BAR HARBOR — A delightful range of creative cooking and local brews will be highlighted this week during the 2012 Taste of Bar Harbor festival. The event includes cooking classes, a tour of downtown pubs, exclusive chef’s table dinners and restaurant specials throughout the week.
The hometown food fest is meant to showcase the diversity of Bar Harbor’s cuisine and the wealth of talented chefs here, while also kicking off the tourist season with a bang, said chamber of commerce events coordinator Melissa Walls.
The first major event of the week is a pub tour scheduled for Saturday, May 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. A total of 10 nightspots, including McKay’s Public House, Thirsty Whale Tavern, Portside Grill, Finback Alehouse, Fish House Grill, Leary’s Landing, Mad Hatter Pub and Grill, Side Street Café and Carmen Verandah are set to welcome thirsty patrons to sample their wares.
Commemorative glasses and tickets may be purchased at the chamber information center on the corner of Cottage and Main streets, where sample brews from pub tour sponsor Atlantic Brewing Company will be offered.
During the Taste of Bar Harbor festival, a number of downtown restaurants will offer special $20.12 food deals. Along with some of the restaurants mentioned above, Cherrystones, Galyn’s, Route 66, Guinness & Porcelli’s and more have lined up menus to celebrate the best of local cuisine. Even House Wine gets in on the act, with two bottles for $20.12 all week.
Several times during the week, Ambrosia Cooking School on Rodick Street offers Maine food history, techniques, recipes and demonstrations.
On Friday, May 18, 40 diners will be part of an exclusive chef’s table event. For $85, participants will have the chance to enjoy a seven-course meal, paired with wine, at one of four restaurants. Taking part are Chef Louis Kiefer of the Reading Room at the Bar Harbor Inn, Chef Arturo Montes of the Looking Glass at the Wonderview, Chef Cassady Pappas of Havana and Chef Teri Anderholm of 10 Tables.
Ms. Anderholm, whose restaurant opened last year in her Bass Cottage Inn, said that she is really looking forward to stretching her skills and ideas to provide a memorable evening.
“For a person who really enjoys what they’re doing, you really look forward to an opportunity to do something like this,” Ms. Anderholm said. “It’s really quite a pleasure to think about getting creative and putting something together that’s a little out of the ordinary and, hopefully, extraordinary.”
Tickets for the event are still available. Where participants dine is supposed to be a surprise, and will be revealed at a reception at Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars prior to dinner. The event is sponsored by Pine State Trading Company.
The weeklong festival wraps up on Saturday, May 19, with the Bar Harbor Merchants Association sidewalk stroll and craft fair. Approximately two dozen downtown businesses and restaurants will expand to the outdoors for the event, during which they will offer food samples, product demos and sale items. The stroll spans the downtown area.
“The event is designed to highlight what businesses have new for the year, and to get people to check out some off the unique items that local businesses have,” said association president Amy Roebuck.
The craft fair is set for the parking lot of Reel Pizza Cinerama, across from the village green. More than 20 jewelers, painters, photographers and others, many of them from the area, will have items on display and for sale. Table rental proceeds from the event benefit the Park Street Community Playground Project.
Many other happenings are set for the week, including cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, oil and vinegar tastings, kids’ cooking lessons, a Mother’s Day brunch, and a dessert night at downtown restaurants.
Other sponsors of the food festival include Canterbury Cottage bed-and-breakfast. For more information and a complete schedule, call 288-5103.
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