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Oct 29, 2009 07:57 AM

Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Please stop the themed nights

This is going to be more of a venting piece and interested to see if anyone else had the same experience.

Went to the Party of the Senses on Saturday 10/24. This year Epcot decided to do themed nights and that particular night was "Celebrating Asia". Yuk is all I have to say; so disappointing. Out of 20 dishes that I sampled I maybe liked 2-3, but wasn't wowed by any. Almost all the dishes that I was served were luke warm to cold which made everything even more off putting. One of the worst dishes was Chef Robert Irvin's (dinner impossible guy from food network). His dish was miso glazed Chilean sea bass (I thought finally this is going to be good) nope, when I bit into it, it was cold and raw in the center. I spit it out it was so bad. There were several lamb dishes which I'm not a fan of and was surprised that was a popular protein to feature at a celebrating Asia theme. There wasn't one chicken dish which I thought was odd. Sampled a dumpling of sort and the dough was raw. Tasted some of the worst pork belly ever; bland and nothing but fat (not crispy fat either)

After sampling about 3-4 dishes the asian taste got to be a little off putting as well and very salty; I've never been so happy to see a cheese station.

Overall, it seemed that this year Epcot went a little cheap with Party of the Senses and please please please stop themed nights. Its nice to sample a variety of items from cuisines all over the world.

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  1. And can we get 7 oz. beer servings in the kiosks? Serving beer in either 12 or 20+ oz. sizes goes against the grain of sampling things. Besides, unless you guzzle it, the beer gets too warm to enjoy about 2/3 the way through the 12 oz. plastic cup.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cavandre

      never thought i would see the da ywhere the beer size was too big...j/k i get what you are saying

    2. We don't do the party of the senses. I happen to get in free, and while I know there are plenty of other food and wine fest that probably have better food, we enjoy the whole experiece of walking around the world and finding out what things are good and what things aren't so good.

      I was upset there was no wine walk about this year, but if you wanted smaller samples of beer they had a beer hop for 12 dollars to sample four 4oz servings. Seemed a tad pricey for the serving amount but it sounds like would like that better.

      Epcot's food and wine fest can be fun as long as you look at the whole experience and not try to figure out if it was monitarily worth it in terms of food taste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

        I passed on the beer hop because they were serving bottled beer and not draft & I too thought it a bit pricey.

      2. I don't know about Asia but I went to Party of the Senses for Spain and loved it. There were james Beard nominated chefs and other well-known chefs from al over Florida as well as the U.S. One of our local chefs Felix piedra from Vizcaya restaurant was there. Laura Reilly from the St Pete times wrote something in her blog about it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JJASF

          I would have loved that theme to. I think the Asian themed night was the worst out of the listings.

        2. We have attended the Party of the Senses for the past six years and I, too, was hesistant about the themed nights-I imagined some would be less popular than others. We always go on the last Saturday and fortunately for us the theme was 'Italian'. We enjoyed almost all of the dishes but were disappointed in the wine offerings. Antinori vineyards Chianti Classico was the best choice and we enjoyed it--but we usually like to have some other choices. The 'private' seating was hardly worth the extra $75 and we are glad we did not opt for it-diners basically sit in a caged area with an open bar. Hardly see the need for the open bar! I heard from friends who attended the South American themed night that attendance was down 50% (600 rather than the usual 1200). There were 1000 diners at the Italian night. EPCOT will certainly weigh all that in when deciding whether or not to continue the themes!

          3 Replies
          1. re: fleurdelys

            My group and I were wishing we could have gone to the Italian night. What were you favorite dishes? I thought the VIP area was silly as well.

            1. re: melpadilla

              sorry I did not reply sooner--have been away for a few days--I loved the cavatelli with braised short ribs and the rabbit ravioli-there was also a delicious risotto dish with lobster and veggies--and the cannoli from Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken were fresh and delish!! Even though we had a great experience at this particular themed night, I am not a fan and hope next year will go back to the 'old' way!! (unless of course, I am lucky enough to draw Italian night again)!! ;--)

              1. re: fleurdelys

                Those items do sound great, thanks for sharing.

          2. Sounds awful.

            Lamb is hardly unusual for Asia. Of course, the real version is sheep, goat and mutton, but they can't charge outrageous prices for that. A parade of Asian-fusion small plates presented by so-called celebrity chefs sounds horrid. It's never as good as straight-up Asian, which I doubt they have the skill set to pull off.