For more than 30 years the Village of Elmwood park has been hosting the Taste of Elmwood Park. The 2019 Taste of Elmwood Park will be held at the at Central Park on 75th Avenue and Fullerton from August 8th-11th.
The family-friendly festival is set to host the Mayor’s Cup Bocce tournament, outdoor yoga classes, games for children and varied musical acts to entertain attendees. Most importantly the Taste of Elmwood Park is free to attend and designed to showcase Elmwood Park’s vibrant restaurant and food scene.
The 75th Avenue Market featuring Sergio’s Seafood
More than 25 unique food vendors will be showcasing their specialty items at the festival and the 75th Avenue Market, featuring Sergio’s Seafood, will provide a brand-new experience for festival goers. As the Village prepares to welcome 20,000 guests to their annual food-focused festival, Sergio and Maria Volpe are eager to make a bold seafood splash at the 2019 Taste of Elmwood Park.
The Volpes started their seafood business in 1980 in the western Chicago suburbs and are coming out of retirement specifically to bring the 75th Avenue Market to life at the 2019 Taste of Elmwood Park. They’ve conceptualized a robust display designed to evoke the New York fish markets in the Bronx. Festival attendees can expect to enjoy raw and baked clams, fresh shucked oysters, grilled octopus, crispy calamari, peel-and-eat shrimp and other Italian seafood specialties.
“We’ve been imitated by many but duplicated by none.” says Sergio Volpe of Sergio’s Seafood.
The Volpes are experienced fish handlers and possess the experience and skillset necessary to serve up loads of seafood safely in a hectic festival environment. In fact, supervising cook Maria Volpe is already planning to prepare 8-10 thousand top neck clams for the August festival.
“Baked clams are my best seller,” says Maria Volpe, “they are cooked on site and have an herb breadcrumb filling with garlic, parmesan and butter; people just love them and they are sure to sell out.”
The baked clams are served with lemon wedges and hot sauce while raw clams and fresh-shucked Blue Point oysters will pair beautifully with fresh horseradish sauce and homemade cocktail sauce. A half-dozen of either baked or raw shellfish will cost just $6. Additionally, smelts, fried in beer-batter, are sure to be another popular item for lake fish lovers at the 75th Avenue Market. If all goes well the Volpes will have baked lobster on the menu as well.
All seafood fans are encouraged to stop by early for the best selection during the Taste of Elmwood Park.
The Taste Lounge (21 and over) sponsored by Tito’s Vodka will feature live entertainment and drinks for purchase. Local vocalist and restaurant owner, Donny Greco, will fill The Taste Lounge with music from 3-5pm on Sunday afternoon. His quintessential lounge act features two hours of Sinatra, Elvis and Motown favorites. The dance floor will be open during his set and Greco’s Italian restaurant, Donny G’s Ristorate and Bar, will be on-site all weekend the Taste of Elmwood Park.
“The Taste of Elmwood Park is a wonderful and affordable opportunity for families from Elmwood Park and beyond to experience all our community has to offer,” Greco of the quaint festival.
Donny G’s plans to offer meatball sandwiches with sweet or hot peppers (on a bun or in a bowl), crispy garlic parmesan chicken tenders and baked artichokes with lemon. Donny G’s artichokes will cost just $4 and are sure to a popular vegetarian addition to the Taste of Elmwood Park’s varied menu.
“Our baked artichokes with breadcrumbs and lemon butter have great Italian flavor;” says Greco proudly, “they are one of our best-selling appetizers in the restaurant and we think people will love them at the Taste of Elmwood Park.”
Village Trustee and Co-Owner of Massa Café Italiano, Angelo Lollino, shares Greco’s sentiments about the local food festival.
“There is a real sense of camaraderie at The Taste of Elmwood Park,” says Lollino, “it’s an excuse for people to gather and brings neighbors together and also provides a way for local restaurants to give back to the community that supports them.” says Lollino.
Restaurants come out to showcase their specialty items at the Taste and Massa Café Italiano is no exception. Lollino indicates they will be peddling their award-winning gelato at the festival. Lolliono’s co-owner and wife, Giovanna, selected the items featured on Massa’s menu at The Taste of Elmwood Park. In addition to serving up their version of rocky road called Chicago Pothole and the perennially popular pistachio gelatos, Massa will serve up fried dough tossed in powdered or cinnamon sugar, and a vegetarian panzerotii filled with mozzarella and tomato.
No matter which vendors festival goers choose to patronize the Village of Elmwood Park encourages all restaurants to sell their items at a fair price to ensure the festival is accessible to all. As a result most food items offered at the Taste of Elmwood Park will cost between just three and six dollars each.
Make a plan to savor the foods of Elmwood Park among family friends and neighbors at the 2019 Taste of Elmwood Park.
Thursday, August 8th – 5PM – 11 PM
Friday, August 9th – 5PM – 11 PM
Saturday, August 10th – 12PM – 11 PM
Sunday, August 11th – 12PM – 10 PM
TASTE OF ELMWOOD PARK FEATURED VENDORS
The 75th Avenue Market featuring Sergio’s Seafood
Clams (raw and baked)
Fried Calamari, Smelts, and Crab Cakes
Shrimp (fried and peel and eat)
Donny G’s Ristorante and Bar
Baked Artichokes with Lemon Butter (V)
Mini Meatball Sandwich or Bowl
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders
Massa Café Italiano
Mozzarella and Tomato Panzeroti
Fried Dough with Cinnamon Sugar or Powdered Sugar
Chicago Pothole and Pistachio Gelato
Chicken Fried Rice
BBQ Pork Sandwiches
BBQ Beef Sandwiches