During the month of September (and a special sneak peak week in August) we have Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining month here in Orlando. Select Orlando restaurants (77 in all) are offering up three course prix fixe dinners for just $33 per person.
This year Yelp got together with Visit Orlando to host a special Magical Dining Month Kickoff Party for Yelp Elite at The Ballroom at Church Street. What an amazing event! First off, the location is spectacular. I was there once before for work, but I was just as impressed the second time around. The 19th century Victoria style venue is operated exclusively by Puff n’ Stuff Catering & Events. From it’s floor to ceiling stained glass windows in the atrium, baby grand piano, wrap around wrought iron stairs, to it’s stunning outdoor fountains and courtyards, this place is stunning.
The event was held upstairs in the ballroom itself. Seven restaurants that are participating in Magical Dining Month were on hand to share some of the amazing food that is on their MDM menus. With so many delicious options, it was hard to know where to start but as soon as I heard that Cuba Libre had Mango Mojitos I made a beeline to their table. Oh my yum. They were so delicious!
We spent the evening making our way around the room trying bites from the various restaurants and sometimes even getting to speak with the chefs themselves. This event was just the right size to be able to chat with folks to learn more about their restaurants, menus, and staff. I already had plans to go to three restaurants during Magical Dining Month but after this event I really feel like I might need to add a few more to the list.
My favorite dish of the evening was the crab cake with local sweet corn coconut grits, and corn salsa from Hemingway’s. I went to an event at Hemingway’s in the fall, so I already knew that they had some amazing food and this crab cake did not disappoint. It was very hard not to get back in line after I finished and grab myself another one.
In addition to all of the lovely dinner food available, a couple of the restaurants served up a dessert (or 4) towards the end of the evening. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE dessert. Since I skipped a couple of things (they were steak) I had room to have a couple of desserts. My favorite was the Tres Leche cake from Cuba Libre . (Sounds like I really need to go to there huh?) It was so moist and delicious.
With so many restaurants to choose from during Magical Dining Month, I think this was a great way to give people an idea of what to expect. Even if you ate at a different restaurant each night you still wouldn’t be able to get to more than half of the participating restaurants. Since I was able to try food from a couple of them I now have a better idea of which ones I would like. So if you are a participating restaurant and Yelp asks if you want to participate in this event next year – DO IT! It will totally be worth it.
Thanks to Andi from Yelp, Visit Orlando, The Ballroom at Church Street, Onli Beverage, Tito’s Vodka, Cuba Libre, Hemingway’s, Napa, K Restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Siro Urban Italian Kitchen, and Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse for an amazing evening of food and fun.