By Christina Reed

** Several times a year, the Orlando Date Night Guide sends a different couple on an awesome date night. This Couple at Large then shares their experience on the blog. For May, we sent Brad and Christina Reed to the Vine & Dine wine dinner, which takes place at the Rosen Centre Hotel several times each year. Here’s what Brad and Christina had to say about the experience:

Brad and I recently had the pleasure of attending a “Vine & Dine” event at the Everglades Restaurant located in the Rosen Centre Hotel, where the experience is based upon good food, good wine, and good friends.

Held several times a year, for the past seven years, the theme of the dinner is different each time, making Vine & Dine a great event to add to your dating routine.

The evening’s theme for May was “It’s All a Blend” and the night began with a welcome cocktail in the bar where we could briefly meet and greet our fellow diners along with event host, Hotel Resident Manager Christina Thomas. Brad and I were thrilled to be joined by none other than Great Dates Orlando expert Kristen and her husband Marc as we embarked on our dining adventure.

Throughout the evening we enjoyed a feast of flavors as Chef Fred Vlachos presented us with 5-courses of creatively prepared fusion cuisine, such as Duck Breast with an Ancho Chili-Strawberry Plum Sauce and Lamb Osso Bucco, each paired perfectly with elegant wine blends. Not only did Chef Fred introduce each course to us detailing his inspiration, but the wine representative, Patrick, also gave us a greater insight into the wines we were enjoying as well… all five glasses of them!

Overall the dinner was fantastic, from the intimacy of the group (about 30, mostly local, guests), to the exciting menu, the presentation of each course, trying new wines, and chatting with new friends. For foodies and non-foodies alike, the Vine & Dine event is definitely an event to experience as long as you bring your sense of adventure and your appetite.

A few days before the event, we were delighted to find out that we had been given a room at the Rosen Centre Hotel. In true Rosen hospitality fashion, every detail was accounted for and it was refreshing how well the entire hotel staff catered to the guests, with a special focus on locals like ourselves, providing first-class service from the moment we arrived to check-out. Resident Manager, Christina Thomas added several VIP perks to make our stay simply over-the-top and left us feeling truly special. These perks, such as a chef prepared chocolate basket in your room, can be arranged with the hotel in advance to make your overnight date night at the Rosen Centre even sweeter. We were also given access to the VIP Level, which included a continental breakfast. Rates start at $152 per night.

For a quality dining experience or a quick weekend “stay-cation” the Rosen Centre is not to be overlooked, and we would absolutely recommend it for your next date night. We are so grateful to Kristen with Great Dates Orlando as well as the Rosen Centre for such a memorable experience.

The next Vine & Dine dinner will take place on Friday, June 28 at 6:30pm and will celebrate Robert Mondavi's 100th birthday with his wine and favorite foods. This dinner will be held inside the Everglades Vine & Dine at the Rosen Centre Hotel. $75++PP. Call 407-996-2385 for reservations.