The Dallas Morning News proudly owns and operates Savor Dallas, a food and wine fest in April.

The Dallas Morning News proudly owns and operates Savor Dallas, a food and wine fest in April.

Michael Ainsworth

From elegant and swanky to sweet and spicy, Savor Dallas is really mixing things up this year, adding fresh and fun events -- such as a waffle war -- with the Dallas arts scene as its backdrop.

The food and wine festival is celebrating its 12th year, but it was revamped last year by a new owner, CrowdSource, the event marketing company owned and operated by The Dallas Morning News.

"This year's festival will further explore the reimagined format from 2015 with iconic Dallas venues and brand-new events," says Alison Draper, president of CrowdSource. "Festivalgoers can choose from a myriad of culinary experiences -- from late-night fiery confections to Sunday-morning waffles, not to mention more than 50 leading restaurants and hundreds of notable wines and spirits at the Grand Tasting."

The four-day festival, which runs April 7-10 and is presented by Goody Goody, will once again kick off with the Arts District Garden Party -- a casual, live-music-filled mega happy hour -- and maintain its two centerpiece events: the Grand Tasting and the Reserve Tasting.

The Grand Tasting, April 9 at Centennial Hall at Fair Park, will feature the culinary creations of more than 50 local chefs paired with wines, beers and spirits. Participating restaurants run the gamut from classic favorites to new and notable establishments, including Lark on the Park, Whiskey Cake, Madrina, Proof + Pantry, Ida Claire, Rodeo Goat, Mudhen, Meso Maya, Ser, LUCK, YO Ranch Steakhouse, Velvet Taco, Henry's Homemade Ice Cream and more.

The Reserve Tasting is the exclusive companion event, where connoisseurs can meet premier winemakers and sample rare, collectable wines along with cheese and charcuterie platters. A separate tasting lounge will feature a small group of top-shelf spirits.

Foodies won't want to miss Savor Dallas.

Foodies won't want to miss Savor Dallas.

Daniel Driensky

The newest events focus on fun and whimsy, with desserts, cocktails and breakfast.

Sweet Heat, the evening of April 7 at the Nasher Sculpture Center, is a dessert-centric party with cocktails, where participating pastry chefs such as Jill Bates from Fearing's and Joe Garza from the Hilton Anatole are encouraged to whip up bites with a bit of kick.

Another cocktail-driven event, Shaken and Stirred, April 8 at Cedar Springs event venue Sixty Five Hundred, will feature mixologists from restaurants like Proof + Pantry, Victor Tangos and Madrina. The Breakfast Club -- which will end the festival April 10 at 3015 Trinity Groves -- is "our version of a hangover brunch," says Rachel Watkins, a senior manager at CrowdSource. It will feature Waffle Wars, a friendly competition-style chef showdown.

The festival also hosted Savor the Arboretum earlier this month and continues its year-round Toast of the Town series featuring chef dinners, classes and demonstrations.

Savor Dallas tickets range from $35 to $200 for individual events. For a schedule and to purchase tickets, visit savordallas.com.

Max Elo, left, tells a story to friends Shannon Brown, Lisa Lepori, Brian Ostrander and Christel Roco, as they waited in line at the Nasher Sculpture Garden during the Savor Dallas Wine Stroll in 2015.

Max Elo, left, tells a story to friends Shannon Brown, Lisa Lepori, Brian Ostrander and Christel Roco, as they waited in line at the Nasher Sculpture Garden during the Savor Dallas Wine Stroll in 2015.

Michael Ainsworth

For more stories from food and wine magazine Palate, go to guidelive.com/palate.

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