Review: Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic — Beer Garden, Chinatown, Carnival Corner

The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is about to kick off this weekend! The 8th annual Classic takes place on October 27th and 28th, and we’ve told you all about what you can expect from The Causeway – that’s the main area of the Classic where food booths extend as far as the eye can see. The food! The drinks! The unlimited snacking (depending on your ticket)! We look forward to it every year.

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

But there are a few special areas of the Classic that are a little off the beaten…causeway. The Beer Garden, Chinatown, and Carnival Corner are fun additions to the event! And while The Beer Garden requires an add-on to your Causeway Ticket, Chinatown and Carnival Corner are included at no extra charge!

Ticket holders for the event will enjoy the activities on Friday, October 27, and/or Saturday, October 28, 2017, from 5:30PM to 9PM. As in the past, there are several ticket options, which you can find on the event website. The Causeway Ticket provides unlimited access to food and drinks along the Causeway between the two resorts. The Causeway Ticket and Beer Garden ticket allows access to the unlimited Causeway offerings as well as the Beer Garden. There are also a la carte ticketstickets for seminars, and a Sunday Bubbles Brunch.

Click here for Full Causeway Menus

Click here for Full Seminar Details

But first, here’s why you might want to tack on that Beer Garden option…

The Beer Garden

This area is a ticket add-on costing attendees an extra $25. Located under the cover of trees on Crescent Terrace, The Beer Garden also offers up extra food in addition to the Garden’s several local and seasonal beer varieties and one or more hard ciders. Guests also get a souvenir plastic glass.

The Beer Garden

The Beer Garden

The 2016 Beer Garden offered Maeloc Ciders in a few variations.

Craft Ciders in The Beer Garden

Craft Ciders in The Beer Garden

And what’s a decent beer garden without golden, doughy pretzels with copious amounts of mustard?!

The Beer Garden -- Beer and Soft Pretzel

The Beer Garden — Beer and Soft Pretzel

The offerings go on from there, including lots of upscale — but not stuffy! — bar food.

Terrace Beer Garden Seating

Terrace Beer Garden Seating

It’s a beautiful place to escape the crowds on the Causeway, and if you’re making an evening of the classic and/or you’re a brew fan, the extra $25 is worth the cost for some dedicated seating and access to some unique beers.

Chinatown

The Chinatown area of the Classic is included with the Causeway Ticket, and while its offerings in 2016 were a little slim, we’re still looking forward to checking out this year’s Crispy Duck on a Steamed Bun. Here’s a bit of the setup from 2016…

This Way to Chinatown

This Way to Chinatown

The lighting created a lovely transition to the Chinatown area, and overall this section of the classic was themed really well!

Path to Chinatown

Path to Chinatown

We also got to check out the chefs working on stage to create the Duck Bao.

Chinatown Kiosk

Chinatown Kiosk

Several prepared Peking Ducks were on display, while piles of duck awaited their place in the bao buns.

Peking Duck

Peking Duck

Lighting -- Bad. Food -- Delish. Peking Duck and Bao

Lighting — Bad. Food — Great. Peking Duck and Bao

Chinatown is expanding its offerings in 2017 by one: Shanghai Dumplings. But even if it was just for that incredible duck and the fun themeing, it would still be worth a visit to Chinatown!

Carnival Corner

Carnival Corner is also included in the price of the Causeway Ticket, and last year the Corner featured extra food “trucks” (trailers, actually) and some cute carnival decor and games.

Carnival Corner

Carnival Corner

Last year we enjoyed the Cabot Mac and Cheese Bar. It’s not slated to return in 2017 (sigh), but a foodie can dream, right?

So. Much. Mac and Cheese.

Cabot Mac and Cheese Stand

Cabot's Mac and Cheese Bar

Cabot’s Mac and Cheese Bar

In 2017, Nitro Kettle Corn will return. Last year’s version was popcorn with caramel foam, sea salt, and honey roasted peanuts.

Kettle Corn Description

Kettle Corn Description

It’s just plain fun to watch it come together with all those swirls of liquid nitrogen.

Carnival Corner Nitro Kettle Corn

Carnival Corner Nitro Kettle Corn

The final presentation in the cones was also a fun, festive touch.

Nitro Kettle Corn

Nitro Kettle Corn

Carnival Corner 2017 is expected to include corn dogs and funnel cakes! Sounds like a must-do to me if you’re attending the Classic!

Sunday Bubbles Brunch

Before we leave (don’t worry, we’ll be back mid-week with an actual menu preview — pictures and everything! — of this year’s Classic!!!!), just a reminder that guests looking to extend their Classic experience all weekend long can add on the Sunday Bubbles Brunch! The Brunch features J Vineyards and Winery at Il Mulino. The menu includes traditional and innovative dishes with cured meats and imported cheeses, and certainly can’t be a bad way to wrap up a weekend.

Now, here’s an important update for the weekend: according to the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic website, Saturday Causeway tickets have sold out. But, you can still check out the site to find tickets for Friday, or maybe even book one of the Classic Seminars.

Click here for Full Causeway Menus

Click here for Full Seminar Details

Don’t forget to check out these awesome options if you’re joining your fellow foodies at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

What are you most excited to try at the Classic this year? Tell us in the comments! 

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