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Taste Of Simsbury At The Riverview Aug. 29

By LINDA GIUCA, Special To The Courant

The Hartford Courant

1:03 PM EDT, August 5, 2013

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A beautiful waterfront setting. Little plates expertly prepared by some of the Greater Hartford area's best restaurants. Carefully chosen wines, beers and beverages. The chance to mingle and chat with friends and business associates as well as make new acquaintances. What more could an evening out offer?

The 5th Annual Taste in Simsbury, presented by Simsbury Bank, will take place Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at The Riverview, the custom-designed wedding and banquet venue on the Farmington River.

"This event is a gourmet dining event," says Sarah Nielsen, executive director of the Simsbury Main Street Partnership. "It features the best restaurants in Greater Hartford and is an invitation-only event – the restaurants are asked to participate."

Among the restaurants that will represent Simsbury are Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar, Evergreens at The Simsbury Inn, Little India, Meadow Asian Cuisine, Millwright's Restaurant and Plan B Burger Bar. Joining them from other towns will be Apricots Restaurant & Pub, Matthew's Restaurant, Max a Mia, Max Downtown, Republic, Seasons Restaurant at Avon Old Farms Hotel and Tapas.

Restaurants new to the Taste this year are Carbone's Kitchen, Han Asian Cuisine and Rizzuto's Restaurant and Bar. Making a play for the sweet tooth will be J. Foster's Select Batch Ice Cream with its hand-made ice cream and gelato; desserts by A Little Something Bakery, and a wedding cake display and sampling courtesy of The Riverview. RJ's Spirit Shop, Red Stone Pub, Thomas Hooker Brewery, Back East Brewing Company and Super Cellar will provide beer and wine, while Peaberry's Café will serve gourmet coffee, teas and their famous mocha chillers.

The restaurant offerings are diverse. Matthews Restaurant in Unionville plans to serve pan-seared BBQ dry-rubbed shrimp with cheddar grits and sweet chili honey, while Max a Mia in Avon will tempt guests with lobster meatballs in fra diavolo sauce.

Nielsen says that the event always sells out before the doors open. Tickets are $50 and include all foods and beverages. All profits benefit the Simsbury Main Street Partnership. "In addition to having a great night out, [the event] is a charitable return to the community," she says.

Tickets can be purchased at the Simsbury Bank branch locations in Simsbury, Avon, Granby and Bloomfield, participating Simsbury businesses or through http://www.ShopSimsbury.com. For more information about the event or the Simsbury Main Street Partnership, call Sarah Floroski-Nielsen at 860-651-8577.

Quick Bites

>>Priam Vineyards in Colchester and Riverhouse Catering in Avon will host a Vine to Table dinner Aug. 17 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the vineyard. Guests will be seated at long farmhouse tables on the wine patio that overlooks the vineyard and gardens. The menu will use locally grown foods. Advance tickets are required and cost $90 plus tax and service charge. Information: 860-267-8520.

>>Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford is hosting its Chef to Farm Dinner Series for the fifth season. Executive chef Scott Miller will create locally inspired menus for two upcoming dinners, Aug. 16 at The Farmer's Cow and Graywall Farm in Lebanon; and Aug. 29 at Rosedale Farm & Vineyard in Simsbury. The alfresco dinners, which will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., are $115 a person, excluding tax and gratuity. Telephone: 860-522-9806, ext. 18.

>>The Shoreline Wine Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. at Bishop's Orchards Farm Market and Winery in Guilford. The event showcases wines from about 10 Connecticut vineyards and wineries, including Bishop's fruit wines. Wines also are available for sale. Admission includes tastings, seminars and entertainment, while local restaurants will provide food at an additional price. Tickets are $10 for designated drivers, $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Information: 203-453-2338.

Editor's note: Millwright's Restaurant in Simsbury no longer serves a farmers' prix fixe menu every night for $30 as reported in an earlier version of this story.