story by Rhonda Crone, special to The City Wire
For the first time, Teresa DeVito of DeVito’s Restaurant took on the role as coordinator.
“I hope to breath new life into it. For a few years, it had become sort of stagnant, with just a few restaurants participating, and instead of just a weekend, I wanted to make it a festival,” she said.
Teresa rallied local businesses and restaurants for their participation, and in true Eureka fashion, they joined in.
“They pretty much took it from there,” she said, adding that each venue/business will charge their own fees for their events.
During the five-day event, there are wine tastings daily, along with food pairings, full wine dinners, and winery tours.
Some of Eureka’s best restaurants are on board. Autumn Breeze, Caribe, the Crescent Hotel, Cottage Inn, DeVito’s, Ermilio’s, Garden Bistro and The Stonehouse will present their best fare and host wine flights, pairings and dinners. Two of Arkansas’ newest wineries will debut their stuff: Raimondo Winery of Mountain Home will be stationed at DeVito’s, Keel’s Creek will host tastings and an amateur wine competition, and Railway Winery on Arkansas 187 will host an open house.
The Crescent will do a Friday event serving Spanish wines and tapas for just $10 in advance $15 at the door. And, the Sunday brunch at the Crescent looks to be an event not to miss – a champagne-tasting full brunch for $24.95.
But this year it’s not just the restaurants participating. Many of the unique galleries are hosting art shows in conjunction with wine, and Cuisine Karen will host cooking classes throughout the weekend.
In addition to her new role as the Food and Wine Festival event coordinator, DeVito hosts and bartends at DeVito’s, their acclaimed Eureka Italian establishment.
She’s also cooking most of the meals at DeVito’s for the event. Having worked at Jose’s and Bordino’s in Fayetteville, she was no stranger to the business when she came to Eureka in 2007 and started work at DeVito’s. In previous years, she’s helped Ilene Powell put on the Fleur de licious event in Eureka, getting the experience she needed to take on the coordinator role. Teresa and James DeVito were married in 2010.
The Food and Wine Festival will coincide with Porsche weekend, which should make for a bustling, fun weekend in Eureka. Another reason not to miss it: trollies and carriages will be strolling the streets to transport you from place to place.