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Taste of Newport 2011 - Top recommendations

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Taste of Newport begins this evening and I'll be there this weekend.

Seems like the restaurant roster is a bit leaner in quality this year, but I want to collate a list of the best options.

Based on visits in the past, I'll contribute two:

* Palm Terrace's Macaroni and Cheese.
Some of us (like me) may have a hard time scraping up the cash to make a reservation at the Island Hotel's Palm Terrace, so this would be a great chance to sample one of its signature dishes.
Creamy and tart and very satisfying. Tip...keep your eye on the chef manning the pan and try to order right when a batch of it is ready.

* Sabatino's Sausage and Pepper boat with sauce.
The scent that will be wafting from their grills will sell this itself, but the sausage is truly Brooklyn-esque...moist, rich, not at all greasy, great texture, and no bad aftertaste. I lived in a Neapolitan nabe in Brooklyn for a long time so I know the real deal. The sauce is thick and flavorful too.
What's more, it's great outdoor festival food...and there's plenty of Newport Beach Chamber of Commercers pouring wine that can complement your sausage and peppers.
Nice people always working at Sabatino's set-up, too.

Here's the list of participants...where else to go?:

http://www.tasteofnewport.com/menus.aspx

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Sabatino's
251 Shipyard Way, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Palm Terrace Restaurant & Lounge - Island Hotel
690 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

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