Tonight was the fifth annual Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival and what a lovely evening it was in the garden. This is hands down my favorite foodie event of the whole year. What could possibly be a more me event than sipping rosé and eating tons of gourmet bites while surrounded by the best gardens in Dallas?
The Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival takes place during Dallas Blooms, which is one of the biggest flower festivals in the country. It’s without a doubt one of my favorite times to visit the Dallas Arboretum because you’re treated to over half a million spring bulbs. This year’s Dallas Blooms theme is Birds in Paradise. The garden is a sea of colors with over 100 varieties of spring bulbs, thousands of azaleas and hundreds of Japanese cherry trees. There’s also several large peacock topiaries right in the center of the Food and Wine Festival.
Tickets to the Food and Wine Festival range from $129-$199 depending on if you’re a member or non-member and if you add the VIP Experience. The general admission ticket price includes parking and a small souvenir wine glass. The VIP ticket gets you an extra hour of festivities in the VIP section in A Tasteful Place as well as a large souvenir wine glass. Some of the best bites are exclusively in the VIP section so I highly recommend splurging if you’re a foodie like me! Plus, A Tasteful Place has some the most stunning views at the Arboretum.
This year the VIP section also included a champagne tower and the most incredible bourbon cocktail with lavender simple syrup that I will be dreaming of every happy hour in my own garden from now on.
My top five favorite bites this year were:
Meridian’s raw salmon dish was one of the first bites we ate in the VIP section and one of my absolute favorite bites of the night!
The pork jowl from Encina just melted in your mouth. You didn’t even have to chew! It was like butter.
The beet carpaccio with edible flowers from Home Grown Market was as tasty as it was gorgeous. Could this be a prettier spring dish? I’m a sucker for beets anyway but this was the first time I’ve ever had them smoked.
And last but certainly not least, Dean Fearing’s squid ink shrimp on a stick. It was so delicious that we walked very far out of our way to get a second stick on our way out. I will dream about this perfect bite!
I hope you had as much fun reading about this as I had eating it all! Cheers to another wonderful festival.
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