicious banana pudding, whoopie pies, and red velvet cheesecake.
For drinks, Whole Foods promoted awareness to support local and organic businesses with their delicious raspberry and rhubarb punch. The punch was spiked with Botran Rum and/or Bong Spirit Vodka (yup – the bottle is shaped in a bong!).
And we capped the night with some Moonshine Apple Shiner.
For a complete list of all the fantastic vendors, check them out here, and be sure to take a gander at our photo gallery below.