Wine & Culinary Celebration at the Museum of Discovery and Science

I’m not sure what I enjoyed more about the Museum of Discovery and Science’s Wine & Culinary Celebration: eating delicious food from Broward County restaurants or checking out the museum’s interactive exhibits.

MODSFort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) is a kid-friendly hands-on museum with exhibits ranging from Florida’s ecosystems to air and space travel.  During Friday night’s event I got to pet a baby alligator, fly a fighter plane and create a symphony using sounds from nature.

Food and wine stations were scattered throughout the museum’s two floors of exhibits.  I tried to pace myself so I could try a little bit of everything but there was just so much food.

alligatorI kicked off the evening with a duo of small bites from Sage, a French-American bistro and oyster bar: ratatouille on a bite size piece of bread and escargot served in scooped out new potatoes.  Both were the perfect size for popping in your mouth.  The food was such a big hit that Sage won the People’s Choice Award for best food of the night.  Next I went for a taste of Italy: risotto balls from Casa d’Angelo that were crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Café Martorano served up its famous meatballs, a delicious mix of beef, pork and veal.  Even if they weren’t good I wouldn’t say anything in front of chef and owner Steve Martorano, who looks like a body builder and could easily crush me with his pinky finger.  They did have some steep competition from YOLO, whose veal and pork meatballs were moist and tasty in tomato sauce with herbed ricotta cheese.

Big City Tavern tacosOne of my favorite dishes was the pulled pork and crème fraîche taco from Big City Tavern.  The crème fraîche added a great tangy flavor that complemented the spice of the meat.  I’ve never thought to use crème fraîche in this way but it makes a great substitution for cheese or sour cream.

Another great dish was Himmarshee Bar & Grille’s wrapped spring lamb chops.  The meat on each lamb chop was wrapped in rice paper, which held in the spices and kept the meat nice and juicy.

MODSThere were so many options for dessert that I wish I had gone for sweets first.  I couldn’t pass up the chocolate fondue from The Melting Pot and a crêpe from CrêpeMaker.  My favorite was the assortment of small cakes from La Marquise Desserts.  I wished I had room to try them all!

The wine stations were set up all over the museum, great for finding a wine to pair with each dish.  A few of the standouts were the full bodied Ironstone Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Franc, the spicy and jammy berry Paul Dolan Zinfandel and the vibrant and crisp Dry Chenin Blanc from Dry Creek Vineyard.

caipirinha barBefore calling it a night I stopped at the Caipirinha Bar.  The Brazilian cocktail, with its mix of lime and sugar, was a refreshing way to cleanse my palate.

The fun atmosphere combined with the extraordinary food and wine selections put the MODS Wine & Culinary Celebration at the top of my list for next year.