Swine and Dine, Cows ’n Cabs, Weekend Small Plates and a slew of new openings 

Tip Jar: local food news

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At the Epcot Food & Wine Fest, I bumped into Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps, who informed me of the Weekend Small Plates menu offered Friday and Saturday nights at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen in Winter Park. I’m aching to try the pompano wrapped in bresaola, the Moroccan spiced lamb rack and the roasted figs with Tahitian vanilla gelato.

More Epcot Food & Wine Fest observations: New Zealand impressed me with their venison sausage and lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney served inside a puri-like bread bowl; and I couldn’t get enough of the Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen … the stuff goes down easy.

It’s called the Swine and Dine, but there won’t be any pork at this four-course meal hosted by the Ravenous Pig Oct. 14. Instead, hamachi, foie gras, venison and pungent Époisses cheese will be paired with four fine wines from Burgundy selected by master sommelier Andrew McNamara. Cost is an equally pungent $200 per person. If that’s a bit too dear, consider the four-course 7venth Sun beer dinner at Cask & Larder on the same night for a mere $75, or the four-course Cigar City beer dinner at the Smiling Bison for just ($60), also Oct. 14.

If you’re planning on attending Cows ’n Cabs, one of the most popular events on the food calendar, best get your tickets now. With names like Rivers, Pulapaka, Fonzo, McFadden and Gawlak among others prepping the food, tickets to the Western-themed event, even at $110 a pop, are sure to go fast. More at


Look for Pine 22 to open off Highway 27 in Clermont later this year after shuttering its doors downtown … Marlow’s Tavern will open its third Orlando-area restaurant in Waterford Lakes late next year … Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs has opened next to Twist Asian Fusion in the SoDo Shopping Center … Eddie V’s, which took the place of the now-razed Timpano Italian Chophouse, opens Oct. 24 promising seafood and steaks in the same vein as its neighbors Moonfish and Ocean Prime. Let the fish wars begin!

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