We continue from Northern Bloom.
Fleur de Lys takes its rightful place in front of the France Pavilion for the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
All three savory items are new, while the “Large” Chocolate Macaron Lollipop returns alongside the La Vie En Rose Frozen Slush. The Cabernet hails from a different winery and this year’s Kir is Framboise instead of Pomegranate.
Vichyssoise aux Concombres: Chilled Cucumber Soup – $4.50
I didn’t go into this year’s Flower and Garden Festival expecting to make a friend, but here we are with this happy chilled soup. My assumption is that this is an acquired taste – the flavor profile of this potato-and-leek-based soup is overwhelmingly cucumber and dill with a ton of thick heavy cream mixed in for good measure. I tried a few bites and didn’t hate it, but nobody else in our group would take a second bite and I wasn’t in any hurry to ingest all of the herb-y calories. If you love cucumber and dill and cream then you’re going to be in heaven, but you really, really have to like cucumber and dill and cream.
Tarte au Chévre: Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a flaky Pastry Crust – $5.50
It may not be evident from the picture, but the serving is on the small side. It’s probably just about four inches by three inches, if that. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in butter, though. The crust is nice and flaky, but became kind of limp under the weight of the butter and cheese after sitting in the warmer for so long. There is an incredible amount of flavor here, but the bread is soaked in so much butter that we found the whole thing too rich to eat more than a small bite or two. Be aware of that if you’re considering it.
Canard Confit à la Provençal: Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta – $6
This reminded me of the dense, soggy polenta that Italy has been serving in one form or another for years. It’s topped with a surprising amount of meaty duck, but the whole thing ended up being mushy and bland after it sits in a warmer waiting to be served for some number of hours. You might do better on freshness and the sauce may be more to your tastes. It’s quite a bit of food for the money, at least. Like the other two items, you may just not want to eat what you have left.
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop – $5.25
Destined to be one of the most popular items at the Festival even if it tasted like dirt, the chocolaty macaron is dipped into more chocolate and then dipped into crunchy chocolate candies. Add the chocolate ganache filling in between the crispy, chocolate meringue cookies, and the fact that it’s served chilled, and you have an incredibly refreshing, incredibly chocolaty dessert. Plus it doesn’t taste like dirt. At all! It’s a dollar more than I’d like to spend, but you can’t put a price tag on novelty or the possibility of adding two or three followers on Instagram. A worthy investment.
La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75
It’s one of my favorite returning frozen cocktails and far more glamorous to carry around than one of the thimble-sized plastic cups in which the majority of the drinks are served. It’s not too sweet and the vodka flavor is present, but almost completely masked by the juices and liqueurs. The portion is larger and the price is lower than most of the cocktails served by the Disney-operated Outdoor Kitchens as well.
Kir Framboise: Sparkling Wine and Monin Raspberry Syrup – $7.95
This easy-drinking cocktail is at least 98% alcohol, which is a step up from most drinks that are largely thawed fruit juice. The sparkling wine that they use isn’t fantastic, but the subtle, fruity flavors of the syrup help mask that and provide for a pretty color. Similar drinks are always available in France, but you could do a lot worse if you’re stopping at the Kitchen for another item.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Maison de France – $4.95
This forgettable Cabernet sells for about $8 a bottle, making the $4.95 price here on the high side what is typically a much stingier pour than you’ll receive up ahead in Morocco. On the other hand, five bucks isn’t a tremendous amount of money to pay for three ounces of red wine and this probably isn’t the setting to try to savor anything more expensive. You might add a cup to an order if you’re in need, but there are varietals from better-known wineries available all over the Pavilion.
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – $4.50
The 1664 is a decent witbier, crisp and light with citrus notes that are marred (in my opinion) by too much coriander. It’s available at the Pavilion all-year, which doesn’t make for a particularly compelling buy.
France is a bit of a miss on the food front this year, but everyone is probably stopping for a Macaron and Rose Slushy anyway. Your tastes may differ from ours, but France doesn’t prepare anything in their “Outdoor Kitchen” and the quality does suffer because the food is wheeled over from across the way. With nothing being particularly expensive, you might give something a whirl if it sounds good, even if we didn’t like it.