This Thursday, Laguna Gloria will transform into a lakeside Italian resort for the 23rd annual La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival to benefit AMOA-Arthouse educational programming. Over 50 of Austin’s top restaurants and local wineries will be providing al fresco refreshment against the stunning backdrop of Laguna Gloria’s Driscoll Villa set on the shores of Lake Austin.
Exhibiting restaurants include East Side Show Room, Eleven Plates, Trace, Foreign & Domestic, Parkside, Swift’s Attic and many more. Featured wineries include Llano Estacado Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards and Pedernales Cellars.
Mixologists from Houston’s Anvil Bar & Refuge will be shaking cocktails alongside local mixmasters from Contigo, drink.well. and Midnight Cowboy. Austin restaurateur extraordinaire Larry McGuire (Perla’s, Lamberts, Fresa’s) will be this year’s Honorary Chef for the evening. McGuire will be serving guests teasers from the highly anticipated Clark’s Oyster Bar, which just cracked open on West Sixth Street.
Frederik Osterberg, co-founder of Pedernales Cellars, is thrilled to be participating in the event for the fourth year in a row. “We do a bunch of events... and this is just a great one to expose our products to the public and really connect with people and meet with a bunch of our friends from the restaurant side as well,” he says.
“We are also exhibition sponsors for AMOA-Arthouse, so the fact that this benefits educational programs is something that’s close to our hearts.” Pedernales will be showcasing several award-winning wines, including the family reserve, a blend meant to showcase the best crops of the year, and the flagship tempranillo, which Osterberg says pairs nicely with roast pork and barbecue. But, he adds, “It’s also a very nice wine just to drink by itself and pair with friends.”
New to the festival this year is Ned Elliot, co-owner of Foreign and Domestic. For the past two years, he and his wife Jodi had to decline the invite to participate because of catering for Austin City Limits and the Austin Film Festival. Now, with a staff large and strong enough to do all three events in the same short time period, they are happy to add La Dolce Vita to their fall events.
“We have a young daughter,” says Elliot, “and for us arts education and being able to go out and enjoy the arts in public galleries and museums is really important. It has to do with a really well rounded education and adds so much to a city.”
Guests can look forward to sampling Foreign and Domestic’s signature sweets, as they will most likely serve pumpkin pie macarons and bacon root beer floats.
While the VIP tickets with access to the cocktail lounge are all sold out, limited $125 general admission tickets are still available here. For the full listing of participating restaurants, visit the La Dolce Vita website.
The 23rd annual La Dolce Vita takes place Thursday, Oct. 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Laguna Gloria. With its impressive list of culinary high rollers, it's no wonder La Dolce Vita is one of Austin’s longest running food and wine festivals.