SOMERSET, NJ - Close to 400 guests attended the 26th Annual Taste of Somerset fundraiser benefiting the PeopleCare Center at the Palace at Somerset Park Monday night.

"Taste of Somerset is the original tasting event in Somerset County and the longest running with widespread benefits - to the restaurants, to the attendees, and most importantly to the tenants at PeopleCare and the individuals that they serve," Rich Reitman board member said.  

Attendees had the opportunity to sample food and drinks from some of the areas top restaurants, caterers, and beverage purveyors.  

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Officials say more than $20,000 was raised Monday night, to benefit PeopleCare Center, which is a private non-profit organization in Somerset County. PeopleCare Center provides a physical plant to house non-profit agencies and organizations at below market cost. 

Local bakeries La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes, and BAM Desserts were on hand passing out sweets to attendees. Sophie's Bistro a well-known restaurant on Hamilton Street added some French flavor to the social gathering. 

Franklin resident, Rick St. Pierre, a longtime civic activist, supporter of good causes and owner of Verve Restaurant, Bar & Bistro participated in Taste of Somerset, for his 23rd time.

"The great thing about this program is this is a fundraiser helping out seniors," Pierre said. "People Care is all about helping out seniors, and giving them someplace to stay when they might be alone or their families don't have the time to be with them during the day when they are working. It's all about giving back to them."

Some companies in attendance came from afar, such as Bones Rum based out of St. Thomas. Bob Battipaglia, president of Bones Rum recently found out about Taste of Somerset and felt it would be a great way to promote his business while helping a good cause. 

"The reception has been fabulous, both on the liquid and packaging sides," Battipaglia said. 

There was also a 50/50 contest and a raffle, with gifts for attendees, provided by the restaurants in attendance. 

2018 Caterer and Restaurant Participants   2018 Beverage Purveyors
22 West Tap and Grill 1601 Route 22 West   Bones Rum Company
Bam Desserts   CATB Liquor Import
Bon Palay   Fedway Associates
Bonefish Grill   Garden State Wine Club
Brickhouse Tavern and Tap   Gallo Wines
CAVA   High Grade Beverage
California Pizza Kitchen   Lone Eagle Brewery
Damiani’s Oven   Shipwreck Brewery
Heavenly Sweets   Summit Selections
Houlihan’s  Bridgewater    W.B. Law Coffee Company
Il Forno    
Joe’s Crab Shack    
 ‘Kuay Tiew’ Noodles and More     
La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes     
 Maggiano’s Little Italy        
McCormick & Schmick’s    
Northside Lounge/Brooks Brewery    
The Palace at Somerset Park    
Pinoy-Asian Soul Food    
Raritan Valley Country Club    
Redstone American Grill    
Rita’s Ice of Somerville    
Salted Lime    
Savor Restaurant    
Sol Mexican Cantina    
Somerville Elks Lodge 1068    
Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School    
Sophie’s Bistro    
Stoney Brook Grille    
Texas Roadhouse     
The Rail at Branchburg    
Verve Restaurant    
Whole Foods Market Inc.    
Willie McBride’s    

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