I’m back, ladies and gentlemen! After fourteen months of quarantining, it could not have felt more special to stroll around my beloved Dallas Arboretum for the fourth annual Food and Wine Festival. This is one of my favorite events of the year in a normal year but this one was particularly special since the event didn’t happen in 2020. This year’s Food and Wine Festival had the festive them of A Gatsby Garden Soirée so my friend Thi and I threw on our best Gatsby outfits and headed to the Arboretum for a positively sparkling evening.
We were immediately whisked to the VIP section when we arrived. If you have not done the VIP experience at the Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival, I highly recommend it. There’s a whole extra hour of foodie fabulousness waiting for you! It sells out fast every year so buy tickets the day they go on sale if you want to go.
A Tasteful Place Garden, home to the VIP section, had some of my favorite bites of the night! After picking up our souvenir wine glasses, Thi and I started the night with a glass of Gallo rosé, which turned out to be our favorite pour of the night. Asian Mint served up a delightful mango sticky rice. One of my favorite dishes of the evening was also in the VIP Experience: the ceviche by John Tesar at Knife. It’s no surprise, since Tesar is hailed as one of the best chefs in Dallas. The seafood was so succulent and it had just the right amount of heat. It was so refreshing on a hot day and paired perfectly with the rosé.
The main event started promptly at 7 pm and we hurried over to explore. The event was very well laid out and didn’t feel too congested at all. I love how spread out the booths were. The food booths were set up around the edges of the garden and alcohol was in the center, making it easy to navigate. Neither Thi nor I are beer drinkers so we stuck to wine and an aperol spritz to start.
There were also water stations all over the garden stocked with ice cold water bottles. So friendly! I heartily believe in hydrating while drinking so this was much appreciated.
Now, on to the food! This was a particularly fun menu food-wise for seafood lovers like myself. The chefs clearly kept the warm weather in mind too; many of the dishes were light and refreshing on the balmy evening. Here are some of the food highlights:
Roaring 20’s attire was encouraged and I loved seeing the festive ensembles! Here are some of my favorite outfits this year:
And what a thrill to run into one of my Rose Table readers at this event! If you ever see me out and about, do come and say hello. Special thank you to the sponsors of the evening, Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Amegy Bank, and Southern Glazes Wine & Spirits for making the evening possible. And with that, I’ll let the jazz band play us out.
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