The “Chew Collective” takes over for last year’s “Sustainable Chew” in the same location in the Next Eats section of the Food and Wine Festival in Future World. You’ll find it along the walk into World Showcase from Future World on the Canada side.
In addition to the two Chew booths offering some of the best food items at the Festival, both Marketplaces are typically well staffed and less popular than their World Showcase counterparts. Being closer to Future World, you may be able to experience some of the best of the Festival without having to deal with the long lines and heavy crowds that are found most evenings and on weekends.
The Ravioli returns from last year while the other two food items are new. The Marketplace cuts the beer options and the Chewtini from last year and instead offers the Festival wines.
The three items in context.
Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce – $4.75
I proclaimed last year’s version as the “best pasta dish we tried” and that’s true again, though it is a pretty low bar. The tomato sauce is improved as well, chunkier and more robust with a touch of sweetness. While the sprinkle of parmesan on top adds some color and a bit of saltiness, the ravioli itself is delicate and just barely holds the creamy, cheesy filling. I don’t think there’s a ton of zucchini involved, but it perhaps props up the ravioli and gives it a slightly firmer texture.
Overall, very good, though not a tremendous value at this price point.
Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and Feta Cheese – $5
A Grilled Beef Skewer is perhaps not the most unique dish they could have come up with considering Argentina’s/Patagonia’s longstanding dish. But the flavors here are a lot fresher with the crunch of the lettuce, creaminess of the cheese, and fruitiness of the apricot brightening up the profile a lot more than the garlic and butter of South America. But this is basically a steak salad once the beef is plucked from the skewer. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but it could have used a bit of dressing as the beef is typically tough and dry. It’s not the worst pick up, but there are better items available.
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle – $3.25
This is a delicious dessert that actually comes in a dollar less than last year’s panna cotta which I deemed to be “overpriced by a buck.” So here we are.
We really liked this one and the vertical presentation allows for the layers to complement each other with the peanut butter offering its usual salty, roasted flavor with the white chocolate mousse sweetening things up and then the caramel adding extra sugar along with the crunch on top. It’s not a terribly large portion, but it tastes so good that I think it demands to be tried.
Festival Chardonnay and Festival Cabernt Sauvignon – $4.50 Each
This is a lousy picture of this year’s “Festival exclusive” wines that we sampled in the Chase Lounge where they are also offered. I wish I could say that they both “tasted like wine,” but they were far worse than that. And you are talking to somebody that would happily drink Franzia if it came down to it. The chardonnay tasted like if you watered down butter that had been left outside in Florida for three days and then bottled whatever liquid remained. The cabernet tasted like the terroir of the grapes was a sinkhole in Kissimmee. Just about anything would be better, including at least a half dozen options within 50 feet.