After spending three days in my “second home” – that’s Orlando – for the IAAPA convention, I took away one major thing. No, it wasn’t about what was trending in the Amusements and Interactive Games industries, it wasn’t even new things from events thrown (because there really weren’t many outrageous things to report on) but wheat i did learn (or something that was actually reinforced) is that Farm To Table is trending everywhere! I met my dear friend David Rodriguez of SHOWORKS Inc. for lunch at Napa at the Peabody, a brand new restaurant housed in the freshly renovated Peabody Hotel. Close to the show, we decided to park and eat there before “walking the monster”.
Well, first things first, the reno looks amazing. It is modern, a bit over-the-top bringing a bit of Vegas to the family-oriented city, and if you canoverlook the carpet (it is a hotel, so enough said) it is incredible. HUGE! It’s almost like being in a convention center before you hit walkway to the North/South hall of the convenmtion center. Ok, with that said, back to Napa. A stunning gold and wine colored oversiized mosaic wall handing and a huge coordinated chandelier meet you before you descend the steps to the restaurant. The eatery itself is gorgeous. Wine bottle are recessed into the walls, a bar rounds the multiple dining rooms, small booths for two or for are cut into walls. It offers a fresh, clean feeling that is so inviting you wish lunch would turn into dinner.
Anyway, the menu is equally lovely. All items (or as much of the menu as possible) uis obtained through local providers, are organic and sustainable, allowing for the freshest ingredients. Presentation is stunning and here is the best part – portions are more than ample. We split a lobster and Blue crab salad sandwich. I would never have used the clumsy bread (They did grill the inside but it was not strong enough to stand up to the mayo the sald used) but the salad itself – exquisite. No filler – just tons of sweet lobster bites and delicious crab. House made chips (beet, Yukon, sweet, russet, etc) added the right amount of crunch and texture to the plate but it was the single slice f Heirloom tomato that got us both. It was so delish we ordered more and a huge ($14) heirloom tomato salad wcame to the table (as dessert!) Each tmoto was sweet like candy. But, so I digress. We also order Caramelized Diver Scallops in Vanilla scented Cauliflower puree, pepper syrup and pistaciovinegrette, four serious sized scallops appeared. Hello Yummy. Since we mentioned we would share everything, it did come plated for two – an awesome touch.
It just made me realize that in Florida, where I believe we are somewhat of a “me too” society, there are places that truly get – and believe in – these concepts. I love food and will definitely talk a lot about food in this blog. How it relates to events, how to work it into events, how concepts need to be thought and carried through with space and food relations and more. as always, Please send me thoughts and feedback. I want to know what you think about what I think…