Food and wine events this weekend and next

Written by Scott Joseph on .

SwanSpring concourse

Lots going on this weekend – and into next week.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each day. Read my article about what’s involved here or use this link to go directly to ticket sales.

fallfarm pumpkin carve

This is the last weekend for Grande Lakes’ Fall on the Farm event. Besides lots of good food and drink from the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott restaurants, the event is a great opportunity to get a jacked up jack-‘o-lantern for Halloween (that’s Sunday, by the way). Get details here.

While we’re still at Grande Lakes, don’t forget that the fall edition of its Curated Experiences is next weekend, Nov. 5-7. There’s so much to do that I can’t list it all here, but here are some details.

Saturday, Oct. 30, is the 21st annual Taste of Orlando (it’s sort of like chicken but with a citrus marinade). It’s at Waterford Lakes, 413 N. Alafaya Trail, from 3 to 7 p.m. Different levels of tickets from $5 to $30, available here, with proceeds benefitting the worthy Zebra Coalition.

If you want to taste something bigger than Orlando, try America. Thursday, Nov. 4, is the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: Orlando event featuring Good Salt Restaurant Group chefs Wendy Lopez (Reyes Mezcalaria( and Huy Tin (Seito Sushi Baldwin Park). Tickets for the multi-course meal are $300 per couple – singles are not welcome, apparently. Info and tickets here.

Spoleto returns in a ghostly fashion

Written by Scott Joseph on .

spoleto exteriorThe area's first Spoleto, near UCF, when it opened in 2015

Spoleto, the Brazil-based Italian assemblage restaurant that came to Central Florida in 2015 only to close last year due to the pandemic, is returning to the area, but only virtually. For now.

It will take up residence within the warehouse environment of the Dollins Food Hall, a ghost kitchen west of downtown Orlando. Laura Henderson, who was managing partner when the four Central Florida locations closed in May 2020, is once again representing the brand. In fact, when she approached Spoleto’s Brazilian owners about reopening a franchise here, they said they’d get back to her. They did, Henderson said, about an hour later and offered her the franchises for all of Florida.

Monster Mash will benefit restaurant recovery

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Monster Mash logo

The Restaurant & Allied Partnership of Central Florida (RAPCF) will host Monster Mash Masquerade on Thursday, Oct. 28, to benefit restaurant recovery. The event, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Dr. Phillips House at Lake Lucerne in downtown Orlando, will feature 30 food, wine, beer and cocktail experiences in an outdoor setting.

Tickets are $100 per person with a portion of the proceeds going to the participating restaurant partners, including flog favorite Stefano’s Trattoria. The fee includes entrance to Up in Smoke Cigar & Whiskey Experience on the venue’s rooftop patio and Elevate Below Wine Experience in the cellar. The wine tasting, conducted by Swirlery Wine Bar, will be limited to 10 tasters at a time.

RAPCF is a nonprofit organization founded during the pandemic because, according to its website, “Central Florida restaurants needed a place to get information on how to navigate this new business environment.”

Tickets must be purchased in advance. You can do that at the RACPF website where you can also get a list of other participants.