Fun Food Ideas for Dec 25-31


Five quick tips for fun and food in Orlando for the week ahead, including Publix Aprons Cooking School and a whiskey dinner.

Well, it’s the end of the year … almost. In just the next week, you’ve got Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and probably some downtime in between. (If you plan on a little NYE champagne shopping, check out these tips from local experts in the Edible Orlando print edition.)

Even on a packed week like this, you might just need some advice on what to do and where to go. We can help. Edible Orlando writer John Graham has done the legwork and picked five upcoming foodie events in Central Florida you don’t want to miss.

Christmas Day

So it’s Christmas Day and you want to go out to eat … or at least, get take-out. Your best bet is to call ahead to your neighborhood place and cross your fingers, but if you’re near a theme park, odds are better to find someplace open. Columbia Restaurant in Celebration is open 365 days a year. Waffle House, IHOP, Denny’s, Benihana and Romano’s Macaroni Grill are a few of the chains that will be open on December 25.

As for hotels and resorts, deep blu Seafood Grille at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek will be adding a pan-roasted duck breast with huckleberry marmalade to the regular menu. JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is doing a casual Christmas buffet in the Unreserved Beer Garden with carving stations, a raw bar and live entertainment.  American Kitchen Bar & Grill at The B Resort & Spa is doing their breakfast buffet on Christmas Day. Rosen Shingle Creek will have a lunch and early dinner buffet at Café Osceola. So will DoubleTree By Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld in the Laguna restaurant.

Cooking School, Whiskey Dinner, Lucky Peas

Kids are out of school this week, so why not send them to cooking daycamp? Publix Aprons Cooking School is doing a three-day Science Behind Cooking class, Monday-Wednesday, with different recipes for ages 8-10, 11-12, and 13-17. For example, the youngest kids do grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti while the teens tackle barbacoa tacos and brined pork chops. Each class lasts about two and a half hours per day. $150/person for all three days.

If you love Bob Dylan and whiskey, Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster is having a dinner just for you on Wednesday night. Heaven’s Door is Dylan’s whiskey label and the dinner will feature Heaven’s Door Bourbon, Heaven’s Door Double Barrel, Heaven’s Door Rye, and Christner’s own Heaven’s Door Single Barrel. The menu? Onion rings, blue cheese wedge salad, USDA Prime ribeye, spinach with potato and onion, and a bread pudding with Heaven’s Door bourbon sauce. Heaven’s Door National Brand Ambassador Austin Millspaugh will be there too. $150 per person including tax and gratuity. Reservations required at 407-645-4443.

Hoppin’ John is a traditional New Year’s Day meal in the American South – black-eyed peas and rice with onion and some kind of pork (pictured above). If you believe, eating Hoppin’ John on January 1 means good luck in the year ahead. Hinckley’s Fancy Meats at East End Market is cooking up black-eyed peas with pig feet, deboned and rolled to make a roulade. If you order before they run out, you can pick it up on NYE and park it in the icebox for Jan. 1.

New Year’s Eve

And the week wraps up with New Year’s Eve Friday. Just like Christmas Day, you’ve got so many choices that we’ll never hit them all, but here’s a few…

The Osprey in Baldwin Park is dishing up a seven-course seafood-focused Chef’s Tasting Dinner with optional beverage pairings. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $190 per person. 

The Vineyard Orlando is doing a five-course prix fixe menu with 5:30 p.m. ($90) and 7:45 p.m. ($120) seatings. Reservations required at [email protected] or 407-909-9522. 

Bites & Bubbles in Mills 50 is also doing a prix fixe dinner, a rooftop party, and the option to do both. The four-course dinner is $79 (before drinks, tax and tip). The rooftop party (including two drinks, light bites and midnight toast) is $100.

Aventura Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort is staging a rooftop celebration at its Bar 17 Bistro with 360-degree view of area fireworks. The $150 tickets include specialty food, beer, wine and featured specialty cocktails until 11pm with DJ, party favors and midnight prosecco toast. VIP package for six ($1260) also includes couch seating and two bottles of champagne.

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