At any given point there are close to 20,000 restaurants in the five boroughs that make up New York City. And while one might not think of the Upper West Side as a dinning destination, the 2013 Whole Foods Market's New Taste of the Upper West Side, proves that they should. With 44--yes, that's correct, 44--Upper West Side vendors participating in this year's Comfort Classics event staged under a picturesque white tent, equipped with an aerialist performer, DJ Phresh on the 1s and 2s, and emceed by the ultimate foodie Adam Richman, the night was a feeding frenzy for all the senses.
The two-night event, was created in part to raise money for the beatification of the neighborhood that bears the festival's name, more specifically, a sustainable streetscape on the west side of Columbus Avenue between 76th and 77th streets. With much of the work already underway, guests walked past the very projects they were helping to fund, six new benches, five new tree beds, in-ground solar lighting, and a solar-powered trash compactor, all on their way to a foodie mecca.
With summer in full bloom in the city, even with the official start of the season still a month off, guests were invited to interact with the chefs and each other while sampling some of the finest food the Upper West Side has to offer.
The Ditch Dog, from Ditch Plains, was a reminder of how comforting comfort food can be: A hot dog covered in mac 'n' cheese. Isabella's ramekins of individually portioned lasagnas demonstrated how the UWS institution remain all class, even when paired down to the pint size. A. G. Kitchen's pork tacos were juicy and savory as were the freshly sliced pastrami sandwiches from Artie's Deli. Shake Shack, Citrus Bar & Grill, Momofuku Milk Bar, P. J. Clarke's, Gabriela's, Rigoletto's Pizza... there was no shortage of food or smiles on peoples faces, proving that the Upper West Side is truly a foodie favorite.
Artie's Deli served open-faced pastrami sandwiches, sliced on site and served on rye with spicy mustard and pickles.
Isabella's dolled out individually portioned servings of lasagna.
Marc Murphy from Landmarc and Ditch Plains
Rigoletto's Pizzeria sliced up perfect pies.
TV host and personality Adam Richman.