The perfect way to explore Winter Park’s best restaurants
A Chocolate Party and Food & Wine pairings at 3 Winter Park hot spots made for a fun Progressive Dinner on Day 3 of my 12 Days of Birthday Celebrations!
It is often a rare occasion when a group of friends can juggle hectic work schedules, babysitter dilemmas, and life in general to align schedules for a get together. It’s like the parting of the seas! So, when it happens, you better make sure it is an over the top evening worthy of such a miracle. But what’s a foodie to do when you can’t decide which restaurant to choose for such a special celebration? I say don’t decide, host a progressive dinner instead! This was a common practice years ago where neighbors would host each dinner course at a different home. Here we are using foodie retailers and restaurants instead. It’s a lot less work and no clean up involved! It was the perfect way to celebrate Day 3 of my 12 Days of Birthday Celebrations.
I’m inspired to sing like the 12 Days of Christmas…
On the third day of birthday celebrations, my best friends gave to me… a progressive dinner on Park Ave”
A progressive dinner gives you the opportunity to try several of the best restaurants in the city when you only have one night to do it in. If you are visiting a new city, this is a great way to explore the local flavor and get the most out of your trip. Winter Park, Florida is often considered the Foodie Hub of Orlando. With an abundance of award-winning local restaurants, beautiful architecture, and fun shops it is a wonderful playground for foodies and all lovers of life. This is why I chose Winter Park as the destination for my Ultimate goEpicurista Progressive Dinner Experience.
Progressive Dinner Stop #1: Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
We started the evening with sweets and a chocolate party at Peterbrooke Chocolatier that set the tone for a fun evening. Owners Kevin & Jami Wray really outdid themselves. It was sweet, messy, delicious fun! Read all about it here.
Progressive Dinner Stop #2: The Wine Room on Park Avenue
We “progressed” with a short walk across the street to a cool secret safe room at The Wine Room on Park Avenue for an impeccable wine and cheese tasting everyone raved about. This exclusive experience was one of the favorites of the night. Check out what caused a feeding frenzy here.
Progressive Dinner Stop #3: Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen
A nice stroll further down Park Avenue, led us to our third foodie destination where I surprised my guests with a deliciously creative dinner by Chef Camilo Velasco at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen. Don’t let the name fool you! They serve a lot more than coffee here. Click here to read all about what surprised everyone the most.
Progressive Dinner Stop #4: Luma on Park
We put the cherry on top of the perfect evening at trendy Luma on Park with after-dinner drinks and desserts that had us all in Epicurista heaven! See for yourself what amazing desserts Pastry Chef Brian Cernell created here.
Strolling along Park Avenue, with the fancy shops and trendy restaurants on one side and Central Park on the other, makes you feel like you could be in another, much bigger city, New York. A cleaner, nicer smelling and slower-paced version of New York that is. Think less yellow cabs and more expensive cars. The impressive Rolls Royce and the Ferrari parked in front of Luma are a common sight on Park Avenue. Yet, despite all this glitz and glamour, Winter Park feels casual and relaxed. It has a small community feel to it that is real and it’s all because of the people. Talking to store owners and restaurant managers you sense their spirit of community and collaboration. There is a reason why so many locals and visitors love Winter Park. Some of my guests had not visited Winter Park in many years and others were new to the area and had never been. They all left saying “we have to come back” and that was music to my ears.
Winter Park is a perfect example of why Orlando is a culinary destination and why I love doing progressive dinners. There are so many great restaurants to try and often so little free time to do it in. Progressive dinners are not always easy to coordinate, especially with busy restaurants. There are some tricky logistics and timing factors involved in order to seamlessly move a group from place to place but they are so much fun. The experience is definitely worth the effort. If you want to plan a progressive dinner of your own and have any questions, please post them in the comments below. I am happy to help.
Now it’s your turn to share. If you could host your ideal Progressive Dinner anywhere in the world, where would it be and what four stops would you choose? Please share in the comments. I would love to hear about it!
If you liked this idea and think it would be a great outing for you and your friends or if you’ve been telling your friends you should try these great restaurants “someday”, please share this post with them using the links below. Set the date, get the planning going and #MakeSomedayHappen!
Oh and if you’re curious what 12 Days of Birthdays is all about, click here. It is the best cure for the Birthday Blues.
I hope you will join me on this culinary journey!
Stay tuned for my Day 4, when I celebrated with a fantastic Easter Brunch and a home-made birthday cake that got national attention! You don’t want to miss it!