Coral Gables Wine and Food Festival-A great success By Betty Alvarez

Guests discovered fabulous new restaurants and exciting wines at this incredible event held in a brand new location in the heart of historic Coral Gables. Ponce De Leon Boulevard was opened to foot traffic only for a special evening of celebration and philanthropy. Superb food, exquisite wine, and live music from “People You Know” was offered to raise funds for the American Lung Association and Pulmonary Research at The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. New to the festival this year was the DEWAR’S® Momento D Lounge. The lounge brought a unique experience to life via a deejay, red carpet, and a step and repeat for photo opportunities.

A VIP Ticket entitled patrons to first access from 6:00 p.m. to MARTINI® Terrazza. They experienced signature MARTINI® cocktails and a full spirit bar courtesy of Bacardi USA. The street Festival ticket included sampling from over 30 of the areas best restaurants paired with wines from around the world at more than 25 tables. I

Complementing the cuisine Premier Beverage were wines from around the globe at more than 25 tables. There were many popular varietals with the newest and hottest grapes emerging onto the market. Each table offered a variety of labels and winery representatives will be on hand to offer advice, tips and answer any questions.

Crown Wine and Spirits was the exclusive festival retailer giving patrons the chance to purchase wines sampled on the street and the latest wine accessories. Only festival participants will be extended this wonderful opportunity to receive major discounted prices!

There were signature chef selections available to sample from some fabulous local restaurants. Some restaurants included: Anacapri on Ponce, Barrio Latino, Benihana, Blue Martini, BonBon Café and Patisserie, Chilorio’s Very Mexican, Donut Divas & Fun Foods, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Giardino Gourmet Salads, Gusto Fino Italian Deli,, Il Grissino, La Confradia Restaurant, La Marea, Liberty Caffé-Coral Gables Country Club, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming: Empeek-Cheke Fine Dining Restaurant, Miller’s Ale House Coral Gables, Norman’s 180, Ortanique on the Mile, Panera Bread, Pardo’s Peruvian Cuisine, Por Fin Restaurant & Lounge, Randazzo’s Little Italy, Red Koi Thai and Sushi Lounge, Seasons 52, Talavera Restaurant, Tarpon Bend, The Bar, & Toss Catering.

Proceeds benefited the American Lung Association’s lung health research, education, and patient assistance programs and the International Bronchitis Center at The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “I am delighted to see this festival has become a signature event in South Florida,” said festival Honorary Chairman Marc Buoniconti, Development Advisor for the International Bronchitis Center and President for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. “We are thrilled to have such strong community support and this event will help us in our mission to raise money for a very important cause,” Buoniconti added.

About The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians is a federally recognized Native American Tribe exercising sovereign powers of self-governance over 200,000 acres of tribal lands. The Tribe owns and operates several successful enterprises, including Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, a 302- room hotel and gaming facility featuring 1,800 video machines, high stakes bingo and poker; Miccosukee Indian Village & Gift Shop; Miccosukee Airboat Rides and Miccosukee Golf & Country Club – home of the 2010 Miccosukee Championship; a PGA Nationwide Tour event.

Photographs by Betty Alvarez copyright 2011

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