Disney

Bull & Bear’s Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail – chasseur sauce, potato pave, fresh arugula salad

We were invited to Waldorf Astoria Orlando for a media preview of their 8th Annual Food & Wine Weekends happening every weekend starting September 14, 2018 through November 11, 2018 at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

The sister hotels are hosting Food & Wine Weekends, a complement to Epcot Food & Wine Festival, to celebrate fine wine & culinary arts designed for those who truly savor the artistry of fine culinary preparations.

Food & Wine Weekends features innovative dishes from their renowned restaurants, unique food and wine pairings, intimate chef talks, and interactive demonstrations.

The Taste of Zeta Asia

Mount Fuji Signature Roll – Crab salad, cucumber, tuna, yellowtail salmon, wasabi mayo, tobiko, micro cilantro

Kanji Signature Roll – Spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, sriracha, micro cilantro

Short Rib Bibimbap – Short rib, fried egg, blanched spinach, namul, Japanese rice, gochujang sauce

The Taste of La Luce

Lasagna Napolinata – Mozzarella di Bufala, tomato, basil

Risotto Duo Di Mare – Shrimp, scallops, saffron, English peas, oven roasted tomato, reggiano gremolata

The Taste of Bull & Bear

Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail – chasseur sauce, potato pave, fresh arugula salad

Raspberry mint mocktail

Bar du Chocolat at Peacock Alley, Saturdays 6:30pm-10:30pm – A decadent selection of à la carte chocolate treats hand-crafted by Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s world-class pastry team.  Highlights include chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes and bowls of beautiful bon-bons.

La Pâtisserie: Master Pastry Class at Sir Harry’s, Fridays 4:30-5:30pm – Learn the secrets of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando world-class pastry team as they host a complimentary gourmet baking demonstration. From delicate pastries to the perfect cookie, you’ll learn tips on how to make, bake and decorate the perfect dessert.

Pop Culture at MYTH Bar, Saturdays 8pm-10pm

Home-made, fresh fruit popsicles, creamy organic ice pops and adult poptails!  Choose from a variety of gourmet toppings, including hand-dipped chocolate, caramelized almonds, sweet coconut and chocolate vermicelli.

For more information, please visit WaldorfAstoriaOrlando.com/food-wine and HiltonBonnetCreek.com/food-wine.

(Source: Waldorf Astoria Orlando)

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-5500

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-3600

0 310

This weekend, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs celebrated their 7th Great Irish Hooley Music Festival, featuring a colorful live playlist of traditional Irish, Celt grass, folk, blues and soul as well as food and drink.

Many of the new dishes featured “Wild About Ireland” products like Chutneys and dressings, similar to our “Fresh from Florida” labels which help promote “from” Ireland food products.

We were invited for a preview of some of the new dishes on the menu, as well as listen to the very talented Lisa Canny, 7-time All-Ireland champion on harp and banjo, and an emerging Irish force blending pop and hip-hop with traditional Irish rhythms.

The festival runs from Friday August 31 through Monday September 3rd (Labor Day weekend).

Here are some scenes from the event:

 

Chick n Pea Skewer – a play on chickpeas with chicken (spicy) grilled with rosemary that reminded me a bit of tandoori chicken, and a lovely fried potato ball topped with crispy toasted chickpeas!

The Pork Blah Blaa – shaved pork porchetta, Wild about Celtic chutney, caramelized onions, and crispy crackling chicarrones.

Lusty Lobster – a kind of fun play on avocado toast and lobster rolls – lobster with avocado, egg, mayo, pancetta, and watercress on a multigrain roll

 

The Chunk Monk featuring beer battered monkfish (the poor man’s lobster) and fried zucchini chips and tartar sauce

Wild about Wild – wild mushroom and fried goat cheese terrene with quinoa, purple beets

Super Cauli Caponata Tasty N Delicious – spiced curried cauliflower, eggplant caponata, with lentil and pumpkin seed dressing.

Stewbaa – braised lamb with root vegetables and herb dumplings

Bangin Bangers and Mighty Mash – guiness and onion bangers, mashed potatoes, onion gravy

 

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Tart

 

PRESS RELEASE:

7th Annual ‘Great Irish Hooley’ Music Festival Rocks Labor Day Weekend at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs

Central Florida’s high-voltage boutique Irish music festival serves up a colorful live playlist of traditional Irish, Celt grass, folk, blues and soul Aug. 31-Sept. 3 during the 7th Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs.

Celebrating Irish song, dance, food and drink over the long Labor Day weekend, the Great Irish Hooley kicked off performances by nine Irish bands and the new Raglan Road Irish Dance Troupe beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, August 31, and continuing all day Saturday through late Monday, Sept. 3, and into the wee hours.

Paired with Orlando’s finest contemporary Irish cuisine, local and national craft beers, new hand-crafted cocktails featuring Wild Irish syrups and day-into-night entertainment, the Great Irish Hooley promises a high-energy music festival for families and revelers alike.

A traditional Irish social celebration, the “Hooley” combines music ranging from trad to rock tunes with entertainment and fun for the whole family (no cover charge). The Hooley also will feature Celtic face-painting throughout the festival. This year’s Hooley entertainment headliners include:

JigJam — The multi-award-winning Irish quartet will bring their captivating brand of “CeltGrass” (a.k.a. I-Grass) – blending the best of traditional Irish music with Bluegrass and Americana. (Friday through Monday)

Lisa Canny – The outrageously talented Lisa Canny, 7-time All-Ireland champion on harp and banjo, is an emerging Irish force blending pop and hip-hop with traditional Irish rhythms. (Saturday through Monday)

Billow Wood – Known as Flat Out when they played Raglan Road in 2016, this male/female four-piece band fuses their unique brand of instrumentation with multi-vocals and harmonies for a blend of Irish and folk music. (Monday)

The Raglan Road Irish Dancers, plucked from the casts and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, will perform throughout the Great Irish Hooley. And champion Irish dancer Ciaran Keating, Raglan Road’s show choreographer, will host an entertaining workshop that traces the origins of Irish dance from earliest jigs and reels through contemporary times.

Additional music acts throughout the long weekend will include:

Strings & Things — Strings & Things are an original Irish folk/trad crossover four-piece band from Tipperary/Galway. Over the years together they have created their own original sound and produced a variety of crossover songs by putting their own stamp on them.

The Byrne Brothers — An exceptionally talented traditional Irish music family from Donegal. They are Luca, 13 (button accordion); Finn, 11 (banjo, mandolin and whistle); Dempsey, 8, (whistle and bodhran); and father, Tommy (guitar, Uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistles, bagpipes and bodhran). Their show combines traditional Irish tunes with modern dance beats, and they love to interact with every audience.

Reel Republic –- Hailing from the southwest corner of Ireland, Reel Republic are four seriously talented musicians revving up audiences with a solid spectrum of Irish tunes and songs.

TradGad – Three talented lads from Kerry, Dublin and Edinburgh charm Raglan Road audiences singing and playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, uileann pipes, tin whistle, banjo and bazouki.

High Road – Three talented musicians hailing from Dublin, Kilkenny and Glasgow meet in the middle to play a crowd-pleasing symphony of traditional Irish tunes and songs.

Aaron O’Grady – An Irish import who will entice and beguile with his eclectic mix of Irish music.

The Raglan Road Irish Dancers — Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform throughout the Great Irish Hooley. You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!

Throughout the Hooley, guests can step up to one of Raglan Road’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic contemporary Irish fare. A TripAdvisor Hall of Fame honoree and The Daily Meal’s 2018 “Best Irish Pub” in Florida, Raglan Road is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist, delectable seafood and desserts, plus gluten-free entrees.

The complete entertainment schedule will be posted at www.raglanroad.com and www.greatirishhooley.com closer to the event.

Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolan, Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Live entertainment nightly includes the NEW! Rhythms of Raglan 2018 suite of shows featuring Irish bands and dancers. Guests also can enjoy shows during the weekend Rollicking Raglan Brunch. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Saturday and Sunday Rollicking Raglan Brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Disney Springs in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300. Follow us @RaglanRoadPub

From August 17 to October 31 on select dates, Disneys Magic Kingdom is hosting their annual Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! The event kicks off at 7 p.m and lasts until midnight. We got a chance to check out the new entertainment, dining, attractions, merchandise and specialty foods.

There are six different dining locations in the park; Main Street U.S.A, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Throughout these locations, you can find the new treats that Disney whipped up this year.

Here are the desserts:

  • Jack Skellington Dessert
  • Hitchhiking Ghost Dessert
  • Oogie Boogie Meringue
  • Maleficent Dessert
  • Madame Leota Dessert
  • Worms and Dirt Dessert

Here is a look at additional desserts that can be found in the park –

Just like the treats, you can find new event merchandise at select locations throughout the fun filled land. There is Emporium (Full Event Collection), Curtain Call Collectibles (Costume Pieces), Big Top Souvenirs (Full Event Collection), and Frontier Trading Post (Event Trading Pins).

Be sure to visit the Treat Locations within the park. The spots you’ll want to hit are :

  • Market Street in Main Street
  • Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise in Adventureland
  • Splash Mountain, Dock to Tom Sawyer Island and Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland
  • Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Ariel’s Grotto, Pinocchio Village Haus, and Walt Disney World Railroad Station in Fantasyland
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland

The entertainment is another treat you don’t want to miss. Here is the listing:

  • Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular (Castle Forecourt Stage) at 8:30 p.m, 10:45 p.m and 12:00 a.m
  • Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade at 9:15 p.m and 11:15 p.m 
  • Happy Hallowishes Fireworks (Skies above Cinderella Castle) at 10:15 p.m
  • Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball (Tomorrowland) at 7:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m 
  • Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam (Fantasyland) at 7:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m 

There will also be Special Disney Character Appearances all around the park.

Some famous attractions are filled with HALLOWEEN FUN!  They are enhanced especially for the event.  I went on Space Mountain and the ride was said to be “darker than usual” inside the tunnel that the coaster goes through. Other enhanced rides are Pirates of the Caribbean and Mad Tea Party. 

Another cool aspect about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is their Allergy-Friendly Offerings. There are special treat bags you can pick up. You can also visit Town Square Theater or Liberty Square Ticket Office which are the allergy-friendly centers.

A handy tool to pick up before entering the park is the park map. It pin points where all of the event highlights are. I recommend going more than once. There is so much to see and do. Above all, my favorite was the Happy Hallowishes Fireworks. It was one of the best firework shows I have ever seen. Take advantage of the season and have fun!

We were invited to the magical Ravello at Four Seasons Orlando for a sneak peek and taste of their Magical Dining Month menu this year.  Our dinner was held in their private demonstration kitchen located in the back of the restaurant and it came complete with our own private chefs and wait staff.  It was truly a wonderful experience to be able to witness and smell all of our meals being cooked right in front of us by their talented and passionate chefs.  The food was outstanding and the wait staff took care of us so well as always.

What is Magical Dining Month?

  • 3 courses – Appetizer, Entrèe, and Dessert
  • Price: $35 per person plus tax & gratuity
  • Over 100 + participating restaurants
  • Beginning August 24 through September 30
  • Through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
    Click here to view menu and make reservations

Fresh dough from Italy

The talented Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi welcoming us to Ravello.

Choice of Appetizer

Frisella | Pappa al Pomodoro | Mozzarella – warm pugliese bread, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella, greens

Chef Riccardo Sala preparing a delicious course for us!

Calamari | Fregola – sauteed calamari, fregola, crunchy zucchini, grape

Choice of Entrèe

Brasato e Polenta – braised beef Piedmont style, Barbera wine sauce, soft polenta

Florida Red Fish | Rapini | Salsa Verde – red fish, bell pepper, broccoli rabe, garlic, salsa verde, potato

Reginette Pasta | Gamberi | Melanzane – shrimp, reginette pasta, eggplant, olives, marjoram, tomato sauce

Choice of Dessert


Torta Della Nonna
– honey, pine nuts, raspberry

Salted Caramel Budino – chocolate, coffee, vanilla cream

Add a Course


Veal -Parmesan-Breadcrumb Crust, Tomato Fonduta

Spaghetti – homemade spaghetti, San Marzano tomato, crunchy basil ($9)

Margherita Pizza – tomato, basil, mozzarella ($16)


Umbria Coffee Tiramisu ($5)

Big thank you and princess kisses to Four Seasons Orlando publicist Dana Berry for the invite & the chefs and wait staff at Ravello for the exceptional meal and service as always!!

Please contact Private Dining Coordinator Robbie Wilcox at (407) 313-6914 if you’d like to reserve the private demonstration kitchen for your next event.

Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
10100 Dream Tree Blvd Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 313-6161

We got a sneak peak of the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This 75 day long festival has 95 new food or beverage experiences. There’s a load of different kinds of family friendly fun that’s being launched this year such as candy sushi,  the Disney Du Jour Dance Party, three different new market places, nine new artists for the Eat to the Beat concert series, brand new seminars and having brunch with one of the celebrity chefs. 

First thing’s first, what’s on the menu this year? Let’s have a look.

Shown above is the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds by The Wine & Dine Studio.

Another item is the new Brunswick Slider: Slow-braised Beef Brisket “Pot Roast Style” with Horseradish Cream and Crispy Fried Onions on a Potato Roll with Pickled Vegetables on the side by Hops & Barley 

For those with a sweet tooth this will surely satisfy.  On the left side of the plates is Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch by The Cheese Studio and on the right is Chocolate Picante: Dark Chocolate Mouse with Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder and Mango by Flavors from Fire.  

Below is another dish from Flavors from Fire. They showcased Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak on a Smoked Corn Cake with Pickled Vegetable Slaw and Cilantro Aioli. 

 Brazil featured a Moqueca: Brazilian Seafood Stew featuring Scallops, Shrimp and White Fish with Coconut-Lime Sauce and Steamed Rice shown below.

A flight of beer was also given out for us to try. It was a red, green and blue, none of which had food coloring in it. Red was the most approachable, green was stronger and blue was the strongest.

Besides the food and alcohol, we got to look at this years merchandise for the festival. John Rivers, founder and owner of 4 Rivers Steak House was also there to talk about his new food truck that he will be opened at Disney Springs and his new creation he’ll be serving. “Mexican places have taco salad but it’s kind of boring. Well, not boring, it’s very traditional. With people walking around, it would be very hard for them to eat. So, we came up with a different idea- we put it into a cone,” says Rivers. 

After I was done with the event, I enjoyed the five free fast passes given to us on our admission ticket. I was also given a goodie bag containing a 25 dollar gift card to use anywhere in Epcot (that was well spent) , chocolates, pancake mix, an exclusive Disney bottle opener and more!

Dave Kesting, general manager of Disney festivals says, “you wont be able to do it all in one day. Pace yourself, look a lot at the passport, find the items that you would like to see and use that as your guide to go around the festival.” 

 

  

 

El Cubano – roasted pork, black forrest ham, swiss cheese, mustard, house pickles with a side of tostones and a glass of virgin mojito

Dine in Plancha in Four Seasons Orlando from Monday, Aug. 20 through Saturday, Aug. 25 and enjoy a fabulous special of the El Cubano sandwich & choice of side for only $9 in honor of National Cuban Sandwich Day!  Regular price is $18 so that is an awesome deal.  Plancha is my favorite spot at Four Seasons Orlando for lunch.  The food and drinks there are really good!

Other special offers:

  • $5 mojitos (can be made virgin as well) on National Cuban Sandwich Day, Thursday, Aug. 23.
  • Happy Hour half off drinks from 3-6pm every Mon-Fri.

Plancha is a Cuban-American restaurant located in the stylish Tranquil Golf Clubhouse at Four Seasons Orlando, just a few minutes away from Disney Springs.  They are open daily from 11am-6pm.  You do not need a hotel reservation to dine there.  They have ample parking spots in their lot.

I highly recommend the following appetizers to go along with your El Cubano sandwich:

Tuna Tartare – avocado, ginger coconut vinaigrette, red onions, micro greens, jalapeño, tostones

Guacamole – Roasted corn relish, naan chips, Parmesan cheese

Chorizo Flatbread – smoked chorizo, crispy shallots, piquillo pepper sauce, manchego, cream cheese, arugula

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 313-7777
fourseasons.com/content/dam/fourseasons/images/web/ORL/PDF/ORL-Plancha-Lunch-Menu.pdf

Terralina Crafted Italian opened this summer in Disney Springs of Orlando, FL Starting July 23, Terralina Crafted Italian will begin hosting a late-night happy hour from 9-11 p.m. Sunday – Thursday on the patio. Specials include $5 Beers and half-price wines by the glass.

Every meal comes with fresh bread made in-house at Terralina. The bread is dense and delicious. I suggest having it with the pickled vegetables that comes with it.

Some may dip the bread into the extra virgin olive oil that is made especially for Terralina, but it doesn’t tickle my fancy.

One of guests’ favorite appetizers include herb ricotta-stuffed Fried Olives, which are unique and tasteful. It is served with shaved parmesan that adds a robust flavor on its own.

The Crispy Eggplant Fries were more soggy than anything. I can assure you that eggplant can become crispy if made correctly. Although they weren’t crispy as promised by the name, they are delicious and creamy! It is served with some lemon-caper aioli that adds to the creaminess of each bite.

This Rigatoni Calabrese includes housemate sausage, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, and escaroles. Escaroles are usually bitter, but there is no bitterness in these greens. The pasta was made to perfection and the sausage was the best part with the abundance of flavors it releases in each bite.

The Lemon Panna Cotta is served with candied thyme that adds such uniqueness to each bite of the panna cotta. The panna cotta itself is served at room temperature, which is a great way to whip together ingredients without the ingredients separating from one another. This dessert is refreshing for a hot Florida summer.

If you’d like some tasty cocktails, the Cozy Terrace is nice for the summer. It was mixed well and refreshing with the cucumber.

The Negroni has nice orange notes, but it was not mixed very well. If you’re a gin type of person, this drink is for you.

Maybe you’re a bourbon type of person. Try the Revered Heritage, which is nice and strong.

For more information, check out the Terralina Crafted Italian website.

Guacamole – Roasted corn relish, naan chips, Parmesan cheese

Dine in Plancha today through Saturday, July 14 and enjoy a complimentary guacamole appetizer & mojito (can be made virgin as well) with a purchase of an entrée in honor of National Mojito Day!  What an awesome deal!  The food and drinks there are really good!

Plancha is a Cuban-American restaurant located in the stylish Tranquil Golf Clubhouse at Four Seasons Orlando, just a few minutes away from Disney Springs.  They are open daily from 11am-6pm.  You do not need a hotel reservation to dine there. They have ample parking spots in their lot.

Loco Coconut Mojito – Rumhaven, Brugal 1988, lime, mint

Plancha Mojito – Barcardi, Prosecco, lime, mint

Virgin Orange Blossom Mojito

Churrasco – Skirt steak, chimichurri, mixed greens, yucca fries

Tuna Tartare – Avocado, ginger coconut vinaigrette, tostones, jalapeño, red onions, micro greens

Plancha Burger – Chorizo & beef patty, maduros, white cheddar, tomato, lettuce, cumin aioli 

Espresso

Traditional Flan – Caña sugar caramel, strawberry, kiwi, blueberries, and mini chocolate disk

Be sure to stop by Plancha soon for FREE guacamole & mojito before the deal ends this Saturday, July 14!

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 313-7777
fourseasons.com/content/dam/fourseasons/images/web/ORL/PDF/ORL-Plancha-Lunch-Menu.pdf

Seafood Tower – King crab, jumbo Gulf shrimp, oysters, crab ceviche, Ahi tuna poke

We were invited to Paddlefish to celebrate their most recent accomplishment of being voted “Best Seafood Restaurant” by Orlando Magazine’s 2018 Dining Awards.  We enjoyed indulging in a delicious 5-course wine pairing dinner showcasing “Best of Paddlefish” dishes amid the rooftop of their luxurious steamboat.  Tickets to the sold out event was $115 per person.  Paddlefish offers fresh and delicious seafood dishes, exceptional architecture and decor, an attentive and friendly staff, and the most gorgeous view that you will ever get from any establishment on Disney Springs property.

Executive Chef Steve Richards welcoming guest at the Best of Paddlefish dinner.

Mini Maine Lobster Roll

Lobster & Corn Chowder 

Our wonderful sommelier of the evening.

August Kessler, Riesling, Germany

Sea Scallop – cauliflower puree, crispy Brussels sprouts

Cider Braised Veal Cheeks – parsnip puree

Dessert Trio – key lime pie, flourless chocolate cake, strawberry cheesecake

June Specials:

  • Paddlefish will be hosting wine tastings the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month through September.  Their in-house Sommelier team will lead these tastings on the rooftop deck and wine flights will be served with light bites and tastings.  Guests must be 21+ to attend.  Tickets and additional details can be found here.
  • Celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day on Wednesday, June 20, at Paddlefish!  Paddlefish will be offering their famous vanilla brownie milkshake for just $5 all day long!
  • Now through June 30, guests can enjoy a bottle of rose and half a dozen oysters for only $40, only available on the third deck.

Be sure to check out the June specials at Paddlefish soon!  It’s a fun filled month at Paddlefish that you won’t want to miss!

(Source credit: Paddlefish)

Paddlefish at Disney Springs
1670 Buena Vista Dr.  Lake Buena Vista, FL
(407) 934-2628
paddlefishrestaurant.com

Ocean’s Bounty Sustainable Fish and Sea Salt Dusted Filet Mignon – Harvest Vegetable Melange, Leek Fondue and Cassis Red Wine Demi by Chef Tim Majoras, Flying Fish

When Disney chefs collaborate with Second Harvest Food Bank for a good cause, beautiful things happen.  It was an honor to attend this charity dinner as a media guest.

Chefs from Disney’s BoardWalk Resort Restaurants prepared a delicious dinner at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida as part of the Chef’s Night Series. The team was led by Andrew Larkin, Executive Chef, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and will include Chef Rich Smich, Trattoria al Forno; Chef Paul Napoli, ESPN Club; Chef Tim Majoras, Flying Fish; Pastry Chef Kurtis Baguley, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort restaurants and Sommeliers Katie Hanewall, Trattoria al Forno and Ted Letsch, Flying Fish.

Chef’s Night brings Central Florida’s top chefs into Second Harvest’s Community Kitchen to celebrate delicious food and raise funds for a good cause.  All proceeds benefit Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, which provides students with the skills and inspiration they need to obtain an entry-level position in a food service establishment.

Hor d’oeuvres

Insalata Salad – House-Pulled Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic
Chef Rich Smich, Trattoria al Forno

Spring Gnocchi  – Carrot, Celery, Onion, Pea and Corn.  Loved this dish!  I could have eaten it all night!
Chef Rich Smich, Trattoria al Forno

Ciabatta Rolls with Ricotta Cheese and Herb Oil

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad – Baby Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Ciabatta Bread Crisp
Chef Paul Napoli, ESPN Club


Ocean’s Bounty Sustainable Fish and Sea Salt Dusted Filet Mignon – 
Harvest Vegetable Melange, Leek Fondue and Cassis Red Wine Demi
Chef Tim Majoras, Flying Fish

Vahlrona Chocolate Semolina Torta  – Brachetto Raspberry Crema
Mascarpone Cream Mousse – 
Blueberry Lime Compote, Hibiscus Meringue and Rye Bourbon Caramel
Pastry Chef Kurtis Baguley, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort

Be sure to check out the next out the next Chef’s Night happening on August 30, 2018.  Join the Tasty Trio, three deliciously experienced food and wine experts Tonda Corrente, owner of La Femme Du Fromage, Lisa Wilk, founder of Orlando Uncorked, and Jill Ramsier, co-owner of Quantum Leap Winery for a 4-Course dinner journey where wine, cheese and chocolate confections by Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park are featured in every course.  Tickets available at https://linktr.ee/feedhopenow.

More pictures from the most recent Chef’s Night below:

(Source credit: Second Harvest Food Bank)

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
411 Mercy Drive Orlando, FL
407-514-1070

FeedHopeNow.org

Beets & Burrata – Cherry tomatoes, radish, beech mushrooms, white balsamic

We were invited to Four Seasons Resort Orlando to check out the new menu items at PB&G, short for pool bar & grill.  The restaurant has added several new healthy options, perfect for those who prefer to eat on the cleaner side and/or those who are currently working on their summer bod!

Fruit & Berries – Bourbon vanilla granola, lemon honey Greek yogurt, coconut.  The granola had bourbon vanilla in it and it tasted really great!

Watermelon & Prosciutto – Pressed watermelon, herbed goat cheese, prosciutto, marinated blueberries, arugula

BLTA – Smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, tomato, avocado, parmesan cheese vinaigrette.  This was the best salad that I’ve ever had!  The bacon was perfection. 

Herb-Citrus Shrimp – Grilled pineapple, spinach, baby kale, quinoa, red union, cucumber, feta cheese, red wine vinaigrette

Seared Ahi Tuna – Kale, cabbage, cucumber, jicama, mango, crispy wontons, wasabi ginger cream, sesame vinaigrette

Lobster Roll – Avocado, tomato, remoulade, Hawaiian roll.  The crab is 100% real, 100% delicious!  Omit ketchup and fries to make it healthier.

Chirashi Bowl – Spicy tuna poke, salmon poke, sushi rice, avocado, soy glazed mushrooms, cucumber, edamame, carrot, seaweed salad, spicy mayo

S’mores for dessert!  Because life is all about balance, right?

Kudos to our talented and wonderful chefs!  We really enjoyed our meal.

 

Upcoming Events at Four Seasons Orlando Resort:

Saturday, 06.09
Global Wellness Day
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Enjoy special fitness classes for Global Wellness Day, plus spa treatments and a healthy cooking demo and lunch.

 

Sunday, 06.17
Father’s Day Brunch at Plancha Restaurant
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Three course brunch (appetizer buffet, choice of entree, dessert buffet), bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary for $68 per person.  Dads will receive a choice of a complimentary bourbon or complimentary cigar.

 

Four Seasons Resort Orlando
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard
(407) 313-7777
fourseasons.com/orlando/

We were invited to the Pre-Opening Party for Wine Bar George at Disney Springs; and it was certainly a “magical night”. The rain stopped just in time for the party to begin, and a rainbow appeared. How perfect is that?

Wine Bar George officially opens Saturday, May 19th, and from my experience during the event, I only see a very busy future ahead for George and his amazing crew (I’m booking my babysitter in advance to return soon). George Miliotes, Master Sommelier (one of only 249 in the world), has personally hand-picked every available ounce of wine in the wine bar. Paired perfectly with small bites (such as house-made meatballs, jicama salad, grilled octopus), family-style platters (such as skirt steak and wine braised chicken), charcuterie and artisanal cheese boards, and desserts (olive oil cake and key lime pie).  One dessert is an event in itself: The Chocolate Experience (pairings of wines and chocolates). Plus, other amazing offerings of beer and cider, and specialty cocktails. Presently, Wine Bar George is the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida. George brings a lifetime of wine knowledge and education to his new venture. Practically growing up with a glass of wine in his hand (I like this family), working alongside his father (Chris Miliotes) at a young age in his father’s former restaurant off of John Young Parkway, Chris’ House of Beef, success with California Grill, Seasons 52, and Capital Grille, George Miliotes and Wine Bar George are truly special. George also has an amazing crew working by his side, and from what I saw, working extremely hard. All of them passionate about being an intricate part of Wine Bar George, and it shows with their every gesture and word, so quick to recommend the perfect pairing, and share what they know and love with guests. As if the fantastic staff, wine, and food isn’t enough to love this place, there is also the amazingly beautiful atmosphere of Wine Bar George. Soft lighting, large paneled windows overlooking great views of Disney Springs, oak floors, elements of stone and metal, brick walls, and hints of George’s personal wine collections and treasures, make up the two-story (a bar on both levels) wine bar with plenty of comfy seating. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don’t think my pictures (taken on my iPhone) adequately do the beauty of this place justice. Until you can see for yourself, here’s a sampling of our night at Wine Bar George:

Meeting Chris Miliotes
Meeting George Miliotes

I want Wine Bar George to be my Cheers, where the staff knows my name, I have my very own bar stool in both the upstairs and downstairs bar, and my favorite glass (or glasses) of wine awaits when I enter. This was an event I will never forget and I loved the experience of trying new wines hand-picked by George, eating delicious bites, talking with the amazing staff and fellow foodies, and having the honor of meeting George Miliotes and his father, Chris (both completely modest and easy to talk to). I know you will enjoy Wine Bar George as much as I did…so, plan a visit soon…but, if I find you sitting in my stool at the bar…game on (who am I kidding…I’ll just smile at you and find another spot).

 

Wine Bar George

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/disney-springs/wine-bar-george/

 

Loaded Lobster – 1/2 maine lobster, seafood stuffing, parmesan, breadcrumbs béarnaise sauce

Thank you Orlando magazine for hosting us at deep blu seafood grille at Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek for a delicious 7-course seafood culinary adventure.  We enjoyed diving deep into their new menu and meeting their new head chef, Chef Wade McLamb.

Gazpacho soup

Grilled Florida Peach & Burrata Salad – pickled blueberries, fennel, crispy country ham, honey truffle vinaigrette

Black & blu Linguine – vita squid ink pasta, jumbo lump blu crab, arugula, cherry tomatoes, marcona almonds, parmigiana


Loaded Lobster – 1/2 maine lobster, seafood stuffing, parmesan, breadcrumbs béarnaise sauce

Scalloped potato


George’s Banks Scallops – corn risotto, smoked tomato jam, crispy black eye peas

Red Snapper – local sweet corn succotash, baby herb salad, basil vinaigrette


Ora King Salmon – red quinoa, black eyed pea fritter, cucumber mint crème fraiche

Banana Pudding – Key Lime Pie Pana Cotta, graham shortbread, toasted meringue

Two hardworking chefs, Chef Ryan Cole and Chef Wade McLamb.

deep blu seafood grille at Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek 
14651 Chelonia Pkwy Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 390-2420
deepbluorlando.com

Use promo code “Grand Experience” when making reservations for a free dessert or appetizer with the purchase of two dinner entrees (Limit 1 coupon per 2 adults |Valid 5/1/2018-5/31/2018).

Recognized as the region’s premier food and wine pairing event, the 26th Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala at Walt Disney World Resort featured unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by 23 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines.  The evening also included a sparking wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips. 

This year they served over 460,000 individuals and raised a record-breaking $300,000+ towards the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida.  95 cents of every dollar raised is invested back into the community to fund critical programs.

Chef’s Gala – what a tasteful way to make a difference in the world!

All beverages were generously donated.

All silent auction items were generously donated.

Live performance by an amazing band

Flying Fish – Disney’s BoardWalk: Chef LT Majoras
Cool Water Lobster and Slow Poached Shrimp, Spring Melon, Hearts of Palm, Shaved Serrano and Cava Vinaigrette

SLATE: Chef Jacob Woolf
Smoked Brisket, Jalapeño Creamed Corn, Charred Scallion Vinaigrette and Annatto Oil

Artist Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Chef Michael Gonsalves
Sweet Maiz Soup – Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Spring Radish, Ramp Mole, Greens

Urban Tide – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Chef Jared Gross
Plantain-Crusted Atlantic Cod, Roasted Red Beet and Crème Fraiche Mash, Kumquat Mostarda

Todd English’s bluezoo – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort: Chef Jason Wiggin
Crispy Puffed Rice Shrimp, Wasabi Pommes Puree, Sweet Thai Chili

Shutters – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Chef Mark Donovan
Caribbean Goat Curry with Fragrant Island Rice and Cilantro-Lime Crema

Hemisphere – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Jeffrey Powell
Chilled California-Style White Fish Ceviche with House Fried Corn Chips

Ale & Compass Restaurant – Disney’s  Beach Club Resort: Chef David Hutnick
Slow Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Bacon Jam, Vermont Cheddar Grits, Barbecue Gastrique and Herb Salad

The Turf Club Bar and Grill – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Chef Dan Marozzi
Pan Seared Salmon Slider – Seared Ora King Salmon, Horseradish Pickled Cucumber Slaw, on a Dill Gougère

blu on the avenue: Chef Tony Krueger
Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon, Dukkah Drop Biscuit, Bacon, Pickled Serrano, Aged Maple Syrup, Flowers

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs: Chef Yuhi Fujinaga
Foie “PHO”, Kona Kanpachi, Shiso

Latitude and Longitude – Orlando World Center Marriott: Chef Kyle Anderson
Low-Country Perloo Carolina Gold Rice, Chicken Thighs, Andouille Sausage, Florida Rock Shrimp

The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Chef Craig Schleider
Spicy Togarashi – Crusted Ahi Tuna, House-Made Kimchi, Bamboo Rice and Ginger-Soy Glaze

STK Orlando – Disney Springs: Chef Aaron Taylor
Goat’s Milk Ricotta with Crushed Peas, Mint and Charred Spring Onion

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Mandazi

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Isitambu – Zulu-Style Samp, Beans with Oxtail and Quail Egg

Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Chef Robby Sayles
Blanquette de Veau, Crispy Sweetbreads, Forest Mushroom Ragout and Charred Pearl Onion

Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot®: Chef Kevin Downing
Lamb Loin, Confit Marble Potatoes, Spring Vegetable Vinaigrette and Pinot Noir Syrup

Primo by Melissa Kelly – J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Chef Eric Santiago
House-Made Casarecche Pasta, Lake Meadows Duck Confit, Local Mushrooms, Ramp Pesto and Shaved Pecorino

Bull & Bear – Waldorf Astoria Orlando: Chef Richard Brown
Seared Shrimp Scampi with Pinot Grigio Butter, Black Venus Rice Risotto and Parmesan Cheese

Cinderella’s Royal Table – MAGIC KINGDOM Park: Chef Axel Martinez
Blood Orange Braised Beef Short Rib, Melted Leek and Kohlrabi Puree and Sweetie Drop Peppers

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company: Roast Master Chris DeMezzo
Made-to-Order Specialty Coffees

Amorette’s Patisserie – Disney Springs: Pastry Chef Yoly Lazo Colon
Amorette’s Petite Signature Cake – Chocolate Chiffon, Raspberry Pate Fruit, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Biscuit, Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mousse

Gideon’s Bakehouse: Owner Steve Lewis and Chef Nicole Beebe
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie and Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie

Epcot® Bakery Team: Pastry Chef Noah French
Meyer Lemon Tart with Mandarin Orange Jam

Beautiful and breathtaking fireworks are the perfect way to end an amazing night.  Be sure to check out this amazing event next year!

(Source credit: Chef’s Gala)

Chef’s Gala – Epcot Showplace
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277
ChefsGala.org

0 649

Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort is no spring chicken.  Opening more than two decades ago, Olivia’s may not be the new kid on the block, but this somewhat hidden Disney gem with mouthwatering food will never go out of style.  Words like glamorous or trendy may not be the first to come to mind, be that as it may, the restaurant is a class-act with a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere, a laid-back Florida Keys feel, and filled with staff that make everyone feel at home.  After my recent dinner here, I can’t help but wonder – Why don’t I come here more often?

A Friday night outing with close friends on vacation from New Jersey, during the typical chaos of spring break in Orlando, at the most sought after vacation destination in Florida, can be stressful to say the least.  Layer in five energetic children that have spent a very long, hot day in the park, finding a place that is family-friendly but also appealing to a grown-up’s palate (not that I don’t enjoy Disney’s chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese) was a must for all of our sanity.

In a uniquely Disney way, Olivia’s Café came to the rescue!  After the typical musical chairs that comes with a large group trying to navigate a restaurant table, we take our seats.  The kids are all happily plugged-in to electronic devices (desperate times call for desperate measures), and the first question our cheerful waitress asks – Would anyone care for a drink?  All four adults answer in unison – Yes!!!  I ask the waitress, as a foodie usually does, to please bring me one of their most-popular, signature cocktails, and a few minutes later, she gifts me with a Turtle Krawl.  This sweet, but not too sweet cocktail tricks your senses into believing you’re lying on a white-sand beach, and not watching your son spill his entire glass of soda all over the table.  Pineapple and orange juices blend nicely with the tang of lime juice, while three different rums (because one is never enough) marry together in beautiful coconut rum, spice rum, and white rum harmony.

As the Turtle Krawl works its magic granting peace among us four, the waitress suggests many appealing appetizers, but when she says onion rings from the “secret menu”, that’s it! Onion rings are most often a good pick to begin with, onion rings from a “secret menu”, they have to be even better…and yes, they were amazing!  Crunchy, salty, fried, golden rings with a pop of sweet from the cooked onions.  We ate our “secret menu” onion rings feeling like VIPs.  Well, that was us, until we slowed down enough to look up from our munching to see that several other tables also had them.  The jealously subsided faster than it was felt, most likely because of how delicious these secret menu onion rings are.

When it was time to order our entrees, I perused the menu of several dishes that I imagined were all incredible: Plantation Key Pork Chop, Tortuga Seafood Stew, Seven Mile Sea Scallops.  Finally, after several minutes of waffling, I asked the waitress, yet again, for Olivia’s most popular entree, and she recommended one dish that gets a lot of attention: Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken.  After eating this dish, I can clearly see why this southern jewel is the most popular girl in the class, and not in a mean girl kind of way.  Boneless chicken breast so tender, I envision it marinated in the buttermilk for days, and so delicate I barely used my knife to cut it.  The chicken’s crispy exterior is perfectly complimented by the southern gravy that has a perfect amount of spice and is smooth as silk.  Tender and crunchy chicken, creamy southern gravy, nestled on top of crisp green beans and buttery, smooth mashed potatoes.  Comfort food to the max.

I managed not to eat my entire dinner plate, considering the fact that I wanted to unbutton my jeans, a clear warning sign of when to stop, but…there’s always room for dessert!  Our waitress made the kids’ day with DIY sundaes, and she made my day with Banana Bread Pudding Sundae.  It was so sweet of her to bring my husband an extra spoon to share, and he really did put up a good fight, but that dessert had my name written all over it.  A warm bread pudding with a Bananas Foster topping and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream that slowly melted on top…heavenly!  The bread pudding was moist (sorry, I hate that word too), the bananas foster was syrupy and luscious, and the ice cream was velvety, sweet.  A perfect ending to our dinner.

A successful dinner in the books, I will not let too much time pass without returning to Olivia’s Cafe.  Kids, or no kids, it is a perfect spot for a delicious meal and a serene atmosphere.  A classic Disney resort restaurant, I hope you venture to soon, and if you’ve already been, go again…and order the Turtle Krawl.

Olivia’s Cafe

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

1510 N Cove Rd. Orlando, FL 32830

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/old-key-west-resort/olivia-cafe/

 

 

0 585

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, which runs from February 28-May 28, 2018.

This year, there is a special marketplace called “The Honey Bee-stro” Hosted by National Honey Board. As we all know, the humble honey bee plays an integral part in our ecosystem, helping to pollinate our plants as they go about their day. One of my favorite dishes this year is the Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle from this booth. Not too heavy, but just enough with a nice sweet brittle crunch with the rice.

Here are my other foodie favorites from the festival:

 

Northern Bloom – Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato
La Isla Fresca – Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple
The Honey Beestro – Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle
Smokehouse – Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle

As always, there are also a ton of topiaries to see at the Flower and Garden Festival.

Here are some of our favorite topiaries for 2018:

Here is the menu for all the marketplaces for EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018:

The Berry Basket

Food

Lamb chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique – $7.25,
Field Greens with fresh Strawberries, Crisp Quinoa, Strawberry Vinaigrette and Spiced Pecans (V) – $5.00,
Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Gelato (V) – $4.50,

Beverage

JDub’s Brewing Company Blueberry IPA, Sarasota, FL – $4.25
Island Grove Blueberry Moscato, Hawthorne, FL – $6.00
Twinings® Green Tea Berry Mint Julep – $8.75
Twinings Green Tea Berry Mint Julep (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Northern Bloom

Food

Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF) – $6.50,
Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables – $6.75,
Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato – $4.50,

Beverages

Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky – $11.75
Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic) – $4.50,
Unibroue Maudite Amber Ale, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Unibroue À Tout Le Monde Saison, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Unibroue Éphémère White Ale, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Beer Flight – $11.00

La Isla Fresca

Food

Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro – $6.25,
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce – $6.75,
Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions – $5.25,
Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple – $4.25,

Beverages

Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA – $4.25
Tropical Freeze with Cruzan Mango Rum – $9.50
Tropical Freeze (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Cider House

Food

Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage and Branston Dressing with Pears – $10.50,
House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare – $5.25,
Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries (V) (GF) – $4.25,

Beverages

McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, West Seneca, NY – $4.50
Florida Beer Company Caribé Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL – $4.50
Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI – $4.50
Cider Flight – $10.00
Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, California (Non-alcoholic) – $4.75

The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board

Food

Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle (GF) (V) – $4.50,
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, charred vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Watercress – $5.25,
Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses (V) – $4.75,
Beverages

Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL – $5.00
Orange Blossom Brewing Co. Orange Blossom Pilsner, Orlando, FL – $4.25
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka – $10.25
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Pineapple Promenade

Food

Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips – $7.50,
Pineapple Soft-Serve (V) – $5.00,

Beverages

Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Savannah, GA – $4.25
Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI – $4.25
SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple, Atlanta, GA – $4.25
Pineapple Beer Flight – $9.50
Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL – $11.75
Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Titusville, FL – $4.25
Pineapple Soft-serve with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum – $10.25
Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25,
Pineapple Soft-serve with Fanta (Non-alcoholic) – $5.75,

Jardin de Fiestas

Food

Pork Taco: Slow-braised Pork Taco served with Apple Relish, Goat Cheese and Chile de Árbol Sauce – $6.25,
Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles served with Chorizo, Mexican Cream and Cotija Cheese – $5.95,
Capirotada: Bread Pudding served with Rompope – $4.25,

Beverages

Tiger Lily Sangria – $10.25
Rose Margarita – $11.50
Violet Cassis Punch – $12.25
Daisy Spicy Beer – $6.75

Lotus House

Food

Spicy Meatballs with Crispy Tofu – $5.00,
Fried Chicken Dumplings with Peanut Sauce – $6.25,
Vegetable Spring Rolls (V) – $4.50,

Beverages

Oolong Peach Bubble Tea (Non-alcoholic) – $6.75
Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango and Orange Juice – $8.75
BaiJoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut and Pineapple Juice – $11.00
Plum Wine Cooler – $8.75
Tsingtao Lager – $3.50

Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market

Food

Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (V) – $4.25,
Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions and Herb Sour Cream – $4.50,
Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese – $5.00,
Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries – $4.25,

Beverages

Hugo-Charles De Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint – $9.50
Paulaner Original Munich Lager – $4.50
Ayinger Bräu Weisse Hefeweizen, Munich, Germany – $4.50
Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager – $4.50
Beer Flight – $10.00

Primavera Kitchen

Food

Frittata di Asparagi: Asparagus Frittata, Mixed Greens and Citrus Dressing (GF) (V) – $7.00,
Fritto Misto: Crispy Shrimps, Zucchini and Spicy Sauces – $8.00,
Ravioli: Maine Lobster Ravioli with Vodka Sauce – $12.00
Panna Cotta al Melone: Cantaloupe Panna Cotta (GF) (V) – $5.50,

Beverages

Pinot Grigio – $8.00
Chianti – $8.00
Prosecco – $9.00
Corbinello – $9.00
Moscato – $9.00
Bellini: Sparking Wine and Peach Purée – $10.00
Frozen Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila – $10.00
Moretti Lager L’Autentica – $5.50
Moretti La Rossa – $5.50

The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews

Food

Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw – $6.75,
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle – $7.25,
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños – $6.50,
Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V) – $4.00,

Beverage

Zen of Zin Old Vine, California – $5.25
Central 28 Brewing Company Sunshine Greetings Orange Hibiscus Wheat Ale, DeBary, FL – $4.25
3 Daughters Brewing Phantasmas Spicy Double IPA, St. Petersburg, FL – $4.25
Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout, Clearwater, FL – $4.25
Beer Flight – $9.50
Frozen Lemonade with Firefly Blackberry Moonshine – $11.75
Frozen Lemonade (Non-alcoholic) – $3.50

Hanami

Food

Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side (V) – $5.95,
Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger – $6.50,
Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice (GF) – $6.75,

Beverages

Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail – $6.50
Karatamba “Dry Wave” Sake – $8.00
Sapporo Draft Beer in a Kampai Cup – $4.25

Taste of Marrakesh

Food

Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad – $6.00,
Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili Ranch Sauce – $5.00,
Walnut Honey Baklava – $4.00,

Beverages

Desert Rose: Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur – $8.00
White Sangria – $6.00
Casa Beer – $4.00

Florida Fresh

Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream – $6.50,
Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Stone-ground Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish – $6.75,
Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue – $4.50,

Beverages

Florida Orange Groves Winery Key Lime Sparkling Wine, St Petersburg, FL – $11.75
Tampa Bay Brewing Company Quat Seasonal Fruit Ale – $4.25
Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, Sarasota, FL – $4.25
First Magnitude Brewing Co. Monarch Milk Stout, Gainesville, FL – $4.25
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Tamiami Florida Gin – $11.75
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25
Beer Flight – $9.50

Fleur de Lys

Tarte à la Tomate Provençale: Provencal Tomato Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Pastry Crust (V) – $5.50,
Canard Confit Aux Gnocchi à la Parisienne: Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi – $5.75,
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop (GF) – $4.95,

Beverages

La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75
Kir Pomegranate: Sparkling Wine, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur – $7.95
Cabernet Sauvignon, Village de France – $4.95
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – $4.50

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Carts Specialty Festival Offerings
Beverages

Showcase Coffee Cart: Orange Blossom Twist — Frozen Orange Pineapple topped with Vodka – $9.99
Disney Traders Port of Entry Coffee Cart: Garden of Guava — Frozen Pink Guava topped with Rum or Vodka – $9.99
Future World East: The Final Lap — Iced Tea topped with Frozen Passion Fruit with Vodka – $9.99
The American Adventure: Strawberry Piña Colada — Frozen Piña Colada and Strawberry with Rum – $9.99

 

0 849

We were invited to a media preview of the 2nd annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World.  The month-long festival runs from January 12 – February 19, 2018 and includes an art walk, photo ops, chalk art, culinary offerings, live music, stage performances, art seminars, activities designed with families in mind and so much more.  They’ve rolled everything you love about the arts into one spectacular salute.

Official Festival of the Arts merchandise


These four pins are redemption prizes for the scavenger hunt

Design your own screen printed t-shirt with Enemy Ink

Masterpiece Kitchen
Smoked Salmon Tartare, Caviar, Crisp Lavash and Traditional Accompaniments (delicious!)

Painter’s Palate (Odyssey, Festival Center)
Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts: Whipped Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese with Fresh Herbs (V), Chicken Salad with Shaved Fennel and Fresh Herbs, Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Seaweed Salad (really enjoyed biting into these cronut pairings!)

Gallery Bites: A Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres: Chilled Shrimp with Cucumber Cream Cheese on a Crostini, Traditional Deviled Egg with Candied Bacon, Crispy Truffled Risotto Ball with Truffle Aioli
Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF)(V)

Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF)(V)

Decadent Delights (Promenade)
S’mores Tart: House-smoked Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Marshmallow Meringue, Graham Cracker Dust and Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce

The Destructed Dish
Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped, New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries and Sugar Cookies with Micro-basil (great dessert dish!)

Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings® Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Syrup, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon (non-alcoholic) (caution: this is a sweet one!)

The Artist’s Table
Roasted Pork Roulade with Butternut Squash Purée, Marble Potatoes and Baby Carrots with a Red Wine Sauce featuring Melissa’s Produce

Cuisine Classique
Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc (GF)

Pop Eats
Sous Vide Poulet Rouge Chicken Roulade with Apples and Sage served with Warm Brie Fondue, Blueberry and Beet Gel and garnished with Apple and Beet Chips (GF)

Pop’t Art: Modern-design Sugar Cookie with Strawberry Filling (V)

Sous Chef Daniel Contreras

Disney on Broadway Concert Series preview with Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Massey

Jim, a long-time Disney pianist

Trailblazing Ladies of Disney Animation, Presented by Mindy Johnson, Author of Ink & Paint – The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation

They gifted all of us a copy of Mindy Johnson’s book (retails for $60)

Be sure to check out Epcot International Festival of the Arts soon before it ends on February 19.  You will love it!

(Source credit: Walt Disney World)

Epcot
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277
disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts/

0 896

Don’t walk, run.  Epcot is hosting its inaugural International Festival of Holidays now through December 30th.  It is a great event packed with seasonal food and beverage specialties, festive merchandise, and live entertainment only being offered exclusively during the festival.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of their 11 World Showcase nations.  Enjoy unique food and beverage offerings at the expanded Holiday Kitchens abound – with a festive global tour as costumed performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase!

We toured the new Festive Center which includes the “Cookie Nook” and other festival goodies.  Cookie Nook is the brand new & biggest feature at Odyssey.  Cookie Nook has already sold over 10,000 cookies since it opened last week.

Make your own FREE snowflake ornament at the Festive Center (same building as Cookie Nook) and take it home with you or hang it on the mini Christmas tree.

Lunch time!  All food items for the festival are distinctly different to celebrate different traditional food from different regions.

Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, Germany – Cheese Fondue In a Bread Bowl with Fresh Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes featuring Melissa’s Produce

Yukon Holiday Kitchen, Canada – Seared Salmon with Crown Royal Maple Whiskey Glaze, Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Croquant

Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere with Canadian Ketchup

American Holiday Table – Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce

Feast of Three Kings – Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca and Pickled Green Bananas

Thank you Epcot for the generous goodie bags!

Rockin’ the festive Disney ears with my celebrity friend and Disney expert, Lou Mongello.

The festival includes merchandise that you cannot find anywhere in the world, exclusive to Disney, and some for only this park – like artisan Reinhard Herzog, who creates personalized glass-blown ornaments at the Holiday Market.

Festival gear and exclusive Annual Passholder t-shirt (middle).

Explore the Festival – We encourage you to enjoy some of the cultural entertainment throughout World Showcase at your leisure including:

Sigrid Meets Julenissen The Christmas Gnome (Norway) – Celebrate the season with laugher, as the unsuspecting storyteller Sigrid encounters Julenissen, a magical, mischievous gnome.

El Mariachi Coco de Santa Cecilia (Mexico) – Inspired by the Disney•Pixar film “Coco” and the celebration of Dia de Muertos.

Mostly Kosher (Between Morocco and France) – Capture the joy of Hanukkah and Klezmer music with this unique, high-energy indie band.

Joyful: A Celebration of the Season (Fountain View Stage) – The ‘JOYFUL!’  singers celebrate two holidays of the season— Christmas and Kwanzaa—with spirited, uplifting R&B, Pop and soul-stirring renditions of classic holiday music.

Voices of Liberty (American Adventure Rotunda) – Embrace the spirit of the season with the festive a cappella holiday music of the Dickens Carolers.

Candlelight Processional at America Gardens Theatre – A joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 5-piece orchestra and a glorious massed choir.  The celebrity narrator that evening was actress/comedienne Ana Gasteyer from but not limited to: Saturday Night Live and Mean Girls.

NARRATORS

  • Nov. 24- 26 – Laurie Hernandez – NEW!
  • Nov. 27-28 – Matt Bomer – NEW!
  • Nov. 29 – 30 – Ana Gasteyer
  • Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak – NEW!
  • Dec. 6-8 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 9-11 – Kurt Russell – NEW!
  • Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis – NEW!
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder – NEW!
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson

Festival of the Holidays version of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  The World Showcase Promenade comes alive nightly with the brilliance and splendor of music, lights, lasers, water fountains and custom pyrotechnics.  With the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” at its center, this special musical finale brings the message of peace and goodwill.

I am going to wrap this up like a gift!  Be sure to check out the inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Holidays before it ends on December 30th, you don’t want to miss this!

(Source credit: Walt Disney World)

Epcot
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/holiday-festival/

0 868

We got invited to check out the 8th Annual Food & Wine Classic at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort.  I had the opportunity to work this two-day event back in 2014 (picture above) and it is a great event filled with lots of wine from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes from pastries to pasta.  Food & Wine Classic also offers eleven one-hour educational seminars if you would like to impress friends with your knowledge of wines, cocktails, beer, pasta-making, cheese pairing or the fine art of sushi and sake.  Due to inclement weather, Saturday’s event was moved inside to the resort’s convention room and the organizers did an amazing job with relocating everything just in time for the event.


Taqueria – Pork Carnitas, Organic Vegetables, Cheddar Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Assorted Hot Sauces – Presented by Picabu


Corzetti Stampati, Lamb Bolognese, Roasted Eggplant, Castelvetrano Olives – Presented by Il Mulino


Dragon Roll – Crispy Shrimp, Tuna, Avocado, Japanese Mayonnaise – Presented by Kimonos


Mac & Cheese – White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese, Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Winter Truffle – Presented by Carnival Corner


Thai Chicken Salad, Organic Greens, Green Papaya, Tamarind – Ginger Dressing – Presented by Fresh Mediterranean Market


“Tuna Salad”, Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Yuzu Mayonnaise, Candied Marcona Almonds, Spanish Caper Relish – Presented by bluezoo


Seared Florida Red Snapper, Israeli Cous Cous, Lightly Spiced Lobster Nage, Sous Vide Cipollini Onions – Presented by Garden Grove


Sweet Corn Risotto “Arancini”, Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms, Caper Emulsion – Presented by Cabana Bar and Beach Club


Jäger Schnitzel – Lightly Breaded Pork, Hunters Sauce, Späetzle – Presented by Beer Garden


Riesenbretzel – Warm Pretzel, German Mustard, Obatzda Cheese – Presented by Beer Garden


Bratwurst IM BRöTCHEN Mit Sauerkraut – Patak Bratwurst, Laugen Bread, Housemade Sauerkraut, Potato Salad – Presented by Beer Garden


Oven Roasted Beef Rib Eye, Silky Mashed Potatoes, Sauce Bordelaise – Presented by Shula’s Steak House

Carnival Corner for the kids


Nitro Kettle Corn – Presented by Carnival Corner


Corn Dogs – Presented by Carnival Corner


Funnel Cakes – Presented by Carnival Corner

Brown Butter Maine Lobster Roll Fall Truffle – Presented by Todd English

Southern Pulled Pork Sliders, Apple & Cabbage Slaw, Nashville BBQ, Toasted Sesame Brioche – Presented by The Fountain

Chinatown


Crispy Duck – Steamed Bun, Cucumber, Hoisin


Shanghai Dumpling – Pan Roasted Pork Dumpling, Spicy Sauce


Smoked Spanish Iberico Pork Collar, Celery Root Puree, Toasted Hazelnuts, Fall Truffle – Presented by Cib’s Smoke Shop

Sugar Flower & Vase Art – Presented by Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard


Chocolate Cake Pop – Presented by Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard

Raspberry Ice Cream Filled Profiterole – Hot Chocolate Sauce, Raspberry Whipped Cream & Crisp Pearls – Presented by Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard

Mandarin Comfit – Presented by Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard

Vanilla Caramel Cream – Presented by Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard

Zombie dancers

Live music by Atlantic City Boys

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort     1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd
Orlando, FL 32830
(407) 934-4000  http://swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com

0 795

We were invited to be the first to preview Ravello’s 3-course Magical Dining Month menu and it was by far one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had since I started writing for Tasty Chomps.  I will find any and every reason to visit the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World because I love everything about their property and all of the staff is super friendly and hospitable.  The valet staff are always on point and super welcoming as well.  You can expect a flawless 5-star experience at this resort every time.  I enjoyed trying the Magical Dining menu at Ravello and you can too at a deliciously affordable price.

What is Magical Dining Month?
3-course dinner from a special prix fixe menu
Price: $35 per person
Over 100 + participating restaurants
Beginning August 25 through October 1
This year, $1 of each meal from Magical Dining Month will benefit two charities – Freedom Ride & BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Last year, Magical Dining Month raised over $195,125 for the Russell Home for Atypical Children charity!

Our dinner was scheduled on the same day as the solar eclipse so we got to try a special cocktail called “Eclipse of the Tart”.

At Ravello’s live-action “show kitchen,” savour Modern Italian meals are cooked right before your eyes.
Appetizers

Insalata Mista- trevisana, arugula, lola rossa, moscato vinaigrette

Polpettine – meatballs, mortadella, prosciutto, pomodoro sauce, mascarpone, grilled pan pugliese.  I’m not a fan of meatballs but their meatballs were sooo delicious and I loved them!

Gelato Di Parmigiano – radish, artisan lettuce, cucumber, tomato vinaigrette Parmigiano cheese gelato, taralli crumble

House Made Charcuterie and Cheese Board

Entrèes

House Made Bucatini Amatriciana – guanciale, onion, pomodoro sauce.  This dish was amazing because you can taste how fresh the pasta was.  It was the best pasta I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Chicken Putanessca with Polenta – taggiasca olive, capers

Pesce Spada – swordfish, sale speziato, salmoriglio, roasted potatoes, spinach, pomodorini, laggiasca olives

Desserts

Affogato – vanilla housemade gelato, café Umbrian espresso

Sicillian Cannolis – pistachio, candied orange

 

The following dishes are from the regular menu and they are definitely worth ordering!

Tomato E Mozzarella Focaccia – EVOO, herbs, muffalta. $5

Pizza – buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto cotto, mascarpone, arugula.  Hot and fresh, made in a oven-burning oven.  $16

Umbria Coffee Tiramisu. $5

To book Magical Dining at Ravello, please visit the website below or call (407) 313-6161

Ravello
10100 Dream Tree Blvd
Orlando, FL 32836
http://www.visitorlando.com/magicaldining/restaurants/Ravello/42231/

Last night we got to preview the Magical Dining Month menu at Jiko- The Cooking Place and we were super stoked to be the first ones to experience a Walt Disney World restaurant participating in Magical Dining Month for the first time since Magical Dining Month started 12 years ago.  The additional five participating Walt Disney World restaurants this year are: The Wave, Grand Floridian
Café, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, The Turf Club Bar and Grill, and Olivia’s.

Magical Dining Month
3 courses – Appetizer, Entrèe, and Dessert
Price: $35 per person
Over 100 + participating restaurants
Beginning August 25 through October 1
This year, $1 of each meal from Magical Dining Month will benefit two charities – Freedom Ride & BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Last year, Magical Dining Month raised almost $200,000 for charity!
Click here to view menus and make reservations

During our dinner at Jiko- The Cooking Place, we learned that modern African contemporary cuisine stretches throughout Africa from all over the entire continent.  A lot of African recipes are passed down through word of mouth with no written recipe through generation by generation and even then it has it’s own twist. Over time the dishes has morphed into its own creation.  As always, I love their creativity at Jiko – The Cooking Place and respect their storytelling of the African culture through food, drinks, and decor.

Magical Dining Month items at Jiko- The Cooking Place

Appetizers


Jiko Salads
– Epcot land pavilion greens, stone fruit, pistachio halva, grilled halloumi cheese, apricot ginger dressing

Inguday Tibs in Brik – Mushroom, spinach, cheese in crispy Tunisian filo, apples, curry vinaigrette

Entrèes

Bo Kaap Malay Seafood Curry – calamari, red shrimp, mussels, coconut curry sauce, saffron rice

Botswana-style Seswaa Beef Short Rib – Cassava-potato purée, sambal, baby carrots, and mushrooms

West African Koki Corn – Mushrooms, poblano-tomatillo purée, roasted red pepper sauce

Desserts


Malva Pudding
– Melktart ice cream, kataifi, kanu tuile, Cabernet gelée

Safari Sunset – Carrot cake, cornbread calamansi, and lemon cremeux, Kenyan coffee streusel, citrus gel, valrhona dulcey mousse, candied carrots

At Jiko- The Cooking Place you will discover the culinary magic produced when creative chefs take traditional African dishes and add hints of European, Indian and Asian flavor and flair. The resulting cultural communion is a delectable cuisine we call New African.

To book Magical Dining at Jiko- The Cooking Place, please visit the restaurant website below or call 407-WDW-DINE.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge 2901
Osceola Parkway Orlando, FL 32830
Phone: (407) 939-3463
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom-lodge/jiko-the-cooking-place/

Summer time fun has officially started for many and STK: Orlando is supplying all the flavor to the fun!

STK: Orlando is located in the heart of the revamped Disney Spring’s surrounded by dozens of shops that will work up an appetite or help you work off a big brunch.

We started our “Sunday Funday” with some signature drinks 

On the left we have the Cucumber Stiletto: ketel one citroen, st. germain, muddled cucumber, mint.  Beautifully crafted cocktail that’s light and refreshing. On the right, is a brunch inspired cocktail the Frose: Chilled sparking Rose with a scoop of raspberry sorbet.  A lighthearted drink that gives you a celebratory sensation.

The Hangover Ceviche: Shrimp – mussels – crab – octopus – jalapeños house made clamato. 
Hair of the dog:
Don Julio Silver Tequila $8 / Vidal Mezcal $8 / Belvedere Vodka $8
We were recommended the Vidal Mezcal for the smoky flavors in the liquor that would aid in provoking flavors out of the dish. However, I found the Mezcal in the ceviche a little overpowering and boozy leaving the palate with little flavors to enjoy.

But! The Cinnamon Monkey Bread was a delight! It was fluffy and doughy with the perfect amount of cream cheese icing.

Fried Chicken & Funnel Cake: sriracha honey – lime – burnt onion powdered sugar
A carnival twist on a classic brunch item with a nice touch of spice.

Dry-Aged Delmonico: boneless ribeye – with generous marbling decadent & tender.  We topped the steak off with some truffle butter as well. The steak was done wonderfully and how we had asked for it to be prepared, while not being over seasoned or over cooked.

We didn’t have much room for a hefty dessert so we went with Mini Ice Cream Cone Sampler. It was adorable and helped us cool down from Florida’s Heat.

Overall, STK:Orlando is a very chic and upbeat environment. The staff is also amazing and courteous!

Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Springs, 1580 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
Phone: (407) 917-7440

 

We’ve all heard and seen Planet Hollywood as it was the iconic building at the old Downtown Disney. Well, along with Disney’s revamping to Disney Springs, Planet Hollywood is also new and improved. Planet Hollywood Observatory offers a new dining experience altogether with a fun and spunky environment to match their menu creations from Guy Fiery.

We began with this impressive ferris wheel of appetizers. The High Roller Platter (34.99)  is meant to be shareable for four people offering a varieties of bites that includes the Famous Chicken Crunch, Texas Tostadas,  Buffalo Wings, Five Cheese Dip, and Peri-Peri Shrimp. 

The entrees came rolling in soon after starting with the L.A Lasagna (19.99) which was definitely a twist to the traditional lasagna dish. A tube of pasta stuffed with ricotta and bolognese meat sauce then lightly fried to a golden brown and then topped with roasted garlic cream & tomato basil sauce.

BBQ Ribs (29.99) was next. Plated on the cutest miniature picnic table with a baby bucket of fries. The ribs are slow cooked St.Louis Style smothered in BBQ sauce.

The Turkey Pic-A-Nic (16.99) reminded me of thanksgivings in a sandwich with the roasted turkey breast and cranberry relish. The kettle chips in the middle provided a nice texture separations between the layers of flavors all inside a garlic-buttered pretzel bun.

Guy’s award wining burger Bacon Mac-N-Cheese (18.99)  also winner of NYC Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash! Was a monster of a burger containing Applewood smoked bacon, 6 cheese mac-n-cheese, onion straws, Donkey Sauce all in between buttered brioche buns.

Next would probably be the kid’s favorite items on the menu

Chocolate Comet (14)  Classic chocolate milkshake that’s overtopped with chocolate goodies like double chocolate brownies, frosting, candies, and a cookie straw. A chocolate Coma all in one.

This unicorn milkshake is The Strawberry Big Bang (14). There’s an entire slice of a birthday cake that’s hanging on top of a the classic hand spun strawberry milkshake! Then it’s doused in magical sprinkles and chocolate chips.

Planet Hollywood Observatory offers a fun and exciting way to dine with the whole family involved and both nostalgic and current.

Planet Hollywood Observatory

Address: 1506 East Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32836

0 1480

Celebrating 24 years when it kicks off March 1, 2017, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will jump-start spring with blooms aplenty and gardens of edibles including toothsome morsels from the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens.

A new, next-generation Belle topiary from “Beauty and the Beast” will debut in France, and a redesigned “Cars” play garden will introduce a colorful new character topiary sure to capture children’s imaginations.

The 90-day festival, open March 1-May 29, will feature an irresistible array of new gardens and character topiaries, popular entertainers and tasty food and drink offerings:

Fresh, farm-market food and beverage flavors will debut at the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens that will join 13 returning Outdoor Kitchens. Delectable chef-inspired bites from Northern Bloom include Seared Scallops with French Green Beans and Butter Potatoes with brown-butter vinaigrette and Applewood smoked bacon. A Maple Popcorn Shake for sipping can become an adult libation with the addition of some Crown Royal Maple Whiskey. At The Berry Basket, the Lamb Chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique can pair with the new Founders Raubeaus Pure Raspberry Ale.

Chef Gregg Hannon

One of the popular Outdoor Kitchen gardens, Urban Farm Eats, will return with savory bites, sweet treats and ideas for planting produce that can inspire growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow their own edibles.

“A lot of people, including young children, are serious foodies now, and they have lots of questions about gardening,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “We’re getting more and more people in their 20s and 30s asking, ‘How can I grow this?’ I think we’ll be creating more gardeners because people can see what’s possible.”

The festival, including all gardening programs, exhibits, concerts, complimentary English Tea Garden tours and special appearances, is included in regular Epcot admission.

For more information about the 24th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.epcotinspring.com.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

0 2483

Flying Fish restaurant on Disney’s Boardwalk recently underwent massive interior renovations as well as a reboot of their menu. Gone from Flying Fish is the “cafe” part of the name, welcoming in a new, more sophisticated setting that does justice to the quality of cuisine, focused on sustainable seafood.

SONY DSC
New Look Inside Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Gone, too, are the golden fish and golden columns that brought a touch of boardwalk carnival feel to the old Flying Fish Cafe – the interior features an all-new silver-accented kitchen and dining room (with expanded space for private dining events) with silver, shimmering chandeliers – providing a very modern and upscale dining experience. Guests can still watch the chefs prepare dishes in the open kitchen, and sit at the kitchen counter to watch the action up close if desired.

Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Chef Tim Majoras, who has been with the Flying Fish culinary team since 2011, takes the over the helm in the kitchen from our friend Chef Tim Keating, bringing his take on a whole new menu to delight the palate and senses.

Chef Tim Majoras of Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Chef Tim Majoras of Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

We were invited recently for a media dinner at Flying Fish to get the latest updates to the menu and the interior decor.

The table’s bread is baked locally with little slivers of nori seaweed inside – a touch of the sea here, too – giving the bread a wonderful umami savory flavor. The bread features the telltale signature crusts from Orlando’s Olde Hearth Bakery. I could not stop at just one piece, despite my better judgement.

Nori bread at Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk - made by Olde Hearth Bakery
Nori bread at Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk – made by local Orlando Olde Hearth Bakery
Blue Crab Bisque - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Blue Crab Bisque – Jumbo Lump Crab, Melted Leeks, Aged Sherry, Tarragon Crème Fraîche – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

The stacked seared yellow fin tuna with compressed watermelon is a work of art – served with thinly sliced avocado, pink radishes, and pickled daikon radish and edible flowers. It tastes even better than it looks.

Compressed Tuna and Watermelon - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Flying Fish’s Yellowfin Tuna – Compressed Watermelon, Citrus Espelette, Black Cyprus Sea Salt, Avocado
Peaches and Prosciutto - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Peaches and Prosciutto – Sicilian Pistachio Dust, Vero Beach Arugula, Sonoma Chevre – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Another great starter is the Kurobuta pork belly featuring the finest Berkshire pork topped with a shirred quail egg and stacked with a taste of apple slaw and bing cherry gastrique.

Kurabuta Pork Belly - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Kurobuta Pork Belly – Shank Croquette, Royal Gala Apple Slaw, Bing Cherry Gastrique, Shirred Quail Egg – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk
Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Corn Encrusted Wild Gulf Shrimp – Spiced Hearts of Palm, Orange Supremes, Piquant Aioli – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

The newly renovated Flying Fish also now offers an expanded space for wine storage for their extensive wine list, including 80 wines available by the glass.

For my entree, I chose the Wood-fired Spanish Octopus and Chilean Seabass served with Bomba Arroz, Peruvian Sweet Peppers, and Housemade Chorizo. The octopus was cooked to perfection and paired nicely with the seabass and bomba arroz.

Bomba arroz is short-grain variety of rice commonly used in paella and other dishes in Valencian Spanish cuisine. The rice had a wonderful depth of flavor that had me licking my lips at the end of the meal.

Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Wood-fired Spanish Octopus and Chilean Seabass served with Bomba Arroz, Peruvian Sweet Peppers, and Housemade Chorizo- Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

I was able to sample my friend’s Lobster Nero pasta – nero pasta, or black pasta, is traditionally made from scorched or burnt kernels of wheat. It tastes wonderful.

Maine Lobster Nero Pasta - Golden Tomato Sauce, Young Artichokes, Micro Lemon Grass
Maine Lobster Nero Pasta – Golden Tomato Sauce, Young Artichokes, Micro Lemon Grass
Bison Strip Loin - Ancient Grains, Salsify, Cipollini Onions, Haricot Verts, Sun-dried Tomato-Choron Sauce
Bison Strip Loin – Ancient Grains, Salsify, Cipollini Onions, Haricot Verts, Sun-dried Tomato-Choron Sauce
Plancha-seared Hokkaido Scallops - Antebellum Grits, Brentwood Sweet Corn, Peppadew Emulsion
Plancha-seared Hokkaido Scallops – Antebellum Grits, Brentwood Sweet Corn, Peppadew Emulsion
Wagyu Filet Mignon Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco, Bordelaise Sauce
Wagyu Filet Mignon
Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco, Bordelaise Sauce
Wild Alaskan King Salmon - Pancetta-Ivory Lentils, Wilted Varietal Kale, Meyer Lemon, Garden Vinaigrette
Wild Alaskan King Salmon – Pancetta-Ivory Lentils, Wilted Varietal Kale, Meyer Lemon, Garden Vinaigrette

Dessert is stunning – a work of art – The Under the Sea and Florida Reef desserts are shaped like little pieces of the ocean seafloor, and are all quite delectable. The pastry team at The Flying Fish is top rate and you can tell in their craftsmanship and in the balance of sweetness in their desserts.

Under the Sea - Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef - lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea – Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef – lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea - Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef - lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea – Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef – lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Flying Fish at Disney's BoardWalk
Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk

Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk
Hours: 5-10 p.m. daily

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/boardwalk/flying-fish/

0 1706
Skipper Canteen

Located in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park, the newly opened Jungle Skipper Canteen features a menu full of Asian, South American and African cuisine inspired by the flavors of the rivers found on the nearby Jungle Cruise attraction.

SONY DSC

This new 222-seat table-service restaurant is staffed by the wise-cracking crew of the Jungle Cruise and is open for lunch and dinner. The staff is full of “colorful” jokes and puns that they bring to the experience – it definitely makes dinner a bit more interesting.

The theme is based on the story of Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. owner Alberta Falls (granddaughter of the company’s founder Dr. Albert Falls – who fans will recognize from the quips about the waterfall on their Jungle Cruise journey), who opened the doors to their home base of operations to hungry explorers.

There are three different themed dining rooms: The Mess Hall, a large multipurpose space used by the skippers for decades; The Jungle Room, a parlor featuring treasures from the Falls family’s personal collection; and The S.E.A. Room, a secret space once hidden by a false bookshelf that served as the meeting place of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.).

Begin your culinary cruise with the delicious house-made arepas, an Amazon-inspired appetizer made with ground maiz, slow-cooked beef, black beans, fried plantain slices and queso fresco.

Entrees include a rice noodle bowl of pho broth served with choice of chicken, duck breast or tofu and served with jalapenos and mix of fresh herbs; Trader Sam’s Head-on Shrimp with sustainable, local farm-raised shrimp tossed in a chili-garlic sauce and served with Chinese broccoli and five-grain or white rice; and house-made arepas with slow-cooked beef, black beans, tostones and queso fresco.

There’s also Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak, with strip loin marinated in sofrito and served with house-made chimichurri, avocado and yuca planks.

Menu items for children include delectable dishes such as Junior Skip’s Special Mac and Cheese, which is inspired by an Egyptian dish with ground beef, pasta, Bechamel Sauce and house-made cheese gratin, served with broccoli; and Amazon Annie’s House-made Arepas with beef, black beans and queso fresco served with yuca planks.

For dessert, there’s a special kids volcano with gooey chocolate cake overflowing with caramel lava and exploding chocolate rocks.

Guests can choose from two non-alcoholic specialties, the Punch Line Punch with tropical fruit juice and mango puree (also available with a savory spiced-rim); and the Schweitzer Slush, with frozen apple juice and passion fruit topped with bursting green apple boba balls.

Both of the special ‘mocktails’ also can be ordered in a souvenir mug.

Appetizers

Shiriki Noodle Salad
Shiriki Noodle Salad

Shiriki Noodle Salad
Rice Noodles, Edamame Beans, Mushrooms, Green Mango, and Cucumber tossed with a Sweet Chili Sauce. Famously served at Hotel Hightower on December 31, 1899

S.E.A. Shu Mai
S.E.A. Shu Mai

S.E.A. Shu Mai
A Legendary blend of Pork, Shrimp, Edamame Beans, and Spices wrapped in Gyoza Skin then steamed

Falls Family Falafel
Falls Family Falafel

Falls Family Falafel
A secret recipe of of Chickpeas, Garlic, Onions, Lemon Juice, and Herbs served with White Bean Dip and Tomato-Cucumber Salad

House-made Arepas
House-made Arepas

House-made Arepas
A trip down the Amazon with Slow-cooked Beef, Black Beans, Tostones, and Queso Fresco
Entrées

Dr. Falls' Signature Grilled Steak
Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak

Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak
Strip Loin Asado marinated in Sofrito and served with Yuca Planks, Avocado Salsa, and House-made Chimichurri

 

Trader Sam's Head-on Shrimp
Trader Sam’s Head-on Shrimp

Trader Sam’s Head-on Shrimp
Sustainable Local Farm-raised Shrimp tossed in a Chili-Garlic Sauce and served with Chinese Broccoli and choice of Five-grain on White Rice

Grilled Lamb Chops
Grilled Lamb Chops

Grilled Lamb Chops
Seasoned with a North African Berber Spice Blend served with Green Lentil Stew

Sustainable Fish
Sustainable Fish

Sustainable Fish
“Not Piranha,” served over Chinese Broccoli, Carrots, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Red Bell Peppers in a fragrant Lemon Grass Broth

Skip's Beefy Baked Pasta
Skip’s Beefy Baked Pasta

 

Skip’s Beefy Baked Pasta
Egyptian-inspired dish of Spiced Braised Beef, Pasta, and Béchamel Sauce served with Seasonal Vegetables
Dessert

 

SONY DSC

Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream
Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Coconut and Lime-White Chocolate Ganache

Kungaloosh!
An African-inspired Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Bananas served with Cashew-Caramel Ice Cream topped with Coffee Dust

Chef's Spotlight

0 1918
“The world of sweets is for everybody. No matter your taste, you can always find something on the dessert menu that will make you...

Featured Articles

0 283
Absolutely outstanding experience last night at Tapa Toro. Chef Frank Galeano, who is set to take on the executive chef position at Tapa Toro on...