News! 2014 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Seminars

Back by popular demand, The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers even more great food and drink for Disney fans!

This event is always amazing and very well done. We can’t wait to go again this year!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Seminars begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway is open from 5:30-9:00 p.m.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This year’s event continues the tradition of fun and informative food and beverage seminars that focus on wine, cocktails, sake, beer, pasta-making, and more. The seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last for approximately 60-90 minutes.

At 5:30, the Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin comes alive as the staff of the Resort’s award-winning restaurants host tasting booths. In addition, there is live entertainment as you sample and stroll around the beautiful grounds!

Wine Seminar at the 2012 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

You can see details on all of the 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars here!

And new for this year, the Classic is adding a Cheese seminar!

Seminars this year include:

Causeway Tasting Booths with Optional Beer Garden Upgrade!

The Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts will have tons of great offerings again this year. And we can’t wait to see the menus! We’ll be back soon with full details for you!

Want a little more than just the standard tasting experience? Upgrade to the [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: The Chocolate Dinner!

How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish I could eat CHOCOLATE for dinner!!!!” I know. TONS, right? Well the dream has finally come true! And it happened at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

This year, a brand new signature dining experience kicked off the festival during opening weekend. The Chocolate Dinner, hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate, promised to be a sumptuous experience for the discriminating chocolate lover.

The dinner consisted of a reception, followed by six plated courses, presented by the Disney chefs who created them.

Let’s head over to Epcot’s World Showplace Event Pavilion for a look at this decadent event!

Reception

Ever wonder what’s behind those enormous brown doors between the Canada and UK Pavilions within Epcot’s World Showcase? You might, if you’ve never attended an event at the World Showplace Pavilion. But if you look closely at your Epcot map, you’ll see it there.

That was the setting for the evening’s event, and the sign above the beautiful awning announced it in style.

Chocolate Dinner Sign

Pan back a bit, and you can see the main entrance to the building. A reception preceding the plated dinner took place in the World Showplace courtyard, to the left of the main entrance.

World Showplace Entrance to the Chocolate Dinner

As we entered through the massive brown wooden doors, a team of servers greeted us with beverages. Guests could choose from Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Martinis, or Sparkling Wine. The drinks disappeared quickly every time the staff came out with another tray of them!

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Chocolate Martini

While guests sipped on their cocktails, beer, and wine, teams of cast members passed trays of [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Parisian Breakfast at Les Chefs de France

It’s time to head back to one of my most favorite spots in all of Epcot’s World Showcase — Les Chefs de France!

Even though I’m happy to dine at this bistro anytime of the year, today we’re bringing you a review of a brand new special event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — the Parisian Breakfast.

When this new event was announced for this year’s festival, I jumped at the chance to add it to my busy opening weekend schedule! It’s one of the lower-priced special events available, and I’m always looking for a value.

As a special bonus, the event took place before most of World Showcase was fully opened. I always love it when I can have any part of the park (mostly) all to myself. :-)

Atmosphere

The Parisian atmosphere of Les Chefs shines through at this new breakfast special event.

Seating and Setting the Table

After all, if  you look at the pic below, it even kind of feels like you’re in Paris, eh??

Beautiful Morning Sunlight

I was seated at a table looking out onto the World Showcase promenade. This event (along with most other special events at the festival these days) had assigned seating.

This is relatively new for festival events, so be prepared if you’re hoping to sit with a friend who booked separately from you!

Our Table with a View

Luckily, I got to sit with an awesome group of Disney food fans and we chatted the morning away! It was a great time!

Now, as beautiful as the morning surroundings are, I know you’re anxious to see [Read more…]

Review: “Best of the Fest” at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Booths!

It’s here! The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

We’ve been super busy over the last couple of days, taking in low-cost demonstrations and special events. I can’t wait to share all of it with you (FYI: Parisian Breakfast = AWESOME!)!

But first, while opening weekend was a whirlwind of activity, we made it a point to check out every Marketplace Booth and try it all! It’s always our goal to do this so that YOU know which dishes are not-to-be-missed and can plan accordingly.

2013 Best of the Fest Marketplace Booth Dishes

While this “Best of” list started out a lot longer than this, we wanted to give you a breakdown of the cream of the crop — our very favorite dishes so far from the 2013 Marketplace Booths. Some of these are returning from past years, and some are brand new! Let’s go with the Best of the Fest for 2013!

Belgium: Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

Belgium features three different waffles in their lineup this year — one savory and two sweet. This Potato Leek Waffle comes with Braised Beef that reminds me of Sunday roasts.

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

The waffle is delicious by itself — but top it with the braised beef and MELTED BUTTER!!!! and it’s heavenly!

South Korea: Kimchi Dog

We’ve been raving about the South Korea Kimchi Dog since we first sampled it at the preview event for this year’s festival. The Spicy Hot Dog (which is specially made for Epcot just for the festival!) is topped with a fresh Kimchi Slaw and drizzled with a Spicy Mustard Sauce.

Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce

It has a bit of a kick, but it’s [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Top Tips

The 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it, and we’ve got some AWESOME insider tips for you today so that your visit can be your best one ever!

Mark your calendars for September 27 – November 11, 2013!

If you’d like to be in-the-know, follow along by bookmarking our 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page here, joining our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans facebook page, and subscribing to our Disney Food Blog Newsletter for the latest updates.

The festival has become one of the most popular events at Walt Disney World — and it grows a little more every year. You can take advantage of special events, as well as food and beverage demonstrations throughout the festival. Or you can just stroll through World Showcase and sample food, wine, and other beverages from around the world at the myriad of Food and Wine Festival booths.

To help you make the most of this year’s festival, we’ll take a closer look at our very best tips for making the most of your Epcot Food and Wine Festival Visit!

1. Have a Plan in Place

Over its history, the Food and Wine Festival has continued to grow in scope and popularity. That’s why our top tip is to have a plan in place before you arrive for your visit.

Mushroom Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce at the Canada Food and Wine Booth is Back for 2013!

In the past, we’ve heard from our readers that the best way to be prepared for the marketplace booths is to [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: New Menu Items at Carthay Circle Lounge & 1901

We’ve got new eats over at Disney California Adventure!  Two new dishes have arrived at Carthay Circle Lounge & 1901, and we’re very excited to share them with you here on the blog.

Carthay Circle Lounge can be found at the entrance to Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure

Although the shared menu at Carthay Circle Lounge/1901 is limited, the items available are pretty amazing.

1901 Lounge Menu Cover

Carthay Circle Lounge is open to all Disney guests, and can be found at the entrance to Carthay Circle restaurant. You don’t need a reservation to dine here! However, 1901 Lounge is an exclusive lounge open only to Club 33 Members and their guests.

Carthay Circle Lounge

Updates to the Carthay Circle Lounge/1901 Lounge Menu

Sharing a menu, these two fabulous lounges serve up Bites & Snacks, Rolls, Small Plates, and Carthay Signature Desserts. The menu has barely changed from its opening almost exactly one year ago, but  now we’ve got some updates!

Since opening, they’ve ditched the [Read more…]

5 Things You’ve Gotta Try at Walt Disney World in 2013!

It is a great time to be a Walt Disney World Fan, and an even greater time to be a Disney Food Fan! There has been a truly dizzying array of really unique, inventive food to come down the pike over the last year, and we can’t wait to hear what YOU think about it.

Since we are all about the eats in these parts, I thought I’d give you my two cents on the 5 Things You’ve Gotta Try at Walt Disney World in 2013 — Food Edition! Let’s do it!

Tutto Gusto

If you haven’t had the chance to stop by Tutto Gusto, the new wine bar that opened in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion last summer, I heartily recommend you get there, asap!

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

This alluring, intimate spot has enjoyed lots of business since opening — I often find it full to the max when I visit! (Luckily, I snapped this pic on an early day!)

Gusto Fireplace Area

Following on the heels of the success enjoyed by its Mexican cousin, La Cava del Tequila, Tutto Gusto adds even more eats. Not only can you find an extraordinary assortment of Italian wines and beers, but there is also a wonderful menu of small bites to choose from.

Even non-wine drinkers can find plenty to love about this spot, which feels like it was just transported to Florida from Italy. Italian Cheese and Sausages? Sign me up!

Tutto Gusto Cheese Board

Stop in for a glass, some cheese, or even heavier pasta or panini options. The full menu from Tutto Italia next door is available here, too!

Or grab a fabulous dessert and a glass of Moscato. You won’t be disappointed.

Territory Lounge Eats

When I need a break from the [Read more…]

Review: The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a little gem in the middle of a busy theme park.

When it was time to meet up with friends recently for a quiet dinner during our otherwise frenzied Epcot Food and Wine Festival trip to Disney World, I was happy when we all agreed to head there for a late night bite. While the restaurant can be a bit inconsistent (I tend to hear both good and bad reviews of this place), I’ve had good experiences on my visits.

I hoped that it would continue to measure up to the pedestal I have it on! Let’s head into that fabled dining room, home to Hollywood’s Golden Age elite, and see if it does…

Atmosphere

If you haven’t had a meal at The Brown Derby, it’s time to head on over. I waited a long time before I took in my first meal there, and once I did, I was sorry I hadn’t tried it sooner.

Your journey back in time to the Golden Age of Hollywood begins before you enter the restaurant. The grand entrance beneath the classic red awning looks like something right out of early 20th century Hollywood.

Brown Derby Entryway and Awning

And that is, of course, intentional. The Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was inspired by the restaurant located at the famous corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

Sign Outside of Building

Inside the waiting area, the decor is tasteful and clean Spanish Mission, with light walls and dark wood accents. A few comfy leather club chairs might be available for your wait if you’re lucky.

You also start to glimpse the famous collection of caricatures that line walls throughout the restaurant.

Brown Derby Lobby

If you need [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cheese Seminar

Everyone knows my deep and passionate love for all things cheese, right?

I’ve met very few varieties that I didn’t love…from classic plastic cheese all the way to the fanciest cheese plates available at Disney World.

Cheese Tasting Plate and Table Decor at Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cheese Seminar

This fact made taking part in a Cheese Seminar during the opening weekend of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival even more ideal for me! (Can you believe I’d never done a Cheese Seminar before?!?)

So on the first Saturday of the Festival, I hightailed it over to the Festival Center to take part in this seminar that I’ve been wanting to experience for a while. Today, I’m excited to have you join me!

Atmosphere

Doing a Cheese Seminar in Disney World might mean drinking two glasses of wine at 10:30, so just be prepared for that! ;-) (Ah…the [Read more…]

DFB Must-Have: Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip at Cookes of Dublin

So, I’ve got a post coming up reviewing all of the absolutely out-of-this-world food I ate at Cookes of Dublin in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney on this recent trip; but I had to rustle up a quick suggestion for all of you headed to Orlando very soon…you MUST try this dip!

I’m creating a new series on the blog — DFB Must-Have menu items — just for this dip. It’s THAT good.

Stout, strong Irish cheese infused with big ol’ chunks of bacon…simply amazing. (Come to think of it, the Cookes Doh Bar might need to be placed in that series as well!)

Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip at Cookes of Dublin

If you’re not familiar with Cookes, it’s a counter service location in Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island area — located right next to Raglan Road Irish Pub. You order your food (anything from fish and chips to savory pies to a battered burger — don’t worry, we’ll cover all of it for you in a review soon!), then have a seat while it’s prepared and brought to your table.

Cookes Ordering Counter

I tried a variety of things on this visit, but the Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip simply blew me away. It’s listed on the menu with “Sides and Dips,” and costs [Read more…]