Maine Restaurant Week 2011 to kick off with drinks and desserts

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Hungry? Thirsty? The 2011 Maine Restaurant Week, scheduled March 1-12, will kick off its third year with an opening night shindig, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, beginning at 6 p.m. The Signature Event, as it’s titled, highlights drinks and desserts (now that’s my kind of party!). Twelve bartenders will compete in the Cocktail Competition. A separate competition will feature desserts.

Among the cocktail maestros competing in the drinks category are 2010 winner, Tom Laslavic from Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn; 2010 runner up John Myers, from The Grill Room, Portland; Patrick Morang, from David’s, Portland; Dave Thompson, from Sonny’s, Portland; and Tatum Thistle, from The Salt Exchange, Portland. The remainder of the field will be announced shortly, and once again the winner will be selected by popular vote.

On to dessert! Area food writers will judge the desserts based upon presentation, creativity, and taste. Categories will include pastry, cupcake, cookie, and confection. Entries are now be sought. (Hmmmm, maybe I’ll find some new possibilities for my ongoing quest to find Maine’s best chocolate chip cookie).

Tickets to The Signature Event are $30 per person in advance, $35 per person after February 1. You might want to grab tickets now, as last year’s event was a sell out.