By Tim McCarthy
Looking to sample some of Greater Haverhill's best food and drink, all while supporting a good cause?
The Haverhill Exchange Club will host its seventh annual Taste and Toast of Haverhill on Sept. 8, bringing together some of Haverhill's best restaurants, breweries and wineries all under one roof for a massive sampling session at Winnekenni castle.
"It's an opportunity for local restaurants to come out and showcase," said Leanne Eastman, president of the Exchange Club.
This year's event, titled "A Night Under the Stars," will allow guests to enjoy their food both inside the castle's hall and outside under the stars.
Eastman said this will be the first Taste and Toast to require formal wear as well.
Ten restaurants will put their best plates on display including Keon's Bistro, Olivia's and The Grill Next Door.
Sue Garland, owner of The Grill Next Door, said this is the first year her restaurant is taking part. She said she is looking forward to the opportunity to show off her best dishes.
"We like to go to different events," she said. "It lets the community know what we're all about."
People can also enjoy drinks from Zorvino Vineyard and Moonlight Meadery.
Eastman said the event is one of the Exchange Club's major fundraisers each year, usually drawing a crowd of 150 people. Donations will go to the Michael B. Christensen Foundation for the Prevent of Child Abuse.
In addition to food and drink, the Exchange Club will host a silent auction and several raffles for restaurant gift cards, sports tickets and other items.
The festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. Tickets to the event are $35 and can be purchased by calling 978-556-5474 or online at www.localwineevents.com. Callers who mention the Haverhill Gazette will receive a discount.
Sponsors for the event include Pentucket Medical Associates, Pentucket Bank, the Kevin Comeau Funeral Home, Randall Bennett CPA and MJS Millwork.