Toast Of Harwich Will Be Bursting With Flavor

By: William F. Galvin

rolley travelers last year got to enjoy delightful samplings at Mad Minnow in Harwich Port. Owner Tony Gullotti, chef Michael Lynard and server Rachael Gullotti present a dish of delicate Ahi Tuna for tasting. DEBRA DECOSTA PHOTOS

HARWICH — “Harwich is bursting with flavor” is the theme of this year's Toast of Harwich, sponsored by the chamber of commerce. The event will roll once again through the streets of the town on Friday, May 5 with participants being transported to four hubs by trolleys.

The trolley transportation aspect of the event was introduced last year as a way of taking people out into the community to experience different restaurants in town. The tradition of booking one venue on that particular night, such as the Wequassett Resort or Wychmere Harbor Club, was becoming more difficult because of events scheduled at those locations.

“Last year went well. It was a new concept, something different and unique, and people are excited to try it again. We've had a good response,” said Cyndi Williams, interim chamber executive director.

This year's “Toast on Wheels” will include the trolleys once again, but the program will be a little different. Instead of going out and visiting all the restaurants on location, there will be four hubs set up with restaurants and wine purveyors at three of the four hubs. Last year the wine purveyors were not located in the restaurants, only at the VIP reception, which took place at the Wequassett Resort, later in the evening.

This year, the chamber's 16th annual event, Williams said the VIP reception will be held at Mooncusser's Tavern and Inn. The Toast will once again begin at the community center, which will provide parking for the evening, and where there will be raffles and the opportunity to taste hors d'oeurves and other specialties from The Royal at Harwich Village, Wingate of Harwich, Local Flavor, Star Market, Stop & Shop and Red's Pizza.

From there trolleys will roll to the other locations, including the Cranberry Valley Golf Course, where there will be a wine tasting and food from the Hot Stove at Cranberry Valley, the Hot Stove Saloon in Harwich Port and Buca's Tuscan Roadhouse.

The 400 East will host a wine tasting and provide food along with L'Alouette by Christian and the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. The trolleys will also be rolling into Harwich Port where Bonatt's will be offering a wine tasting and samplings of food from the Cape Sea Grille and the Land Ho! of Harwich Port. Williams said other stops in Harwich Port will include 10 Yen, Mad Minnow and Mad Dog Cart.

The trolley tasting event will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Williams said the trolleys will spend 15 to 20 minutes in each of the locations. Tickets for the general admission trolley tasting are $65 this year.

The VIP tickets, which includes the trolley tasting and the reception at Mooncusser's Tavern and Inn, are $100 and include a champagne reception, food tastings from Mooncusser's and a wine tasting. Desserts will be provided by The Mason Jar. The traditional silent auction with offerings from local businesses will be held there and dance music performed by Leslie Boyle and Friends.

Williams said they have extended the VIP reception an additional hour this year, until 11 p.m. Trolleys will be on hand to return people to their vehicles at the community center.

The presenting sponsor of the event is once again Stifel, the East Harwich-based financial group. Cranberry Liquors in Harwich Port is coordinating the wine purveyors, Williams said. The trolleys are sponsored by Cape Destinations and other sponsors include Brenda Weeks Travel, The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, The Royal at Harwich Village and Outer Cape Health Services.

“The trolley is a lot of fun,” Williams said. “There will be a great mix at each stop, something for every taste bud. All the restaurants are excited and ticket sales are going well. We're looking forward to a fun night.”

Williams said they are shooting for 350 tickets to be sold between the trolley tasting general admission and the VIP reception. Tickets can be purchased at the chamber office in Harwich Port, the chamber's website or by calling the chamber at 508-430-1165.