Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Japan Food and Beverage Pairing

We are ramping up for another fantastic Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Today, we’re reviewing a fun Special Event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

We are heading over to Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion for the Food and Beverage Pairing experience. The light meals feature beverages paired with tasting-sized portions of the restaurant’s cuisine.

I’ve enjoyed dinner at Tokyo Dining as well as lots of fun meals at Teppan Edo, so I was pretty sure I was in for a treat! While we’d done the Morocco food and beverage pairing event, we’d not yet experienced the Japan version. Here we go!

Atmosphere

When I arrived for the Food and Beverage Pairing, I checked in at the stand that serves both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining. The cool, sleek waiting area features simple, modern decor and comfortable low lighting.

Waiting Area Serves Both Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo

This area is also shared by the two restaurants.

Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo Waiting Area from Another Angle

Step into the Tokyo Dining seating area, and the same modern Japanese vibe is prevalent throughout. A sushi show kitchen takes up space along one wall.

Tokyo Dining Seating and Open Sushi Kitchen

The other side of the restaurant is dominated by [Read more…]

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…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In just a few short days, we will be headed to the The Fourth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This event, which coincides with the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a food and wine lover’s dream.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. The two-day event consists of food and wine tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening.

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.

In addition, guests can enjoy a complimentary Cocktail 101 seminar three times during each evening on the Causeway as well as live musical entertainment.

Tasting Plate from Shula's Steakhouse

We’ve had the opportunity to attend the event for the last three years, and we’re looking forward to what 2013 holds! To give you an idea of what lies in store for guests of the Food and Wine Classic, let’s take a look at the 2012 event!

Atmosphere

When you first arrive, you’ll most likely need to pick up your tickets at the Check-In Table.

Check In for the Causeway

Here, staff will check for your reservation, and you’ll receive either your tickets or a wristband, as well as a palate plate and a wine glass.

We had wristbands for the event, which meant that we were free to enjoy unlimited trips to each of the tasting stations. If you prefer a ticketed approach, however, you can purchase books of 25 tickets (most of the booth items require between 2 and 6 tickets).

Food and Wine Classic Wristbands and My Seminar Ticket

For this event, tents are lined up the length of the walkway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts as well as along the walkway behind the Swan. The resorts are located within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Causeway Setup

Tables of all sizes are covered with brightly colored tablecloths, and offer guests a place to sit and relax while enjoying their food and drink.

Tables and Booths Ready for Guests

In addition to tables with chairs, guests can also take advantage of high tops if they prefer to stand.

Individual Tables

It wasn’t too long before the crowd began to swell as guests looked forward to tasting a myriad of dishes.

Causeway is Getting Busy

On Crescent Terrace, guests could also take advantage of [Read more…]

Review: The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Just in case you didn’t know, TONIGHT begins the Third Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic right outside of Epcot! This year’s event will be held October 12-13 (tonight and tomorrow night) from 5:30-9:00 pm, and I think it’ll be even better than last year!

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

If you’re not familiar with this event, let me tell you a bit about it. The Food and Wine Classic is a fun companion event to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and features seminars and tasting stations from Swan and Dolphin chefs and restaurants as well as other culinary and beverage superstars. Seminars are beverage-related and feature everything from Wine Blending to Modern Mixology (check out our review here!).

But the centerpiece to the Food and Wine Classic is the tasting booths on the Causeway. To whet your appetite for the 2012 event, we have this review from last year’s Causeway. Be sure to check out this year’s menu selections to see what awesomeness is in store for 2012 guests!

Tables and Set Up

And stay tuned all the way to the end of the post, where we have special rate codes for DFB members to turn their Food and Wine Classic experience into a fun-filled weekend!

Atmosphere

This year, guests will choose from over 30 different tasting stations featuring dishes from all your favorite Swan and Dolphin eateries, including Todd English’s bluezoo, Shula’s, and others.

You’ll begin your evening at the check-in table on the Causeway. Here, your reservation will be checked and you’ll receive tickets or a wristband, as well as a plate and glass.

Check In for the Causeway

The Causeway takes its name from the location where the [Read more…]

Review: Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table at the Grand Floridian Resort

Today, we travel up the elegant stairway to the pinnacle of fine dining at Walt Disney World, Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Join me for an unparalleled experience as I take you behind the opulence to the excitement and camaraderie of the Chef’s Table! And let me tell you… it’s AWESOME!!

Victoria and Albert’s is the crown jewel in Disney’s culinary offerings. And while it is certainly expensive (that might be an understatement), I aim to show you that for the true food lover, the Chef’s Table experience is worth every penny.

By the way, if you read through this review and decide the Chef’s Table is not for you, you can also dine in the Dining Room to the more intimate Queen Victoria Room.

Victoria and Albert's Plate

Reservations for Victoria and Albert’s go quickly. It is recommended that you book as close to 180 days out as possible. As for cost, the menu is prix fixe, meaning that you pay a set price for the meal. Expect your meal to begin at $135 per person for the Dining Room, with an additional charge of $65 for wine pairings. That price includes six courses. Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table menus may include up to thirteen courses, and prices start at $210/person for dinner and $105 for wine pairings. Keep in mind that these prices do not reflect tax or gratuity, so be prepared.

While Queen Victoria’s Room offers the height of elegant dining, the Chef’s Table provides interested guests full access to the restaurant’s culinary team in a meal that is as much performance as it is sustenance.

Atmosphere

Once you check in for your reservation at the Chef’s Table, you are escorted through the well appointed (and very quiet!) main dining room. You’ll notice low light, beautiful fresh flowers, and the strains of harp music. The whole effect is quite romantic and very formal. There is a strict dress code here, and men must wear jackets.

Victoria and Albert's Main Dining Room

The Dining Room consists of a mere fourteen tables, beautifully set with spotless crystal and china. Very chi chi.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

We followed the debonaire Maître d’hôtel, Israel Perez, through this space and into the brightly lit kitchen. At that time, we were informed that Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel would not be joining us because of a conflicting event. In his place, Sous Chef Aimée Rivera would guide us through our meal.

Maître d'hôtel Israel Perez and Chef Rivera

Both Mr. Perez and Chef Rivera were phenomenal, and it’s clear that their passion and driving force is the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Chef Rivera invited us to interact at will with the kitchen staff, and suggested that we voice any and all questions that we might have (Mua ha ha ha!!! She didn’t know just how annoying I can be!).

An interesting fact: once you are seated, you can’t [Read more…]

2012 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Foodie fans will love the culinary delights offered at the Third Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic being held during the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

When: Mark your calendar for October 12-13, 2012!
Time: 5:30pm – 9:00pm

This year’s beverage seminars include Riesling Rendezvous; Beer, Please!; Spanish Wines; Modern Mixology; Wine Blending, All Things Sake; and Base to Bubbles. These will be offered each day from 4:30-5:30 p.m. These classes will be taught by certified experts in hour-long sessions at a cost of $45, inclusive.

Bruleeing Oranges at the Modern Mixology Seminar

Award-winning restaurants from the Swan and Dolphin resorts will host tasting stations on the [Read more…]

New Merch: Iconic Disney Food T-Shirts

Disney has been focusing a lot of merchandise around iconic food lately, and we’ve been highlighting some great examples (WDW suitcase, Disneyland suitcase, cupcake clothes for kids, Mickey waffle pajama pants).

Here’s a round-up of the recent shirts that have come out! Go ahead and wear your Disney food!

Turkey Leg

A popular snack (or meal!), the turkey leg is a vacation splurge! Thanks to Eric Chu for spotting this awesome new t-shirt in Disneyland recently!

Turkey Leg shirt

Of course, there’s always the old favorite as well! Get your own calorie-free turkey leg shirt!

Turkey Leg Shirt

Churro

Disney Design Group collaborated with shirt designer Richard Terpstra, to create some awesome shirts featuring favorite Disney theme park snacks (Churros are a great on-the-go snack while touring a Disney park)! Thanks to Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley who spotted this one at [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 15, 2012

Lime Sake Cocktail

Cheers! Our favorite Disney destinations were filled with news of great places to enjoy an adult beverage. I certainly enjoyed Japan’s new outdoor sake bar. ;-)

Disney Food News to Quench Your Thirst

  • Cheers! Epcot’s Italy will be introducing the Gusto Wine Bar later this year!
  • Stop by Japan’s outdoor sake bar for a Lime Sake cocktail. Specialty drinks, bottled beer, and draft beer are also thirst quenching options!
  • Summer of 2012 will debut a new Alice in Wonderland themed rave, Mad T Party, replacing ElecTRONica in Disney California Adventure!
  • Disneyland held its first ever Dia de Reyes (Three Kings) celebration this past weekend! Check out these awesome photos and food reviews!
  • Target.com has some adorable Disney themed kitchenware. Go ahead and start your morning meal served in a Mickey bowl!

For more toast-worthy food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups stops by the Petals Pool Bar at the Pop Century Resort.

Tahitian Terrace Restaurant

Daveland gives us a nostalgic look (circa 1969) at the Tahitian Terrace Restaurant in Disneyland. And includes the vintage menu!

All Ears Net guest blogger Jason (of DisneyGeek.com) has some awesome pics of new restaurant construction over in Disney California Adventure!

Bonnet Creek Blog has great news about Oscar’s at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort! They’ve developed a delicious Golden Waffle recipe that will entice guests to savor a relaxing morning!

Main Street Gazette tries the waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.

All Fare’s Food Blog returns to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater for drinks, eats and fun movie clips!

USA Today Travel and Mouseplanet highlight dining at Disney with Dietary Restrictions.

About.com Theme Parks finds Via Napoli’s pizza disappointing. (Sigh… I disagree…)

Review: Japan’s Outdoor Sake Bar

Epcot’s Japan has been evolving over the past few months! The Yakitori House has re-opened as Katsura Grill, featuring a broader menu and some more authentic Japanese dishes; Kabuki Cafe is open as a take-away kiosk offering not just Kaki Gori, but also Miso soup, sushi, edamame, and other goodies!

But another little spot opened in Japan with little to no fanfare — a new outdoor sake bar located at the base of the steps to Katsura Grill.

Sake Bar

While many folks will just walk right past this spot without necessarily noticing it, I urge you to stop by and try out a few of the items there. While I do enjoy the indoor sake bar in Mitsukoshi Department Store, this outdoor location offers a few more “introductory” sake drinks that I think you might enjoy!

Atmosphere

Like I mentioned, this location could potentially fade into the background. With similar clean-lined architecture and neutral tones to the surrounding area, it’s easy to just walk right by.

Sake Bar

But this little spot offers a fun menu and an even more accessible stop on your tour to Drink Around the World! Plus, it’s a good introductory spot to try sake — a drink that is becoming [Read more…]

News! Epcot’s Katsura Grill Grand Opening and Menu Announced

As reported in August, counter-service restaurant Yakitori House is being transformed into a new restaurant in the Japan Pavilion. The new Katsura Grill is set to open its doors on December 7, 2011, to Epcot visitors.

The Yakitori House in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Taking inspiration from the Katsura Imperial Villa of western Kyoto, Katsura Grill will reflect the Japanese architecture and incredible gardens of this Imperial Family villa.

The menu will include [Read more…]