Chocolate-Dipped Fairchild

This Thursday evening, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will be hosting the Third Annual International Chocolate Festival Kickoff Party. No, I didn't know about the first two either, but this year's one-hour shindig (6 to 7 p.m.) features hors d'oeuvres from exceptional chef Edgar Leal of Cacao Restaurant -- reason enough to attend. Throw in Bella Sera Italian wines (admittedly no wow factor here), chocolates by Romanicos in Coral Gables (New Times' 2006 BOM winner for Best Chocolate), and the picturesque panoramas afforded from the Pandanus Lakeside Pavilion and it sounds like a darn good time -- plus admission is a reasonable $15 ($10 for members).

Other things you should know: Guests must be 21, parking is by the North Entrance Visitors Center, and an RSVP  is required by clicking here or calling 305-667-1651, ext. 3300.

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