Michael and I were very excited to have been given media passes to this annual food-centric affair. Now, I would be lying if I say that the down pour did not have much of an effect on the Best of the West food festival by New Taste of the Upper West Side. The rain certainly made a what-would-have-been-a-gorgeous-event turn into a tent of big messy disaster. With that said, it doesn't mean that the event, hosted by Sara Gore was a complete dud. There were many amazing restaurants that participated and unfortunately, we didn't have a chance to taste everything.
We did, however, manage to get our hands on some dishes: Parmigiana of Zucchini with Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato Sauce & Basil from The Leopard at des Artistes, Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Cream from The Smith, Faroe Island Salmon Crudo with Sun Gold Tomatoes, Fava Beans, Kaffir Lime & Yuzu from Crave Fish Bar, Fluke Poke with Sriracha, Crispy Garlic, Red Onions & Scallions from Ed's Chowder House, Smoked Salmon Mousse & Tequila Cured Scottish Salmon, pickled cucumber salad and dill from Tavern on the Green, Taboon Charred Spanish Octopus with white bean masahaba, spiced tomatoes, herb labane, shaved fennel, sumac pickled onion salad & cilantro oil from Bustan. My absolute favorite dish from last night's event was the Fluke Poke from Ed's Chowder House. It was so good! For a small plate, it definitely packed lots of flavors and ugh, I wish I went back for more! I was also hoping to see more dessert options at last night's event but I only came across a couple. Treat House never disappoints, so I grabbed one of their rice krispies ice cream pops.
Even though it was pouring insanity last night, the crowd was generally having a great time. Joe Battaglia and his 16-piece New York Big Band kept guests well entertained throughout the evening. One major disadvantage was that the rain kept everyone inside and under the tent. Typically, guests would move freely between outdoor seating and the tent. The rain even got under the tent in the far back area which made the thin carpet ground very soggy. It would have been so beautiful if it hadn't rained! I am crossing my fingers for next year.