Dec 202016

Have you ventured over to Epcot to experience their new global holiday marketplaces? Now through Dec. 30. indulge in duck confit and dumplings from the Alpine Haus Marketplace, celebrate with the shredded beef tamale from the Three Kings Feast Marketplace and toast with Williams Punch from Germany. Here’s a sampling of what you can experience around the world:


Crown Maple in Canada

Crown Maple, an artisan-crafted maple syrup brand from Dutchess County, New York, is currently the featured maple sugar in Canada. Maple Pecan Bark, made with Crown Maple sugar, will be available in the Canada pavilion until December 30. And here’s a recipe in case you’re still craving this treat when you get home!

Makes 24 Pieces:

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 1
  • /4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple sugar

1. Combine pecans and sea salt in a medium pan. Toast over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, until brown and fragrant. Chop into small pieces and set aside.

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add sugar and water, stirring continuously until temperature reaches 295°F. Immediately pour onto baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and spread into a 9×13-inch rectangle. Cool for at least 3 hours.

3. Melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl and spread over one side of the cooled bark. Immediately sprinkle half of the chopped pecans and maple sugar over the chocolate. Cool for 2 hours, until chocolate is set.

4. Melt remaining 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. Turn bark over and spread chocolate on the other half of the bark. Sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans and maple sugar. Cool for 2 hours, until chocolate is set.

5. Break into 24 pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.


Alpine Haus

Sample the cozy comfort foods and robust libations of the North at this Alpine-inspired holiday kiosk. As you snack, take a peek at the selection of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and learn all about history’s most elegant evergreens.


Feast of the Three Kings
Dine like royalty as you enjoy scrumptious foods and delicious drinks from the Caribbean at this holiday kiosk inspired by the story of the Magi. While you nibble, learn about the celebration of Three Kings’ Day, El Día De Los Reyes Magos!


Watch mariachi dancers celebrating a Feliz Navidad, while imbibing on the zippy spices of Mexican cuisine. The carnitas tacos and horchata margaritas will have you singing, “olé!”

See you at the happiest place on Earth!


Dec 152016

There’s a bit of a taco renaissance happening in The City Beautiful right now. From Winter Park to Dr. Phillips, our little town is brimming with stuffed tortilla goodness. New to the scene and one of our favorites is bartaco. This open-air, chic spot is inspired by the beach cultures of Brazil, Uruguay and Southern California. Their upscale street food with a coastal vibe has finally made it’s way to Orlando. So, if you’re a taco connoisseur ,make sure you put bartaco on your “must try” list. From the atmosphere to the rustic, yet elegant tacos, you’ll want to return to this spot again and again and again.

Here’s what you should order during your visit:

  • Grilled Corn on the Cob with lime, cayenne and cotija cheese – a seriously savory, sweet explosion of flavors.


  • Guacamole that’s made in-house and served with perfectly salted crispy tortilla rounds. Good, simple guac done right.


  • Tacos (duh!) with so many options, you’ll be tempted to order the entire menu. Priced at $2.50 to $3.50 per taco, we’d suggest loading up your plate with an array of goodness including the shrimp “banh mi”, mahi mahi, duck, fried oyster and even the cauliflower version. Ordering is simple as is the presentation, which perfectly matches the overall laid back vibe at bartaco.



See you soon bartaco. We can’t wait to return for more of your delectable tacos (and grilled corn)!





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

Dec 102016

Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen, the Modern-American concept located in Lake Nona Town Center, offers eclectic small plates and is overseen by Executive Chef Jason Bergeron, who competed earlier this year on Food Network’s “Chopped Grill Masters.” At the heart of Chroma’s 256-seat restaurant is an oversized bar, where you can belly up, unwind and enjoy wines-on-tap, local draft beers and cocktails.


Boasting a contemporary and communal dining atmosphere, Chroma’s extensive small plates menu takes a “something for everyone” approach with dishes inspired by a global spice palate. Chroma’s menu is intentional in every sense; with an extensive vegetable selection to seafood and meat dishes.  A fresh focus fuels moderate menu changes to reflect what is local and in abundance.

Here’s what to order at this Lake Nona spot, and make sure you check out their sister restaurant, Canvas, which is also in the neighborhood:

  • Chicken Satay: Smoked, juicy and served with a peanut sauce that compliments the poultry perfectly.
  • Sticky Florida Pork Ribs: A twist on your classic barbecue, these tender ribs are coated in a spice rube and savory blueberry sauce.
  • Hand-Cut Fries: My new favorite fries in town, prepared in house and overseen by the chef himself, these fried potatoes are f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s. Make sure you ask for a side of their spiced ketchup and dunk away.


  • Chroma Burger: These three-bite sliders are tender, buttery and the perfect accompaniment to the aforementioned fries. Filled with a short rib patty, cheddar cheese, bourbon and even bacon jam. There’s so much flavor packed into these miniature burgers, kudos to the chef for keeping the small patties so tender.
  • Jambalaya: One of the few items made for sharing among four people, this larger-style entree is filled with andouille sausage, seared shrimp, smoked pork, Cajun rice and heirloom tomatoes.While we didn’t order this dish, I’d place bets that it’s equally as tasty as their small plates.


Visit for reservations and full menu details!


Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dec 082016

‘Tis the season for libations, cuisine and indulgences. The Four Seasons at the Walt Disney World Resort is offering up all three this holiday season. We recently spent a delightful evening here which was filled with revelry and fine wine. If you’re looking for a break from the madness (and the ordinary) we’d suggest heading to this luxe resort for a dose of good cheer.

The Rooftop: If you do nothing else this holiday season, grab your BFF or significant other and head to the 17th floor at Capa. With it’s blissful breeze and stunning sight line, there’s truly no other place like this view in town. Grab a drink and stay for dinner, this spot is a sight to behold!

four seasons orlando

Capa: Adjacent to that incredible rooftop is Capa which features diverse offerings ranging from fresh Florida seafood, to small plates and expertly grilled cuts. An open kitchen and wood-burning grill allows you to get close to the action, while catching a glimpse of the nightly fireworks. Their wine list boasts an impressive collection of Tempranillo wine as well as a stellar by the glass list. And just make sure you save room for those churros – they are sweet, soft and the perfect ending to an exceptional meal.

four seasons orlando

four seasons orlando

Ravello: Start your day at the omelette station or with traditional breakfast favorites. Through the evening, feast on pizza, pasta and regionally influenced Italian specialties with a modern twist. Hidden under the lobby bar, this might just be my favorite place for pizza in town. This season they are also featuring a Christmas and New Year’s Eve buffet, details here.

four seasons orlando

Ring in the New Year: Welcome 2017 during this private New Year’s Eve celebration. Tickets to this event include access to the party held in the Grand Ballroom from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. featuring a DJ, a dance floor, balloon drop and more. A champagne toast, desserts and appetizers are included and a cash bar is available. Tickets are $75 per person.

Because, Florida: While you’re basking in the 80 degree December weather, stop by Lickety Split for Christmas gelato flavors including apple pie, crushed candy cane, cinnamon stick and more!

four seasons orlando

Book that staycation you’ve been dreaming about, the Four Seasons does not disappoint. Cheers!





Photo Credit: Gelato photo from Four Seasons Orlando

Dec 072016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With so much to eat, drink and do in The City Beautiful, there’s no reason to stay home this holiday season. Here are some fun ideas at our favorite spots around town!

4 Rivers Smokehouse: New holiday menu available for online ordering. Menu items include Boneless Ham($69.99), Smoked Turkey ($89.99), and Beef Brisket ($129.99). All orders can placed on and must be ordered by December 21!



1921 by Norman Van Aken: Situated in a converted home built in 1921, this newly opened Mount Dora restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef Norman Van Aken serves as a reminder that Florida’s cuisine is a celebration of Southern and Caribbean recipes and flavors. Check out our review here.

  • Christmas Eve, a la carte menu available, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • New Year’s Eve, a la carte menu available, 11:30 am – 2 pm; Dinner, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen: Now open in Lake Nona Town Center, this newly opened Modern-American concept serves eclectic small plates in a contemporary and communal dining atmosphere. Our full review coming soon!

  • Special holiday menu selections include Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank ($25) with wild mushroom risotto and sorrel salad; and Grilled Prime Filet and Maine Lobster Tail ($58) with burnt orange beurre blanc, marble potatoes and asparagus.

The COOP: Always celebrating the home-style fare of the South. This holiday season, The COOP is offering decadent Southern-inspired sweet treats including Chocolate Pop-Tarts adorned with holiday bows, Snowman Coconut Bombs and a Caramel Layer Cake.

the coop


The Osprey Tavern: Special holiday dessert selections include the Bûche de Nöel ($8) chocolate-peppermint roulade, candy cane ice cream, dark chocolate ganache and peppermint bark. Y’all this is my all time favorite treat! Can’t wait to taste this holiday sweetness.


Morimoto: What is the perfect way to get in the spirit? A fun holiday cocktail full of bold flavors, spice and everything nice! Visit this Disney Springs spot for seasonal cocktails and new Japanese whisky flights.



Reunion Resort: From The Grinch to Sangria and Campfire Delight, this Kissimmee resort is serving up some festive cocktails. Throwing a party? The resort is sharing their sangria recipe just in time for that soiree.

Merry Berry Sangria 

  • 5oz Dry Red Wine
  • 0.75oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.25oz Raspberry Vodka
  • 0.25oz Strawberry Vodka
  • 2oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1.5oz Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker, pour into glass of choice, garnish with fresh fruit, sip & enjoy!




Photo Credits: Owned by each respective location 


Dec 072016

An anchor to the Winter Park dining scene, Luma will host Carols and Cocktails this Saturday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Park Avenue.

Sip on Luma’s new holiday cocktails The Rockefeller (bourbon, mulled spice infused amaro, maple apple cider syrup) and Snow Drift (vanilla and mint infused vodka, lime, tucca, mint foam), while enjoying the festive tunes by Central Florida Vocal Arts’ carolers. A portion of the cocktail proceeds will benefit the charitable endeavors of the Central Florida Vocal Arts and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Raise a glass to this (consistently) fabulous restaurant while supporting two incredible local charities. Cheers!




Photo Credit: Luma

Dec 022016

There are food festivals filled with average wine and mediocre bites, and then there are those stellar events that demand the attention of nationally acclaimed chefs and sommeliers. The South Beach Food & Wine Festival falls into the latter category and features an unrivaled lineup of wine tastings and celebrity chefs. Back for its 16th year, SOBEWFF will take place Feb. 22–26, 2017 with a lineup of more than 90 events.

Head to TravelPulse to see our tips for planning the best trip yet!