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Taste of Newport back for its 23rd year

Annual event has more than 30 restaurants and 15 wineries participating this year, as well as a diverse musical lineup.

September 15, 2011|By Candice Baker, Special to the Daily Pilot

Get those tastebuds ready — the Taste of Newport is back in town.

Now in its 23rd year, the annual food, beverage and music fest features more than 30 participating restaurants and 15 wineries.

Live entertainment is included in the admission fee. Headlining this year are Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Barenaked Ladies, Taylor Dayne and ABBA: The Concert.

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The event uses an innovative system where patrons can put any dollar value on a eScrip card and purchase tastes with it, which range in price from $1 to $7. Any unused value at the end of the event can be refunded at an eScrip booth prior to departure.

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Foodie heaven

This year's menu includes a huge range of cheekily named tastes, like Redneck Tacos from BBQ Two 20; the World-Famous Sausage Sandwich from Sabatino's Lido Shipyard Sausage Co.; Lamb Vindaloo from Chakra Indian Cuisine; Seared Salmon Lime Rolls from Ten Asian Bistro; and cannoli shipped directly from Brooklyn by Soprano's Italian Eatery.

The event draws thousands over its three-day run.

"For the entire community, it's a wonderful way to celebrate Newport's finest eateries, local specialties and successful culinary community," said Resort at Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray.

The Newport Coast hotel will offer tastes from two of its restaurants, the Coliseum Pool & Grill and the Pelican Grill.

"Irvine Ranch heirloom tomato salad, pan-seared day boat scallops, and house-made gelato are among our best-selling items featured for tasting," Dubray said.

Also on the menu are items like lobster gazpacho shooters, tiny albacore tacos, mini seafood pot pie, beach beignets, Irvine Ranch sweet corn and baby zucchini risotto Parmigiano Reggiano, and espresso tiramisu.

"Whenever possible, we source seasonal ingredients locally from the Irvine Ranch," Dubray said. "Our menus are seasonally driven, so diners enjoy locally grown tomatoes, avocados, strawberries, beans and root vegetables featured at the peak of their freshness."

The resort is popular among locals who go there for more casual meals or for special-occasion dining in its crown culinary jewel, Italian restaurant Andrea. Dubray cited several promotions like seasonal menus, cooking classes and holiday events that locals find appealing.

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