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Oakmont, Verona dining options served up at library's 'Taste of Two Towns'

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 8:12 p.m.
Oakmont Carnegie Library
A Taste of Two Towns on May 19 will benefit the Oakmont Carnegie Library.

While a party isn't likely the first thing that comes to mind when contemplating a trip to the library, the Oakmont Carnegie Library will offer a delicious opportunity to do just that with its upcoming “A Taste of Two Towns” fundraiser.

Now in its second year, the “Taste” event offers not only food, but fun, letting friends and neighbors connect for a good cause.

“It's a big party for the towns — both Oakmont and Verona,” event co-chairwoman Joanne Brownlee says.

The night will have a sampling of foods from more than a dozen eateries in and around the twin boroughs. With a $50 ticket, guests will get the chance to try all of the foods available and a glass of beer, wine, water or soft drinks. Borough officials will serve as bartenders.

Guests can expect a casual evening where they can try ice cream, microbrews and everything in between.

Among returning restaurants are Cafe Vita, Oakmont Tavern and What's Cookin' at Casey's. New participants include the Oakmont Country Club, Futules Harmar House and the Hula Bar and Grill.

Attendees will have the chance to sit or mingle with each other throughout the library's main floor — and, weather-permitting, outside at tables in the library's garden area.

New to the event is a Chinese auction with items donated from local businesses like hair salons and bakeries.

This is the second year for the event. Julie Steinhaus of Julie Steinhaus Catering, says that she's glad to have been invited back.

“It's a very nice event, it was well attended, all the other vendors were nice to work with,” she says.

“I think it's good for both communities. It's a nice thing do for Oakmont and the library, and I like helping Verona by showing some positive business that goes on that a lot of people don't know about.”

She will be sharing, among other foods, her rosemary pretzels, which she sells at businesses throughout the area.

“It gives a nice taste of the food business in both communities,” she says. “I think it's a very good value. I think you really get a lot for your money, and it's a nice way to meet the local food business in the area, try what they have and hopefully patronize them.”

Brownlee says last year's event was well-received: “Some people said to me last year, you should do this twice a year.”

The event has proved to be a successful way to support the library, which Brownlee says is “growing every day.”

It's already become one of the library's biggest fundraisers. Last year's event took in $10,000. Funds go toward everything from helping with programming like technology classes for seniors to buying light bulbs.

Julie Martin is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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