A Taste of Two Towns to serve up the best of Oakmont, Verona
Oakmont Carnegie Library’s largest annual fundraiser promises to offer a variety of food and drink from Verona and Oakmont establishments.
The eighth annual A Taste of Two Towns is set for 5:30 p.m. May 19 at the library, 700 Allegheny River Blvd.
“This event is great because it’s a community party,” event Chairperson Mimi DiLisio said. “A lot of the attendees told me it’s a chance to see people they don’t normally see year-round. It’s also a chance for new restaurateurs and establishments to display what they serve and introduce the community to what they have to offer.”
About 15 vendors have signed up to participate this year, including newcomers Stonewall Cider House in Verona and Burk’s BBQ in Oakmont.
Robin Almendinger, event committee member and library adult services coordinator, said the library will open up its lower level, like it did the last year, allowing for more vendor and attendance space. It will be designated for coffee and desserts.
She said there will be a variety of auctions at the event that should keep people interested.
“We’re trying to keep the event fresh and new,” Almendinger said. “We want to keep our attendance stable. We kind of transform the library. We dress it up. There’s a real big variety of foods, and it’s really fun to go around and taste stuff. It’s a real great way to bring people in the community together.”
Other vendors include Oakmont Bakery, Oakmont Deli, Brr-Kee’s Ice Cream and Veltre’s Wedding and Event Center.
Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco Executive Chef Brian Leri said his restaurant has been involved with A Taste of Two Towns since its inaugural launch.
He plans to serve a cream of tomato soup paired with mini fontina grilled cheese sandwiches with herbed baguettes.
“It’s nice and rich with heavy cream, butter and all that good stuff,” Leri said about the food. “The cheese is real soft and has a nice flavor.”
Leri is expecting a great turnout and a good time for all.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” he said. “Everybody’s talking to you. There are a lot of local people and some people who’ve never been here before.”
More than 250 people attended last year’s event, which raised about $14,000.
“We’re always trying to make at least as much as we made last year,” DiLisio said. “We don’t have an absolute goal because there’s a lot of variables to it. We keep trying to change it up a little bit with vendors … auctions and things to make it an enjoyable evening.”
There will be an art show featuring Riverview High School students’ work and live entertainment by Verona-based Western Pennsylvania Center for the Arts.
Door prizes are expected to be awarded every 15 minutes.
Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the library or its website. Cash or credit cards will be accepted.
Details about the Oakmont Carnegie Library are available at oakmontlibrary.org or by calling 412-828-9532.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .