thoughts and plans for Food & Wine 2014

Planning for Food & Wine is always exciting and at the same time a bit daunting…

  • How many special events do we want to do?
  • How many special events fit into our schedule (we always seem to have lots of visitors during Food & Wine, and isn’t a given that they want to go to Epcot when we want to go to Epcot)?
  • What about culinary demonstrations (our past experiences are really touch and go with these)?
  • Or beverage seminars (we’ve pretty much taken these off of our to-do list, disappointments)?
  • Or mixology demonstrations (even more disappointing over the years)?
  • Which friends are going to be around that we want to do Food & Wine specific things with?

After Food & Wine ended last year, we tallied up what we’d done in recent years and what we really liked (here)…

And here are our plans…

First of all, our niece (DrJ) is coming to see us the first full week of Food & Wine! This is her first visit to Walt Disney World since we brought her down for her 21st birthday. Since that time, she’s graduated from University, went to Vet School, and become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Even though Nora has a minor in vet med, we’re both in awe that she cuts animals open and makes them better… we’re so proud, it’s like she’s our little girl. She wants to enjoy our company, going to Disney World, and getting some good food and drinks… with that in mind, we have 2 Food & Wine Events and 3 animal related events planned for her visit…

  • Italy Beer and Food Pairing
  • Mexico Tequila Lunch (you know that we LOVE this event)

Then at the end of Food & Wine, our friends Lisa and Andy are coming to town. We really enjoy doing special events with them. Andy takes photos of the food and makes notes just like we do, so Lisa just grins and bears it. Their comments and knowledge about wine are much appreciated. And Lisa’s wit and laser-like comments are a breath of fresh air. And, it doesn’t hurt that Andy says “eating and drinking are my favorite attractions at Disney World”!!

  • Chef Cib’s Pasta Making Class, Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (not exactly part of Epcot Food & Wine Festival, put what the heck!)
  • Bootcamp “I’ll take Manhattans!”
  • Italian Food & Wine Pairing at Via Napoli
  • French Regional Lunch – Alsace
  • Sunday Morning with Alex Guarnicelli

In between all of that we plan to do a few things on our own, without any visitors (excepting we are hoping Walter will go with us to one culinary demonstration)…

  • Kevin Dundon’s Culinary Demonstation
  • Raglan Road Signature Dinner (we haven’t done a Signature Dinner in a while, but it’s Kevin Dundon!)
  • Tequila Lunch at La Hacienda (need to do this twice a year because it’s so d*mn*d good)
  • Andrew Zimmern Culinary Demonstration (we haven’t followed his bizarre foods stuff on tv, but we’ve seen some of his regional food shows and are really interested to see how he is live and in person)
  • Tokyo Dining Sake and Food Pairing (it’s a tradition for the two of us, plus we’re curious how things will go with only 1 hour 15 minutes for this event, we don’t think it’s enough time, but we’ll see!)
  • Emily Ellen Culinary Demonstration
  • Dining Through the Decades: A Tribute to Walt Disney (this is the only thing we plan to do in the World Showplace, not always a good venue for the two of us; I really want to do this and Nick is indulging my wish to do something really different)

Okay, so early on Friday morning, I grab both of our phones and start making reservations! Wish me luck!

Turkey Club Sandwich – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

This dining experience took place on May 29, 2014

On a recent visit to Splitsville, we weren’t in the mood for sushi or salads, but wanted something cool and flavorful… So we went with a Turkey Club Sandwich!



Turkey club = turkey, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo

Plus, crinkle fries (lightly seasoned because that’s what they do at Splitsville).


This was a satisfying sandwich – very different from a Club from Earl of Sandwich – this one is served on lightly grilled Texas Toast.

There’s nothing special or unusual about this – it’s a straight up Turkey Club Sandwich, I’ve been eating them since I was a kid and my Mom would take me to the Woolworth diner at the mall… Maybe we need to get a brownie ice cream sundae to see how it compares to theirs <grin>.

If you’re liking a simple turkey sandwich, this is it.

bluezoo with Beth & Kurt

This dining experience took place on Friday, May 30, 2014

I didn’t make a lot of notes, sometimes dinner with friends is just dinner with friends – even when the iPhone comes out to take photos… Chef Ryan wasn’t around on this evening, Chef Jimmy and Tony took good care of us.

Amuse with a Specialty Cocktail: otoro tuna, black garlic, avocado, pork crackling and a cocktail made with celery bitters

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The amuse was very nice (they nearly always are something extra special) and Paul made another excellent targeted cocktail (of course).

Beth always gets the crab nachos when she visits bluezoo – so that’s what she and Kurt had next. We split some oysters and beer (yes, I know that’s not a surprise).

image image image

Next, we had the heirloom tomato salad (are you tired of seeing this yet? we’ve reviewed it here and here and here and here), so here is a new photo…



The Chef’s Creation was wild salmon, summer squash, white asparagus, emulsion, and fennel – we love salmon, so this was our dinner (Beth had the beet salad and Kurt followed our suggestion and had the hay smoked lamb dish).

The salmon had a nice, crispy skin that crackled when we cut into it. The flesh was moist and tender and NOT overcooked. The vegetables were lightly done.

Nice execution Chef!

imageAnother nice dinner at bluezoo with friends… We missed Chef Ryan though, it seems like it’s been a while since we’ve seen him :)

Spice Road Table – Hummus and Olives v2

On this visit to Spice Road Table, we had big Nabil again. We weren’t seated by the window, but instead in one of the curved banquettes (sorry, the lighting isn’t as good for photos, and note: if you’re overheated, these aren’t very cool temperature-wise and there isn’t much air circulation).

I had a glass of

continue reading Spice Road Table – Hummus and Olives v2

Grilled Avocado – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

This experience took place on May 22, 2014

Okay, there have been some recent changes to the menu at Splitsville (I believe it was on May 19th). One of the new items is called the “grilled avocado” – one of the managers described it to us before it went on the menu and

continue reading Grilled Avocado – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

Il Mulino, a repeat visit

This dining experience took place on May 23, 2014

We returned to Il Mulino for dinner on a Friday night, thankfully, it wasn’t a Friday associated with a holiday or a Disney Running event… We had no trouble getting a table, but we discovered why we hadn’t heard back from Angela (GM), she’s moved on

continue reading Il Mulino, a repeat visit

Fire Roll – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

This dining experience took place on May 18, 2014

More sushi! We were so pleased with the Fantasy Roll that we had a couple of days ago, that we wanted more! So, let’s try the Fire Roll.

However, we did deviate a little bit… We asked

continue reading Fire Roll – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

Spice Road Table – Mixed Grill

This experience took place on March 13, 2014

We’re at Spice Road Table again, this time we have Amine as our server and we decided to try the last thing on the menu that we haven’t tasted… The Mixed Grill.

I ordered a glass of the Bodegas Zerran (a red wine from Spain)

continue reading Spice Road Table – Mixed Grill

Fantasy Roll – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

This dining experience took place on May 16, 2014

Today, we’re going to review our first sushi roll at Splitsville. Now, to be honest, we’ve been rather dubious about getting sushi at Splitsville – even though we’ve seen glowing reviews on other blogs. On this day, sushi just seemed to be the right

continue reading Fantasy Roll – Splitsville, Downtown Disney

We go back to Shula’s Steakhouse with “newbies”… Lisa & Andy

This experience took place on Friday, May 16, 2014

As a whole, we’ve been enjoying our visits to Shula’s Steakhouse. I’m sure that’s in no small part due to Joseph and the other staff. Lisa really likes Joseph, so when we began to talk about where to eat on their recent trip to

continue reading We go back to Shula’s Steakhouse with “newbies”… Lisa & Andy

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