Well, we’re finally back from our vacation to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival! Naturally, the first two days of the festival were incredibly hot (previews Thursday and opening day Friday). Saturday brought cooler weather, but of course we were avoiding Epcot that day since we knew the crowd level will be high. Fortunately, we were able to experience most of the booths as well as several other meals during our trip. I’ll also be heading over to the festival most weekends to taste more samples. Now, onto the food!
I figured today we’d start out with a perennial favorite, France. Fully knowing that this booth can garner some pretty long lines, we hit it up twice during our trip. For our first items, Matt ordered the Coq au Vin and I ordered the Sparkling Pomegranate Kir.
We grabbed a bench in the shade so I could snap some photos. We were immediately impressed by the portion size, and, while we’ve noticed portions (and wine pours) get smaller as the crowds roll in, that was not the case with this dish. We saw it later in the festival and it still was the above fair-sized plate. Last year, I noticed smaller Golabki in Poland a few weeks apart, and this year a reduction in serving size by about 2/3 of the Ropa Vieja in the Caribbean a few HOURS apart.
We both enjoyed the flavor of the Coq au Vin. Both the white and dark meat were tender. It was served atop a macaroni gratin. The macaroni was cooked nicely, while the flavor of the cheese was light but noticeable. I had to be on mushroom recon since Matt can’t stand them, but there really weren’t too many. It was over a good value.
I chose to try the Sparkling Pomegranate Kir. This drink is a mixture of Charles de Fère Cuvée Jean-Louis, a Blanc de Blancs Brut. It’s topped with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur.
Sparkling Pomegranate Kir, France 2011, $6.50
I really enjoyed this drink. Matt took a sip and was impressed by it too,”although it’s not something I’d order for himself.” Guess he’s not a fan of pink drinks. ;) It was light, crisp, refreshing, and not too sweet. It went down way to easy in the heat, too! I’ll likely be revisiting this drink in the upcoming weeks.
On our second round at France, I stopped for the Escargots Persillade en Brioche. This is one of the dishes we sample every year, usually twice.
Three mini brioche are filled with a combination of escargots, garlic, and parsley that have been sautéed in butter.
The butter soaks into the soft bread. Absolutely delicious. Since there are three of them and two of us, it’s no surprise we end up getting this twice; unfortunately, Matt will get to have two of these next time since he only had this time around!
Matt ordered the Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait. Although it is made with chocolate milk, he hardly tasted any chocolate notes. This was fine with him, though, as he loves plain crème brûlée. It held a fairly smooth consistency, and the crust remained crisp. I could barely taste any of the chocolate either, which was fine with me.
And while we have yet to sample it this year, we both loved the Parisian Cosmo Slush at the 2010 festival! If you like France’s specialty slushes at Les Vins de Chefs de France, you can’t pass up this one! It’s a combination of vodka, Grand Marnier, and cranberry juice. This one is dangerous!
We have LOTS more to cover from our trip, so keep checking back to read about F&W and more!