Having been to many, many wine and food events in the day, I can tell you that Talbot County, Maryland really knows how to put on a shindig! I was very glad to be hosted to be able to experience it. Their kickoff event to their annual Restaurant Week is known as "Sample, Sip & Savor" and held at the stately The Oaks Waterfront Inn. Many of these types of events are held at convention centers, which lends a more chaotic and less social tone.
Also, Talbot County limits the number of tickets that are sold, so there's not a constellation of people bumping into each other, trying to get at the food.
The event participants presented the sampling items in elegant ways, such as on silver platters -- not always the case at these type of get-togethers.
This year, a ticket got you a glass of wine, beer or soft drink. I'm hoping in future years, some of the local breweries and wineries can be pulled into the event, for the complete Talbot County experience.
The fun and surprising aspect of Sample, Sip & Savor is their wealth of great dining spots. You might think that for a smaller, Eastern Shore County, there might be a couple of stand-out places and a greater number of acceptable restaurants. Not so! Every major town had several participants. Though the idea was to try a sample from each restaurant, it's a little impossible! The place is just too good for their own good. I knew I had missed a couple of items, when friends would ask if I had tried some luxurious tidbit or another . . . I was squawking, "What? What?!" like South Park's Mrs. Broflovski.
The sampled items included tuna tacos, pulled pork BBQ on sweet potato biscuits, steak on potato cakes with mushrooms, authentic Indian curry with imported spices and condiments, gluten-free desserts, chocolate treats and much, much more.
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