By Roslyne Buchanan

What a great time in the Thompson Okanagan to check out that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. From January 16 to February 3, the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) and the Wines of British Columbia present the ever popular DINE AROUND THOMPSON OKANAGAN.

I just attended the sold-out kick-off at Okanagan College and if the level of cuisine is any indication, you’ll want to make your reservations quickly. Until February 3, 50 restaurants throughout the region are featuring a three-course menu for $15, $25, $35 or $45 with suggested pairings of BC VQA wine, BC craft beer, or spirits and cocktails.

Visit participating restaurants and ask for their Dine Around Menu for well-designed multi course meals. Given more than 8,000 people are expected to participate, reservations are strongly encouraged. You’ll find the full slate of participating restaurants and their menus online at www.dinearound.ca

Tasty sandwiches and soups from Relvas Catering. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Said Christina Ferreira, Dine Around Thompson Okanagan coordinator, “Launch tickets sold out weeks in advance and participants are looking forward to checking out this year’s featured menus. We are thrilled to again promote the Wines of British Columbia during the Dine Around Thompson Okanagan Festival. It’s an excellent opportunity for local restaurants, wineries and breweries to focus locally and showcase how well BC VQA wines, BC Craft Beer and Craft Spirits pair with our local foods.”

Jacks Pizza & Liquor is a new Dine Around option. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

At the launch, lucky ticket holders enjoyed live music by Lance Carr as they explored the many wineries and restaurants on site to promote Dine Around. Tasty appetizer-sized bites and delightful sips teased us to provide hints of what we might find on the diverse menus. In this laidback and fun-loving atmosphere, we were able to talk to key stakeholders such as the chefs and get a preview of what to expect in the various establishments. It truly was a joyful culinary exploration of what the Thompson Okanagan has to offer.

Tried and true The Keg always had an eager line up. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

BCRFA President/CEO Ian Tostenson added, “This festival is a win win. It’s great for restaurants as we help promote their businesses during a traditionally slow time of year. Consumers enjoy saving as they sip and savour delicious three-course menus for incredible prices. Many residents see it as a chance to try new restaurants or revisit favourites.”

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Chef Jeremy Luypen chats with attendees. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

The BCRFA added another incentive to support Dine Around: When you visit participating restaurants January 16 to February 3, you can enter to win $250 in restaurant gift cards. Be sure to request a ballot entry form, complete it and leave at the restaurant. Throughout the festival you are encouraged to post a photo of your food and wine, spirit or beer-pairing on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram tagging the restaurant and including #dinearound2019 for an opportunity to win a $25 gift card from participating restaurants. Winners are selected at random throughout the festival and there are more than 20 chances to win through social media.

Basil & Mint offered a dessert finale. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Make your reservations now and let’s #dinearound2019

Featured photo: The Chase Chef Alex Lavroff dresses his mini grilled cheese sandwiches. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.


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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and blog.hellobc.com. Based in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Facebook @roslynebuchanan


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