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  • Author
    • dcdeb

      Registered: October 2005
      Posts: 68
      Review Date: Sun October 5, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Good value for money; terrific pastries
      Cons: None

       
      Returning to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year is the Parisian Breakfast, a program designed to showcase the goodies produced by the France pavilion's beloved bakery, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. I reviewed this special ticketed offering last year, and I'm happy to report that nothing much has changed! It's still a delightful and delicious way to start your day in Epcot, with an abundance of fantastic French pastries, strong French coffee, rich hot chocolate, and -- I must not forget to mention -- unlimited orange juice and champagne Mimosas! You can read my review of this year's Parisian Breakfast here: http://allears.net/tp/ep/fw14/2014-epcot-food-and-wine-festival-parisian-breakfast.htm
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      Historygal610

      Registered: July 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sun July 27, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Food was yummy
      Cons: Seating if you did not purchase preffered

       
      I attended the 3D Desert Party last October with my S.O. We arrived early and checked in, the process was easy and staff friendly. We were at the front of the roped off area and chatting about the pleasant music and atmosphere with another couple. The attendant said are you guys up front ready to run. I thought he must be joking but no sadly he was not.


      As the curtain was pulled many people mad a mad dash for the tables. I however do not move that fast, ever! A few people had to be separated from their parties but really a lot of time was stood chatting anyway so not a huge issue. There were nice maps to point out the location of all the offerings.


      I do not drink but my S.O. does and they kept the drinks flowing as well as sodas, coffee, and tea. We had not really eaten much that afternoon and were very happy to see some food beyond the sweets.


      If I did this again I would splurge on the sweet seats to avoid the stampede at the start, but I would do it again. Honestly the event was nice and worth the cost, just a little overwhelming.
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      Dogwithahat

      Registered: January 2009
      Location: Texas
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Fri November 8, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Special Event and exceptional service
      Cons: Menu

       
      My DD24 and I attended the Italian Regional lunch on Oct 23, 2013. It was held at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in Tutto Italia Restaurant. I will list the five course menu- a charred octopus with a bean spread and matchstick celery hearts paired with a Pinot Grigio, a Zucchini and mint pesto risotto paired with a Juti Lison Classico, poached snapper in white wine and herb broth paired with a Sauvignon, a cheese course a LaTur paired with a Merlot, and for dessert an almond cake with vanilla gelato paired with a Verduzzo dessert wine.


      It is my understanding that the menu and wine pairings change frequently during the event which was given 3 times a week. I do not think there is a way to find out the menu before you book it. That being said although I enjoyed the venue and my tablemates, I was disappointed in the nearly all white wine pairings.


      I went for the experience and it was overall a good one. The char on the octopus was overpowering to the other delicate flavors. The risotto was really good as was the dessert. I personally liked the cheese which was strongly flavored but many of my tablemates did not. Our table voted the merlot the best wine. The worst course was the snapper, the broth was very fishy.


      Our presenter was great but he was very hard to hear because of the venue. They had the place packed with tables. Service was exceptional. A few less chairs in there would have made it better imho. You had to ask someone to get up and let you out to use the bathroom. That's packing us in too tightly.
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      JoeTr

      Registered: October 2008
      Location: Baltimore, MD
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Sat November 2, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Food and ambiance
      Cons: A little tight with the wine servings

       
      This event was held in the new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. We all agreed that it is the best venue in WDW - perhaps only a bit less than V&A. The five course lunch represented different regions of Italy. The risotto with pumpkin and shrimp was different and delicious. Unlike the French Regional lunches they were not anxious to refill the glasses. This was a surprise because we had attended the Italian Wine Pairing two days early with several of the same wines, and they were very generous. Downside of the pairing was Via Napoli. It is a very noisy place - fun with pizza, but not great when trying to hear about the food and wines. Perhaps next year they will have both events in the Wine Cellar.
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      JoeTr

      Registered: October 2008
      Location: Baltimore, MD
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Sat November 2, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Quality and Quantity of food.
      Cons: None

       
      We (six very senior citizens) were lucky to be able to attend two French Regional lunches during our one week visit. The Cotes du Rhone and Bordeaux regionals were well represented. Every course provided a new taste treat. A Celery Zephyr with Black Truffles was served with an light mousse topping. Different and delicious. The Bordeaux were from the Rothschild Domaines, and lived up to their reputation.
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      jaygalterio

      Registered: October 2013
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Thu October 31, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 2 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros):
      Cons: Not worth it

       
      "3D Dessert Discovery"


      Attended 10/25, Sweet Seats


      Offerings on hand -
      # of Individual Dessert Areas: 4
      # of Individual Dessert Items: 10


      Sweet Seats had 3 additional dessert items.


      One additional item was delivered to each of the Sweet Seats that I was not able to taste. Luckily I was warned that it included cheese before I tried it (allergies). No real description was given of the item. My wife, who did try it, didn't seem impressed.


      All the rest was questionable in it's presence (cold cuts, fruit, cheese, etc.). It's debatable if these should be called "desserts" but that is really up to personal preference.


      Most of the fruit were not above the level of items that can be bought at an average supermarket. No special preparation was done to the fruit, seemed like items that were either dumped into a bowl.


      Some of the items, like the popcorn, were a complete throw away in effort. They were nice, in theory, but by no means should be considered a "top billed" item. I'm sorry but popcorn is popcorn, flavoring it with different glazes really doesn't raise it's profile enough to justify the entrance price.


      The same about the "charcuterie" and "cheese" items. Nothing there struck me as anything special and seemed to be haphazardly dumped into serving containers.


      And, at an even more subjective personal opinion, of the desserts only three were worth a second visit: Teeny Weeny Hot Dog Cart, 1 item from the Bites of Cake, and 1 item from the Sweet Seats. All the rest were less than impressive.


      All the rest of the items varied between tasteless (almost all the items from "Bites of Cake") and tooth achingly sweet (the chocolate "cone" in the Sweet Seats).


      The placement of the "Sweet Seats" was also a considerable disappointment. Our table was literally up against the stage, right in front of one of the speakers. It was uncomfortable both physically and socially.


      On a whole, certainly not worth the price of admission.
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      hbamford

      Registered: January 2009
      Location: Buffalo, NY
      Posts: 20
      Review Date: Wed October 31, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 3 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Not much
      Cons: too costly, too much, too little

       
      My two teen daughters (14 and 16) and I attended the 3D Dessert event and were very disappointed - first of all, not at all family or youth friendly - more like an adult event - though the reservation person assured me the girls would be fine - and they had the place packed - it was supposed to be "cool" looking (the 3D thing was a big flop - a few ceiling lights and that's it) but it seemed like something between teen awkward and adult silly - just not the right atmosphere for Disney - food was OK - emphasis was on the alcohol I think.
      Overall, I find the trend toward serving alcohol at Disney a very disturbing one - and I drink!
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      HarryDA

      Registered: October 2012
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Sat October 13, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Once in a lifetime experience, time with Chef Jens
      Cons: More tables would have been good

       
      My wife and I were fortunate enough to do the
      Marketplace VIP Access Chef Tour this past week (Oct 10) and to say that we loved it would be an understatement. The tour was very similar to the review posted by Ms. Koma except they added a surprise menu item for us from Greece. All of the other food and drinks chosen (the same as described in Ms. Koma's review) were outstanding and the high point was clearly time spent talking to Chef Jens. He could not have been any more gracious with his time and he was wonderful about taking questions and sharing his insights into the dishes. Our tour was different in that the Passport books we received were stamped ahead of time with all of our stops and they were always offering us bottled water. My only suggestion would be to add some more tables for when we stopped to sample food as sometimes we still had drinks and so that got a little tricky but that is very very minor when compared to the overall experience. Definitely would do it again!
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      DisneyLover72

      Registered: May 2008
      Location: Ruston, LA
      Posts: 24
      Review Date: Mon January 16, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros):
      Cons:

       
      My family and I were in WDW for the Food and Wine Festival 10/28 to 11/5/11. We did the wine tasting with the MacMurray Ranch. Really nice hope its offered next year.
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      elainep

      Registered: October 2006
      Location: Chicago, IL
      Posts: 67
      Review Date: Sun October 30, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Excellent food and entertaining presentation of the wines, plus great service
      Cons: Not a thing

       
      On Sunday, October 9th, we arrived at Bistro de Paris in Epcot shortly after 11:45 a.m. The French Regional Lunch was scheduled to begin at noon and there was already a line of guests waiting to be admitted. Just before 12:00, the check-in process began. After giving our name (we had a party of 3), we were allowed in the foyer and ended up waiting on the stairs that lead up to the restaurant. The line moved relatively quickly, though, and we were seated at a table with another party of 3. They were wonderful dining companions—we ended up sharing email addresses so we could send each other photos.


      The luncheon speaker was Jorge Hernandez, whom I’d seen last year. He is excellent—very knowledgeable about wines and very entertaining. He also takes the time to explain how you should taste and enjoy wine—I’ve heard his spiel before, but it’s still interesting. And, he filled us in about everything Bordeaux—the region and the wines and how they get to be named, what’s the blend of the grapes, etc. He was just as informative about the Rhone region last year.


      Our first course, the Amuse-Bouche, was a mini-tower of goat cheese wrapped in salmon. Absolutely outstanding. It was paired with a 2010 Chateau Bonnet Blanc, which was a wonderful wine. I’m usually not a sauvignon blanc fan, but this was just terrific. Every person at our table was topped off at least once or twice. We took photos of the bottle so we’d know what to ask for at our local wine stores.


      Next came a cream of artichoke soup with truffled brioche and a parmesan emulsion. The soup was more frothy than creamy—delicious! It was paired with a 2010 Chateau Bonnet Rose, after some discussion about how a rose really isn’t a white zinfandel. It was a nice pairing, but our group was still asking for refills on the sauvignon blanc.


      Our entrée was a lamb rack “Perigourdine” and a side dish of mashed potatoes with a “surprise”. Three very lean slices of lamb were fanned on the plate and the “surprise” in the potatoes was a beefy onion center. All good. The wine was a 2007 Chateau Tour de Segur—full-bodied, lots of legs, excellent.


      The cheese course came next and it was paired with a 2006 Chateau Cruzeau. Jorge said that we’d like this wine better than the one served with the entrée. Our table was mixed on that—we liked them both!


      For dessert, we were served a pear poached in red wine with chestnut cream. The pear was placed on a thin biscuit, which I thought was really good—very buttery. Dessert was paired with a 2009 J. Vidal-Fleury Muscat Beaumes De Venise. Sweet, but not too sweet—it was a nice combination.


      I can’t rave enough about these French Regional Lunches. They’re not cheap ($99 plus tax), but you get a great 3-hour experience—you sample wines and foods you’d ordinarily never try, you learn a lot about wine and the company is always fabulous.
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      elainep

      Registered: October 2006
      Location: Chicago, IL
      Posts: 67
      Review Date: Sun October 30, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Good food, as usual--who doesn't like Italian?
      Cons: No knowledgeable presentation of the wines

       
      On Wednesday, October 5th, we arrived at Tutto Italia in Italy at Epcot about 10 minutes or so before the scheduled start of the Food & Wine Pairing luncheon. The Wednesday event was a first—usually the luncheons in Italy are only on Saturday afternoons. So, this worked out well because it freed up our Saturday to attend the Party for the Senses—it would be difficult to do both events in one day.


      Anyway, most of the people waiting in the foyer were there for the luncheon and we were called to follow the matre‘d (the same gentleman who’s been there for the past several years) pretty close to 2:00. Seating was in the private room just off the regular dining area, as it had been in the past. Our party of four was seated with 2 couples from the Midwest—our group is from Chicago, so we had that in common. It’s been my experience that you generally share these meals at Food & Wine with some great people—I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience.


      Once we were all seated, the matre’d introduced a young woman who represented the winery, Monte Grande. Unlike past winery representatives, she really didn’t have too much to say about the vineyard. As the matre’d said, she was very attractive …


      Our first course was a Zucchine Alla Parmigiana, basically a thin slice of zucchini topped with tomato, mozzarella and basil, much like a pizza. Very tasty, but kind of small. The course was paired with a 2008 Monte Grande Serprino, which was unusual since past luncheons in Italy typically featured wines from Banfi. It was a nice pairing, though, and our glasses were refilled.


      The next course was Ravioli D’Aragosta Tartufati or lobster ravioli in a tomato sauce with truffled butter. There were two ravioli on the plate—in the past, the pasta course was pretty hefty. This was not. The ravioli were paired with a 2009 Monte Grande Pinot Bianco, which was very nice. Again, our glasses were topped off, maybe because one of my dining partners wasn’t shy about asking for refills!


      Our entrée was a Brasato di Manzo, a red wine braised short rib with mashed potatoes. Notice I said “rib”—we were only served one. It was very flavorful, with no bone, but not very substantial. The wine was a 2009 Monte Grande Cabernet, which was excellent.


      For dessert, we were served a Mocha Tiramisu, and it was a huge portion, probably what you’d normally receive if you ordered the dessert in the restaurant. I’ve had the tiramisu here before and it’s wonderful—very creamy and the espresso is not too overpowering. The dessert was paired with Rosa Regale, as usual. It was a great combination and I believe our table polished off the last bottle available!


      Although the food at this event was very good, I really felt that the portion sizes were much smaller than in the past. I realize that this is supposed to be a tasting, but the courses for the luncheons in Italy had always been more substantial (this is the 5th one that I’ve attended). Plus, the representative from the vineyard had absolutely nothing to say about the wines we were drinking and that’s something I really missed. She did come by each table and asked if we had any questions, but honestly, how could we have questions if we were given no information?


      Next year, I’ll probably think twice before I book this event—if something else that sounded interesting was offered at the same time, I think I might have to attend that instead.
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      Billd

      Registered: January 2006
      Location: Southeast Pa.
      Posts: 10
      Review Date: Sat October 29, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Master Chef in attendance - Kevin Dundon
      Cons: none

       
      My wife and I attended the signature dinner at Raglan Road on October 18. There were about 55 people at this event, which was off to one side of the pub.


      As mentioned in another post, each chair had a calendar placed, showing a picture of each dish to be served (each dish was a separate month) along with the recipe. Additional non-served dishes were in the calendar to complete the 12 month. this was also signed by Kevin Dundon.


      Prior to starting the event Kevin Dundon, came over to our table, shook hands and engaged in small talk. A really nice touch! We also were fortunate to talk with the sommelier for the evening, discussing the choice of both the white & red wines.


      At the beginning of each course, Kevin explained to all of us, the thoughts behind each dish. The wait staff was very attentive, never letting our wine or water glasses getting less than half filled.


      The food was excellent. The Expresso of Foie Gras with Yogurt Froth - had a complex flavor. the following dishes:
      The Tomato Consomme w/side tomato salad, Smoked Salmon, Bloody Mary Sorbet w/creme Fraiche & Micor greens, were very good. The Lobster Bisque infused with a Single Malt Irish Whiskey was excellent! The main dish consisted of either the Baby Suckling Pork Rack w/Black Pudding & Apple Jelly served with Colcannon Spuds, or the Filet of Monk Fish served on a Broad Bean & Smoked Bacon Lardon Reduction. My wife had the fish, I the Lamb. Outsanding is all I can say about these dishes.


      Desert was Treacle Tart with Blackberries & Clotted Cream & vanilla ice cream, again very good.


      This was our third signature dining event since we have been coming to the Food & Wine Festival, and was by far the best value for cost we have enjoyed.
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      arielwatcher

      Registered: April 2007
      Posts: 94
      Review Date: Thu October 27, 2011 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 4 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): variety
      Cons: cost

       
      Met a couple at the Taste, Shake and Enjoy (Grand Marnier event). Sounded great so I ponied up the cash figuring it's a once in a life time event, right???


      Right about that.


      Got there at 7:30, line was long and we finally were ushered into the darkness. Looked like they initially hadn't set up enough tables and they threw down a few more in a hall way.


      No directions for newbies, they just threw you into the room of lines. Lines for drinks, for food, lines to find a seat.


      The music was avant garde, I guess... it ground on my nerves as being strident and a bit too loud. Then they had the Cirque Du Soleil which wasn't very easy to see.


      Tables weren't saved so we had to forage in shifts and I never got a complete meal. $300 for the two of us to have the minute amounts of food and drink is horrid.


      We never found the couple we were looking for but met a few interesting folk.


      There were tall tables and seated tables...wish you could have "claimed" a seated table to gather enough food to enjoy.... it just wasn't easy to eat or drink when you were thinking which line you'd get into next.


      It was over before we knew it.... and I felt robbed.
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      Starfire

      Registered: October 2011
      Location: Michigan
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Wed October 26, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Kevin Dundon was a wonderful host!
      Cons: none

       
      My sister and I went to Raglan Roads signature dinner event on October 18. A corner of the restaurant was set aside for the dinner. The tables were dressed with white linen and white rose centerpieces. At each place setting was a calender for next year and each of the dishes to be sampled were pictured inside along with the recipes. Six excellent courses(my favorite was the tomato sorbet and the lobster bisque), two wines and a wonderful gift bag filled with oat bread, Guinness Glaze and Whiskey marmalade were our parting gifts! Kevin visited each table at the beginning and end of the event, chatting and describing what we were to eat, and posed for photos and signed cookbooks!
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      alfy

      Registered: July 2010
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Tue October 18, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Service, the wines, the food ...
      Cons:

       
      We attended the Regional French - Cotes du Rhone luncheon in the Bistro de Paris. The speaker was excellent, very descriptive of the wines. The food was some of the best we've ever had at WDW. Five courses, including an amuse bouche of cream of asparagus soup, appetizer of a mushroom tarte, entree of baked chicken breast, cheese course and a galette for dessert. Each was properly sauced and accompanied by a complementary wine. Beautiful presentations. The wines were well matched, and not just tasting portions; the small army of French waiters just kept pouring - and pouring - and pouring, virtually until the next course was ready to serve, then they did it all over again! The food, and especially the service, something the French do so well, were a cut above anything else at the Festival, or at WDW for that matter. We're looking forward to 2012!
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