Aug 092017
 

Husband and wife chefs James and Julie Petrakis, who have won wide acclaim for their Central Florida restaurants Cask & Larder and The Ravenous Pig, have expanded their Swine Family Restaurant Group to Disney Springs with a new fast-casual concept, The Polite Pig. Partnering with the James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs is Brian Petrakis, who owns the popular Orlando eatery Greens & Grille. The partnership unites the Petrakis brothers on a restaurant venture for the first time.

Operating with a culinary philosophy similar to its sister Swine Family restaurants, The Polite Pig serves dishes made using sustainable and local ingredients. Some of the signature dishes include House-Smoked Chicken, Brisket, Pork Shoulder and St. Louis Ribs, as well as BBQ Cauliflower on the sides menu. Here’s what we’d recommend trying during your visit!

  • Brisket Sandwich with pimento cheese, lil john’s BBQ, pickled jalapeños and crispy onions. YUM! I could try to explain more, but I’ll let the ingredient lineup speak for itself in this case. We reluctantly ordered the BBQ cauliflower for our side (at the enthusiastic urging of our awesome server) but were thrilled with the accompaniment! Who knew this white, typically bland, veggie could hold so much flavor and fun?

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  • Baby Back Ribs with a signature rub and a side of savory cheese grits with collard greens and bacon black-eyed pea potlicker. We promptly polished off the whole rack and almost inhaled the grits. I’m usually a traditionalist when it comes to my grits, as in don’t add anything but cheese and maybe a dash of hot sauce, but the additions to this side dish totally worked. Even our Mississippi-native server is a fan of these grits, and you know how serious southerners are about their grits! Bottom line, order both of these items during your visit to The Polite Pig.

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  • Desserts are kept simple with two choices, Orange Blossom Honey Cake or Double Layer Chocolate Cake. You’re at Disney so dessert is not optional, just order both and share among your table for a sweet ending.

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  • I don’t do bourbon (or beer), but am always ready for wine. They have three wines on tap which means they are consistently served at the perfect temperature. Since it’s ONE BILLION DEGREES outside order a glass of the French rosé. Plus, ordering wine from a keg is trendy and cool.

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Longtime Swine Family chef Allison Weldon leads The Polite Pig kitchen and serves as the restaurant’s executive chef. Most recently, Weldon was part of the Cask & Larder transition team to the Orlando International Airport. She began her career as a line cook at The Ravenous Pig and in 2013 was named a regional winner in the national “2013 Best Young Chef” competition sponsored by the Confrérié de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

The Polite Pig will also features beers and cocktails on tap. Cask & Larder Brewery will brew several of their signature beers for The Polite Pig including its Lone Palm Golden Ale, 5 Points IPA, Red Drum Ale and Working Man Porter. On tap cocktails include Gin & Tonic, Vodka Lemonade, Rum & Coke, Tequila & Grapefruit and an Old-Fashioned. Bourbon enthusiasts will also enjoy the “Bourbon Bar” with more than 60 varieties of whiskey including Florida’s largest collection of Pappy Van Winkle whiskeys.

The Polite Pig is located in Disney Springs’ Town Center neighborhood. The 5,000-square-foot venue is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with seating for about 200 guests.

The Polite Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jul 222017
 

We are magical dining obsessed, it’s the best way to try over 100 local restaurants for just $35 per person! Our favorite and one that’s worth visiting multiple times is Ravello at Four Seasons Resort. Their prix-fixe three-course meal (and all Magical Dining meals) benefit Freedom Ride and BASE Children’s Cancer Foundation. One of the tastiest and best options, the Ravello menu includes:

Appetizer (select one)

  • Insalata Mista with trevisana, arugula, lola rossa, moscato vinaigrette
  • Polpettine meatballs with mortadella, prosciutto, pomodoro sauce and mascarpone, grilled pan pugliese
  • Gelato di Parmigiano with radish, artisan lettuce, cucumber, tomato vinaigrette, Parmigiano cheese gelato and taralli crumble
  • House made charcuterie and cheese board

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Entree (select one)

  • House made bucatini amatriciana with guanciale, onion, pomodoro sauce
  • Chicken puttanesca with polenta, taggiasca olive, capers and pesce spada
  • Swordfish with sale speziato, salmoriglio, roasted potatoes, spinach, pomodorini, taggiasca olives

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Dessert (select one)

  • Affogato vanilla housemade gelato with Café Umbrian espresso
  • Sicillian cannolis with pistachio and candied orange

Magical Dining runs August 25, 2017 and runs through October 1, 2017. For reservations and the full list of restaurants, click here. 

Don’t want to wait a whole month to enjoy a special Four Seasons experience? Capa will feature an incredible Louis Roederer Champagne Dinner on August 3, at 6 p.m. August 3 also marks the resort’s third anniversary, truly an occasion worth celebrating! The five-course dinner will feature rare pairings, including Cristal and Cristal Rose. Proof that bubbles pair with more than just caviar, here’s the stellar lineup for the evening! 

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Between all that Magical Dining and champagne sipping, you’ll want to “take the elevator home” after the night out. With adult amenities such as The Oasis adult-only pool, the 18-hole Tranquilo Golf Club (with an awesome brunch at Plancha) and a 18-treatment room Spa, Four Seasons Resort Orlando is an ideal adult destination. So tell us, what’s your favorite way to experience Four Seasons?

Jul 142017
 

PANDORA IS AWESOME. Okay, now that I got that out of the way, let’s explore why. From flying on a banshee to an abundance of boba balls, Disney’s newest venture lives up to its hype – tenfold. The 12-acre Pandora dazzles with its bioluminescent forests, floating mountains and incredible attention to detail.

A shining star of the new land is Flight of Passage, a 3-D expedition that transports travelers on a sweeping, simulated flight over Pandora’s colorful landscape. You will *literally* soar around floating mountains, plunge through ancient caverns and skim across roaring oceans. Disney has set the bar (once again) in the world of attractions with their latest venture. I don’t want to give too much away about what you’ll experience, but it’s worth whatever the wait time is!

After all that flying and plunging, you’ll probably be parched and ravenous. Continue your Pandora experience with Na’vi-style dining at Satu’li Canteen. This fun, fast-casual spot combines creativity and approachable flavors in a menu inspired by the healthful bounty on Pandora, with wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins. An on-stage grill is a prominent feature in the colorful dining room.

pandora

The restaurant offers healthy bowls that are customizable. You can start with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad; red and sweet potato hash; mixed whole-grain and rice or romaine and kale salad. Next is either wood-grilled chicken (straight from the on-display grill), slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish or chili-spiced fried tofu. And the bowl is finished with charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.

The menu also offers steamed “pods” – bao buns with either cheeseburger ingredients or vegetable curry served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw.

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We also experienced something coming to the menu soon, Satu’li Feast. A feast for both the eyes and palate, this impressive board was equally tasty and healthy. A fun way to experience a variety of flavors with a group!

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Satu’li Canteen is the first Disney restaurant to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go using the My Disney Experience app. The service enables guests to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their orders and pre-pay for their meals. So skip the line and get back to flying on banshees!

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For dessert, or just a sweet treat, step over to the Pongu Pongu Kiosk. You must try their signature drink, it’s even becoming more popular on Instagram than that Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks. The Frozen Nectar is a sweet and tangy frozen limeade with layered flavors of Granny Smith Apple and Desert Pear topped with bursting mango boba balls that ALSO glows with bioluminescent colors. It’s pretty much the best version of a Slurpee you’ll ever taste.

If you need to find me this summer I’ll be flying on a banshee with a Frozen Nectar in hand. See you at Pandora!

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Jul 122017
 

TERRALINA

Terralina Crafted Italian, a new dining experience curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, will open this fall at Disney Springs. The new restaurant, which will replace the space at The Landing previously occupied by Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover inspired by the design and lifestyle of Italy’s Lake District.

Set on the shores of Lake Buena Vista, Terralina Crafted Italian’s sweeping waterfront views and dining will provide guests with a tranquil escape to another part of the world. Just as in an Italian home, the kitchen will serve as the hearth and perfect centerpiece for guests to gather around in the restaurant. Each dining room will include eclectic decor made up of found art and pieces that share the stories of moments worth celebrating. A newly installed veranda bar outside the main entrance will serve as the perfect welcome mat for guests to relax and sip on craft cocktails, muddled with herbs similar to those grown in a garden located right outside the restaurant.

The menu will feature authentic, Italian cuisine cooked in Chef Tony’s signature olive oil, imported directly from Italy. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven will fire up a selection of artisanal, hand-tossed pizzas and fresh vegetable dishes. Fan favorites from Portobello Country Italian Trattoria such as the antipasti platter and signature pasta dishes will remain on the menu alongside new additions like mussels and pork chops.

Construction is expected to be complete this fall. Terralina Crafted Italian will be open for lunch and dinner.

Jul 112017
 

Bringing you a post from one of our contributors, Arlene! You can see more of her work @wanderwithred.

The drive from downtown Orlando to Kissimmee will set you back about half an hour (not including traffic), but once you’re at Duck Donuts you’ll forget all about I-4 and the annoying, never ending construction. The first Duck Donuts location opened in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 2007 followed by Duck, North Carolina. Their newest location opened July 1, and is located inside the Crosslands Shopping Center in Kissimmee.

duck donuts

Vanilla cake donuts are fried and customized to each guest, offering a personalized desert experience. Guests fill out an order form where they can select from ten coating choices, seven toppings, and five drizzle choices. If you’re feeling adventurous go for the Quacky Assortment and try a dozen different choices selected by Duck Donuts. In addition to donuts, caffeine addicts can indulge in brewed coffee as well as cold brew. Duck Donuts serves its own signature coffee blends—Riptide Roast, Light House Blend, and Sunset Pier Decaf with special seasonal flavors changing throughout the year.

duck donuts

duck donuts

Breakfast lovers will enjoy their morning fare, but these are not your ordinary bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. Duck Donuts takes breakfast to the next level by offering a Sausage Egg & Cheese, housed in a Maple Donut sprinkled with bacon. Hello sweet and savory to start the day!

duck donuts

The Donut Sundae is made of  a warm donut, Breyers Ice Cream, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauce and sprinkles. The warmth of the freshly made donut was a wonderful compliment for the cool vanilla ice cream and an excellent treat for the hot summer days ahead. Hooray for a fun new donut shop in town!

duck donuts

 

 

Jul 092017
 

What’s more luxurious (and fun) than a champagne dinner at the Four Seasons? Yea, we can’t think of anything either! Last week we were fortunate enough to attend a special Louis Roederer champagne dinner at Capa celebrating the resort’s third birthday. The five-course dinner featured rare pairings, including Cristal and Cristal Rosé.

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A good night always starts AND ends with champagne…..the evening’s stellar lineup below.

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Amuse Bouche

  • Zanahoria PB&J, Foie Terrine Tetilla, Cheese Puff Fingerlings, Smoked Crema, Caviar – so many fun bites to start off the meal, especially all the caviar!
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Premier NV – super tasty and available for about $50 bucks from a wine shop, well worth the money.

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Primero

  • Lobster with turnips, ponzu vinaigrette and lardo – lobster and champagne, the ultimate and perfect pairing.
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Premier NV

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Segundo

  • Oxtail Consommé, A5 wagyu and artichoke – always a treat to taste some of the finest wagyu on earth.
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Nature 2009 (zero dosage) – bone dry, but still delicate, so obsessed with this sparkler!

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Tercero

  • Salmon, burnt leek and champagne sabayon – because when you’re drinking champagne, why not also make it a main ingredient in a dish too.
  • Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Rosé 2011 – takes the whole “Rosé All Day” thing to another level, I must find a bigger champagne budget so I can order more bottles for myself.

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Entrante

  • Braised Veal with potato and truffle – fork tender and exploding with goodness, this main dish was fabulous.
  • Cristal, Brut 2009 – see comment above about needing a bigger champagne budget. I’m still dreaming about this elegant champagne in my sleep. Maybe someday I’ll have the chance to enjoy it again.

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Postre

  • Turron Helado, apricot, currant and pistachio – every single morsel of dessert that their pastry chef has ever created is divine. This dessert was no exception, the right ending to an evening of bubbly and gourmet fare.
  • Cristal, Brut Rosé 2007 – Vintage. Bubbly. Rosé. No better way to end an evening.

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And then we called Uber. The end!

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Capa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jul 092017
 

More than just churros and chicken fingers, Disney’s culinary scene continues to evolve and serve up some incredible experiences. This year, the Walt Disney World Resort chefs launched a new dinner series to showcase the talents of the culinary team featuring unique creations and wine pairings. Continuing throughout 2017, “Delicious Disney, A Chef Series” features storytelling with food. These dinners allow guests to experience exceptional cuisine in an atmosphere of pure Disney magic.

Last week we were invited to experience an incredible five-course wine dinner in celebration of Ratatouille’s 10th anniversary. French-themed of course, the evening started with a French 75 and ended with a hand-painted, white chocolate Remy! One of Disney’s best qualities – attention to detail – is on full display during these events. Don’t miss your chance to dine inside Golden Oak and enjoy a memorable evening full of incredible cuisine and wine pairings. Here’s a little taste of what we experienced during our dinner!

  • We started off the evening with a beautiful French 75 and hors d’oeuvres before being seated in the main dining room.

golden oak disney

  • Accompanied by Canard-Duchêne Champagne, our first course was a delicate roasted mushroom with cheese and a rosemary espuma. These food-friendly bubbles were the perfect accessory to our Amuse-Bouche.

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  • Next up, potato-leek soup paired with Domaine Louis Moreau “Vaillons”, Chablis 1er Cru. A lovely pairing and one of my favorite wines from the evening – I’ll take a whole case please!

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  • We then moved to Hokkaido scallops with artichoke, baby leek and caviar. Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc was poured for yet another fabulous pairing.

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  • For the last course pre-dessert we had Colorado Lamb with (of course) Ratatouille. The true star of the dinner in multiple ways, this authentic accompaniment was stellar. As expected, the 2009 Château Lagrange, Saint-Julien was a treat to experience!

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  • In true Disney style we ended the meal with an impressive dessert adorned with a chocolate laced Eiffel Towel. And to really outdo themselves, a surprise dessert was brought out, which included a hand-painted white chocolate Remy which was presented in a dramatic fashion across the dining room. The Sauternes was then poured and the fun continued throughout the final course.

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If you haven’t experienced the finer side of Disney dining yet, you’re missing out on one of The City Beautiful’s culinary gems. See the schedule below for the rest of 2017. All reservations may be booked by calling 407.939.5773 daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

July 19th at 6:30pm 
Enjoy the exotic and exquisite tastes of a journey Under the Sea
Featuring Flying Fish’s Timothy Majoras and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak

August 16th at 6:30pm 
A Walk around the World with Disney
Featuring Culinary Director Edwin Wronski and the Flavor Lab Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak