As with any event at Epcot, food is a major part of it. Foodies everywhere are drawn to Epcot to try a wide range of cuisine and drinks. The Festival of Arts followed the same trend as the other yearly festivals, where there are booths around the country selling snacks and drinks. This time though, each dish is crafted to be a work of art. We started our journey to try these booths in Mexico with a Passion Fruit Coconut Margarita. It was a refreshing start to a walk around the world and was reminiscent of beverages found in La Cava del Tequila. From here, we tried most of the booth options at this festival. The Artist’s table featured this photogenic scallop with chorizo, roasted red pepper coulis and a parmesan crisp. The taste was just as excellent as the presentation. It was a decent sized scallop, though by no means is this a meal. Some bloggers found these portions to be bigger than the Food and Wine Festival, but I did not see a huge difference. I found most dishes to be snack sized, but with more emphasis on presentation.
Cuisine Classique had this delicious short rib with parsnip puree, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic. The meat was cooked perfectly and was very tender and the vegetables complimented the short rib as well. I liked the short rib a little more than the snapper, but this fish dish was also very good. The ratatouille was the stand out, with well seasoned vegetables and a savory sauce. This was a solid booth choice as it also had a beer flight featuring Sierra Nevada, Bell’s and Duck Rabbit. Not the most rare craft beer companies, but you cannot go wrong with the taste of any of these options.
Pop Eats! was a fun booth as they had some very creative options. The cake really surprised me, I thought it would be all show and not much flavor. However this Almond Frangipane Cake with Raspberry Jam and Chocolate, really delivered with a savory and sweet taste and the perfect amount of chocolate. The shrimp ceviche with lime mint foam was also extremely delicious-hands down some of the best ceviche I have had. However, it is a really small portion and though it has a lot of shrimp, it may not be the best value if you are not a big seafood fan.
Sous Vide Venison was also on the menu at Pop Eats! and as someone who has never had venison before, I was actually pretty impressed. It is definitely not my favorite type of meat, but the cooking technique used here provides an excellent flavor and texture to the dish. If you are looking to try something new, this is a good choice!
The Painter’s Palate was my favorite booth of this event. I knew I would like it because of the beer flight options, but this croissant doughnuts really set it over the top. The beer flight is Neapolitan themed with a Strawberry Blonde Nitro by Three Daughters, The Nitro Vanilla Porter by Breckenridge and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. This was a perfect pairing of beers and I loved that it almost tasted like an ice cream sundae! I thought the croissant doughnuts sounded strange with the savory flavors (especially the chicken mousse), but I ended up loving them! They were a bit messy but all the fillings were delicious and I like the taste of with the flaky doughnut. This was a very large portion as well, so this dish is a winner in terms of taste, uniqueness and value. This booth is a must-stop, plus you can look around an art exhibit while you are there.
Though, Painter’s Palate may have been my favorite booth, E=AT^2 had my favorite dish. Of course it is one with pork belly! I had pork belly for the first time at the 2014 FOod and Wine Festival and have loved it ever since. I have tried it at a few other places, and no one serves it better than Epcot! This dish was no different with amazing pork belly along with some tasty accompaniments. This was a deconstructed BLT with the pork belly as the bacon, the micro greens as the lettuce, and the tomato jam as the tomato. They also threw a soft poached egg on their as well. I think comparing it to a BLT was quite a stretch, but it was an excellent dish regardless and I went back for seconds! I hope to see this dish, the cronuts, and the cake at next year’s festivals, as I think they will end up being Festival of Arts classics. Though I did not have a single bad thing throughout my day, I am sure they will add some new options (and booths!) next year and I can’t wait to try them.