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Bite-size cuisine is the attraction. Video clips by Quentin Roux

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They call it a “taste” of Marco, but it’s actually a cumulative feast of some of the finest cuisine Marco restaurants have to offer.

Over at the Esplanade on Sunday, you could keep hitting the spot – maybe firstly with Ario’s seared filet bites with onion jam and chanterelle mushrooms, next with Kretch’s seafood strudel (crab meat, shrimp scallops in pastry with lobster sauce), followed by rack of lamb (two chops) donated by Verdi’s and cooked up by Y volunteers, and some delicate ahi-tuna slices from chop239.

That’s about a quarter of the restaurants who brought their culinary talents to the annual Taste of Marco, an annual fundraiser that benefits the scholarship and outreach programs of the Y.

Last year’s total was around $30,000, and organizers are hoping the figure will be bigger when the numbers are crunched over the next couple of days.

The cheerful shindig played out in mellow, overcast weather, and sideshows included promo booths, music by the popular Greg Miller Band, ice-carving and diversionary bounce houses and slides for youngsters.

A little button-popping came in the form of awards. Best bite went to Kretch’s, most creative food presentation to Ario, best decorated booth to the Marco Island Yacht Club, best overall food to Marco 8.5 (a.k.a. the Goodland Yacht Club), judges’ choice to Sami’s Pizza and the people’s choice to Speakeasy, where chef Selem Lake dressed the part in appropriate mobster gear of hat, braces and pin-stripe threads.

See a photo spread of some of the action on pages B6 and 7 in the April 8 issue of the Sun Times’ print edition, as well as a video on this site.

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