France returns out in front of the Pavilion on the right side. On busier days, check to see if the line is shorter on the left/back side of the Marketplace, particularly before 3pm.
The Warm Goat Cheese Pudding is brand new and we see a slightly different take on the standard Crème Brûlée that France has offered over the last few years. The Marketplace drops the Frozen Ice Pops that have never really worked and switched out the winery on the chardonnay, but all of the other drinks return.
- Moelleux au Fromage de Chèvre et Épinards: Warm Goat Cheese Pudding with Spinach – $4.25
- Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley – $5.75
- Boeuf Bourguignon, Purée de Pommes de Terre: Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Beef with Mashed Potatoes – $6.25
- Crème Brûlée à la Confiture de Framboises: Crème Brûlée with Housemade Rasberry Jam – $4.25
- La Passion Martini Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice – $10.75
- Chardonnay, Bouchard Ainé & Fils – $4.75
- St-Germain Sparkling Kir: Sparkling Wine and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur – $8.50
- Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 Pale Lager – $4.25
Moelleux au Fromage de Chèvre et Épinards: Warm Goat Cheese Pudding with Spinach – $4.25
I’ll admit that the menu description on this did not sound particularly appetizing at first blush – something about “cheese,” “warm,” and “pudding” together caused me to involuntarily turn my nose up at the thought, much like when I hear the price of the Moretti beer in France. But this was absolutely delicious and one of our favorite items from the Festival. You and I might consider this to be more of a “dip,” though it arrives with no dunkable accoutrements. Heading over to the Boulangerie for half of a baguette to dip into the cheese seems like a lot of effort, but it would be oh-so-good. Since DISFLIX failed so spectacularly, maybe there would be money in DISBREAD, where I stand around trying to hawk sourdough for a standard monthly rate.
Otherwise, the cheese on top forms a bit of a crispy top that easily gives way to the delicious, warm, creamy mixture of cheese, garlic, and herbs that creates a sort of moat around the sphere of goat cheese in the center. The tangy goat cheese is firmer than the cream cheese, which makes for an interesting textural contrast when it’s mixed in with all the spinach. Really fantastic and a surprisingly big, hearty portion for the money.
(The reason the two pictures look different is because they’re actually two different dishes from two different days – we ended up ordering four over our first three Festival visits. This never happens.)
Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley – $5.75
This is a Festival favorite and one of only a couple of returning items that I allow anyone in my entourage to order on the first day of the Festival, which is historically devoted to new items. Four escargot(s) are baked into the croissant which is topped with a buttery garlic and parsley spread. You might be a little apprehensive about the whole snail thing, but this is a good opportunity to try them if you haven’t. The escargots hold up surprisingly well with all of the butter and garlic going on. Definitely worth a try.
Boeuf Bourguignon, Purée de Pommes de Terre: Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Beef with Mashed Potatoes – $6.25
This is a very alcohol-forward dish with a pronounced red wine flavor and the beef is more stew-quality than your typical high-end short rib dish. The potatoes also tend to harden a bit under the heat lamp. This is a pretty safe skip and your money is probably better spent on one of the many other beef dishes available at the other booths.
Crème Brûlée à la Confiture de Framboises: Crème Brûlée with Housemade Rasberry Jam – $4.25
This year’s Crème Brûlée sits in the back with yet another Croissant and Pudding up front.
The sugar isn’t freshly caramelized, but the browning process adds a thin, crunchy, glass-like top layer that easily breaks into the luscious vanilla bean custard underneath. The raspberry jam adds a delightfully fruity component and a really fresh, sweet/tart flavor. This is pretty average for Crème Brûlée, but even average Crème Brûlée is delicious. I recommend picking one up if you’re making a stop.
La Passion Martini Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice – $10.75
The Passion Fruit Martini Slush is probably the most popular cocktail at the Festival and is similar to the other various slushes that France offers year-round. It’s reliably cold and refreshing with a pleasantly fruity flavor that isn’t too sweet along with a questionable amount of alcohol. Very tasty, but don’t expect it to pack a punch.
Chardonnay, Bouchard Ainé & Fils – $4.75
Store Price: 35 cents/ounce
Festival Price: $2.34/ounce
Paying $4.75 for two ounces of a $9 bottle of basic chardonnay is pretty rough. The white wine at Brazil is a much better value. Consider getting two.
St-Germain Sparkling Kir: Sparkling Wine and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur – $8.50
That’s the Sparkling Kir in the back of the picture. I’m not sure what the deal was, but the drink we were served tasted like dirt rather than the floral bouquet that’s typically associated with St. Germain and sparkling wine. I think I’ll have to return to this one, but what we were served was virtually undrinkable.
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 Pale Lager – $4.25
Store price: 15.2 cents/ounce.
Festival price: 70.8 cents/ounce.
Value: Below average.
Kronenbourg is available in France throughout the year and you’ll also find it on the dinner menu at Be Our Guest Restaurant over at Magic Kingdom, among other locations. This witbier is otherwise heavy on the lemon and orange citrus up front with some lingering coriander spice on the back end. It’s a pretty expensive proposition at the Festival.