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New Times Pairings 2012: The Winning Dishes

See also: Pairings 2012 at Broward County Convention Center photo gallery and Pairings 2012: The Five Best Things I Ate

If the number of slain bottles and shimmying hips was any indication, there were more than a few rough wake-up calls this morning for the 1,500 or so attendees at Thursday night's fifth annual New Times Pairings. The event, held on three levels at the Broward County Convention Center, boasted more than 40 restaurants and food vendors and as many wine and beer pairings. Plus liquor samplings, live music, and giveaways.

It was a lot of eating and drinking, but the five Pairings judges managed to get it done. Those sampling the cuisine in an official capacity were: Laine Doss (New Times food writer), Zach Fagenson (a New Times restaurant critic), Christine Najac (author of the Food Lovers' Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale and editor of southfloridafoodandwine.com), Renée Quinn (chair of JA World Uncorked wine and food event), and James Carras (Himmarshee Village Association, head of the Greek Festival in Fort Lauderdale, and longtime judge at New Times Beerfest). Find their official picks after the jump.

Best Sweets: The Gelato Shoppe Petrini took the most votes, as judges dug the assortment of flavors the Boca-based sweets shop brought to the event and the pairing with NV Caposaldo Sweet Moscato. Other sweet treats that had attendees buzzing (and are worth a mention) were the beer truffles from Lush Confections which were matched with an assortment of brews from Florida Beer Co.

Most unique bite: YOLO and its Mediterranean-inspired octopus carpaccio was matched with the Seeker Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2011. One judge noted this was an "excellent pairing" for the dish, which incorporated paper-thin slices of octopus with a farro grape tomato and feta salad.

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Tricia Woolfenden

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