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  • Thursday, December 5, 2019

5 Unbeatable Dining Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando is full of exciting attractions and delicious restaurants, but there is tons of amazing food and entertainment to experience at the resort outside of the theme parks as well! Several hotels on the property have their own unique dinner shows and interactive meals that are not limited just to guests with reservations. Take your next dinner outing to the next level with these one-of-a-kind dining experiences!

Wine Riffs (Hard Rock Hotel)

Wine Riffs at the Hard Rock Hotel is a dining experience like no other, putting a cool music spin on the standard pairing event. The multi-sensory meal features vintage wines from a featured vineyard with elegant complementary multi-course meal accompanied by a DJ spinning a custom soundtrack that sets the ambiance. Tickets to Wine Riffs are valid for a reception outside the Avalon Ballroom starting at 7:00 PM, a five-course dinner with wine pairings chosen by sommelier Andy McNamara, and complimentary valet parking. The December 6 event’s menu will feature the following pairings:

Passed Hors D’Oeurves
  • Mushroom filled with Maine Lobster, Local Red Shrimp, and Parsley Butter 
  • Ahi Tuna Avocado Rice Noodle Roll with a Sweet Soy Glaze 
  • Wine Pairing: Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve
Amuse
  • Florida Stone Crabe Cake and Claw with Mango Aioli, Blood Orange and Apple Salad, Sevruga Caviar, a Quail Egg, and Brioche Toast
  • Wine Pairing: Delamotte Blanc de Blanc Champagne
Fish
  • Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass and Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Hazelnut Citrus Gremoulada, Rainbow Chard, and Parsnip Puree
  • Wine Pairing: Ramey Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay
Duck
  • Roasted Duck Breast and Leg Confit served with Wild Rice Cake, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Blackberry and Carter Pinot Noir Jus Lie
  • Wine Pairing: Ken Wright Cellars Carter Vineyard Pinot Noir
Beef
  • Serrano-wrapped Filet Mignon with Wild Mushroom Ragout, Brioche and Leek Bread Pudding, and Baby Beets with an Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon and Shallot Reduction
  • Wine Pairing: Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon
Dessert
  • Blood Orange Souffle and Bittersweet Chocolate Gelato with Roasted Pistachios
  • Wine Pairing: Billecart-Salmon Demi-Sec

Jake’s Beer Dinner (Loews Royal Pacific Resort)

Jake’s Beer Dinners are held on select nights throughout the year in the private Clipper Room at Jake’s American Bar. Each month, a different beer vendor is featured at the special dining event, which pairs various ales and lagers to five delicious courses of food that perfectly complement the brews. This month’s event, scheduled for December 6, highlights various brews from 3 Daughters Brewing. The menu includes:

Appetizer
  • Chef Board: Speck Ham, Tillamook Aged Cheddar, Mobay Quince, Apple, and Pretzel Crisps
  • Beer Pairing: 3 Daughters Brewing Key Lime Cider
Salad Course
  • Roasted Carrot Salad: Heirloom Carrots, Candied Walnuts, Whipped Goat Cheese, and Webb’s Wildflower Honey Vinaigrette
  • Beer Pairing: 3 Daughters Brewing Beach Blonde Ale
Soup/Stew Course
  • Spanish Zarzuela: Cape Canaveral Red Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Little Neck Clams, and Mussels in a Saffron Broth
  • Beer Pairing: 3 Daughters Brewing Mission to Marzen
Intermezzo
  • Florida Hard Seltzer Popsicle
  • Beer Pairing: 3 Daughters Brewing Florida Hard Seltzer
Main Course
  • Duck Roulade: Dry Cherry and Pistachio Stuffed Duck, Kabocha Squash Puree, Charred Rapini, and Cherry Reduction
  • Beer Pairing: 3 Daughters Brewing Rod Bender Red Ale
Dessert
  • Mint Chocolate Mousse Bomb: Oreo Crust, Chocolate, and Mint Chocolate Mousse Layers with Mint Creme Anglaise and White Chocolate Glaze
  • Beer Pairing: 3 Daughters Brewing Winter’s Truce Imperial Stout

Caribbean Carnaval Dinner Show (Loews Sapphire Falls Resort)

The Caribbean Carnaval Dinner Show is an entertaining musical journey through the islands that takes place every Friday night at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The interactive dinner show celebrates Jamaica, Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad, and the Bahamas through songs, dance, and authentic food from the Caribbean. Tickets include an authentic Caribbean buffet, non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine, and Planter’s Punch. Seating and dinner begins at 6:00 PM, and the show kicks off at 7:00 PM. In addition to the dazzling entertainers, the show has interactive elements that will get guests up on their feet such as limbo, conga lines, and more!  
Priority Seating: $81 per Adult, $41 per Child (plus tax and fees)
Regular Seating: $71 per Adult, $36 per Child (plus tax and fees)

Dinner Menu
  • Organic Greens Salad with Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber, Carrots, Corn Bread Croutons, and Grilled Pineapple Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
  • Pinto Bean & Shrimp Salad with Chorizo, Peppers, Cilantro, Oven Roasted Vegetables, Green Banana and Yucca Escabeche and Chili Lime Vinaigrette
  • Mojo Roasted Suckling Pig
  • Coconut Pineapple Brioche Carving Rolls
  • Ropa Vieja: Made with Shredded Beef, Tomato and Sweet Plantains
  • Grilled Snapper with Coconut Rice, Corn and Black Bean Salpicon
  • Jerk Chicken with Mango Papaya Relish and Jerk Sauce
  • Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables
  • Johnny Cakes
  • Caribbean Rum Cake
  • Guava Flan
  • Mexican Chocolate Fudge Cake
  • Coconut and Caramel Rice Pudding

Wantilan Luau (Loews Royal Pacific Resort)

The Wantilan Luau is a weekly show at Loews Royal Pacific Resort that takes place on Saturday evenings. The authentic Hawaiian traditional luau celebrates Polynesia food and entertainment with an all-you-can-eat buffet, live music, hula and fire dancers, and so much more! Registration begins at 5:30 PM and seating for the dining experience begins at 6:00 PM for each show. Tickets include access to the tropical buffet, non-alcoholic beverages, wine, beer, and Mai Tais.
Priority Seating: $81 per adult, $41 per child (tax and fees not included)
Regular Seating: $71 per adult, $36 per child (tax and fees not included)

Menu
  • Island Spiced Vegetables Medley with Toasted Almonds
  • Toasted Coconut Jasmine Rice
  • Fire Grilled Tender Beef with Straw Mushroom, Bean Sprouts, and Baby Corn
  • Catch of the Day from the Pacific Waters
  • Macadamia Crusted Goat Cheese with Kim Chi Napa Cabbage and Shiitake Mushroom
  • Ahi Poke Salad with Cellophane Noodles and Ginger Soy Vinaigrette
  • Hawaiian Chicken Teriyaki
  • Pit-roasted Suckling Pig with Spice Rum infused Pineapple Puree
  • Lomi Lomi Chicken Salad with Maui Onions, Tomatoes and Green Scallions
  • Mixed Native Greens with Hearts of Palm and Citrus
  • Kona Coffee Ganache Pineapple Macadamia Tart
  • Passion Fruit Crème Brulee
  • Tropical Fresh Fruit with White Chocolate Mousse Shots
  • Freshly Baked Breads with Sweet Butter
  • Beverages: Mai Tais, Beer, Wine, Freshly Brewed Regular & Decaf Coffee, Virgin Mai Tais, Lemonade, and Water
  • Kids’ Meals: Macaroni & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chicken Fingers, Cheese Pizza, and Salad

Harbor Nights (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel)

Harbor Nights is a special adults-only event located on the Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel that is held four times a year. Guests can enjoy an evening of live music and traditional opera performances while sipping on select wines and indulging in unlimited samples of gourmet dishes from the hotel’s restaurants. General standing tickets cost $65 per person and VIP, which includes reserved seating, a private wine tasting and passed hors d’ouerves, is $95 per person. Parking for Harbor Nights is free, and valet parking is just $5.

Sample Menu
  • Butternut Squash Risotto (Mama Della’s Ristorante): Made with Sauteed Garlic Tomato Shrimp, Baby Arugula, and Olive Oil
  • Grilled Spiced Rubbed Flat Iron Steak (Trattoria del Porto): Served with Cheesy Mashed Potato and Red Wine Gravy
  • Tuscany Village Soup (Trattoria del Porto)
  • TBA (Bice Ristorante)
  • Breaded Crispy Eggplant Parmesan (Splendido Bar & Grill): With Tomato Pomodoro, Shaved Fontina Cheese, and Lemon Olive Parsley Salsa
  • Seared Turmeric Ocean Bass (Sal’s Market Deli): Served with Roasted Okra, Tomato Curry Sauce and Basmati Rice
  • Triple Chocolate Gelato (Gelateria)
  • Espresso Gelato (Gelateria)
  • Coffee Tiramisu with Berries
  • Pumpkin Carrot Cake
  • Sparkling Wines: Allure Sparkling Moscato and Opera Prima Brut
  • White Wines: Banfi Centine Toscana Bianco, Caposaldo Pinot Grigio, Benziger Sauvignon Blanc, and Cartlidge & Brown Chardonnay
  • Red Wines: Vino Rose Sangiovese, Banfi Centrine Rosso Toscana, 10 Span Pinot Noir, Casillero del Diablo Malbec, Castle Rock Cabernet Sauvignon, Michele Chiarlo ‘Le Orme Barbera D’Asti, Trapiche Oak Cask Red, Tenuta di Salviano Turlo Lago di Corbara, and Masi Campofiorin Rosso del Verones

Jake’s Beer Festival (Loews Royal Pacific Resort)

Jake’s Beer Festivals take place twice a year outside on the Wantilan Pavilion. The special event highlights more than 50 craft and specialty beers and delicious, creative food offerings and live entertainment. In addition to a wide variety of craft beers from local and regional vendors like 3 Daughters and Cigar City Brewing, a sample festival menu may feature foods such as:

  • Fresh Baked Soft Mini Pretzels with Four Cheese Porter Fondue
  • Chicken & Waffles: Crispy Chicken, Fresh-made Waffles, Jalapeno Maple Glaze
  • Achiote Marinated Pork Tacos with Pickled Onion, Cilantro, and Cotija
  • BBQ Short Rib Sliders: Smoked Cheddar Biscuits, Jake’s American Red Lager BBQ Sauce, Caramelized Onions, and Cabbage Slaw
  • Mediterranean Flatbread: Roasted Eggplant, Feta Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Toasted Pistachio and Sorell Pesto
  • Hot Smoked Salmon Tostada with Onion, Avocado, Tomato, Radish, and Meyer Lemon

Looking for more entertaining dining experiences at the parks? Check out these awesome dinner and a show packages at Disney World!

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