I’m fairly certain that everyone can agree that this past year has been pretty rough for all of us. And, as a native New Yorker, and newly permanent Upper West Side resident I can say with certainty that this neighborhood in particular was in need of some serious energy and joy. The Taste of the Upper West Side undoubtedly delivered.
The event returned for its 13th year with two nights of open-air food events, aptly named Grillin’ in the City and Best of the West.
Taste of the Upper West Side, presented by American Airlines and Mastercard and hosted by the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District, was the breath of fresh air that brought New York City to life!
Grillin’ in the City, held on October 1st, showcased over 20 popular Upper West Side restaurants that grilled up their favorite and tastiest menu items. New this year to the Friday night event was an exciting collaboration with Whiskies of the World. Guests were transplanted on a worldwide journey by tasting and sampling various whiskies (and scotch) from near and far. Whether it was Kentucky bourbon or a great scotch from Scotland, this pop-up event was a hit with guests who got to know brands like Balcones, Copper Dog, Uncle Nearest, Westward and more!
Best of the West, held on October 2nd, focused on elevated cuisine and was presented by Park West Village. Famed Upper West Side dining destinations prepared marvelous bites of their haute-cuisine. The night also featured Bubbly Under the Stars, a bar experience celebrating all things sparkling- who could say no to some bubbly!? Making appearances this night were; WNBC-TV personality Lauren Scala who honored the perseverance of restaurant owners on the Upper West Side during these difficult and uncertain times. Kudos to her! Also, acclaimed French Pastry Chef Jacques Torres was on hand to sign copies of his book “Nailed It!”, named after his hit Netflix series.
Also making a debut this year was the Taste of the Upper West Side‘s first-ever Biergarten in honor of Oktoberfest, featuring a variety of fall sips and beer inspired cocktails curated by neighborhood favorites Tiki Chick and Nobody Told Me.
Over the two nights, several restaurants made their Taste of the Upper West Side debuts including Dagon, Boka, Pekarna, Covacha, Sushi 85, Manhattanville Market’s Butterfunk Biscuit Co., The Baylander, Felice Columbus, Tasca and Kissaki. Live music by acclaimed group Project Orange had all attendees of all ages on their feet dancing until the very end of the event. The music, excitement of the crowd, and incredibly delicious food heightened the ambiance of the Upper West Side’s most anticipated event of the year.
All health and safety protocols were followed. Proceeds from Taste of the Upper West Side will go back into the community and help fund neighborhood projects through the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
The event was epic! And an event that is never to be missed.