As fairly new residents of Manhattan's Upper West Side, Jay and I have been trying to sample as many of the local restaurants as we can. So what better way to try a lot of restaurants in one place than by attending the New Taste of the Upper West Side?
If you haven't heard of Txakoli (sometimes, confusingly, known as Txakolina or Chacoli), or the grape hondarrabi zuri, you're not alone. But this tangy, low-alcohol wine that's popular in Spain's Basque regions (especially in and around San Sebastian) is gaining popularity in the U.S.
I dug around the NYC event sites and the dozens of email blasts for something to do on a waning summer (yes, its still summer damnit!) weekend and found The Last Supper Festival 2010. It purported to feature live bands, DJs, new media artists installations, experimental films, a writing salon, and other random performance art - sounded perfect. Liz and I would find these events throughout SF - many of them being Burning Man derivatives - and have been hard pressed to dig up the same type of ADD-inducing nights in NYC. I'm sure we're just not in the right crowd.
One of the only exceptions was at the Fat Duck outside of London, where we figured the chef (Heston Blumenthal) was cooking since we had read he's nearly always in the restaurant, but we didn't see him. And we opted against buying the cookbook since it cost something like 160 pounds, or a whopping $300. (Most of the other cookbooks we bought were around $60.) After the most expensive meal of our lives, we couldn't justify spending even more on the book, nice memento though it would be. So we were totally excited when we read last week that Heston would be signing a less expensive version of his book that had just been released for a much more affordable $50. Jay and I headed after work to the Alessi store in Soho where, champagne in hand, we finally met the man himself and told him the story of how we managed to eat at his restaurant in July due to a fortuitous last-minute cancelation.
We'll be driving up the river with a couple food and wine-loving friends on Sunday to sample the fare of Hudson Valley and upstate NY. Its always a motley collection of local wineries, produce peddlers, an... drink more...