Every year, during the International Food & Wine Festival, Epcot features restaurants from around the world during their Party For The Senses events. These all-you-can-eat-and-drink events, including alcoholic beverages, take place in a venue located behind the scenes at Epcot’s World Showcase. You can have some interesting meal bites, lots of libations sips, and dessert bites all while meeting the Chefs of the various restaurants. Here is my review of The Party For The Senses Featuring the Disney Springs Restaurants.
I want to open with my personal favorite bite of the night; the Lobster Roll from the soon-to-open Paddlefish Restaurant. As I originate from New England, lobster is something that I am very fussy about, and Paddlefish did not disappoint. The lobster was magnificent. It was not too chewy, not overdone with seasonings and mayo, and the true flavor of the lobster dominated. I will definitely be visiting Paddlefish when they open this Fall.
A close second was Paradiso 37’s Ancho Honey-Glazed Short Ribs over a Sweet Potato Puree. I have not had a meal at Paradiso 37 before, but it is now on my to-do list. The glaze on the ribs, added with the flavors of the sweet potato puree, were a wonderful combination of flavors, while the short ribs just melted in my mouth.
And speaking of ribs, House of Blues was rocking the ribs with their St. Louis Ribs coated in Signature Rub and Homemade Kansas City Barbecue Sauce. If you like a more traditional smoked rib, then here is where you will meet your match. The ribs were served with Homemade Baked Beans which added additional substance to the ribs.
The Shrimp and Grits from Art Smith’s Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine were excellent. The texture of the grits, added to the chewy density of the shrimp and the flavor of the sauce, made for a perfect combination of foods.
Raglan Road’s Lamb Stew was also very good. I enjoy lamb as long as it is not too gamey in flavor. The lamb stew was mildly flavored with a gravy and vegetables. The lamb was tender and I found this sampling to be quite good.
I was pleasantly surprised with the Ahi Tuna Taco from Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. I enjoy ahi tuna, but never in a taco before. The Old World Spices added to the ahi tuna give it an excellent flavor. This taco is perfectly paired with Reggie’s Revenge Cocktail and I found both to be quite tasty.
Holy Cheese! If you enjoy variety in your cheese selection, then the Party For The Senses Cheese Table is where you will spend some time. From cheddars, to brie, to boursin, and gouda the cheese table has it all and more. Pair your cheese with some lovely crackers, bread, or fresh fruit. Add some wine and your taste palate will thank you for sure.
The meal bites available at the Party For The Senses are too numerous to mention in one article. As far as the meal bites are concerned, you will find it nearly impossible to sample everything. While the portions are small, bear in mind that you should just take a few bites in order to leave room for all that is to follow.
My favorite sips of the evening were the Watermelon Cocktail and the Patron Anejo Margarita. The sweet fruity flavor of the watermelon, balanced with the spicy flavor of the Patron Anejo made these drinks very pleasing. I do not typically mix drinks over the course of an evening, but this was a special event after all!
Whether you prefer wine, beer, champagne, shots, or mixed cocktails there is going to be something for you to drink at the Party For The Senses. I started my evening with some red Cabernet Sauvignon wine and cheese. And as you can see, I moved along through the evening quite nicely from there. While I would never over-imbibe, I do recommend that anyone attending this event plan to travel by Walt Disney World Transportation, Uber, Taxi, or have a designated driver in your party.
Favorite dessert bite of the night goes to Amorette’s Patisserie for their Black Lava Salted Caramel Mousse with Chocolate Biscuit, Espresso Meringue, Black Walnut Macaron, and Caramel Croustillant. I mean really, Black Lava Salted Caramel Mousse? You had me at Black Lava! This dessert bite was truly magical in texture and flavor. The Salted Caramel Mousse literally melted in my mouth. When you cut through the mousse with your fork, the Black Lava is inside and is beyond delicious. Should I mention that this was the one item I did not just take a few bites of, as I suggested earlier in this article, but rather I ate the entire portion?
If you enjoy dark chocolate then The Ganachery’s Custom-Blended Dark 65% Chocolate Ganache with Pistachio Sponge is for you. The light Pistachio Sponge, added to the dense dark chocolate, made for a wonderful flavor combination. The presentation of this dessert bite was truly beautiful.
The Bananas Foster Crepe presented by Aristocrepes was also good. I really liked the Banana Brulee and the splash of Frangelico Nutella. The presentation was also lovely.
And what would dessert, presented by Disney Springs, be without Sprinkles Cupcakes? On offer were the Red Velvet, Salty Caramel, Sprinkle, Black and White, Strawberry, and Banana. I do not typically care for cupcakes, but these looked amazing.
There is also a stage at the Party For The Senses Venue where there was live musical performances all evening. It is loud so if you are planning to enjoy conversation with family and friends at this event, try to get a table at one far end of the building.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the evening was meeting some the Chefs. Chef Art Smith, of Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine, is an easy-going guy who took the selfie above since his arms are longer than mine. Chef Brad of Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza has an awesome sense of humor and was a joy to meet and speak with. Chef Mark Moor of Paddlefish is my Florida Lobster Roll guru. I adore lobster and Chef Mark is a great guy who is looking forward to opening Paddlefish next month.
The Party For The Senses Event is worth the cost of around $150. I attributed the cost to a meal at Victoria & Albert’s, or dinner and drinks at the California Grille. While the cost is similar, and the quality of the food varies, the variety will exceed your expectations just as it did mine. I highly recommend that everyone attend the Party For The Senses at least once. Each week features different foods and restaurants from around the world. I was pleased that Disney Springs restaurants were being featured the night I attended the Party For The Senses. This event is a great way to spend some fun high-quality time with family and friends, to celebrate life events, or to attend as an individual and make some really awesome new friends.
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