Tuesday September 21, 2010 | 11:04 PM

Fourteen restaurants served up tasty treats to more than 200 guests tonight at Merrill Auditorium for the 15th annual Epicurean Auction. A benefit for Portland Ovations, the party supports the organization's Ovations Offstage community programming, which provides free talks, workshops and performing arts events. The party began in the lobby, where the restaurants offered small tastes and little plates of savory morsels. Tables of auction items clustered near all the food tables, giving guests ample opportunity to see something they'd like to take home.

Richard Beaudet and Cristin Walsh of Grace offered a kabob with lamb, pearl onions, mini bell peppers and black cherry tomatoes.

At the long table staffed by chef Harding Lee Smith's trio of restaurants, the crew was all smiles. Here Grill Room staffers Marga Hanson and Mary Fay arrange bites of beef tartare, while Chef Smith serves customers to their left.

Chef David Turin of David's and David's 388 also went the tartare route, but he used Pacific Rim tuna.

At 7 p.m. everyone moved into the auditorium and up onto the stage, where we sat at round tables and enjoyed Coffee by Design java and Dean's Sweets hand-dipped chocolate truffles. I had the good fortune to sit at event co-chair April Ylvisaker's table.

Once we were all settled in, board members Mike Boyson (shown above) and Felicia Knight added commentary and jokes as Gordie Holmes auctioned off more than a dozen unique items. They included this jersey from former New England Patriots player Adam Vinatieri, a limited edition cast silver sculpture titled "Arabesque," and a private reception in the Thos. Moser gallery catered by Azure Cafe and Feerport Wine and Cheese.

In other words, a little something for everybody.

I'll have lots more details about the auction and the eats, plus notes on who was at the party in the Sept. 26 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram. Until then, I hope to see you out and about.

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

Avery can be contacted at 791-6297 or akamila@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @AveryYaleKamila

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