By Rob Glidden
Residents swarmed the grounds of the Barnes Museum for the 11th annual Taste of Southington for a chance to sample foods from numerous local restaurants.
The event has enjoyed a steady increase in popularity over the years, even as tough economic times limited the amount of funds available to maintain it. This was the first time the event had been sponsored by a nearby business (TD Bank), which allowed organizers to add more tables, chairs and tents.
Favorable weather is always key to the event’s success, and this year clear skies brought a large crowd as soon as the food was available.
“They were lining up well before 4 p.m.,” said Barnes Museum curator Marie Secondo. “It’s good that we’ve got that extra tent so they can spread out.”
This year the participating restaurants included Spice Bar and Grill, Smokin’ With Chris, Anthony Jack’s, Zingarella, Paul Gregory’s, Machiavelli’s, Sixpence Pie Company, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza, Saint’s, Cork and Brew and Frosted Couture Cupcakes.
Machiavelli’s is a mainstay at the Taste of Southington, but server and bartender Jamie Bomova was handing out pizza slices for the first time.
“I’m shocked I didn’t help out here sooner,” she said. “It’s a good idea to let people get a taste of everything.”
For Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza, the event was also a chance to spread the word about their recent relocation to Center Street.
“This event is fantastic,” said owner Joe Rosinksi. “It helps us let people know that we’re back in town.”
In some cases, lines for the restaurant booths went outside the gates of the museum and onto the sidewalk. Once visitors had their food, they were free to find a seat, have their faces painted or tour the museum itself.
“I think that it’s a good way to get the community out and give a restaurant a chance to promote themselves,” said David Bartlett.
Later in the evening, the Music on the Green concert began and enticed residents to walk over after picking up their food. As for the event itself, David Zoni returned for another year of singing on the porch of the museum.
“It shows the family atmosphere Southington has,” said Cassandra Mastrianni, the current Miss Southington. “It’s fun to see how many people come out.”