By Lissa Capobianco
The 12th annual Taste of Southington event brought a piece of the town’s history to life on the grounds of the Barnes Museum, along with food and live music.
More than a dozen restaurants from town stood outside the historical homestead, including CC Carvers Gourmet Sandwiches, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Napoli Café Deli & Catering, offering several of their dishes to local residents. Other restaurants included Christina’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Paul Gregory’s Bistro and Anthony Jack’s Wood Fired Grill.
Local resident Pearl Roberts, who has lived in the town for more than a decade, has never missed the event from the moment it started 12 years ago. For Roberts, the event means an opportunity to socialize while eating her favorite dish from Napoli’s, the Porchetta sandwich loaded with pulled pork and broccoli rabe.
“It’s a great way to try all the different restaurants here,” Roberts said.
Besides the food, listening to the live music is also a favorite part of the event for Roberts. Hometown father and son team Dave Zoni and his son Dave sang a variety of pop tunes and classic oldies, including songs by Frank Sinatra.
The live entertainment and food also attracted local resident Suzanne Clemente, who came with her eight-year-old son Jacob. Eating a grilled chicken pesto Panini from CC Carver, Clemente said she wanted to return to event for the second time because she enjoyed the event so much last year.
“We loved it so much last year,” Clemente said. “It was fun [and] it’s very relaxing.”
Residents outside of Southington also flocked to the event, which was sponsored by TD Bank. Gloria Martinelli, a resident of New Britain, said she was familiar with the restaurants participating in the event, and could not resist trying a new cuisine.
“[The food] looked delicious,” Martinelli said. “I loved it, and…I love background music at [events] like this.”
Although the event brought business to local restaurants, Taste of Southington also gave visitors the chance the step into the history of the Barnes Museum, which has 17 rooms filled with personal belongings of the Bradley and Barnes families. Between 10 and 15 volunteers provided tours of the museum, which has been visited by every state in the union and 49 different countries.
Lauren Dattilo, the winner of this year’s Miss Petite pageant, was one of the volunteers who distributed flyers to incoming visitors. This is her third year at the event, and she comes to the museum frequently.
“I love the museum. I love going there,” she said.
Curator Marie Secondo said Taste of Southington is the “highlight” to the end of summer every year, and the community looks forward to both the food and learning more about the museum.
“We like to highlight this beautiful home,” Secondo said. “It’s a hometown museum, but…people come from all over.”