Nicholas Seafood Grille of Manchester brought its Chicken Vodka Penne Pasta, The Emerson Inn's Grand Cafe brought its Portabella Mushrooms Stuffed with Garlic and Goat Cheese, and The Gloucester House brought its Seafood Macaroni and Cheese.
They were just three of nearly two dozen Cape Ann restaurants, caterers and other food and beverage providers to offer samplings Wednesday night at Cruiseport Gloucester. And that's where more than 250 people brought their appetites and sense of food-tasting adventure for the third annual Taste of Cape Ann fundraiser.
The event, hosted by the Gloucester Daily Times, gloucestertimes.com, their weekly Taste of the Times food section and online videos and recipes, and Cape Ann magazine, served once again as a benefit, with all proceeds going to Cape Ann Animal Aid and The Open Door food pantry and humans services program.
It also gave area residents the chance to sample a wide variety of foods, taste the fruits of Cape Ann Brewery and Ryan & Wood Distillery, and enter contests offered by caterers and other food providers.
Plus it gave the exhibitors a chance to reach out to new customers and re-introduce themselves to others.
"When you're just a little bit off the beaten path like we are, this gives us a chance to let more people know who we are and what we're about," said Stephan Amesoeder, general manager of Rockport's Emerson Inn.
"Some people think we might be a place where you have to spend $100; we're not," said Amesoeder, whose inn was making its Taste of Cape Ann debut. "We have everything from a $10 hamburger, lots of nice salads, lots of light fare, too. And some people might think we're more for tourists; we're not, we're here for and part of the community, too."