It’s almost time! The Fifth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is just around the corner!
This event, which takes place concurrently with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a fantastic evening for food and wine lovers.
This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 31 (yep! Halloween!) and Saturday, November 1. The two-day event consists of food and beverage tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening. And new for 2014, a Beer Garden experience has been added for even more great food and drink.
Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.
We’ve enjoyed the event every year since it began, and 2013 was no exception! We thought a look back at last year’s event was the perfect way to get excited about what’s in store for 2014. Let’s head out to the Causeway for a delicious evening.
Whether you’re staying at the Swan and Dolphin or you’re arriving from another location, head to the Promenade that connects the two resorts — that’s where the evening’s festivities will take place. We stopped by the Will Call Booth to pick up tickets.
As far as admission goes, you have options. Purchase an all-access ticket, and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pass to the booths. If you prefer, you can choose a la carte tickets instead, which are sold in books of 25.
The Check In Table provided us with handy plates and plastic wine glasses.
These would come in handy as we juggled plates and drinks on the Causeway.
Booths line the walkway leading from the Swan to the Dolphin as well as the path directly behind the Swan. There’s a lot to take in!
Hi-Top tables are scattered throughout the middle of the Causeway. You’ll also find large tables with chairs off to the side directly behind the Swan.
At the end of the Causeway closest to the Dolphin, a stage is set up for musical performance. While you sip and stroll, you can listen to live tunes!
In addition to the food and beverage booths, last year’s Classic featured a large retail outlet. Here, guests could purchase bottles of the wine we sampled.
There was also an assortment of logo wear and a few food items.
It is a food and wine event, so expect to see lots of wine-themed merch here, like corkscrews and wine glasses.
In 2013, the Food and Wine Classic also had an emphasis on Breast Cancer Awareness, so there were a few retail items with the pink ribbon logo as well.
And of course — wine! Like a particular bottle? Conveniently, you can find it for purchase so that you can enjoy it at home!
One of the most popular booths, Cib’s Smoke Shop, also had a few barbecue sauces and rubs available for purchase.
Soon, it was time to take up our plates and glasses and get started! Time to check out the spread.
Navigating the sea of white-tented booths is best done with a map! My recommendation? Get your bearings by taking a look at what’s available before you strike out. And pace yourself!
Beverages and Drink Pink
To begin, there is a LOT of wine at this event. I mean a LOT. In 2013, there were 35 different booths, mostly comprised of wine. We tasted wines from all over California, Oregon, and Washington. The international wine community was well represented too, with booths highlighting wines from Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain.
I had to snap a few pictures of my favorites!
In addition, there was a booth featuring Ty Ku Sake.
Beer lovers will want to head straight to the Beer, Please! booth, where a number of different craft beers are featured.
In 2014, the Food and Wine Classic has added a Beer Garden to its offerings. For an additional fee, enjoy access to Crescent Terrace, where more beer will be featured alongside freshly prepared food items, like German-style sausages and soft pretzels!
In 2013, this area was “pinked out” in recognition of breast cancer awareness, and to celebrate those who have battled the disease.
On offer were several rose wines to sample.
After a quick tour of the beverage booths, it was time to start sampling some food!
Kimono’s offers some of the best sushi available at Disney! It’s a fun spot for karaoke as well.
The Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna Roll on offer was fresh and delicious.
Cib’s Smoke Shop
Cib’s Smoke Shop is the handiwork of the Swan and Dolphin’s Executive Chef, Robert Ciborowski. Lines get long here for smokehouse specialties, handcrafted by Chef Ciborowski’s staff just for this event.
We tried the Handcrafted Bacon, Black Eyed Pea Puree, Maple Fluid Gel, and it was outstanding!
Fresh Mediterranean Market
Fresh offers quick casual dining with market fresh flavors inspired by the cuisine of the Mediterranean.
Their Blackened Fish Sandwich was served with Butter Lettuce, Tomato, Caramelized Onion, and was topped with a tasty Old Bay Remoulade.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, Garden Grove is your spot to enjoy Disney character dining at the Swan and Dolphin.
For the Classic, they served up what was possibly my most favorite dish of the evening — a fun riff on Fish and Chips!
The dish came together with Beer-Battered Sustainable Bass; and in place of thick cut, fry-style chips, they served it with Vinegar Potato Chips.
So good! I am STILL thinking of this one, and I’m so excited to see that it’s back in 2014!
bluezoo is the brainchild of Celebrity Chef Todd English, and focuses on coastal cuisine and fresh seafood.
One of our favorite dishes on their menu is Shrimp and Grits. They reproduce the dish here on a smaller scale, and pair it with Pickled Okra and Organic Tomatoes.
Paired with a glass of Chardonnay and some Jazz — it was great!
Picabu is truly a hidden gem among Disney area eateries. No matter what time you’re working up an appetite, you’ll find this spot serving — it’s open 24/7!
The booth at the Classic featured a Taqueria for everyone — Corn Tortillas stuffed with your choice of Barbacoa of Beef, Braised Pork, or Organic Veggies.
After you choose your tacos, spend a little time at the garnish table, topping them with extra veggies, cheese, and an endless array of hot sauces!
I wanted to go back for seconds…and thirds.
During our evening at the Classic, they were offering a classic Lamb Gyro that featured Braised Lamb on a Toasted Pita with Tzatziki Sauce. The ingredients were fresh and it was the perfect three bites — enough to taste without filling up on it.
Il Mulino offers guests delicious Italian dishes in an upscale atmosphere. It’s always fun to see what they bring to the Classic.
This time around, it was a delicious Ravioli with a buttery Yukon Gold Potato Filling garnished with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Truffle, and Charred Onions. It was a nice departure from traditional ravioli offerings.
As Chef and Owner of bluezoo, Celebrity Chef Todd English has had a presence at the Classic for the last several years, and he continued the tradition in 2013. In addition to the fun food at the bluezoo booth, we could also taste a few additional dishes crafted at the Todd English booth.
Guests could choose from a Tuna Tartare dish (sadly, no picture of this one), or go with something even more exotic — an Oyster Shooter topped with Huckleberry Champagne Vinegar. The briny flavors of the oyster paired really nicely with the fruit and acid of the vinegar.
Chef English also offered a Rock Shrimp Taco, garnished with Huckleberry Foam. I thought the handmade Corn Tortillas made the dish really special.
Cabana Bar and Beach Club
Cabana Bar and Beach Club was one of the few booths offering a vegetarian option.
The Vegetarian Bao was a steamed bun with crisp tender Vegetables and a savory sauce.
While it wasn’t my favorite dish of the evening, I appreciated the attempt to offer something lighter; and it was really fun, watching the staff pull the buns out of bamboo steamers set up in woks right there.
Shula’s Steakhouse is one of the best spots in all of Disney when you’re craving a steak. We’ve enjoyed meals here many times, and we always have a great experience. So it will come as no suprise that this booth always draws a big crowd.
You can nearly always bank on a “meat and potatoes” pairing here. Last year, it was Carved Prime Rib, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Horseradish Creme Fraiche. Really, how could you go wrong??
Pastries by Chef Laurent Branlard
If you’re after something sweet, head to the Pastry Booth, which showcases the talents of the Swan and Dolphin’s Executive Pastry Chef, Laurent Branlard, and his team.
In 2013, Chef Branlard added an unexpected surprise to the assortment of pastries — Ice Cream Panini Sandwiches!
The hot-meets-cold treat came in two flavors — Vanilla or Chocolate with Hazelnut Crunch and Raspberry Coulis. They were marvelous!
In addition to the sandwiches, guests could choose from an assortment of incredible sweets. Of course, I had to sample all three!
The BLA Shot Glass consisted Blueberry Compote, Lemon Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta, and Almond Pound Cake. I love the combo of blueberries and lemon, so this was a hit for me.
Next, we sampled the Dome, a combo of Milk Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Cream Center, a Hazelnut Dacquoise Sponge, and Milk Chocolate Glaze.
Finally, guests could also choose a Raspberry S’more. The beautiful two-bite dessert included Raspberry Marshmallow, Raspberry Compote, and White Chocolate Cream on a Cinnamon Sable Dough. So interesting!
Strolling the Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is a fantastic way to spend a fall evening in Florida! With food from every Swan and Dolphin restaurant, the sheer variety of flavors that you can sample is astounding. And with so many wines, plus beer and sake, to choose from, there’s definitely something for everyone!
Come for the Causeway only, add a Beer Garden experience, or book a food or beverage seminar for even more food fun!
Book Your Tickets Now!
Book your stay, causeway tickets, and seminar tickets now before your favorites sell out! Contact the Swan and Dolphin at 888-828-8850!
One Night Room and Event
Includes 1-night room accommodations for 2 adults and 2 causeway event passes at check in to enjoy unlimited food and wine tastings and entertainment offered on the causeway. Seminar tickets and Beer Garden tickets may be added for an additional fee.
Two Night Room and Event
Includes 2-night room accommodations for 2 adults and 2 causeway event passes for each night at check in to enjoy unlimited food and wine tastings and entertainment offered on the causeway. Seminar tickets and Beer Garden tickets may be added for an additional fee.
Are you looking forward to the 2014 Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic at the Swan and Dolphin Resort? Leave a comment and let us know!