As with past Festivals, Promenade Refreshments is transformed into an exclusive offering for the Arts.
“Rococo” or “Late Baroque” was an artistic movement in the middle of the 18th century in France, known for its ornate style, asymmetry, and shell-like curves during a period leading up to the reign of Louis XVI.
One does wonder what it would have been like to live during a time when a new king arrived with sweeping changes to the arts rather than a handful of new memes.
The Marketplace offers these three unique desserts, in addition to the cookie that we’ll see again and three varieties of straight booze.
We do see a bit of flourish in the $6.50 Deconstructed Purple Sweet Potato Pie, Salted Caramel, Bourbon-soaked Cake and Marshmallow Whipped Cream. And it’s kind of neat knowing that the hole punched in it is purposefully off-center and the overall curvyness (not a word) hearkens back to 1750s Paris. The variety of solid, crispy toppings on the circular ring provide a nice contrast of texture against the softness of the purple pie. But each of us found the texture to be off-putting. I blame that sort of thing on myself rather than the dish – unfamiliarity or “strangeness” is no fault of the chef. But the mouthfeel of the soft, oddly dense whipped potato and the slight sweetness of the root vegetable were described as “gross” by all four of us and it was the only item at the Festival that we ran into that nobody had any interest in finishing.
So I would otherwise describe this as the “least safe” dessert at the Festival and be aware that the pie is basically a denser form of mashed potatoes that’s supposed to be a dessert. Rather strange.
Things improve only marginally with the $6.50 Dark Chocolate S’mores: Homemade Graham Cracker, Vanilla Kisses and White Chocolate “Fire.”
Half eaten for your pleasure. Again, the fact that this is “literally” a shell is no coincidence, but despite looking the part, the dessert was almost completely devoid of the traditional s’mores flavor, instead tasting exclusively of dark chocolate. The texture was at least more familiar and lovers of dark chocolate may enjoy this more than some of the lighter chocolate desserts that we’ll be seeing at future booths. It’s not at all a bad value – ours just wasn’t as flavorful as some of the other items that we’ll be running into shortly.
The $6.75 Crisp Caramel Chocolate Mousse Bar – Flavored Merengue Kisses and Passion Fruit Mousse was our favorite of the bunch. The mousse had a really nice light airy quality to it and the crisp caramel bits offered a nice crunch to each bite along with the chewy crust on the bottom. The couple bites of brittle meringue were another highlight, though there was not as much fruitiness as the description perhaps implies. Otherwise, this was really good and the most straightforward of the three desserts. We’re actually going to run into my favorite dessert, which is also a mousse, at the next booth.
The Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie — $5.50 is available at a couple of marketplaces, including Decadent Delights and the one in the United States Pavilion. It’s quite sizable with a nice crispiness to it and plenty of chocolate chips, but the value is probably based on how much you care about the icing on top. It was fun to try and another good opportunity to launch that Instagram career, but it isn’t a whole lot more than “just a chocolate chip cookie” in flavor. Good though.
You have your choice of three straight-from-the-bottle drinks to add to your order and we’ve run into each as part of other cocktails in the past. On the right here is Jock Lindsey’s Singapore Sling. The Danish Cherry Heering Liqueur was of course a key ingredient in the original Sling. You can also go with a staple of nighttime Club Level visits at the various Deluxe resorts with the Courvoisier cognac or class it up with the Tawny Port.
Overall, I’m not sure anything at Decadent Delights stood out as a “must try” like the Popping Bubbles Cocktail or Frangipane Cake at Pop Eats, but lines here are typically short and the mousse bar was quite good. You also know exactly what you’re getting in the 1.5-ounce pours of liquor and port, unlike some of the mixed drinks that arrive with questionable alcohol content.
We’ll move on to The Masterpiece Kitchen.