Bayside’s finest cuisine to star at Totten event

By Kelsey Durham

Businesses in Bayside are gearing up for the 11th annual Taste of Bayside to be held next week, showcasing the diverse food offerings the area has to offer.

Hosted by the Bayside Business Association, the yearly event aims to feature food and beverages from some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants and bars, whether locally owned or part of a larger franchise. Many of the participating businesses are along Bell Boulevard, an area known to Queens residents for its wide selection of restaurants and bars.

“That’s obviously our claim to fame,” said Judy Limpert, president of the BBA. “People come from all over the city for the restaurants here.”

The event, to be held at the castle at Fort Totten Park, brings the businesses together in one place for guests to sample what makes each restaurant unique. Owners were asked to choose a few of their signature dishes to show off for the night and will offer samples to customers who attend the Taste of Bayside.

This year’s event will include several local favorites such as Bourbon Street, C.J. Sullivan’s, Donovan’s, Papazzio, Tequila Sunrise and Trattoria Thirty Five. Some specialty stores such as Cigars by Habana Hut will also be present at the festival.

“It’s a great way to have all the restaurants in Bayside all in one place,” Limpert said. “This way you can have sample tastings and find out if you enjoy the food before going back for more.”

Aside from the food, the event will have music and raffles for a variety of prizes, including a gift certificate worth a dinner for two from each of the restaurants. Limpert said the event is also a good place to catch up with old friends around the neighborhood as well as make a few new ones.

“It’s also a very community-minded event,” she said. “You can get together with people, hang out for a few hours and have a lot of fun.”

There will be tables, Limpert said, so guests can sit down and enjoy the food instead of standing while tasting the samples.

The Taste of Bayside will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Castle at Fort Totten, at 422 Weaver Ave. Pre-sale tickets for the event are $35 each and include the cost of food and beverage samples, while any remaining tickets can also be purchased at the door for $40.

Limpert said the BBA is limiting tickets to 250 guests this year to avoid overcrowding and be sure event-goers can enjoy themselves. Tickets can be purchased through the BBA at baysideba.com.

“It’s always been a wonderful event, but this is going to be one of our best years,” Limpert said.

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurham@cnglocal.com.