Taste of Bar Harbor celebrates real food

BAR HARBOR — The Taste of Bar Harbor, a local food festival celebrating the traditions and flavors of Down East Maine, will spotlight area restaurants, cafes, chefs and others that offer distinctive culinary experiences. The festival runs from May 14-17 and features numerous events throughout the four-days, including dessert night, a waiter race and a chef’s gala.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, May 14, with Dessert Night from 6-9 p.m., sponsored by the Bar Harbor Merchants Association. Register for $15 and obtain a ballot at the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Visitors’ Center on the corner of Cottage and Main Street. Then, take a self-guided tour of participating restaurants sampling their signature desserts. Participants can vote for their favorite dessert to award the restaurant with the most votes a $500 cash prize.

Friday, May 15, is the Pub Tour from 5-9 p.m., sponsored by Atlantic Brewing Company. Purchase a beer glass, wrist band and 10 sample tickets for $20 at the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce and take a self-guided tour sampling featured beers and wines at more than 20 different participating pubs and restaurants.

On Saturday, May 16, the annual Chef’s Table event, sponsored by Pine State Beverage, will treat diners to a special five-course private dinner. Join us at one of the tables, each hosted by one of Bar Harbor’s finest chefs. The cost is $85 per person, and it is limited to 60 seats. Your undisclosed dining location will be revealed at a reception from 5-6 p.m. at Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars.

During the day on Saturday, May 16, is the Bar Harbor Merchants Association Sidewalk Stroll. Stroll the sidewalks for a taste of all that Bar Harbor merchants have to offer, including unique shopping, culinary and made-in-Maine products, spring sales and tasty treats. There also will be a craft fair presented by the Island Arts Association on the Village Green, where they will showcase a variety of works from local artisans and crafters.

On Sunday, May 17, the spotlight shifts to the Eden Farmer’s Market. Featuring local food growers, producers and artisans, the market will provide an opportunity to learn about the wonderful food sources available in the area and give you the opportunity to sample, purchase and learn from the local, Down East sources themselves.

Along with the Local Food Producer’s Showcase, there also will be the Second Annual Waiter Race. Watch as the finest servers from our area’s restaurants compete against one another for bragging rights, as well as the “Ultimate Tip” cash prize.

All festival long, the $20.15 Menu will be available. Participating restaurants will offer a prix fixe menu of their own choosing for $20.15. Perhaps it will be an appetizer and glass of wine, two entrees or a three-course meal for $20.15.

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