On Saturday night, MOSI hosted their 18th annual Einstein on Food & Wine event (presented by ABC Fine Wine and Spirits), and I was lucky enough to be in attendance! Einstein on Food & Wine is a celebration of the senses, featuring wine and food tastings from the grater Tampa Bay area. It is a huge fundraising event for MOSI, and they really pulled out the stops when it came to the evening! There was so much to see and so much to taste!
Shall we start with the VIP experience? An hour before the main event opened up, VIP ticket holders were allowed to enter the event. They were also able to access the VIP only area of the Einstein on Food & Wine event, featuring exclusive food and wine vendors…and possibly the chance to meet Top Chef fan favorite Fabio Viviani in person. Of course, after winning Fabio’s first Kitchen Academy challenge, I was excited to say “hello” in person (and I did)!
The VIP area was stunning. It was spread out with a few vendors, allowed for seating room, and even had live music. It was definitely a great area to get away from the hustle of the main event: you really did feel like a VIP in there!
In the VIP lounge you found:
Texas de Brazil had a delicious plate of food to share with guests: their flank steak with chimichurri sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and micro greens. The meat is literally melt-in-your mouth in texture, and garlic mashed potatoes? You can’t go wrong. We went back for seconds of this plate of food.
Brio Tuscan Grille had fantastic offerings: shrimp in black pepper cream sauce, and the CUTEST pasta satchels in vodka sauce with bacon. Mmmmm. One of my personal favorites of the evening.
Timpano Tampa was also in the lounge, serving up adorable skewered Italian meatballs. I recently had lunch at Timpano and was impressed; I need to make plans to tuck into a dinner at the Tampa location, because their meatball was wonderful!
MOSI Catering was in the VIP lounge and in the main event area. They offered assorted mousse dessert cups, as well as fried portobello mushrooms with a goat cheese ranch drizzle. Yum!
In addition, Toffee to Go was set up at a table in the lounge. I don’t know how I didn’t manage to get a picture of their delicious toffee, but let me tell you: it is amazing! The recipe they use (and make locally) is the best toffee I’ve ever tasted. It sticks to your teeth in just the right way, but melts in your mouth and blends perfectly with the chocolate it is topped with. Delicious!
As much as we tried to sample every single vendor in MOSI that evening, I know we missed some of them. The event took place on THREE floors of MOSI, and there was an outdoor area as well, with food trucks! Maybe next year we’ll manage to get to everything? A girl can try…
Shells Seafood had a plethora of options to choose from, from shrimp, to clam chowder, to mussels, to pasta! Plus, they boasted an ice sculpture on their food display – pretty cool!
Chart House served up ahi tuna on a crispy wonton-like cracker. Flavorful and fresh!
BJ’s Brewhouse was serving up jambalaya and samples of their beer.
PDQ was in attendance, serving up their delicious chicken tenders with various sauces to try out. I have heard great things about the tenders at PDQ, so I was happy to put one on my plate!
TCP Sweets had an impressive spread at Einstein on Food & Wine. Their spacious table featured SO many different flavors of brownie bites. I wish I could have sampled one of each, but the espresso flavored chocolate brownie bite I devoured was so rich, moist, and delicious I should have run straight back to the table for more! So so delicious. Maybe our paths will cross again…
Hamburger Mary’s offered up meatloaf and their dirty chips: fresh chips drizzled with a malt vinegar reduction, blue cheese fondue, bacon, and scallions! Wowza!
TC Choy’s Asian Bistro had a few different offerings at their table, including vegetable lo mein, chicken with vegetables, dumplings, and a cabbage salad. I love Asian food of any kind, so I was all over this table!
I was excited to try the sampling from Istanblu, a Turkish restaurant in Ybor City. I’ve heard great things, and after devouring a plate filled with chicken, rice, hummus, pita, and lamb, I was hooked. I need to make a visit for a meal soon!
Qdoba was at the event, serving up some tasty bowls of Mexican goodness! Rice, beans, chicken, tortilla soup…topped with a bit of cheese and tortilla strips. Satisfying indeed!
Tijuana Flats offered up beef and chicken tacos to the guests.
Outdoors, we got a little adventurous with a food truck I was very intrigued about. I’ve heard about Not Your Ordinary Food Truck in the past, and after hearing the various wild game they serve, I knew we had to make a beeline to try some of it out. Oh hey, good looking husband of mine!
On Saturday night, they were serving up a wild game poutine. I don’t even remember all of the meats involved, but it did include camel and kangaroo…can’t say I eat that every day!
Of course, it wasn’t just about the food. Can we briefly talk about the wine? Oh my goodness, I have never seen so many bottles of wine and spirits in one place! There was no way one person would be able to sample each of the offerings, but there were definitely some winners that stood out!
Atalaya do Mar Godello – Oh my goodness! This white was definitely a favorite, and at $12.99 it’s certainly affordable. It is herbal, fruity, and a little bit acidic.
The Pino Nero by Giorgi – obsessed could describe it. It is lightly sparkling and delicate. I want to fill my entire wine rack with bottles of it. So amazing.
Concha Y Toro Frontera Chardonnay. This one rings in at $9.49 a bottle – it is rich and fruity, with apple flavors. It’s pretty fantastic.
So, that about wraps it up for MOSI’s 18th Annual Einstein on Food & Wine event: it was a great evening of food, wine, spirits, and fun. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for tickets to go on sale next year, and make it a point to attend…you won’t be disappointed!
Tell me: is there a food or wine item you would have most liked to try? Have you attended a food and wine event like Einstein on Food & Wine?