NEW MILFORD — Drenching rain forced the Taste of New Milford from the town green into the old bank building at 19 Main St. last week, but did not keep some 400 people from sampling the fare from nearly 30 local restaurants.

A few of them sneaked upstairs for a drink from local breweries and wineries.

“It’s the first year inside, but it’s coming together,” said Mike Nahom, co-owner of New Milford Sports & Aquatics Club, who organized the event this year. Organizers made the decision to move the culinary get-together inside early last Wednesday after forecasters said rain was on the way.

But new digs and wet conditions didn’t spoil the 11th annual event, especially for those new to town.

“We just moved here in May, and we haven’t had much time to try all the restaurants,” said Jay Holt, who accompanied Milani, his 19-month-old daughter, at the event.

“With work and her, we haven’t had much time,” he said.

“This is such a good event. Everything is in one spot.”

Milani, mouth full of cheese pizza from Bistro Bridgewater, seemed to agree.

The bistro, which opened last year, was like other area restaurants slinging a mix of samples. Manager Michael Sorensen said he would likely hand out slices of 15 different kinds of pizza.

“I just left it up to the guys,” he said. “And they’re making them at the store and making the seven-minute drive here.”

In another large room, Rosalia DesBiene, owner of Colosseo, served samples of two dishes that featured eggplant from nearby Kimberly Farm.

Colosseo has been at Village Fair Days for years, but this year marked its first exposure to the Taste crowd.

“It’s going great,” DesBiene said. “From the farm to the kitchen to here.”

This year is the first Nahom organized the event, which raises money for the Community Culinary School of Northwest Connecticut, a nonprofit that trains the unemployed and underemployed in food services and helps place them with local employers.

Nicholas/Tobin & Associates Insurance had run the event for the past 10 years.

blytton@hearst

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