The Artist’s Table, surrounded by picnic tables, returns for this year’s Festival of the Arts.
If you liked something from last year, then I have good news, because “literally” every single item returns from 2019.
Beef Wellington with Mushroom Bordelaise, Fennel Cream, and Roasted Baby Vegetables – $8.25
Serving Beef Wellington “feels” like a bold move for a Pavilion that hasn’t quite perfected the hot dog.
The description would probably be more accurate if it was “Beef in Puff Pastry.” Wellington implies center cut beef tenderloin. And while I hesitate to quote the grocery store price per pound, it’s an expensive cut of beef. What’s served here is far from that – more like a lower tier sirloin – but it’s prepared well inside of the crispy, flaky, tender pastry. Ours was closer to medium well than medium rare, but that’s something that will probably improve as the Festival moves forward. The Mushroom Bordelaise enhances the flavor of the meat, while offering a sweet, earthy red wine flavor in its own right, and there’s plenty of Roasted Vegetables to soak up the excess sauce, in addition to adding a pleasant smoky quality to the overall flavor profile. I appreciated the fact that Disney was trying to do something that wasn’t too similar to what Canada does during Food and Wine. But this is probably a little too ambitious for a Food Studio and they’re certainly not going to shell out the cash for center cut tenderloin. Nor do we want to see what it would cost if they did. The portion is more than adequate for the price and this is a “safe bet” for those who aren’t quite ready to Google what roulade is or drop eight bucks on sushi circle.
Pan-Seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis and a Parmesan Crisp – $7
This vibrant, attractive dish is Erin’s favorite with the scallop placed delicately on top of the bright red, mildly spicy pepper sauce. The cheesy crisp is a nice textural contrast to the scallop, which does a nice job of soaking up all of the flavors from the coulis and a little bit of saltiness from the chorizo. It’s another dish that’s composed nicely, though it’s not a tremendous amount of food for the money.
Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie – $5.50
This is a large, crispy, typically hard cookie packed with chocolate chips and then topped with thick colorful icing. It may prove popular with the kids who aren’t connecting to the thought of Purple Sweet Potato Mousse for one reason or another, but most people are going to find more interesting flavors elsewhere.
Sipping Chocolate Flight: White, Milk and Dark – $8
Three small sippy cups arrive full of incredibly thick, incredibly syrupy, incredibly chocolaty liquid. I suppose that if you microwave most things, they eventually become drinkable, and that’s the situation with the chocolate. With how thick and rich it is, I think you’ll want to share no matter how much you enjoy chocolate.
Ame Du Vin Cotes De Provence Rosé – $6
“Ame du Vin” means “Soul of Wine,” in case you were wondering. It’s a refreshing Rosé with your typical peach and apricot notes and a crisp, easy finish with a nice floral bouquet. The bottle price is about $15, making this one of the better wine values at the Festival. It’s not life-changing, but it does the job.
Carmel Road Drew’s Blend Pinot Noir – $7
Drew Barrymore’s Pinot Noir is a fruity, surprisingly spicy red wine with a smooth finish. The bottle price is around $25, making this a pretty good value as well. I’m not sure how much of the proceeds go to The Wedding Singer, but Adam Sandler could probably use a break after Uncut Gems.
Symphony in Chocolate Flight: Mozart Cream Liqueurs paired with Sipping Chocolates – $13
For $5 more than the non-alcoholic version, you can order the same sipping chocolates paired with a Mozart Liqueur.
The chocolates are so thick, rich, and decadent by themselves that I’m not sure how much the small pour of liqueur affects the flavor profile. And you’re probably going to drink so little of it that the liqueurs’ presence is of little consequence. Most of the time, when I say something is shareable, one person with a moderate amount of will power and tummy space could very easily polish it off. That is very much not the case here given the thickness of what is basically melted chocolate in a cup. Personally, it’s not my thing, but you might still elect to give it a try, particularly if your group consists of 20 or more people.
Chocolate and Beer Pairing Flight with Saugatuck Brewing Co. Neapolitan Milk Stout, Lexington Brewing Company Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale, and Lindemans Framboise Lambic – $12
An extra dollar per beer over the regular flight price brings you a chocolate accompaniment to three interesting selections.
Each of the beers are very good and it’s fun to try them with the various chocolates.
I’m not usually a big Lambic guy, but four ounces was just right and the flavors were enhanced nicely by the Black Currant & Violet Chocolate. Each of the chocolates were flavorful in their own right and paired nicely with the beers. Anyone who likes beer should consider giving it a whirl.
Overall, there are some nice selections here. The wines are some of the better values at the Festival and both flights are fun to try. The Scallop is a Festival favorite and I’m betting that Beef Wellington will only get better.