Food lovers rejoice! It’s one of the best weekends of the year. The Taste of Ellicottville returns on Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12. You’re going to want to skip breakfast, because Ellicottville’s restaurants and bars will be serving a myriad of entrees, appetizers, sweets and kid friendly mini-meals for your dining pleasure.
Here’s the rundown: restaurants will set up tents and tables along the sidewalks of Washington and a closed-off Monroe Street. Buy tickets from one of two tents, then feast on the different array of goodies. 23 restaurants will have food available, and most will offer 5 to 6 items to choose from (including gluten-free options).
While you’ll have your staples returning, there will be a couple of newcomers to the event. Steelbound Brewery & Distillery will have food and *potentially (at the time of this going to print, there wasn’t a solid answer) beer sampling. Annie Coe of Cupcaked will undoubtedly have some delicious sweets, and Bear Paw will serve up some of its homemade fudge. Other new participants include the Public House of EVL, and Tops grocery store.
Last year, the Taste introduced a new event called Ellicottville Chopped - just like the show, chefs will have a limited amount of time to whip up dishes of the judges’ choosing for a chance at bragging rights for the next year. Other competitions in the works include a corn on the cob eating contest and a race where servers have a tray of champagne or martini glasses filled to the top.
“This is a great event for a few reasons,” said Barb Pump, Communications, Events & Membership Manager for the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce. “The first, visitors can sample the best of what each restaurant has to offer. Secondly, it allows each chef to flex some muscle and prepare dishes that are unique to their particular restaurant/style.”
Getting back to the actual “tasting” portion of The Taste, each ticket is worth $1, and items will range from 1 to 5 tickets. The value is unbelievable - you’re going to get prime choices for a small amount of money. And if you can’t fit everything you’d like on the first day, you’ll just have to come back for the next. The Chamber of Commerce produces a handy booklet that includes the location of each restaurant and the dishes they’ll be serving. Shade and seating will be available, and every tent will have beverages on-hand for you to purchase as well.
This year’s participating restaurants include: Finnerty’s Tap Room, Holiday Valley, Dina’s, Dina’s at The Mont, Villaggio, Bike & Bean, Madigan’s, Seneca Allegany Casino, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Public House, Winery of Ellicottville, The Gin Mill, Katy’s Cafe & Katy’s Fly-In, Watson’s Chocolates, Tim & Bonnies, Monroe St. Brick & Brew, Silver Fox Steakhouse, The Tee Bar, Bear Paw, Cupcaked, Steelbound Brewery & Distillery, and Tops Markets here in Ellicottville.
Each restaurant will have the opportunity to submit one of their choices in to the official judging. This year’s judges include Jickster from 97 Rock, Chicken Wing King Drew Cerza, Cerza’s wife, and Buffalo Sabres Alumni Danny Gare. The winners will receive a plaque (and bragging rights) for the next year.
“This event is one of my favorites!,” said Barb. It showcases all of the hard work that these restaurants are doing all year round to make each visitor’s experience one that will make them want to keep coming back. Something not many know, is that the Taste of Buffalo, which includes all of Erie County, has 59 restaurants involved and is one of the largest Tastes. To think that with 1,800 residents and only local eateries involved that we have 23 … truly fantastic! So, come get something to eat, walk around the village and stop by the eclectic shops, as they have something for everyone. We can’t wait to see you!”
The Taste of Ellicottville is produced by the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce and its presenting sponsor, Sysco Foods. The event runs from noon-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, although vendors will have the option to stay longer if they choose. There will also be live music and so much more! Don’t miss Shake on the Lake’s free performance of Richard the III Friday night (make a weekend out of it!), and head to www.ellicottvilleny.com for more information.