Dear Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort…please extend this event to every weekend in October. Love…Me
The 2013 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic has ended but the sweet and savory memory still lives on.
Come…let’s reminisce shall we?
This year’s classic started off with my ‘now favorite’ seminar titled Riesling, So Sweet and So Dry. The seminar was led by Assistant Director of Food & Beverage and Certified Sommelier Luciano Sperduto. $45 for this seminar and what a value. Check out what was included in the price…
Five generous pours of perfectly selected rieslings. And let’s not forget the wait staff placed around the perimeter of the room to refill your wine glass with any selection you deemed ‘too good not to finish’. I’d say I had at least three full glasses of wine before the end of the session. At around $12 a glass we are already at the $36 mark.
Complementing the wine selection was a Herculean cheese board. This cheese board was no joke. Not just samplings of cheese but enough to get a small town through a famine. The cheese selection was enough for more than two. But at roughly $17 a plate for an average cheese board on Disney property. That brings our seminar value to $53. Had we been dining in a lounge or restaurant that value would have increased due to gratuity bringing the final value to somewhere around $61. Swan and Dolphin’s price tag…$45.
After our amazing wine and cheese pairing experience my husband and I headed out onto the promenade to see what else we could find to tempt our taste buds.
First stop was at Cib’s Smokehouse for the best beef brisket I’ve ever put in my mouth. (Texas Style Beef Brisket, Brioche Puree, Rhubarb Pudding)
When putting together my teaser post for the Classic, I knew there would be one thing on the hubby’s mind. Short Rib Oscar! Presented by Todd English’s bluezoo…that’s where we headed next. (Braised Beef Short Rib, Maryland Blue Crab, Asparagus, ISI Hollandaise)
I made sure to grab a beer before making our way to the beautiful tables situated around the promenade.
We took a few moments to enjoy the live music while we polished off our amazing selections.
Next stop on the all-you-can-eat gravy train was the Picabu Taqueria bar!
These were amazing! Of course, I had to try one of each. (Taqueria-Corn Tortilla Barbacoa of Beef, Braised Pork, Organic Vegetables, Cheddar Cheese, Lime Wedge, Lettuce, Onion, Shaved Radish, Pico de Gallo, Assorted Hot Sauces)
The dessert booth happened to be right next door. Why not?
What you see above is (top right) O Saint O: orange cream filled puff, milk chocolate covered orange cookie and vanilla whipped cream (bottom left) Intense: flourless chocolate sponge and Arriba 72% chocolate mousse (bottom right) Tropic (shot glass): Passion fruit cream, mango papaya pineapple compote, coconut cake, mango vanilla sauce
But the Pièce de résistance was the homemade ice cream sandwich! This was a surprise offering. Hawaiian bread was filled with a chocolate hazelnut spread and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and was then hot pressed. There are no words….
After I returned from my childhood ice cream sandwich heaven it was time to press on.
Falafel from The Fountain…always a favorite and oh so easy to pick up and pop in your mouth. (Chick Pea Fritter, Tahini, Traditional Garnish)
Cigar City Brewing from Tampa was representing again this year so I grabbed a Maduro Brown to wash down my falafel.
Time to head down to one of the most popular booths at the Classic. Shula’s Steakhouse. We noshed on some carved prime rib there. (Carved Prime Rib, Roasted Garlic mashed Potatoes, Horseradish CrÈme Fraiche, Watercress)
One of my least favorite offerings was sampled next. I didn’t care for Cabana’s dish at all. (Belle & Evans Chicken Yakitori, Edamame Relish, Lemongrass Foam) Sounded interesting in theory but it didn’t translate very well on the palate.
By this point in the evening I was really getting full and paused for a moment to take in the sunset and the beautiful resort property.
Here’s the Il Mullino offering (Hand Cut Garganelli, Veal Cheek Ragu, Organic Vegetables, Micro Chives)
And for the vegetarians, Garden Grove had a beautiful open faced sandwich resembling bruschetta (Open Face Tomato & Handcrafted Mozzarella Sandwich, Sweet Basil, Locatelli)
Our last bite of the evening was from Kimono’s. Sushi. Specifically their shrimp tempura roll (Crispy Shrimp, Tuna, Avocado)
OK..I lied…I went back for another one of those ice cream sandwiches before taking one final shot of the festival…
The 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic was a smashing success. I sampled more in those few hours than I could have during an entire Walt Disney World vacation. My husband and I had a blast. I didn’t even take pictures of all the wines I enjoyed while strolling on the promenade and enjoying the beautiful fall Florida weather.
I HIGHLY recommend this event! Do whatever you can to get here in 2014. You’ll be hooked. For more information on tickets to the event and accommodations visit SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com.
Special thanks to the Swan and Dolphin for providing me and my guest with complementary admission to the seminar and event. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.