Hundreds plan to get a Taste of Downtown in NashuaBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent June 04. 2013 6:39PM
NASHUA — Downtown restaurants will be opening their doors to an estimated 750 patrons tonight for Nashua’s popular Taste of Downtown event, serving up everything from lobster to yogurt.
The 19th annual Taste of Downtown, hosted by Nashua’s Great American Downtown, allows ticket-holders to visit any participating restaurant or retail shop to try fine foods and shop at discounted rates.
The event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at about 26 restaurants and shops along Main Street and surrounding roads.
“The restaurants will be bringing their food into the local stores and salons and offices, and participants will be able to get samples all throughout the downtown,” said Ali Manning, marketing and communications manager for Great American Downtown. “The weather is going to be fabulous, and we are hoping to sell out.”
Fine restaurants such as Surf, Stella Blu and MT’s Local Kitchen and Wine Bar will be participating, along with other Nashua favorites including O’Brien’s Sports Bar, Fody’s Great American Tavern, The Peddler’s Daughter, Estabrook Grill and newcomers this year, Yogurt in Love and Celebrations Catering.
Although the vendors try to keep their menu items for Wednesday top secret, Manning did provide a little sneak peek at a few of the dining options she says are sure to be delicious, including fresh Mexican tamale cakes by Margarita’s, pepper-crusted marlin by Surf and lobster bisque shots from Celebrations Catering.
“I really can’t pick favorites, but I am sure they are all going to be absolutely fabulous,” Manning said of the numerous food choices.
Several restaurants will be offering cocktail hour specials and night cap discounts at select downtown locations, including wine and beer tastings. Manning said the city is offering complimentary parking downtown for all event ticket holders.
Tickets are still available for the Taste of Downtown, a family-oriented festival complete with sidewalk musicians and some of the finest cuisine in southern New Hampshire, organizers said.
Six entertainers will be on hand, including soft-rock cover bands, jazz performers and classical musicians. Entertainers include Aaron Gratzmiller, Dan Searl, Figure 8, Jazz First Trio, Joe Hartnett and Monument Square Brass.
Tickets are available for $35 a person, and can be purchased at select downtown stores throughout the day. Tonight, tickets will be available at the information center, located at 94 Main St.
After purchasing a ticket, patrons can stroll Main Street and visit participating dining locations and shops while trying different foods from Crosby’s Bakery, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, Martha’s Exchange, McKenzie’s Restaurant and Bar, LaBelle Winery, Old Amsterdam Bar & Lounge, the Sausage King and more.
New this year is a trolley that will make eight stops up and down Main Street. St. Joseph Hospital will also be on hand to provide tips on how to eat healthy this summer.
The Hunt Memorial Building will remain open until 9 p.m. for coffee and dessert.
For more information or a complete list of participating venues, visit www.downtownnashua.org or call 883-5700. All of the money raised from the event will be reinvested back into the downtown area, according to organizers.