This week in food and drink

Festival of Chocolate, truck rally, restaurant opening, tastings, and dine like it's 1925!

click to enlarge This week in food and drink - festivalofchocolate.com
festivalofchocolate.com
This week in food and drink

Wednesday, January 11: Tampa Bay Brewing
Enjoy drafts of Old Elephant Foot IPA (India Pale Ale), Midnight Crossing Black IPA and Ole' Hop Hoarder DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) at Tampa Bay Brewing's Keep the Pint Night. 7:30 p.m., 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite #112, Tampa, 813-402-2923, pourhousetampa.com

Wednesday, January 11: Marchand's Bar and Grill
You don't have to step into a time machine to enjoy a three-course dinner for $19.25, at Renaissance Vinoy's Classic 1925 Dining. This event honors Vinoy's debut year as Vinoy Park Hotel, with dinner price to match. Enjoy buttermilk fried chicken, braised short rib and warm chocolate pudding cake. Reservations required. $19.25, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., 501 5th Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, 727-824-8072, marchandsbarandgrill.com

Wednesday, January 11: World of Beer: Downtown St. Petersburg
Get pumped up for World of Beer: Downtown St. Petersburg's PumKing Tapped! event. Thanksgiving may be over, but Southern Tier PumKing Imperial Pumpkin Ale is still flowing at World of Beer. This seasonal brew won't be around for much longer, so stop by for a goblet (or two). 100 4th Street S., St. Petersburg, 727-823-2337, downtownstpete.wobusa.com

Wednesday, January 11: World of Wines of South Tampa
"Uncork 2012" at World of Wines' Welcome 2012 Wine Tasting. Enjoy a wonderful variety of wines, such as Pindar Cab Franc and Santa Julia Malbec Reserva. Hors d'oeuvres will be offered as well. $10, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 3431 S. Westshore Blvd., Tampa, 813-835-WINE (9463), worldofwinesofsouthtampa.com

Thursday, January 12: Apron's Cooking School
Channel your inner Aussie and watch celebrity chef George Geary prepare favorite Australian dishes. Enjoy Tasmania sauce-covered lamb chops with soda bread, and raspberry-filled sponge cake for dessert. $40, 6:30 p.m., 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa, 813-926-4465, publix.com/aprons/schools

Thursday, January 12: Little Greek Restaurant
Westchase can look forward to this "Little Greek" addition to their restaurant lineup. Other locations are slated to open in Florida, including an East Fowler Avenue location later this month. Popular items include spinach pie, baked pastitsio, and of course, gyros, pitas and Greek salad. 12117 W. Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, 813-852-9898, mylittlegreek.com

Thursday, January 12: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits
Learn your ABCs of wine at a wine tasting at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits' Wesley Chapel location. Over 50 wines will be featured, and wine experts will be available to converse about these 50 wines. Attendees will receive a souvenir wine glass, gourmet hors d'oeuvres and a coupon. $10; 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 1845 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel, 813-907-2647, abcfws.com

Friday, January 13: Vintage Wine Cellars
Celebrate Friday the 13th by enjoying this New Wines, New Year event. Wine connoisseurs can reap the benefits of these year-end wine bargains snagged by Vintage Wine Cellars. Three white and seven red wines will be poured, including Bordeaux Medoc 2006 and Tempranillo Crianza 2007. Reservations are appreciated, via phone or email ([email protected]). $10; 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, 813-879-2931, vintagewinecellars.net

Saturday, January 14: Cheese Please
Enjoy some of Cheese Please's finest at Spanish Cheeses, or Quesos Espanoles, this encore cheese and wine tasting. Manchego will be a highlight, but other cheeses, made with cow, goat and sheep milk, will be featured as well. Pre-paid reservation is required, via website or phone. $25; 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 4213 S. Manhattan Avenue, Tampa, 813-805-BRIE (2743), cheesepleasetampa.com

Saturday, January 14: Food Truck Rally Point
Don’t miss Brandon's premier food truck rally! Get your Korean fix at Stinky Bunz, the new truck on the block. The always popular Wicked 'Wiches and Killer Samich Truck will also be in attendance. Free; charge for food and drink; 11 a.m., 11201 Bloomingdale Avenue, Brandon

Saturday, January 14: Florida Estates Winery
Be festive and sample Florida Estates Winery's finest wines at their Wine Festival. Mingle with the winemaker and learn some wine tidbits while enjoying live music by Duke Zucco. Pets are welcome, so bring Fido along. Free admission; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 25241 SR 52, Land O’Lakes, 813-996-2113, floridaestateswines.com

Saturday-Monday, January 14-16: Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Chocoholics will be in heaven at MOSI's Festival of Chocolate. All kinds of (chocolate) treats from several of the Tampa Bay's best dessert and confection companies will be on sale. Food Network's Cake Challenge winner, and renowned cake sculptor Paul Joachim will create a life-size sculpture. On January 14, "Best of" Chocolate Indulgences, in 7 categories, will occur and be judged by a pastry/culinary expert, celebrity and self-proclaimed chocoholic. The kids will love the Kids-4-Chocolate Workshop. Other highlights include cooking demonstrations, special historical presentations, book signings, chocolate-themed kid competitions and live music. Complimentary with paid admission to MOSI; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, 813-438-4066, festivalofchocolate.com

Saturday, January 14: Yogurtland
Satisfy your sweet tooth, and welcome St. Petersburg's newest frozen yogurt shop, at Yogurtland's Grand Opening Celebration. This self-serve shop boasts frequently-rotating, interesting flavors such as Taro, which resembles a sweet potato. Cooler bags and T-shirts will be given away. 12:00 p.m.-2 p.m., 4946 4th Street N., St. Petersburg, FL, 727-525-1796, yogurt-land.com

Saturday, January 14: Willard's Tap House
Party on at Willard Tap House's 2nd Anniversary Party. Prizes will be given away all night long, and several raffles will be held as well. Food will be served from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Cigar City Firkin will be tapped at 7 p.m., and many other brews will be available, such as Swamp Head Smoke Signal and Dogfish Head Bitches Brew. 5 p.m.-3a.m., 12500 Starkey Road, Largo, 727-521-8600, willardstaphouse.com

Sunday, January 15: Sweet Caroline's Bakery
Executive Pastry Chef Michael Ostrander will teach you how to prepare an Italian feast and pastries that would even impress Italy, at Sweet Caroline Bakery's Pastry and Baking Boot Camp Class. Then, sit down and enjoy the feast; lunch is included. You will also be able to take some pastries home to the family, and some of Chef Ostrander's recipes. Registration is required. $100; 9 a.m., 3347 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor, 727-781-1888, sweetcarolinesbakery.com

Tuesday, January 17: Clearwater Beach Library
Clearwater Beach Library will be transformed into a culinary center at this Cooking for Two class, being led by Chef Warren Caterson. Bring your significant other, and learn recipes and tidbits from Chef Caterson's cookbook, Table for Two: The Cookbook for Couples. Free; 2 p.m., 69 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach, Florida, 727-562-4970, clearwater-fl.com

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