I have decided that the epitome of happiness is an ice cream cone in your left hand, a glass of wine in your right hand, and live jazz during cherry blossom season at The Dallas Arboretum. What a way to kick off spring! The second annual Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival was sold out once again and had absolutely perfect weather. A sea of colorful tulips cascaded down emerald hills while cherry blossoms scented the night sky. The sunset over White Rock Lake was the cherry on top of this swanky celebration of food. I took my friend and realtor Dell, who was so excited to experience her first DA Food and Wine Festival.
The international-themed culinary carnival was broken into four areas: Pan Asian, South American, American Bistro, and Mediterranean. The layout of the festival was much different this year than last, as it was contained to one large area of the Arboretum rather than having the sections in various parts of the garden. The result yielded far less walking than last year but on the flip side, you didn’t get to see as much of the Arboretum. Now I have an excuse to go back next week to enjoy more of Dallas Blooms!
Some of my favorite dishes this year were Taco y Vino’s jackfruit taco (I just learned what jackfruit was last week!), Uchi’s sushi with strawberry, Smoky Rose’s smoked salmon, A-Bar N Ranch’s Texas wagyu brisket empanadas, Stampede 66’s wagyu beef, Empanada Cookhouse’s empanadas, and Parigi’s brussel sprout salad with Marcona almonds. I have to say: Parigi’s was on my best dish list last year and somehow I still haven’t been to that restaurant! Note to self: dine at Parigi’s.
One change I loved this year was that dessert was evenly spread out in every section rather than having dessert contained to one section at the end of the night. The second booth we stopped at happened to be Cheesecake Royale. I asked Dell if it was too early for cheesecake and she said, “It’s never too early for dessert!” Words to live by. Last year I was too full to eat much dessert and this year every fifth or sixth dish was dessert. How fun is that? My favorite desserts this year were Cheesecake Royale’s s’mores balls and turtle cheesecake, Pop Star’s Hibiscus popsicles, Slow Bone’s lemon and rhubarb meringue pie, and Henry’s homemade ice cream in chocolate chocolate chip.
After getting ice cream, we headed to the VIP lounge to enjoy the jazz band and sunset from front row seats. If you’re on the fence on whether or not to spring for VIP next year, do it. It’s so worth it. You get in much earlier than general admission and have a lovely cocktail reception over looking the lake prior to the doors opening. We easily powered through two whole sections before general admission even came in. Plus we got gorgeous commemorative wine glasses! I can’t even wait to collect a full set.
I’m already hungry for next year! If you haven’t visited Dallas Arboretum yet for their Blooms festival, you still have time.And don’t forget, I’ll emcee the Cool Thursdays concert on April 19th and I would love to see you there.