La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival 2013

La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival is a well orchestrated event held annually at the picturesque Laguna Gloria. This year\’s event was held on October 24th. The festival benefits The Contemporary Austin and showcases 50+ restaurants from in and around the Austin area, wines from Texas wineries, cocktails from Texas\’ finest liquors and the focal point is always the artist installation.

Just a small portion of the art installation

A group of friends and I have attended the past 3 years and partake in volunteering for the event. Volunteering gives attendees a unique perspective as you see the already beautiful grounds of Laguna Gloria transform into something even more magical. In addition to feeling like part of the festival, they extend a huge discount to their volunteers ($35 instead of $150). Check out their website a couple months before the event and watch for the volunteer link.

Left: artist John, Top Right: umbrellas decorated by volunteers,
Bottom Right: John\’s model/prototype/vision

When you walk in you are handed a plate, festival map and a wine glass with stickers to vote on your favorite food item, red wine and white wine. Voting truly is hard as there are so many talented chefs and creative dishes along with excellent wine to pair all deserving of your vote.

Naturally my first stop was Kome for sushi. Kome served stuffed inari and tofu shooters.

Kome\’s stuffed inari

Soon to open Dolce Neve was a welcomed addition this year. They serve traditional gelato. The Stracciatella with chunks of chocolate paired well with Pedernales\’ Tempranillo.

Searsucker opened their Austin location mere months ago. I have dined at Searsucker a couple of times at their downtown Austin location and knew their dish would be one not to miss. They served succulent pork butt with whiskey apple, bacon emulsion and butter potatoes. 
Pork butt dish from Searsucker

US Foods Food Fanatics delivered last year and this year\’s meticulously plated tender quail did not disappoint.

Quail from US Foods Food Fanatics
TRACE served a hearty goat sausage wrapped in brioche and topped with harissa aioli.

Goat sausage wrapped in Brioche from Trace

Not pictured but one  the highlights of the evening was Ramen Tastu-ya\’s Chashu slider. The pork melted in your mouth and was complimented with miso BBQ and spicy pickle radish.

Until next year La Dolce Vita!

The Contemporary Austin\’s website
La Dolce Vita\’s Twitter Account

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