Third Annual Pairings Event Returns to Downtown West Palm Beach May 29

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Downtown West Palm Beach residents and visitors will have the chance to experience the finest city flavors from the Clematis district's international array of menus during its third annual Pairings Food & Wine Festival event slated to take place later this month. The concept is simple: participating downtown bars and restaurants will put together a specialty menu item and matching beverage for tour-takers to try during an evening of food and fun.

The dining samples can be anything, from an entrée, a tasty tapas bite or a devilishly delightful dessert, while the sip can be anything from a specialty cocktail or craft brew to aperitifs and cappuccino. This year is set to be a grand tasting, as the event returns bigger and better than ever before with more than 25 participating establishments offering guests a chance to wine and dine on signature menu items.

The progressive dinner tour will take place on Thursday, May 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will feature a wide variety of delicious samplings from some of downtown's most desirable restaurants and other exciting activities. That includes indulging in dishes and cocktails that range from buttermilk fried chicken paired with a French Kitten martini from Oli's Fashion Cuisine, to coconut oatmeal cookies and fresh brewed coffee from newly-opened micro roaster Subculture Coffee.

Guests can enjoy a wide selection of light appetizers, entrées and desserts paired with specialty cocktails, wines and coffee. The event, organized by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA), will be donating a portion of the proceeds to benefit Families First of Palm Beach County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping create a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for children and their families in Palm Beach County through innovative approaches.

Pairings patrons can purchase advance passes online at wpbgo.com/pairings for $25, or by visiting the DDA office located at 301 Clematis Street, Suite 200. On-site tickets can be purchased the day of the event for $30 at the ticket booth in the City Hall Courtyard located at 401 Clematis Street. Tickets include entry and sampling at each of the participating restaurants and a map showcasing locations and menu items.

From one bite to the next, Pairings patrons can take advantage of other activities and experiences Downtown. Longboards will be serving jumbo lump crab cakes with sangria; Cabana Nuevo Latino will offer its anticucho paired with fresh caipirinhas, and Bee Organics will have a raw vegan pad thai paired with a maple cleanse.

Looking for some visual sustenance? Artist Joshua Isla, from Downtown's very own Portrait Therapy Studios, will be on site to draw portraits for interested guests in front of The Sanctuary Salon and Spa, and street performers will wow the crowd with their live entertainment. DreamShare photographer will be capturing the evening's festivities on camera throughout the Clematis District, which visitors will be able to have emailed to them directly for instant sharing. Other photo moments can be captured at the TapSnap photo area located in front of Bee Organics and at Design Within Reach with photographer Michael Price. Throughout the event, attendees are encouraged to share their moments by using the hashtag #PairingsWPB to stay connected throughout the event.

Other participating restaurants and cafés include The Backyard Bar, Bar Louie, Best Darn Kettlecorn, Café Sweets Bakery, Clematis Pizza, Duffy's Sports Grill, Dunkin Donuts, E.R. Bradley's Saloon, Hamburger Heaven, Hullabaloo, Leila Restaurant, Off the Hookah, O'Shea's Irish Pub, Pistache Restaurant, Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar, Sky 309, Te Mana Kava Bar, Tin Fish and The Wine Dive.

Pairings sponsors include the Downtown Development Authority, SunFest, Palm Beach Illustrated, LocalDines.com and WLRN. For more information on the Pairings visit the website at www.wpbgo.com/pairings, or call the DDA for more information.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.

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