The Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola – Orlando is going all weekend long from Saturday, February 21, 2015 (noon to 9 p.m.) to Sunday, February 22, 2015 (noon to 7 p.m.).

The festival features “mouth-watering dishes from 30 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, domestic and international wines, and live entertainment.”

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It’s like a mini Epcot Food and Wine Festival with a local Orlando flair – there’s an admission price as well as food tickets to purchase.

And the food was wonderful – from veal meatballs and cannoli gelato cones from Primo at JW Marriott to the cajun bratwurst from Hollerbach’s Willow tree – the quality that I encountered today was just excellent.

It’s all in all a great idea for family and friends to check out and get a taste of local Orlando flavor.

Visit www.DowntownFoodandWineFest.com for more details.

Exclusive Restaurant News

Some interesting restaurant news, while talking to a few of the owners, chefs, and managers at the festival this weekend:

Hawkers Asian Street Fare is poised to open their newest restaurant soon in the St. Pete / Tampa area
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is looking to expand not only in Orlando but also possibly the St. Pete area as well in the coming months
The Smiling Bison’s stolen food cart had been “found” at a “junkyard”. The owner of the junkyard turned it in as well as a few other stolen items after the police came by. No charges filed due to lack of evidence.
– Chef Alexia Gawlak has left her position at Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott to team up with her husband Chef Rhys Gawlak of Cask and Larder to head the new Swine and Sons Provisions project from the Ravenous Pig team, soon to open, overseeing “Swine & Sons Provisions’ delectable pastry and dessert items.”

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The Fest is presented and produced by CBS RADIO, led by Orlando favorites MIX 105.1, 1059 SUNNY FM, and 1019 AMP Radio in partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

General Admission – Online tickets are $15 per person per day presale only. Food & Beverage tickets sold separately inside the event. Tickets at the door are $20 per person per day. Food & Beverage tickets sold separately inside the event. Wine Tasters Club Lanyard + General Admission: $30 for (5) 2 oz fine wine samples. Children 12 and under are FREE.

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Restaurants featured include:

The Smiling Bison
Hollerbach’s Willow Tree
Siro at World Center Marriott
Primo at JW Marriott
Marlow’s Tavern
Old Hickory Steakhouse at Gaylord Palms
The Knife
Hawkers
Sushi House
Kobe Steakhouse
The Pub at Pointe Orlando
Shari Sushi
Morton’s Steakhouse
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
Christner’s Prime Steak and Lobster
and more

Check out our video from day 1: