RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Sunday’s Taste of Ridgefield could be described as a competition for more than 30 of the restaurants and food stores in town.
The restaurants, coffee shops, wine stores and grocery stores showed up to the Rotary Clubs 14th annual fundraiser to hand out their best samples to as many people as they can. And it offers food from places residents might not have known about.
“You come in with the expectation of simply introducing yourself to some people who haven’t known who you were in the past so you give them a good sampling and hope they come into your shop,” said Cellar XV co-owner Betsy Thompson.
A woman who stopped by the Whistle Stop Bakery table told owner Lolly Turner that she didn't know the bakery was in town and that the Whistle Stop would be her new go-to bakery.
“It’s a lot of fun to feel like a part of the community. My bakery is not in the center of town, we’re down in Georgetown, so it’s nice to be here with a lot of other people,” Turner said.
For restaurants like La Piazza, which just opened a year ago, the tasting event is great exposure, General Manager Ron Finizio said. “We just love to get out at events like this,” he said.
The Taste of Ridgefield is a community event, said Laura Ancona, co-owner of the Tusk & Cup. “I think its accessible to a lot of people because its reasonably priced and it just showcases so many local restaurants an opportunity for people who might not necessarily get there to sample something, be inspired,” Ancona said.
“I’m kinda looking forward to stumbling on a restaurant that I haven’t really experienced and discovering something really amazing they might have that maybe before I would have taken advantage of,” said Kristina Kelly. This is the second year she and her husband have attended the event and this year they brought their children, Aidan, 6, and Declan, 5, who both said that they were most excited about the ice cream.
The event raises money for the Rotary Club’s scholarships and local grants without being too expensive, Selectman Andy Bodner said. “It’s a win-win for everyone. Except your waist line,” he added.