So earlier in the week, I became the proud mama of a bouncing baby liver. And just in time for The Key West Food & Wine Festival. That’s my story
One of my favorite events has always been the kick-off party. This year’s was the “Kick Off Your Flip Flops Copa Cabana Beach Party”.
So here is an image that is almost NEVER captured…
Prissy actually attending the “Kick Off Your Flip Flops Copa Cabana Beach Party” in…flip flops. Okay, I associate flip flops as those obnoxious rubber shoes that cost $3.00 at CVS. These leather sandals (sandals–now isn’t that a better word?) were Steve Maddens and a gift from TraceyG last summer when she couldn’t wear them. Flats go better with maxi dresses, plus I didn’t want the Manolos getting sandy.
Local wino friends Chris and Barbara. Barbara intro’d themselves to us after we all went on the holiday “look at the lights” trolley sponsored by Grand Vin. I love when Prissy readers intro themselves…it’s great fun!
So some of our locals may look like those in your town/city. Then there is QMitch, Ball Caller Extraordinaire at 801 Bourbon Bar every Sunday. Nobody looks like him…nobody sounds like him…nobody calls balls like him. And we are thankful for our fabulous original. I love ya, Mitch!
I’m originally from Central New York so imagine my surprise when I learned several months back that Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards would be at this year’s fest.
Meanwhile, a few steps down the sand, it was A Meeting of the Gregs: My Greg, My friend Jennifer’s Greg, and Random Greg. No, we didn’t just find this uber-blond guy walking on the beach and say “Hit me up with a group picture, yo”. Greg 2 and 3 are friends.
It was, however, time to bid the kick-off party adieu. While a beach party is always a fun time, I did find this year’s to be lacking the glorious food and finer wines of kick-off parties past.
Time for a new experience! For the prior two years, we did the Key West Bight Stroll. This year, we decided to try the new kid on the block: The Quieter Side of Duval. Just because our particular stroll wasn’t far from Southernmost, we still got to ride Old Town Trolley.
Unfortunately, The Handsome Captain™ was so busy chowing on the extremely juicy, tasty, and peppery scallops that he did not capture an image of said scallops. More’s the pity.
So we continued on to stop #3: Nine One Five
This was supposed to have been a pairing of Fresh Dungeness Crab with Lemon Miso Dressing wrapped in Ahi Tuna Sashimi and Justin Sauvignon Blanc. I say “supposed to have been” because apparently the exact amount of crab servings were placed upon a table. Since nobody was serving, it mattered not that folks took 3-4 plates and leaving the remaining patrons of the stroll to get bupkus. A member of our party was understandably upset and it seemed to matter not one iota to this establishment. I found that very sad. As much as this seems to smack of a venue who may be, as my Mama says, “getting a little too big for their britches”, admittedly I do not know both sides to this story. I do know that many folks were disappointed.
On to Blackfin Bistro for a Conch Cake with a Dijon Remoulade paired with the 900 Grapes Sauvignon Blanc.
Despite the smiling face, this was another disappointment…I just didn’t know it at the time. This plate was among the very last to be handed out and once again, there wasn’t enough for everyone. Considering Blackfin is among my favorite restaurants here, I was majorly bummed. However, as I said about Nine One Five…I do not know the whole story so I don’t want to finger point.
Our fabulous crew, once again, went a-walkin’….Up Duval and down Truman to the courtyard of…
a magnificent spread!!! Our final pairing, on the food side, was The Popcorn Pimp. Described by the creators themselves, “This cheesecake manages to expose itself freely while allured to rest on top of a sweet sugar cookie dough crust. His velvet creamy filling remains protected with a robe of soft caramel & eventually gets dressed smartly with a white chocolate bark poked with salted popcorn and a dark chocolate dribble.” So…do you need a cold shower?
Forget Applebee’s…Claudia of Florida Travel + Life was definitely “feelin’ good in the neighborhood”.
While I believe this particular neighborhood stroll was not the best it could have been, as you can see, we still had a great time. It is my sincere hope that if this stroll is on the schedule again next year, it becomes a first class event. I love my town:) I want the best for our event planners, our restaurants & bars, and our locals & visitors. Salut!
PS–Stay tuned for Part 2,”Bottles & Busts Grand Tasting” at Mallory Square’s Historic Sculpture Garden.