Last year I wrote, “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” and I said the exact same thing to my friend Matt this year, as we strolled through the lawn, toting ice cream cones and zinfandel. The Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival is truly one of my favorite events of the whole year.
Now in its third year, the DA Food and Wine Festival has expanded to a three-day event: the grand tasting on Thursday night (which is what you’ll read about here), cooking classes and a vintner’s dinner on Friday, and a farm-to-table workshop and dinner on Saturday. The grand tasting featured forty of Dallas’ best chefs, twenty wineries, and over one hundred and forty-four wines.
One of the best things about the Dallas Arboretum’s food and wine festival is that it happens smack dab in the middle of Dallas Blooms, which is a sight for sore eyes! Over half a million tulips pepper the garden and the cherry blossoms were blooming. This year, Dallas Blooms features an enormous picnic topiary: a picnic basket, ant, pie, and bouquet. If you’ve never been to the Dallas Arboretum during Blooms, A Grand Tasting will be an incredible treat.
The sun was already setting when we walked in so I honestly didn’t get the best food photos this year but I did my best! Some of my favorite bites were:
The taco and spicy corn by Luis Olivera at Tromp.
The tuna poke with strawberry sauce served with chips by Anastasia Quinones at Jose.
The smoked salmon crostini by Michael Matis of Fearing’s Restaurant.
The ravioli with spring peas by Eric Friedline of Sevy’s Grill.
But my absolute favorite bite of the night was the philly cheesesteak smothered in queso by Daniel Pittman of LUCK at Trinity Groves. The brioche bun was a pillow of sweetness around the meat, which was drenched in white queso. I fancy myself quite French at heart but hand me a sandwich with queso poured on, and I am Texan through and through.
As for dessert, well it was dark out and I didn’t get the best pictures but Cheesecake Royale takes the cake for best bite along with Henry’s Ice Cream.
That’s one happy foodie!
One addition this year that I loved was Hive Coffee. If you see this adorable husband and wife team at an event around Dallas, order a latte. They know what they’re doing with coffee and they could not be more personable.
Also, can we talk about how perfect Matt’s outfit was? Gentlemen, this is how you dress for a garden party. Ladies, show your fellas this picture.
The absolute highlight of the evening for me was running into one of my Rose Table readers! Right when we walked in, a fabulously dressed woman said, “Are you the girl from The Rose Table?” It made my day to get to chat with her! If you ever see me at an event, do come say hello.
I’m already counting down the days to next year! Supporting sponsors for A Grand Tasting include Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians & The Rosewood Corporation, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Thank you for making this event possible!