Taste of Newport back for its 23rd year

Get those tastebuds ready — the Taste of Newport is back in town.

Now in its 23rd year, the annual food, beverage and music fest features more than 30 participating restaurants and 15 wineries.

Live entertainment is included in the admission fee. Headlining this year are Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Barenaked Ladies, Taylor Dayne and ABBA: The Concert.

The event uses an innovative system where patrons can put any dollar value on a eScrip card and purchase tastes with it, which range in price from $1 to $7. Any unused value at the end of the event can be refunded at an eScrip booth prior to departure.


Foodie heaven

This year's menu includes a huge range of cheekily named tastes, like Redneck Tacos from BBQ Two 20; the World-Famous Sausage Sandwich from Sabatino's Lido Shipyard Sausage Co.; Lamb Vindaloo from Chakra Indian Cuisine; Seared Salmon Lime Rolls from Ten Asian Bistro; and cannoli shipped directly from Brooklyn by Soprano's Italian Eatery.

The event draws thousands over its three-day run.

"For the entire community, it's a wonderful way to celebrate Newport's finest eateries, local specialties and successful culinary community," said Resort at Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray.

The Newport Coast hotel will offer tastes from two of its restaurants, the Coliseum Pool & Grill and the Pelican Grill.

"Irvine Ranch heirloom tomato salad, pan-seared day boat scallops, and house-made gelato are among our best-selling items featured for tasting," Dubray said.

Also on the menu are items like lobster gazpacho shooters, tiny albacore tacos, mini seafood pot pie, beach beignets, Irvine Ranch sweet corn and baby zucchini risotto Parmigiano Reggiano, and espresso tiramisu.

"Whenever possible, we source seasonal ingredients locally from the Irvine Ranch," Dubray said. "Our menus are seasonally driven, so diners enjoy locally grown tomatoes, avocados, strawberries, beans and root vegetables featured at the peak of their freshness."

The resort is popular among locals who go there for more casual meals or for special-occasion dining in its crown culinary jewel, Italian restaurant Andrea. Dubray cited several promotions like seasonal menus, cooking classes and holiday events that locals find appealing.

"Pelican Hill is fortunate to have a strong local following, especially with our three distinct restaurants, but also with our spa and golf course. As we soon enter our third year in operation, we continue to participate in events that increase awareness of our value-driven local offerings," he said.


Something for everybody

This year's musical lineup features a list of favorites from the 1970s to today.

Considered the Godmother of Punk, Jett is best known for songs like "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock and Roll." Canadian alternative favorites the Barenaked Ladies skyrocketed to stardom with their catchy "One Week" in the late 1990s, while ABBA: The Concert will feature original members of the band. Dayne has topped charts since the 1980s, and is best known for hits like "Love Will Lead You Back" and 2007's dance hit "Beautiful."

All headliners will be joined by other acts on their respective nights.

On Friday, Strangelove: The Ultimate Tribute to Depeche Mode will open at 6:15 p.m. followed by Kate Crash at 8 p.m. and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts at 9 p.m.

Saturday, the evening starts with Bubba and the Big Bad Blues Band at 4:30 p.m., followed by John Bisaha at 5:45 p.m., the Platinum Rockstars at 7 p.m. and the Barenaked Ladies at 9 p.m.

Sunday, jazz group Tizer kicks off at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Derek Bordeaux Group at 2:30 p.m., Taylor Dayne at 4:30 p.m. and ABBA: The Concert at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit tasteofnewport.com.

Get those tastebuds ready — the Taste of Newport is back in town.

If You Go

What: Taste of Newport

When: 6 to 11 p.m. Friday; 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

Where: Fashion Island, 600 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

Cost: $25 at the gate; tastes $1 to $7; children under 8 admitted free

Information: (949) 729-4400 or tasteofnewport.com

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