Lots of plates for plant-based dinners

Early in my Sentinel career, I learned the special mix of joy and sorrow that accompanies the release of a favorite place or an amazing new discovery, such as when I spoke to readers about VINIA Wine & Kitchen, a sweet secret that I just couldn’t keep. myself.

Since then, owners Fabio and Paula Perricelli have managed to retain the joint’s romantic yet intimate vibe while transforming into something far beyond the wine bar with the 2021 addition of Fabio’s Table, a multi-party experience. dishes which, from the start -go, included an all-vegan option.

Plant-based diners — even in a vegetarian city like ours — responded in droves. And they will, too, when Magical Dining takes place on August 26. Because of the 100 or so participating venues this year, VINIA’s menu is the only one with vegan options for all three courses — and an exciting slate of three plant-based desserts.

For the Perricellis, the plant-based menu started with their own eating habits.

“We eat in a way that I call five by two,” explains Fabio Perricelli. “Five days a week we all eat plant-based and we branch out on the weekends. So it’s something that was already in our lives and we wanted to have options for people who think like us because we often look for plant-based things when we go out – but usually it’s just salads everywhere.

There’s a side salad on VINIA’s Magical Dining menu, but it comes with a sizzling empanada stuffed with hearts of palm and calabaza squash, a traditional side dish from Paula’s native Brazil.

The entry course particularly excited Perricelli.

“It will be a highlight,” he predicts, thanks in part to the use of casarecce pasta.

“It’s not very common outside of Italy,” says the Calabrian native, and the sauce – a cream made from almonds and garlic – was hugely popular at Fabio’s Table. The addition of roasted porcini mushrooms and herbs, he says, will trump it. “It’s so delicious, very comforting.”

As for dessert, throw a dart. All but one of the offerings are vegan (this caramel affogato sounds especially divine to my coffee-loving soul).

Not only did a bunch of vegans discover VINIA as a result of their plant-based attention, one of them – local vegan chef and recipe developer Jennifer Calabria – came to dinner and left with a potential partnership that flourished when Perricelli sampled his plant-based cheeses.

“I loved them and thought, ‘Let’s put it on the menu!’ “, he notes. As such, an artisan vegan cheese board featuring four items will be available for an additional $15.

“Magical Dining is awesome,” he notes; this is VINIA’s third year of participation. “It’s a great crowd with lots of new people and a great opportunity to showcase our menus.”

Other venues offering vegan fare include RusTeak Thornton Park, Luke’s Kitchen + Bar, and Seito Sushi Sand Lake. To find more, head to magicdining.com/restaurants.

Want to reach out? Find me on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Instagram @amydroo or on the OSFoodie Instagram account @orlando.foodie. E-mail: [email protected]. For more fun, join the Let’s Eat, Orlando Facebook Group or follow @fun.things.orlando on instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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