Guest Review: Tutto Italia Food and Wine Pairing at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Welcome back Werner Weiss from Yesterland with a review of the Food and Wine Pairing at Tutto Italia that he attended on October 19th! This is one of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival’s popular returning events.

One of the returning premium events for the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the Italy Food & Wine Pairing at Tutto Italia. This event is held each Wednesday and Saturday for the six weeks of the Festival from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The cost is $65 per person, which includes the gratuity, plus sales tax. Theme park admission is required.

Menu for the Italy Food & Wine Pairing at Tutto Italia on Wednesday October 19, 2011 - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

Here’s how Disney’s official Food & Wine Festival website describes the event: “A wine expert joins a manager from Tutto Italia Ristorante to discuss 4 Italian food courses, each paired with a different wine.”

Wine presenter Vincenzo Protti of Paladin Vigne e Vigne

Over the years, the Italy Food & Wine Pairings have developed a reputation as worthwhile premium events and decent values — especially after the Patina Group’s Tutto Italia replaced the previous restaurant at the Italy pavilion, L’ Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante.

The event on October 19, 2011, showed that this reputation is well-earned. A [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

So this is pretty exciting — I finally got to attend a Party for the Senses at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about (I know — “Party for the Senses” can sound a bit odd!), the Party for the Senses is held most Saturdays during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival each year. This exclusive event impresses the taste buds, of course, but it also aims to awaken all of your senses. During this 2 1/2 hour extravaganza, food and beverages flow freely as awe-inspiring entertainment is performed by Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

There are two more parties being offered this year — November 5, and November 12 — for $145 per ticket (plus you’ll need Epcot park admission). Note that the Wine View Lounge upgrade, which includes private tables ($260) is sold out. Reservations can be made at 407-WDW-FEST or at Disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

Interestingly, the artfully prepared menus (including chefs and vinters) change, so your party may not have the same offerings as the one that we attended.

Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the night!

Atmosphere

We attended the Party for the Senses during the “Deluge of 2011,” as I like to call it. That’s right; we got all gussied up and sloshed over to Epcot on October 8th. When we arrived at the World Showplace [Read more…]

Review: Les Chefs de France Restaurant in Epcot

I can remember, years and years ago, while visiting Epcot with my parents on one of my family’s “Easter vacations,” we approached the Worldkey kiosk to book a reservation in France for that evening’s meal. All I knew — around age 7 — is that I probably hated French food, and I was 100% ready to dislike this restaurant.

Well, things have apparently changed in my old age. I’ve enjoyed all of the food I’ve ever had in the “real” country of France, and the same goes for anything I’ve had in the Epcot version of the place as well. Especially at Chefs de France.

Atmosphere

Les Chefs de France sits in a quaint corner of Epcot’s World Showcase, just across the bridge from the UK pavilion and the International Gateway.

Les Chefs de France

The restaurant is, aesthetically, one of my very favorites in Walt Disney World. With walls of windows framing a classic French bistro dining room, it’s one of the only restaurants that truly makes me feel as though I’m dining in a foreign location. (I can recall dining in a restaurant in Paris that looked a heck of a lot like this one, in fact!)

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night

Once inside the restaurant, everything is done in dark woods, beige, and [Read more…]

What’s *New For 2011* at the WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Just one more week until the Second Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, which will take place Friday, October 7, and Saturday, October 8, 2011. Check out loads of new menu photos and information here!

We’ve interviewed one of the head honchos (and Riesling Rendevous seminar teacher!) to give you a sneak peek into this year’s event — which has tripled in size!

Event Details From Luciano Sperduto, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage

As Assistant Director of Food & Beverage for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Luciano is part of the leadership team responsible for planning and overseeing the execution of the Food & Wine Classic.

More Food and Beverage Booths Will Appear This Year

This year, look for 26 beverage booths and more than 11 food booths, including a new addition from the Garden Grove!

garden grove jumbo lump crab cake slider

The pastry booth alone will have eight to ten items to nosh on!

Cocktail 101 Seminars Introduced

When guests requested more spirits, Cocktail 101 seminars were devised.

In these 15-minute seminars, you’ll learn how [Read more…]

Disney World Dolphin Resort’s Shula’s Steak House Recognized for Wine List

Shula’s Steak House has been awarded the 2011 “Best Of” Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine!

This Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort restaurant can boast being one of only eight Orlando venues to earn this recognition. Wine Spectator Magazine issued the 2011 Restaurant Wine List Awards to 833 restaurants worldwide.

The Restaurant Wine List Awards recognize each year the restaurants whose wine lists are: [Read more…]

Exclusive New Wines to Debut at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

Wine lovers will want to visit the Enoteca Castello wine shop in the Italy pavilion during this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival, where they can sample two new wines exclusive to the Disney Parks.

For $6 per glass, they’ll be pouring these two new wines from the Sogno d’Ialia label, which means “dream of Italy”. If one (or both ;-)) are to your liking, bottles can be purchased at Enoteca Castello or The Cellar in the Festival Welcome Center for $16.95 each. The wines are made in [Read more…]

Menu Announced for the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic!

As you know, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is back this year with even more seminars, food, and tastings — and we’ve got the MENU below!

The Second Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will take place Friday, October 7, and Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Food and wine lovers can immerse themselves in this culinary festival while strolling the Crescent Lake causeway. Savor culinary delights from the resort’s award winning restaurants and lounges while listening to live music. With 17 restaurants and lounges, the Swan and Dolphin resorts have a nationally-recognized culinary team that can’t wait to show off their talents!

Causeway Tasting Booth Info and Menu

Choose selections from over 30 stations that showcase food and drinks from Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo, among other great Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

Select your favorite beverages from options such as wine, sake, beer, and cocktails created using liquid nitrogen (check out our experience with these liquid nitrogen cocktails here!).

Liquid Nitrogen White Russian Dippin

If you love wine, vintages will be offered from around the world including regions in France, Italy, California, and Australia. With over 70 certified wine sommeliers and more than 1,400 wine selections, this beverage team has a lot of knowledge to share!

Dessert will include selections made by two-time World Pastry Champion, Chef Laurent Branlard, the hotel’s executive pastry chef.

Here are a few of the menu items you’ll be able to explore:

Todd English
Friday: Browned Butter Basted Lobster Roll
Saturday: Browned Butter Basted Lobster Roll

todd english basted lobster roll

Shula’s Steakhouse
Friday: Carved New York Strip, Creamed Spinach
Saturday: Carved New York Strip, Creamed Spinach

shulas new york strip

Cib’s Smoke Shop
Friday: Carolina Style Pulled Pork, Southern Coleslaw, Parker House Roll, Fried Pickles , Ranch
Saturday: Smoked Pork Belly, Texas Toast, Baked Bean Foam

cibs smoke carolina pulled pork

cibs smoked pork belly

Todd English’s bluezoo
Friday: “Shrimp Cocktail” Steamrollers
Saturday: Heirloom Beet Salad, Goat Cheese Fondue, Candied Walnuts, Ice Spinach

bluezoo shrimp cocktail steamrooler-Heirloom Beet Salad

bluezoo Steamroller

bluezoo heirloom beet salad

Cabana Bar and Beach Club
Friday: Pork Carnitas: Braised Pork, Sofrito, Pita, Pico de Gallo, Iceberg Lettuce
Saturday: Crab Eggroll: Blue Crab, Cabbage, Ginger, Sweet Thai Chili, Soy

cabana pork carnitas

cabana crab eggroll

Laurent Branlard
Friday & Saturday:
Saint Honore — Vanilla Cream Puff, Whipped Cream
Coconut Macaroon — White Chocolate Coconut Mousse, Lime Cream
Lemon Berry Bubble — Lemon Curd, Berry Compote
Orange Caramel Baba — Caramel Cremeu,Caramel Sauce
Intense Dark Chocolate Cake — Flourless Sponge, Dark Chocolate Mousse
Choconut Tartlet — Chocolate Cremeux, Peanut Mousse, Caramelized Peanuts
Tasting Station: Bananas Foster, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Coconut Fondant Cake

The Fountain
Friday: Falafel: Chickpea Fritter, Tahini, Traditional Garnish
Saturday: Falafel: Chickpea Fritter, Tahini, Traditional Garnish

fountain falafel

Il Mulino New York Trattoria
Friday: Italian Meatball Sandwich
Saturday: Hand Cut Tagliatelle, Braised Lamb Ragu, Pecorino Romano

Il Mulino Meatball Subs

il mulino italian meatball sandwich

il mulino hand cut tagliatelle

Garden Grove
Friday: Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sliders, Shredded Iceberg, Pickle Chip, Old Bay Aioli, Sesame Rolls
Saturday: Rock Shrimp “Po Boy”, French Bread, Tomato, Old Bay Remoulade

garden grove jumbo lump crab cake slider

garden grove rock shrimp po boy

Kimonos
Friday: Dragon Roll: Crispy Shrimp, Tuna, Avocado
Saturday: Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna, Nori, Seasoned Rice

Kimonos Dragon Roll

Wine Shop
Friday & Saturday: Find a wine you love at one of the booths? Make sure to visit the wine store offering bottles for purchase from each booth to take home.

Beverage seminars

And don’t forget to sign up for a Beverage seminar to enhance your experience! Offered each day from 4:30-5:30 p.m. These classes will be taught by certified experts in hour-long sessions.

Choose from Wine Blending; Modern Mixology; Riesling Rendezvous; Base to Bubbles; Beer, Please!; and All Things Sake. There is also a new seminar — Spanish Wines — that is sure to be a wonderful learning experience.

Cocktail 101 classes will also be offered throughout the two-day event. Purchase tickets here!

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

Entertainment

Expect some great live entertainment all weekend long! Groups will include Four Divo, The Groove Masters, The Current, and The Beu Sisters.

Tickets

Advance purchase event-only tickets are available for $65 for unlimited food and beverage samples on the causeway. Seminars are an additional $35 per person, per class, and require a causeway festival ticket require as well. Purchase tickets here.

Disney World Dolphin Resort

Hotel and Event Packages

Book your all-inclusive package by calling 888-828-8850 to make your reservation or book online. Packages available at the WDW Swan and WDW Dolphin include:

Package 1:
Includes accommodations for 2 adults and 2 event passes. Rates start at $255*

Package 2:
Includes accommodations for 2 adults and 2 causeway event passes plus 2 passes to one of the educational seminars. Rates starting at $329*

I’ll be at the Classic! See you there!! (And don’t forget to check out our other posts about the 2010 and 2011 Food and Wine Classic!)

Don’t Forget! There’s a Deal for Disney Food Blog Readers!
Disney Food Blog readers can receive a special rate and free upgrade at the Dolphin Resort on any length stay between Oct. 1-9, 2011! See details on this great deal here! Note: this will be a separate deal from the packages listed above and does not include causeway tickets.

* Rates are per room, per night based on double occupancy. Package is good for two adults only and not available for individual guests.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade at Enchanted Grove in Magic Kingdom

It’s been a sizzling hot week, so we hope you’re keeping cool! Maybe you have access to some delicious strawberry lemonade like the one to the right (in the Magic Kingdom). We’re counting down the days until we get our next fix of that stuff!

There’s lot of fun Disney food news this week as well as some awesome articles in the round-up, so let’s get started…

Disney Food News

Let’s review the latest news from this past week!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Just eeking out the final updates to the brand new Mini-Guide e-Book! (Thankfully, one of our fabulous columnists is in Disney World this week and has agreed to do a little extra recon for us!)

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Here we go…On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland shares the fabulous views seen only from Club 33!

Disney Contemporary Fan Site compares the Grand Floridian’s Citricos with the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill. Which would you choose?

DisneyTouristBlog reviews Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Yee-Haw!

Main Street Gazette shares with us a canyon skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Kokocooks takes us along on their cupcake crawl in Disney World — inspired by our DFB challenge!

Disney Contests and Sweepstakes gives us the scoop on the Rainforest Cafe Orlando’s summer photo contest. Good luck!

WDW Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic: Packages and Tickets on Sale Now!

It’s time! Are you gonna join me at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic?

Explore the seminars and/or enjoy some great culinary delights at the Second Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, which will take place Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm.

Food and wine lovers can immerse themselves in this culinary festival while strolling the Crescent Lake causeway. Listen to live music and savor bites to eat from the resort’s award winning restaurants and lounges. And don’t forget to sign up for a seminar that catches your eye!

Packages
Book your all-inclusive package by calling 888-828-8850 to make your reservation or book online.

Packages available at the WDW Swan and WDW Dolphin

Package 1:
Includes accommodations for 2 adults and 2 event passes. Rates start at $255*

Package 2:
Includes accommodations for 2 adults and 2 causeway event passes plus 2 passes to one of the educational seminars. Rates starting at $329*

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

I’ll be at the Classic! See you there!! (And don’t forget to check out our other posts about the 2010 and 2011 Food and Wine Classic!

* Rates are per room, per night based on double occupancy. Package is good for two adults only and not available for individual guests.

Guest Review: Le Cellier…From a Canadian Point-of-View

Welcome back James Hummel (@DisneyNorth on Twitter) with a review of Le Cellier. As a Canadian, James offers a unique perspective when reviewing this popular restaurant! He also gives us a glimpse of a proper poutine.

I figured it was high time that a Canadian review one of the most popular restaurants in Walt Disney World. I do want to give a disclaimer first though: these are my opinions only and do not represent all Canadians. And no, I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada (the Canadian readers will get that joke).

The entrance to steak heaven

So, as they say in Quebec, Allons-y!

Atmosphere
You’ve seen the pictures, maybe even the outside of the restaurant and, if you are really lucky like me, seen the inside too (multiple times). Le Cellier is a hidden restaurant in EPCOT. No, not hidden gem… I mean really hidden! If you didn’t know where to look, you would literally walk right by it. I mean, there is no giant doorway for this place. You have to go through the wonderful Victoria Gardens to find, what appears to be, a doorway to an underground bunker. But of course, it is all about the story. Enough talk about the outside, let’s get in from the snow…er…I mean oppressive Florida heat.

The inside of Le Cellier is inspired by the large wine cellars of the grand Chateau style hotels in Quebec City and the Rockies. For me, the restaurant reminds me of [Read more…]