Taste chefs aim to please all palates

Restaurateurs who have taken part at the Taste of Newport in past

years said that what you get depends on when you go.

Over three days of eating, the mood at the weekend food festival

tends to morph from a party scene into a more family-friendly event.

"I've been doing this for 13 years, and it's sort of like you're

at a nightclub," said Joe Moreno, owner of Ciao, a Balboa Island

restaurant expected to make an appearance at this year's event.

Moreno was describing Taste of Newport's atmosphere on Friday and

Saturday nights.

Carol Collis of Red Rock Chili Co., another restaurant on the

Taste of Newport slate, had a similar take on Friday and Saturday

nights at the festival.

"It's definitely more of a singles crowd or date night," she said.

"The girls are looking hot, and the guys are looking studly."

A shift from a typically young crowd on Friday to families on

Sunday is also something Dieter Hissin has observed. Still, Hissin --

the food and beverage director for the Balboa Bay Club & Resort --

isn't expecting a wild night at Taste of Newport's scheduled opening

on Friday.

"It's a little bit of a party atmosphere, but not like a wild

party," Hissin said.

If a diner chooses to find a place away from the loud environment

around the entertainment stage, Hissin said it's possible to find a

fairly relaxed setting at Taste of Newport.

"It's actually quite nice to have a conversation, a little glass

of wine," he said.

Another of Hissin's observations from Taste of Newport is that the

event is a place for "definite people watching."

Alessandro Pirozzi, district manager for Pomodoro Cucina Italiana,

had a bit of a different take on the event.

He does not see a huge disparity between opening night at Taste of

Newport and the event's conclusion.

"From young people to old people to kids, everybody's having fun,"

Pirozzi said.

"It starts as a community event and finishes as a community

event," he added.

Taste of Newport is set to begin Friday and continue through

Sunday. Menus, entertainment lineups, schedules and admission prices

can be found at o7www.tasteofnewport. comf7.

* ANDREW EDWARDS covers business and the environment. He can be

reached at (714) 966-4624 or by e-mail at o7andrew.edwards@latimes.


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