The Las Olas Wine & Food Festival will take over Fort Lauderdale's most prestigious boulevard once again.
As in years past, this Friday, April 29, LOWFF wends its way through four downtown city blocks, offering eventgoers a chance to sample food, wine, and spirits from more than 100 vendors; each is there as part of a greater mission to fight lung cancer, which remains the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
Today, after more than two decades of creating wine and food memories, the annual LOWFF has expanded to feature more than 70 of South Florida’s finest restaurants and more than 45 wine tables. That makes it one of the largest food and wine events in the tricounty area (and the largest vendor attendance yet).
"The Las Olas Wine & Food Festival has become one of the most high-profile and eagerly anticipated charity events in South Florida and has helped raise hundreds of thousands for critical local and national lung health programs,” says Ashley Bencivenga, area director of the American Lung Association in Florida. "It has been — and will continue to be — among our best local fundraisers."
This year, look for samples from each of the 2016 Broward and Miami-Dade County restaurants participating, including 15th Street Fisheries, 3030 Ocean Restaurant, Bao Las Olas, Beauty and the Feast, Boatyard, Brass Tap, Braza Viva, Burlock Coast, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, American Social, Cibo Wine Bar, Crave Rum, DelGrosso, Dippin Dots, Fork & Balls, Gran Forno Bakery, Grille 401, Hard Rock Café, I <3 Mac & Cheese, Indigo, JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, Kilwins Las Olas, Kuro, Lobster Bar Sea Grille, Louie Bossi’s Restaurant Bar and Pizzeria, Mama Mia, Novecento, Pride & Joy, Pronto, Sea Level Restaurant & Ocean Bar, Shooters Waterfront, Sette Bello Ristorante, Suviche Las Olas, Sweet Nectar, Texas de Brazil, The Chimney House, Thursday’s, Timpano, Spa Juice Bar, Wild Sea Oyster Bar, and YOLO.
Thanks to a new partnership with CI Management — creators of the South Beach Seafood Festival and producers of the Miami's South of Spice — this year's LOWFF will also include a series of new themed culinary events like cooking and mixology demonstrations, chef competitions, interactive retail booths, and even a make-your-own cocktail experience. That means keep an eye out for 2016 presenting sponsors like Breakthru Beverage Florida (one of the largest distributors of wine, spirits, and nonalcoholic beverages in the state), as well as New Amsterdam vodka and William Hill Winery; each will have its own interactive booths.
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Back by popular demand, you'll find the Beer Garden. Sponsored by Stephens Distributing and Supplier Partners, craft selections will include samples like Anheuser-Busch's Best Damn Root Beer & Cherry Cola, Goose Island, Blue Point Brewing Co., and Shock Top Brewing Co.
LOWFF general-admission tickets cost $100 per person and include entrance to the festival as well as all food and beverage sampling. VIP tickets cost $150 per person and include early access to the VIP Pavilion starting at 6:30 p.m., featuring the only full open bar. The VIP Pavilion also includes premiere food and wine samplings available only for VIP ticket holders. All proceeds from the festival benefit the American Lung Association in Florida.
The Las Olas Wine & Food Festival will take place from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 29. The event is located on Las Olas Boulevard between Southeast Sixth Avenue and Southeast 11th Avenue. Call 954-727-0907, or visit lasolaswff.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.