Greenhouse Guru is “all-new” for this year’s Food and Wine Festival though guests that visited last year will recognize it as a re-purposed “Chew Collective.” This is located behind Innoventions West/Club Cool/Character Spot on the walkway up to World Showcase from Future World on the Canada side.
Each food item is new.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, and Micro-Basil – $4
There isn’t necessarily a whole lot to this salad – each ingredient is listed in the description, unlike a lot of others that will sneak in something potentially unexpected. But the fresh flavors help carry this dish with the tangy housemade balsamic contrasting nicely with the zesty, sweet, and almost fruity tomatoes underneath. A couple other varieties of tomato are also included on top and it’s kind of interesting to taste the milder flavors that they offer. Overall, this doesn’t really reinvent the wheel, but it’s executed well and is a good choice if you’re looking for an appetizer salad before hitting some of the heavier meat options in Patagonia, Canada, etc.
Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-roasted Salsa – $5.25
This dish may underwhelm on presentation and impress on flavor, in addition to introducing some of France’s most famous flavors at a relatively reasonable price. The tender, shredded duck, which there is quite a bit of, has a rich flavor that’s transferred and absorbed by the polenta underneath. The salsa adds a smoky component while I preferred to brush the green onion to the side and let the duck do the talking. Confit takes a lot of work and this is one of the Festival’s standout dishes.
Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with Lump Crab Meat – $4.50
Another winner here. I feel like the Chew-related booths have offered some of the best, most consistent dishes since arriving at the Food and Wine Festival last year.
An aerial shot for context.
The gazpacho, which is made up of tomato, cucumber, peppers, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices is incredibly refreshing with the crab salad delicately placed on top of the thick, yet light soup. The flavor is robust and nuanced throughout and it’s a pretty good serving for the money.
Mini San Marzano Tomatoes – $4.75
When I saw this on the menu, I assumed it was a bag of the Village Farms tomatoes that have popped up at a couple of locations around Walt Disney World. That’s exactly what it is – five ounces of grocery store tomatoes served in the same bag that Publix sells for $2.99.
It wouldn’t personally be something that I would pick up, but if there is a tomato shortage where you live and you are really jonesing for some raw tomatoes from a bag then this is an excellent choice.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling – $4.50
With the bottle price of $17, this isn’t a fantastic value for a wine that should meet your expectations for a riesling. The winemaker says that “This is a ripe, lush style of Riesling with aromas of ripe peaches, dried apricots and spice notes. It displays beautiful ripe fruit flavors with a crisp finish.” I have no reason to disagree.
Acrobat Pinot Noir – $4.50
Acrobat Pinot Noir was the first wine to arrive on property served from a tap if memory serves. Another $17 bottle otherwise, it “shows aromas of bright red fruit before the Oregon earth, acid and balanced tannins playfully round out the mid-palate. The finish blends the fruit and earth together for a lush and generously lingering experience.”
Overall, Greenhouse Guru is a must visit, offering several of the Festival’s best dishes. It’s also typically less popular than the World Showcase Marketplaces and is usually well staffed with a sufficient number of high top tables. Its convenient location to the Chocolate and Wine & Dine Studios is also a definite plus.