*This dining experience took place in October 2015. This was a special private dining event coordinated through the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention Dessert Party Weekend, which I co-hosted. Private dining space at Ravello at the Four Seasons Orlando can be booked through the Meeting Space & Events page on their website.
With the 2015 Food Allergy & Celiac Convention Dessert Party Weekend taking place during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, we knew that we wanted to host a private dining experience, similar to the chef table experiences held at Disney-owned restaurants that are held as a part of Food & Wine Festival. We wanted something refined, upscale, and, of course…delicious.
There was no better option than Ravello, located at the Four Seasons Orlando.
Having dined here during their preview dinner prior to officially opening and since, I knew our guests would really love Ravello. The food is impeccable, and they do an amazing job assisting special dietary needs guests. They also have a gorgeous small private dining space that we were able to book for a small group of 14.
Little did we and the guests know how amazing the meal was going to be thanks to the dedication of the food and beverage team at Ravello.
Chefs Cristian and Marco worked with my co-host, Laurie, and I during the pre-planning of this meal to create a custom menu for our group, highlighting some of the restaurant’s best dishes, along with some dishes created especially for our event that were both gluten free and vegan.
We were completely wowed by the level of inventiveness and the detail they took to ensure we really had an exceptional experience. We also had a lot of food allergies to work with, and having given them everyone’s special dietary needs ahead of time, they were fully prepared to create one epic (and safe!) meal.
To start off our meal, the chefs brought out a menagerie of various gluten free breads, some of which were vegan and others that included egg. They also brought out extra virgin olive oil with fresh herbs for the bread.
During the meal, I sat next to Erica from Celiac and the Beast and both of us immediately were trying to figure out the brand of gluten free bread. Of course, now, I can’t find the name of the brand but suffice it to say, it was really good. It wasn’t a brand that anyone at the table knew, but we all found it to be delicious. Now, if only Disney could start serving some better bread options like this…
For my starter, I ordered the arugula and grilled plum salad. This was absolutely outstanding. I adore stone fruit, so having a dish highlighting them made me really happy. And grilled to boot! The moscato vinaigrette on this was the perfect accompaniment to the salad, and it’s one I would hands down order again if it is highlighted on the regular menu.
Many of the other guests at this private dining experience ordered the portobello mushroom fries and raved about them. I also heard really good things about the beet carpaccio, a playful twist on beef carpaccio.
For my entree, I ordered the vegan lasagna made with zucchini strips. I love zuchinni and thought this was a very fresh dish. The restaurant used Daiya cheese in place of dairy cheese, and the guests who ordered it really enjoyed it.
I would have loved to have seen a nut milk ricotta made for this dish, as it would have really elevated the flavors. Check out the version they made for one of our guests and fellow blogger (and friend) Kathleen from Soul Food. Her roasted red pepper sauce looked so good!
The piece de resistance was certainly our dessert course. The coconut custard and banana “cream” pie were insanely good. The pastry chef really went above and beyond with these dishes (both gluten free and vegan).
The coconut custard reminded me a bit of panna cotta and had a nice texture. I loved the toasted coconut and fresh fruit that topped it.
The extra bonus on our plates were Whoopie Pies from the Piping Gourmets that the team picked up at Whole Foods. This was a nice touch and very sweet of them to include.
The absolute hands down favorite dessert of everyone was the Banana “Cream” Pie. Wow. Just wow. The caramelized bananas and non-dairy whipped cream tasted like the real thing and the dessert was purely decadent. I, and I’m sure other guests, could have easily eaten several more dishes of the banana cream pie.
Overall, I can’t say enough great things about this dining experience. Robbie, the Private Dining Coordinator, Michael, General Manager of Ravello, and the entire culinary team went above and beyond to create a really amazing meal experience. I know that I speak for all of the guests at that dinner when I say that we had such a wonderful time and a delicious meal.
I am looking forward to dining at Ravello again, along with the other restaurants at the Four Seasons Orlando, and hopefully, hosting another private dining event in the future.
This meal experience was a part of a private dining event hosted as a part of the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention Dessert Party Weekend. All guests (including the hosts) paid for their food and beverage experiences. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.