By Lisa Capobianco
More than 500 local residents chowed down on their favorite pizza pie during the fourth annual Pizza Fest, sponsored by the Southington Chamber of Commerce.
The event took place at Hawk’s Landing Country Club where ten area restaurants featured sample slices of pizza for the public to judge as the best in town. Participating restaurants included Bertucci’s, Giovanni’s, Price Chopper, FirePlace, Angela’s, Machiavelli’s, People’s Choice, Wood-n-tap, Bonterra Italian Bistro and Zingarella’s. Throughout the night, pizza lovers submitted their ballot for their favorite participating vendor. They also enjoyed lived music by Jennie ‘B’ while entering their names into a raffle that provided the winners with two tickets to an upcoming Red Sox game.
From peanut butter and bacon pizza to steak and gorgonzola pizza to buffalo chicken pizza, each restaurant offered a diverse assortment of pies, which ran out quickly every half hour of the night. Catherine Dawson, a local resident, said she was impressed by the unique variety of pizzas that each restaurant had to offer. Catherine’s friend encouraged her to come for the first time this year.
“Bertucci’s has phenomenal, very unique combinations—I like the creativity,” Catherine said.
Catherine also said the Pizza Fest was a great opportunity for both residents and non-residents of Southington to network with new people.
“I’m looking forward to other events like these,” she said. “I think [the event] is a great way to introduce residents to meet friends and new people.”
The pizza paradise also brought residents from other towns and cities, including Bristol. Bristol resident Jesse Stewart read about the event in his local paper, and wanted to try something new. Jesse said he was “impressed with Bonterra’s steak and gorgonzola cheese pizza,” and he looks forward to coming back to the event next year.
Southington resident Gil Wade calls himself a “veteran” of the event. Calling “People’s Choice” his favorite pizza vendor of the night, Gil also said the event is a fun way for Southington residents to meet new people from other towns.
“The more fun and the more people, the merrier,” Gil said. “The event is very inviting for other towns.”
The Chamber Women coordinated Pizza Fest. Contributing sponsors included Webster Bank, Weston & Sampson, Lovley Development, Southington AutoWash and HQ Dumpsters. Co-Chairs of the event, Julie Chubet and Rachel Potter, said they appreciate all the hard work that the restaurants put into the Pizza Fest.
“We have restaurants where people may not know sell pizza,” Chubet said. “Without the vendors, we would not have been able to pull off the event.”
People’s Choice won the title for “Best Original Pizza” while Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza won second place for the same category.
By Lisa Capobianco