Thursday, November 8, 2012

UPDATED 11/9: Taste of Manatee announces award winners for Bradenton area restaurants

UPDATED 11/9: Taste of Manatee announces awards for Bradenton area restaurants 

Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston, left, with YachtSea Grille owner and appetizer award-winner Kurt Petty during Taste of Manatee at Bradenton Riverwalk.

Ocean Harvest, Blue Marlin and Yachtsea Grille were among the Bradenton area eateries that most impressed judges Saturday and Sunday.

Patrons, many first timers, were wowed by the delectable dishes, too.  

Taste of Manatee organizers The Rotary Club of West Bradenton announced their restaurant award winners Thursday for the 26th annual cuisine contest that took place this past weekend at Riverwalk.

The festival featured food from 28 local restaurants being enjoyed by some 20,000 attendees, the service club estimated.

Ocean Harvest Grill's fabulous fish tacos played a key role in the Bradenton restaurant winning Best Of The Best while Bradenton Beach's Blue Marlin won Best Booth with its stone crab macaroni and cheese quickly selling out both days

YachtSea Grille, which opened earlier this year on Riverfront Boulevard as a direct result of the newly renovated Riverwalk, won in the appetizer category. It served Polynesian pork shank, clam chowder and roasted red pepper hummus with pretzel rolls.

Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston presented the awards, along with Miss Manatee Jennie Ozark, Junior Miss Manatee Caroline Howard, Little Miss Manatee Hannah Brady and Mini Miss Manatee Savannah Cannon.

"We had the finest restaurants we've ever had," said Mark Sticht, a chairman for Taste of Manatee. "Most importantly, all the restaurants are from right here in the community." 

Each restaurant contributes a significant portion of their sales from the Taste of Manatee to the supported charities.

Complete list of winners:

1st Place - YachtSea Grill
2nd Place - Lobstahs
3rd Place - Riverhouse Reef & Grill

1st Place - Mexicali
2nd Place - J&J Barbecue
3rd Place - Edelweiss German Cuisine

1st Place - Fia's Cafe
2nd Place - Ocean Harvest Grill
3rd Place - Meaney's Mini Donuts

Specialty Foods:
1st Place - Ferraro's Pizza
2nd Place - Mr. Cheesecake
3rd Place - Taste of Hawaii

Best Booth: Blue Marlin

Best Of The Best: Ocean Harvest Grill

Taste of Manatee's move to Bradenton Riverwalk results in best year ever
Taste of Manatee moves food, fun and music to Bradenton Riverwalk

—Photo provided by The Rotary Club of West Bradenton.