Blog: Dish West at The Altman Building
The pulse pounding club music and Top 40 hits blared from the front of Chelsea’s sprawling Altman Building space, reverberating around a room filled with hungry New York locals stopping by after a typically frenzied work day. Conceptually, the event known as “Dish West” brings together a majority of participating west side restaurants under one roof. Presented by Connoisseur Specialty Foods, the four hour booze fueled eating festival exposes attendees to previously unknown restaurants, specialty shops, and like minded citizens, all hell bent on starting their weekends off on the right foot. The LocalBozo.com crew is all about exploring the neighborhoods that make our city so outstanding. And to have so many of them under one roof was a delicious no brainer.
By the time we made our way inside the spacious venue, the energy level had already reached its peak. The clamoring crowd had formed a lengthy line wrapping half way around the room as many of the tasting stations were placed next to each other along the back wall. Nevertheless we grabbed a couple pours of Birra Moretti and joined our brethren. We made our way past the dnainfo.com table and Yelp lounge and began grabbing at whatever we could. The first plate to tickle our fancy came by way of the people at Columbus Avenue’s own Baconery. If you want hearty, they bring the hearty. We wasted not a moment in digging into their scrumptious “Bacon Mac & Cheese.” This dish was a total overload of savory meets well, savory. Each bite of the sampling portion beautifully combined the creamy cheese and the salty bacon bits. With this impressive first tasting in our rear view mirror we moved onto some lighter yet more upscale fare. Luckily for us the good people at The Smokehouse brought with them their gold medal winning, “Smoked Salmon.” Sure, as a New Yorker you are accustomed to lox on your bagel, but this smoked salmon was on a completely different level. After the first taste we could pick up it’s sushi grade quality, making it a perfect dish to add to any party or brunch spread. The conservative portion we were given led us to return for several more offerings as it was simply that good.
Any red blooded American loves a good Buffalo style wing when they are out at a bar and therefore it was a true pleasure to find Atomic Wings- a true New York City institution when it comes to preparing an honest to goodness awesome wing. Their “Dish West” offering was a boneless style wing- one from chicken and one vegetarian option. Each wing was drenched in “Atomic’s” signature sauce loaded with heat and a buttery finish. We loved seeing fellow event goers licking their fingers to capture every last drop of wing goodness. After a good hand washing we moved down the line to some of the more complex dishes. Sure the line was longer, but it was for a good reason. Lobel’s Kitchen came prepared to serve the masses in style with a “Pork Cheek Served Atop an Onion Tart” and a “Prime Strip Slider.” Both meat centric tastings showed how knowledgeable the chefs at Lobel’s are when it comes to cooking up both pig and cattle and their “Slow Food” yielded some truly delectable results.
Just a few paces away, we met up with the team from Prep Kitchen Market, who were working at a rapid pace to churn out their multi-layered, “North Carolina Pulled Pork.” Served next to a side of bacon and egg potato salad, this dish was a brilliant combination of barbeque meets delicatessen in the best sense of the word. North Carolina is known for their use of vinegar when preparing their ‘Que and Prep Kitchen hit the nail right on the head, making each sour and salty bite extremely memorable. Before the event we had never tried a salad that infused bacon, egg, and potato and the overall taste of this was enough to cause jaw dropping effects. Luckily for us we had plenty of Birra Moretti to bring us back to a state of normalcy. As with every meal you must end with dessert. We actually believe that is a law. The fun folks over at Say Cheese know this well and came to the event with what appeared to be a science experiment. Their “Deconstructed S’more” turns this campfire favorite on it’s ear. An expertly fired marshmallow is placed atop a rubber syringe filled with decadent milk chocolate which when combined sends the devourer back to their childhood in pure unadulterated bliss.
“Dish West” showed our team and hundreds of other guests the eclectic variety of fare offered on the west side of Manhattan. Friday night we were spoiled since all of these great establishments were drawn together under one roof. You can bet that we will make it a point to visit each of their actual brick and mortar shops personally to lend our support. And we highly urge our readers to do the same.