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Taste of Litchfield Hills enjoys mountain setting

NEW HARTFORD — Thousands of fans of gourmet food and wine flocked to Ski Sundown in New Hartford over the Labor Day weekend to sample international cuisines from restaurants throughout the Northwest Corner while listening to live music and browsing retail tents set up by local shops.Those in attendance at A Taste of The Litchfield Hills breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday and Monday, as rain held off for the duration of the three-day affair, allowing ample opportunity for attendees to visit.With live jazz and rhythm and blues by the Christine and Elliot Spero Duo coming from the deck of Ski Sundown’s main lodge Sunday afternoon, restaurants and gourmet food trucks served up pan-seared scallops and braised shortribs, lobster salad sliders, crepes and Thai chicken skewers to go with wines from five Litchfield County vineyards.One of the most popular booths at this year’s festival featured a table set up by Winsted’s own Green Room, which served various styles of crepes along with thirst-quenching real-fruit smoothies to beat the heat. With the air particularly damp and hot on Sunday afternoon, a line began to form as owner Sharry Revellini worked the blenders.“You’ve gotta try one of the smoothies,” said Gary Pontelandolfo of Winsted, who sat nearby. “They’re amazing!”Also from Winsted, representatives of the Morsel Munk store showed off some of their favorite sporting gear, including the Gibbon Slackline, a flexible balance beam made of 2-inch-wide webbing, stretched across the area of the user’s choice. For the festival, a special “slackrack” was employed, allowing daring visitors to show off their balancing skills.“The attendance has been great,” said Morsel Munk co-owner Brigitte Rouleau. “But there were definitely more people on Saturday. This is a great way to use the mountain in the summertime.”Organizers said they were pleased with the choice of Ski Sundown as the location for this year’s Taste, and noted that officials from the town of New Hartford were particularly accommodating and that the venue offered residents closer to the eastern edge of the county a chance to taste some of the best things the Litchfield Hills have to offer.

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