Rotary Club's Taste of Ridgefield returns after COVID: 'best food around' from nearly 30 eateries, wine shops

RIDGEFIELD – Nearly 30 local restaurants and wine merchants will share their wares and meet new customers as the Ridgefield Rotary Club hosts its 21st annual Taste of Ridgefield.

The fundraising event will be held Feb. 5 at the First Congregational Church. 

It gives restaurants and wine shops “an opportunity to promote themselves in a noncompetitive environment and to reach out to new people and existing clientele,” said Bill Wyman, former president and current communications chair of the Ridgefield Rotary. 

“We have a very successful restaurant town here in Ridgefield,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. “People frequent restaurants often and I attribute that to the different entertainment and cultural venues that are in our community. On this day, through the Rotary Club, all the restaurants have an opportunity to present their foods to the people of Ridgefield or any other area who choose to attend. It’s a wonderful event; it’s the best food around.”

The Ridgefield Rotary has organized the Taste of Ridgefield every January “between the week of the Super Bowl and the Championship playoffs,” Wyman said. The event was last held in January 2020 before the pandemic hit; it was canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19, he said.

At this year’s event, attendees can enjoy samples from about 27 restaurants and three wine stores, Bartolo, Bareburger, Southwest Café, Stacey’s Totally Baked and Sucre Sale, , Wyman said.

“I don’t think I missed it once,” said Barbara Nevins, owner of Southwest Café. “I’ve always done it. There’s a lot for us to do – we get to see all our customers and make some new ones. And it’s a good event.”

A full list of participating restaurants and wine shops can be found on the Ridgefield Rotary’s website.

“These are good places,” Wyman said. “And to get a sample of food from them while you’re walking around talking to friends, it’s just a great occasion.”

The Taste of Ridgefield will be organized into two sessions: the first from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and the second from 4 to 6 p.m., with an average of 200 to 300 people per session, he said.

“They’re on target to be a good event,” Wyman said. “I can never guess what will happen," he said, with attendance depending on good weather. "If it’s snowy, attendance will be down."

The Ridgefield Rotary will also host a restaurant raffle this year. Wyman said the restaurant raffle was started when the Ridgefield Rotary couldn’t host Taste of Ridgefield due to COVID-19. This is the first year that the Ridgefield Rotary has held both, he said.

Raffle tickets will go on sale at Taste of Ridgefield event, with the drawing at noon April 1 at Ridgefield Town Hall. The grand prize is 30 $100 gift certificates; second prize is 15 $100 gift certificates; third prize is 10 $100 gift certificates and fourth prize is five $100 gift certificates to restaurants of the winner’s choice.

Funds raised from the 2023 Taste of Ridgefield event will be used primary for Ridgefield Rotary’s community grants, he said.

The event will be held at First Congregational Church at 103 Main St. from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 5. Tickets are $50 per person in advance and $55 at the door.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ridgefield Rotary’s website at, and at Squash’s Ridgefield Office Supply at 389 Main St.; Gofer Ice Cream at 407 Main St.; and Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shop at 409 Main St.