Jan 312017
 

The 21st Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. runs 62 days from Sept. 14-Nov. 14, 2016. Guests can enjoy delicious flavors from around the world, food-and-beverage-tasting seminars, the "Eat to the Beat" concert series and more. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

From iconic attractions to photos with fairytale princesses, Walt Disney World offers quite the range of entertainment and experiences. The average Disney vacation is filled with family time, thrilling roller coasters and the occasional Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. However, there’s a side to the mouse that goes beyond character dining and endless queue lines. It’s a magical world filled with hidden gems for adults. If you’re looking for a mature theme park experience that’s still sprinkled with pixie dust, be sure to add one of these experiences to your Orlando agenda.

See more in our TravelPulse story! 

Jan 302017
 

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Heart of Florida United Way’s 25th annual Chef’s Gala, which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, will benefit local programs that provide food, shelter and other services to thousands of Central Floridians in need. The event features cuisine from more than 20 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with paired wines, live music and a silent auction.

The participating restaurants include:

  • Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • blu on the avenue
  • California Grill at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • deep blu
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park
  • K Restaurant
  • La Luce
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot
  • Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Primo by Melissa Kelly at Grande Lakes Orlando
  • Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant
  • Soco Restaurant
  • STK Orlando
  • Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • Todd English’s bluezoo
  • Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk
  • Urban Tide Hyatt Regency Orlando
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort

And for desserts:

  • Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs
  • Bake Me A Cake
  • Disney’s Yacht & Beach Bakery at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company

Tickets are available here: http://www.hfuw.org/chefs-gala/ 

Jan 272017
 

Widely recognized as one of America’s favorite epicurean celebrations, the 16th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) returns February 22 – 26, 2017. Its signature event that started it all in 2002, the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations, is back Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26.

In addition to the festival’s featured line-up of Culinary Captains, who together have rounded up more than 55 restaurants each day as guests sip on samplings from 100 wine and spirits suppliers from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio, an array of new and returning favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel talent and more culinary personalities will take to the KitchenAid Culinary Demonstration stages each day, including:

Saturday, February 25
Valerie Bertinelli
Ayesha Curry
Giada De Laurentiis
Bobby Flay
Snoop Dogg & Guy Fieri
Amanda Freitag & Scott Conant
Emeril Lagasse
Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos
Masaharu Morimoto
Marc Murphy
Michael Symon
Ming Tsai
Geoffrey Zakarian

Sunday, February 26
José Andrés
Anne Burrell
Giada De Laurentiis
Duff Goldman
Alex Guarnaschelli
Carla Hall
Robert Irvine
Eddie Jackson
Roger Mooking
Tia Mowry
Marcus Samuelsson
Aarón Sánchez
Ndamukong Suh
Andrew Zimmerman

Tickets for all events at the 2017 festival are available online at sobewff.org or by calling 877.762.3933. See you in Miami!

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Jan 262017
 
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Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

It’s 90 degrees, you’re drenched in sweat and you’ve been waiting in line for over an hour to see a princess. The rising summer temperatures and skyrocketing humidity that rolls into Orlando come summer can sometimes make for a less than magical day at the theme parks. From shorter lines to special events, there’s an upside to visiting Walt Disney World Resort in the middle of winter.

See why Disney is so much better in the winter on TravelPulse!

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

Jan 202017
 

We live in a pizza obsessed country, from Superbowl Sunday to Thanksgiving Eve, it’s as much a staple in American culture as the hamburger. And like most adapted dishes, we’ve found a way to reduce the art of pizza making down to a frozen science. So it’s always refreshing to find an authentic and tasty pie in town, which is exactly what we found at MidiCi. This LA founded Neapolitan pizza company has made its way to the Sunshine State. Their traditional Neapolitan cuisine features a true taste of Naples with its pizza ovens direct from Italy, as is the flour. Reminiscent of a pie you’d find on the other side of the world, this new pizza place is serving up goodness with starters like paper-thin prosciutto and endings like Nutella calzones.

MidiCi serves traditional Neapolitan cuisine with natural, fresh, non-GMO ingredients. You can select from traditional and signature menu options or create personalized pizzas in an open-kitchen fashion. Honoring the tradition, passion and art of Neapolitan pizza, making the way it was invented more than 300 years ago, MidiCi uses traditional wood-fired ovens, custom hand built in Naples with an internal temperature of 850 degrees to bake pizzas to perfection.

Completely, worth the drive from Downtown Orlando, here’s what we’d recommend ordering when you venture out to Kissimmee!

  • Housemade Meatballs: Seasoned, grass-fed and hand-rolled in-house with fresh smoked mozzarella, crushed Italian peeled tomatoes imported from Italy and parmigiano-reggiano. Served with wood fire-toasted ciabatta bread, these are classic meatballs done right.

midici

  • Burrata: Cheese lover’s rejoice (!) because this soft cheese paired with fresh melon and real prosciutto is divine. This paper thin prosciutto is even imported from Italy and aged 24 months.
  • The Margherita Pizza: A classic executed correctly, how refreshing! Using crushed Italian peeled tomatoes for it’s sauce, this pizza is filled with the appropriate amount of fresh whole mozzarella, parmigiano-reggiano and a base that was cooked perfectly. Their signature dough is soft, airy and made from only four ingredients – flour, water, sea salt and yeast.

midici

  • Double Pepperoni Pizza: Made with crushed Italian peeled tomatoes for the sauce, fresh whole mozzarella, pepperoni, spicy Italian salami, parmigiano-reggiano, organic non-gmo extra virgin olive oil and fresh organic sweet basil. Pair with one of their wines by the glass, and pretend you’re basking in the Italian sun.

midici

Just make sure you save room for the Drowning Gelato. This authentic affogato with vanilla gelato (by Italian Master Gelatiers Leo Leo Gelato) is drowning in espresso.

Ciao!

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Jan 192017
 

Tickets are on sale for the 4th annual Field to Feast Dinner March 25 at Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood, Fla., with Disney’s top chefs headlining. Presented by Edible Orlando magazine featuring Walt Disney World Resort chefs, all proceeds benefit the Kids Cafe Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, an after-school meal service program that provides food to local children in need.

Celebrating locally sourced cuisine in an open-air setting with a casual dine around, this year’s dishes will be paired with wines, beers and cocktails selected by Master Sommelier George Miliotes of Wine Bar George.  Live music, farm tours, a raffle and more are part of the event from 5-8 p.m.

Tickets are $175 at edibleorlando.com. Buy your tickets soon, the event sold out the last three years! See you on the farm.

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Jan 182017
 

It’s impossible to ignore the bustling restaurant scene that continues to emerge in Winter Park. Previously inhabited solely by Hillstone (or Houston’s if you’re a long time guest), Orlando Avenue is now home to a large collection of restaurants. From sushi to salsa, here’s where to dine in Winter Park beyond Park Avenue.

Bulla: New to the dining scene is Bulla (“boo-ya”) Gastrobar, which opened at Lakeside Crossing. Bulla, which is Spanish slang for “chatter”, boasts an energetic, vibrant atmosphere with traditional tapas and creative libations.

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Hillstone: I’ve always enjoyed Hillstone for its food, but also for the notable atmosphere. Step outside and you will find a seating area unmatched by any other local restaurant. The outdoor seating is on the edge of Lake Killarney and is filled with an herb garden and Adirondack chairs perfect for wine and conversation. The sunsets here are unbelievable and you can even reserve the dining dock that overlooks the lake. Their menu is filled with simple, fresh flavors and a variety of entrées to satisfy even the pickiest diners.

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Photo Credit: Hillstone

Chuy’s: Perhaps most surprising is the kitchen, with virtually no freezer space and everything from tortillas to drinks made-from-scratch, you can taste the difference with every bite. Flour and corn tortillas are hand-rolled and cooked every day on an authentic comal, a flat griddle traditionally used in Mexico and Central America to make tortillas. Chuy’s also features a myriad of signature sauces, you can even ask your server for a sampling of all 10 sauces and they’ll walk you through each one. And the drinks? No mixes here, the bartenders come in early each morning to squeeze the lime juice used for the day. So don’t expect frozen, re-heated food, because everything from the beverages to tortillas are crafted with care.

chuy's

Luke’s: The third concept from the Luma and Prato crew, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar offers classic American cuisine and cocktails. Inspired by timeless American libations, the bar program will feature signature classic cocktails using house-made ingredients that complement the menu. Luke’s will offer a wide-ranging, hand selected array of fine wines and craft beer as well. We’ve yet to visit, but look out for a full report soon!

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Photo Credit: Luke’s

Kona Grill: Located in the Lakeside Crossing shopping center, Kona Grill features a global menu of contemporary American favorites, award-winning sushi, and specialty cocktails in an upscale casual atmosphere. Their extensive sushi menu includes favorites like the Picasso Roll and Peppered Tuna Tataki Roll. If you’re not a sushi connoisseur, there’s plenty of other options such as Macadamia Nut Chicken or Pad Thai.

kona grill

While we love the charm and personality of Park Avenue, there’s plenty of places worth exploring off the well-beaten path.