One of our favorite events to attend is the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic. The event takes place annual during the time in which Disney World host the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This year, it was held on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31. We attended on Halloween.
This year the Food and Wine Classic was even larger than in previous years. They added the Beer Garden last year and this year, Carnival Corner. Carnival Corner featured comfort foods that remind you being at a carnival or fair. Some of the dishes that were featured include Nitro Kettle Corn, Cabot Creamery, Funnel Cake and Texas Style Corn Dogs.
The Nitro Kettle Corn was really unique. They made popcorn with caramel foam, honey roasted peanuts and sea salt using liquid nitrogen. The sweet and salty together was great!
You can never go wrong with funnel cakes! They are one of those great kid comfort foods that you can’t resist. We had ours with the Nutella and powdered sugar.
The Texas Style Corn Dog was an all beef frank tipped on corn meal batter and served with mustard. It’s another great comfort food that takes you back to your childhood, visiting state fairs and amusement parks.
Of course, we didn’t miss the Beer Garden. It was an upgrade from the general causeway ticket and was host to several local and craft brews and delicious German foods that would traditionally be enjoyed at a local German Biergarten.
At the Beer Garden, we enjoyed the Handcrafted German Style Sausage with braised cabbage and Laugen bread with mustard, Weiner Schnitzel with Warm German Style Potato Salad, and the Soft Pretzels. All of the food was delicious! We also made sure to check out several of the beers being offered, including Duvel, Due South Brewing Co., Shipyard, Phins and Feathers, Ommegang, Victory, Breckenridge Brewery, Sea Dog Brewing Co., and Florida Brewing Company.
Everything was great at the Beer Garden. The Weiner Schnitzel was freshly made. It came out nice and hot! The pretzel was our favorite. If you’ve ever had a freshly-made pretzel, then you know how fantastic they are. These were topped with some butter and salt. If there wasn’t so much other great food to try, we would have had three or four of these. The sausage was also excellent. We were glad to see it paired with red cabbage.
We returned back to the Beer Garden at 8 pm because Ommegang was pouring their Game of Thrones’ Take The Black Stout. It was a wonderful, rick stout. If you’re a stout drinker and you find this beer, you must try it.
The main causeway was set up with the usual booths highlighted the Swan and Dolphin restaurants – Todd English’s bluezoo, Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Kimonos, Garden Grove, The Fountain, Cabana Bar and Beach Club, Fresh Mediterranean Market, and Picabu. Attendees were also treated to wines, beers and sake vendors.
Cib’s Smokehouse offered Smoked Wagyu Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree, Melba Toast and Pommery Mustard Sauce. As always, Cib’s menu item was fantastic. It was full of flavor and the parsnips were a great accompaniment.
Shula’s Steakhouse featured their Carved Prime NY Strip with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sauce Bordelaise. Shula’s never disappoints. Some of us I like Prime rib, but I personally am not a fan, but this Prime NY Strip… it was amazing. Perfectly cooked!
Il Mulino’s dish was Mascarpone – Chestnut Ravioli with Italian Sausage, Celery Root and Bacon Jus. Il Mulino is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The food is always excellent. The mascarpone was rich and creamy and the chestnut added a nice earthiness to the dish.
Garden Grove showcased their fantastic Fish n’ Chips – beer battered sustainable bass with Sarson’s malt vinegar chips and tartar foam. This dish is always featured at this event and it’s always perfectly cooked – crispy on the outside and light and flaky on the inside.
At Cabana, we had the Buffalo Chicken Wings with Pickled Celery, Petite Carrots and Blue Cheese Fondue. The wings were pretty good.
Guests were treated to Braised Pork Taqueria with corn tortillas, organic vegetables, cheddar cheese, lime wedge, lettuce, onion, shaved radish, pico de gallo and assorted hot sauces.
Todd English featured Bay Sea Scallops with fall squash, citrus fruits and Hobb’s applewood smoked bacon. This dish was so good that I had to go back for seconds. The citrus and smokiness of the bacon made the bay sea scallops pop.
Bluezoo featured Ginger Cured Hamachi with nitro lime, romaine leaves and green olives. We really liked the addition of the green olives, it added a nice earthiness to the dish.
St. Augustine Distillery Co. was there to make hand-crafted cocktails. The distillery is located in St. Augustine, FL, and they offer free tours and tastings. They are offered Monday – Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm.
We tried the Florida Mule which is made with 2 oz. of Cane Vodka and 2 oz. of Mule Mix, and topped with soda water and a sprig of mint. It was light, refreshing and great for parties.
Laurent Branlard featured three different desserts. In the front, éclair coffee caramel pecan. In the back, chocolate almond crunch cake. Up front is the white chocolate vanilla ice cream, graham cracker streusel, raspberry compote, raspberry marshmallow, vanilla whipped cream, and caramelized hazelnuts.
Other delicious tastings at the Food and Wine Classic include: Kimonos’ Dragon Roll – crispy shrimp, tuna, avocado and Japanese mayonnaise; Wild Shrimp, served young bamboo, crispy yuba and plum sauce at Fresh Mediterranean and Soft Shell Crab Roll served with white bread, Old Bay remoulade and tomato fondue at The Fountain.
Make sure to check out our review of the Wine Blending seminar!
Please note, we did receive this dining experience complimentary of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. However, as with all of our reviews, that does not guarantee a positive review.
Have you been to the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic? What did you enjoy most? We’d love to hear about your experience!