Today we’re reviewing a sampling of the 2021 Taste of Epcot Festival of the Arts Food Studios. We recently did a full breakdown of all the offerings at this year’s festival. This event runs from January 8th thru February 22nd. We headed over to Epcot on the festival opening day to do a sampling of the items that caught our eye (plus a visit to our favorite countries). Yes, it’s a tough job but ya know…someone has got to do it.
The Deconstructed Dish
This Food Studio is located where you’d normally find Hawaii for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, located right next to the (not so new, anymore) Starbucks. On the left as you head from Future World to World Showcase, on the way to Refreshment Port. This was our first stop and right off the bat I could tell that featured food at the Festival of the Arts would give the other festivals a run for their money. All three food dishes were amazing! Served on rectangular plates, each was a creative take on a classic dish.
“Deconstructed” meaning each traditional dish was broken down by ingredient. The BLT had a fat slab of pork belly, a PERFECT sous vide poached egg, tomato jam, white toast and a watercress espuma (foam). 10/10
The Rueben had a large portion of corned beef, a pickled onion/brussel sprout, a gruyere panna cotta, a rye popover and “broken” thousand island dressing. 8/10 – would have liked a bit more of a classic dressing.
For dessert, they offered a deconstructed take on strawberry cheesecake. Candied strawberries, shortbread triangles and a delicious whipped cheesecake spread. 9/10
The Artist’s Table at The American Adventure
This was by far the longest line we encountered and for good measure. While not my top pick for this first round of reviews, all the items at this Food Studio delivered. The Beef Wellington was perfectly cooked – 9/10. Scallops with chorizo and red pepper coulis was quite tasty, but very “busy” – 7/10. We tried the “sipping chocolate” – imagine literally drinking a chocolate bar. There are both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions – the alcoholic ones (clear cups) really hit. The chocolates are so rich, you want to share them with your group. One or two sips were plenty enough for each person. 6/10
Goshiki at Japan
Personally, Japan is always a favorite of mine because I love sushi. I’d eat it daily if not for my mother always telling me about mercury in fish. They always have creative sushi dishes. During past festivals there have been sashimi flower pots & sushi Christmas trees. This time? A sushi donut! Paired perfectly with a “Pink Snow” sake cocktail. 10/10 (I’m biased when it comes to sushi.)
L’Art de la Cuisine Francaise at France
My friends and I ALWAYS stop in France because their martinis are always amazing and they often have a tasty pastry. Our top top top favorite was an escargot croissant a few years ago. This year, it’s a black truffle croissant, filled with with a cheesy truffle cream.
While I doubt anything will top our favorite, this was clearly better than their recent savory pastry items the past two festivals. 8/10 – not the best but an improvement. The martini is one we haven’t seen for a few years: the Frozen French Martini! It’s a favorite of ours. Grey Goose, Chambord, pineapple, orange and grape juices all blended together. 10/10. Mind you they are a bit more refreshing when its 80 degrees and not barely 60 degrees out!
For dessert? Moelleux à la Framboise et aux Chocolats Valrhona. In English, that is a tasty molten chocolate and raspberry cake with Valrhona chocolate. Super rich. Super tasty – 8/10.
Mosaic Canteen at Morocco
I’m a real sucker for lamb and was totally bummed when they skipped Australia’s famous lamb lollies for most of this year’s Food & Wine festival. Well, they certainly made up for it this time with a very large piece of rack of lamb. Unfortunately it just had way too much going for it. It was good, but very “busy”. I enjoyed the baba ganoush. But with olives, tomatoes, preserved lemons and pomegranate and sauce? too much. 6/10 – Much like fashion accessories they should have taken out one of the many flavors they added. I was the only one in the group that enjoyed the blackberry hard cider. It’s quite bitter.
Festival Favorites at World Showcase Pavilion
We were SO happy to see that there’s finally a great charcuterie plate (after this fall’s pitiful cheese plate). This had plenty of cheese, varieties of bread and crackers, along with delicious pates and meats – 8/10. Someone must have been reading my mind – this was well worth the money.
This Food Studio was also home to our least favorite, which is heartbreaking to admit because it’s the one item directly tied to Disney IP. Who would have thought Remy’s Ratatouille was going to be so bland? We all felt like Anton Ego picking at what was a perfectly plated, yet incredibly disappointing dish. 4/10 – NOT the ratatouille of our dreams.
My #1 Must Have Dish is ALSO My Best Value for Your Money
I was shocked – SHOCKED I say – when I watched this particular dish get plated and make it’s way to my eager hands. It wasn’t even an official “Food Studio”. My eyes opened wide and my stomach growled as I was handed this lobster poutine! Available at Refreshment Port, this pile of fries topped with plenty of lobster meat, lobster bisque cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and citrus cream was a dream! 10/10 – and at $10.50 this is a TOP VALUE for your money.
We paired it with both sparkling cranberry and sparkling key lime wines (not pictured).
This is just part one – there is only so much food and drink you can eat in one day! As stated above, my top picks are the lobster poutine & deconstructed BLT. I’m heartbroken that Remy’s Ratatouille was so bland. While it was beautiful to look like, it was the least eaten of all our items and a real let down. We’re headed back soon for take two!