8-9-13TASTE-OF-2013by Eva Potter

One of life’s greatest pleasures is savoring the food we eat and this weekend the Taste of Ellicottville will pay homage to some of the area’s finest eateries.

Your senses will be pleased with the wide variety of delightful aromas and flavors presented by 18 of Ellicottville’s best restaurants as they offer their specialties in tasting-size portions Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 – 11, in the heart of the village.

Sample-sized tastings will be offered café style along the sidewalks from noon to 4 p.m. both days. The action takes place along Washington and Monroe streets with ticket booths located in three convenient locations in the center of the village. (See restaurant map on page 9.)

Tickets cost $1 each and food selections range from 1-4 tickets each. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted outside or in public areas.

The first plan of action — wear comfortably loose clothing or you won’t last long at this weekend-long gastronomic extravaganza.

But how do you decide what to sample first?

If you prefer not to mix your food groups, you could start by sampling a variety of appetizers. The Gin Mill will be featuring its famous fresh cut potato chips and Uncle Joe’s clam chowder and The Barn will tempt you with their pot stickers and coconut shrimp skewers.

Or how about a fresh naan walking salad from the Centerplate at Holiday Valley or some tasty guacamole and chips from Bike & Bean. Balloons will be offering four types of finger-licking chicken wings and Dina’s will satisfy you with their rich butternut squash bisque.

Time to move on to the main course!

Italian food is always a crowd favorite. For an easy-to-carry main entrée, try Tim & Bonnie’s delicious pizza. Tips Up Café will have you salivating when you smell their caramelized sea scallop with Asiago cheese polenta. Madigan’s will leave you speaking with an English accent after you sample their Guinness mac & cheese with a slice of roasted corned beef, while Kabob Kafe will transport your palate to Greece with a chicken souvlaki pita. Prefer to travel even farther? Then head to the Silver Fox Steakhouse and grab a ticket to China with their Cantonese chicken over rice.

For traditional, hearty American fare, try Hoagie’s loaded steak extravaganza sub. A sampling of Ellicottville Brewing Company’s Texas BBQ brisket will leave you happy and sated.

While you can always start with dessert, it’s always nice to reward all your tasting efforts with a sampling of mouthwatering sweets.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Birdwalk’s fresh-baked blueberry crisp, Watson’s variety of chocolates and candies including grandma’s baklava, or stop at Riley’s for some creamy blueberry cheesecake. If you can’t make up your mind, you can try homemade cookies, rocky road fudge bars, cannolis or peach shortcake at Dina’s at the Mont.

Of course, you can’t eat all afternoon without a refreshing drink. While most vendors offer bottled water, the drink category also has some gourmet options. Newcomer Bike & Bean will be blending healthy real fruit smoothies, the Ellicottville Brewing Company will quench your thirst with fresh squeezed lemonade and Holiday Valley is pouring their Arnold’s infused lemonade.

Now that you’ve spent the weekend eating your way through Ellicottville, are there any menu items you didn’t get to try? To ensure you don’t go home disappointed, bring your own doggie bag and take a taste of Ellicottville home with you to savor later.

The Taste of Ellicottville is brought to you by the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.