The Hippo


Jun 2, 2020








Inside last year’s Portsmouth Taste of the Nation gala. Courtesy photo.

Portsmouth Taste of the Nation 

When: Wednesday, June 22, 6:30 to 10 p.m. (VIP admitted at 5:30 p.m.) 
Where: Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth
Cost: $85 per general admission ticket, $175 per VIP ticket 
Taste of the Nation participants
7th Settlement, 45 Market Street Bakery & Café, 100 Club, Anneke Jans, Beach Pea Baking Co., Black Bean Café, Black Birch, Black Trumpet, Blind Pig Provisions, Block Six, Blue Moon Evolution, The Blue Mermaid, Brazo, Cava, Cure Restaurant, Demeter’s Steakhouse, Dolphin Striker, Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery, Edible Arrangements, Epoch Restaurant, Flatbread Pizza, Franklin Oyster House, Hayseed, Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café, Joinery Restaurant, The Kitchen (Islington Street), Library Restaurant, Louie’s (Pleasant Street), Martingale Wharf, Moxy, Mombo, Mojo’s BBQ Grill and Tavern, The Oar House, Pizza Street, Poco’s Bow Street Cantina, Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth Catering Co., Ristorante Massimo, Robert’s Maine Grill, Row 34, Radici, The Rosa Restaurant, Rudi’s Portsmouth, Street Food eat/drink 360, Stages at One Washington, Seaport Fish, Strawbery Banke Gardens, Surf Restaurant, Throwback Brewery, Tulsi 2, Two-Fifty Market, Tino’s Greek Kitchen, Tuscan Kitchen, Vida Cantina, Wentworth by the Sea, White Heron Tea, When Pigs Fly Pizzeria (More TBA) 

A matter of taste
Taste of the Nation showcases the Seacoast’s best

By Angie Sykeny

 Experience the best tastes of the Seacoast in one place at the Portsmouth Taste of the Nation on Wednesday, June 22. The culinary gala is held on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum and will feature gourmet food prepared by top chefs from over 50 restaurants, plus wines, beers and spirits from over 30 beverage vendors. 

Food samples will include everything from seafood, pizza, ethnic specialties, appetizers and pub food to desserts and bakery goods. The restaurants may feature their trademark and regular menu items, seasonal menu items, new additions they haven’t debuted yet, or new dishes they’re considering adding to their regular menu and are looking for feedback on from tasters. Some chefs even prepare special recipes to be featured exclusively at the event. 
“It’s a chance for them to showcase some of their food,” event co-chair Jess Michaud said. “Even if it’s not at their restaurant, they’re still showcasing their talents and their menu to an audience of around a 1,000 people.” 
Returning tasters will find familiar favorites like Blue Mermaid Island Grill,  Poco’s Bow Street Cantina, The Oar House Restaurant and Library Restaurant, all four of which have been part of Portsmouth Taste of the Nation since it began 20 years ago, but they can also discover some new favorites among this year’s first-timers: Tino’s Greek Kitchen, Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery, Throwback Brewery, Pizza Street, Two Fifty Market, Epoch Restaurant & Bar and Tuscan Kitchen. 
The event is open to 600 general admission guests and 200 VIP guests. VIP perks include early admission and access to the food and drink selections one hour before they officially open, and access to a private lounge area with musical entertainment and additional food and drink offerings from high-end restaurants and spirits producers that aren’t available to the general admission guests.  
“Things can get a little crazy with 800 people,” Michaud said. “This allows people who buy the VIP tickets to leave the main area and find solace in a quieter space where they can enjoy the perks of having cocktails, beer and wine and food that you can’t get in the general admissions tent.”
Portsmouth Taste of the Nation is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Seacoast chapter of Share Our Strength, the national nonprofit organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign. Proceeds will help to provide children from low-income families with regular nutritious meals. 
“It’s a fun, social evening for everyone, and it gives people a chance to support a cause they believe in and help to feed hungry kids,” Michaud said. 

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