17 Restaurants Gearing Up for Taste of Ellicottville, August 16-17

By Jann Wiswall

In just one week, Ellicottville will be filled to the brim with folks from all over the region who have come to taste-test some of the more than 100 delicious hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, salads, entrées and desserts prepared by the town’s best chefs.

This year, 17 restaurants, including two new additions — Katy’s Catering and EVL Cheese Company — are offering up their specialties of the house in tasting portions from noon to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16-17.

Taste of Ellicottville has become one of western New York’s favorite summer events. Chefs pull out all the stops to make it a gastronomic adventure of epic proportions and visitors make a full weekend of it, knowing that each year there will be a great selection of old favorites and new recipes to try.

“Last year was the second biggest in Taste of Ellicottville’s history,” said Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian McFadden.  He’s predicting that 2014 could beat that record. “We’re already at 90 percent lodging capacity for Saturday night.”

The chamber, which sponsors and manages the event, had not released the full menu and other particulars by press time, but we thought we’d whet your appetites with a preview of selections from a few venues that are ready to share their plans.

The Barn Restaurant: Owner Roger Spell has assured us that the restaurant’s signature bleu cheese encrusted pork medallions, coconut shrimp with raspberry glaze and Hungarian banana peppers stuffed with andouille sausage and four cheeses will be on its tasting menu once again. A new dish is making its tasting debut, too — Smoky Mountain chicken — grilled chicken topped with barbeque sauce, tomatoes, bacon and cheddar cheese.

Centerplate at Holiday Valley: Franco Brady, Centerplate at Holiday Valley’s general manager, has created a brand new menu for this year’s Taste of Ellicottville. It includes freshly made potato chips served hot with a spicy sauce; a grilled romaine salad with an olive oil and garlic dressing and your choice of goat cheese, toasted sunflower seeds or a balsamic glaze; and marinated and grilled Caribbean swordfish bites with mango and peppers. For a delightfully fresh finish, Centerplate also will be serving fresh berry infused Arnold Palmers (a blend of lemonade and iced tea).

EVL Cheese Company: EVL Cheese, which is “sliced from the Cuba Cheese Shoppe,” opened in Ellicottville last fall and is joining the Taste of Ellicottville community this year with five cheese tasting plates crafted by owner Sarah Bradley. Make plans to try the Sweet and Old Spark Plate with two-year aged New York cheddar paired with local maple syrup and dark chocolate espresso beans; the Blue and Golden Plate with creamy blue cheese, local honey and crystallized ginger slices; the Hot, Sweet and Creamy Plate featuring cream cheese, pepper jelly and rice crackers; the Greek Paradise Plate with Greek feta cheese, olive oil and New York Style garlic bagel crisps; and the Kiddos Plate with New York State sharp cheddar and Colby Jack cheese and crackers.

Are your taste buds interested yet? Be sure to pick up next week’s edition of the Ellicottville Times (online at www.ellicottvilletimes.com) where we’ll have the complete details, including a map with ticket-booth locations and the full menu of delicious options to help you make the most of your weekend dining extravaganza.

All of the action takes place along Washington and Monroe Streets in the center of the village. Tickets cost $1 each. Food selections range from 1-4 tickets each.

Please note: Alcoholic beverages are not permitted outside or in public areas.