The Wave Food & Wine Pairing Lunch

While the above menu indicates that this was a dinner, it was in fact a lunch held at 12:30.  However, the price point ($169) would seem to be more appropriate for a signature dinner.  Because of it’s price, I was very hesitant about booking this one.  But ultimately I succumbed to the desire to try something new.  This would be my first time to venture outside of Epcot to do a Food & Wine festival dining event, other than the Food & Wine Classic held at the Swan & Dolphin Resort.   Would I regret this decision?  Read on to find out.  ;)

Paula, Hunter, and I arrived early and were one of the first of our lunch group to check in at the Wave.  We were directed to wait in the “Blue” area to the right of the bar, which had a few tables set up (some of which were standing tables)…

Our lunch actually began while we were seated in this room.  The representative from the hosting winery was introduced and I was happy to hear that our meal would be paired with La Crema wines.  Previous to this, I’d only tried one of their pinot noirs but based on that I was looking forward to trying more of their wines.  We started with a glass of this Pinot Gris…

I generally like pinot gris (grigios), and this was a very good one.  During our time in the “Blue” room we were served an amuse bouche (not listed on our menu), which included three tastings.  The first of these was a small slice of pork tenderloin topped with apple butter…

 

Next was a shrimp crepe…

 

And the last tasting was a basil panna cotta…

All three of these were good, but I especially enjoyed the shrimp crepe.   So I would say that the amuse bouche did a great job of “amusing” our mouths and invigorating our palates.  ;) I was very excited to see what other delicious morsels lied ahead for us.

Our group was then led through the restaurant’s main dining room to a back room which had tables awaiting us which were beautifully set…

 

And no, not all of those wine glasses were mine…but at least 5 of them were, lol.  Yes, we were about to have 5 courses (7 counting the Intermezzo course and an additional dessert plate not listed on our menu), each paired with a different La Crema wine .  According to our menu, these were two pinot noirs, two chardonnays, and a late harvest gewurztraminer with dessert.  (However, I seem to recall that one of the pinots was replaced by another red wine??)

Anyway, on to the food.  We were told that most of the ingredients used to prepare our 5+ course meal was locally sourced.   One of those locally grown products, Zellwood sweet corn, was the primary ingredient of our first course…

Zellwood Corn Bisque topped with jumbo lump crab and pancetta crisp

And a close up view…

This was delicious!  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Great first course!

The second course was a very “earthy” one… ;)

Forest Mushroom Salad with shaved truffles, Red Hawk cheese, petite greens, slices of fig (I think?), shallot vinaigrette, and….SOIL

Yes, you read that right…edible soil (aka a creative way to get you to eat dirt :laughing:)   Though this salad (including the soil) was not bad, it was my least favorite of the 5 courses.

I did really enjoy the next course though…

 

Seared Sea Scallops with Pear, Carnival Cauliflower, White Asparagus, and Hazelnut Polonaise

Although it looks like there is an uncooked egg yolk perched on top of one of my scallops, I’m 100% certain that there was no such thing.  However, I’m not sure as to what it actually was, but there is a good chance that it was a piece of pear.  Regardless, these scallops were very good!

Since Hunter has a seafood allergy, his replacement for this course was pork belly…

 

 

From Hunter’s comments, his pork belly was equally as good as the scallops Paula and I enjoyed.

 

And speaking of very good, the main course was all that and then some…

 

But first there was an Intermezzo course… ;)

 

This was served with a small tube of ginger syrup to inject into the sorbet.  The syrup was very sweet.  Hunter commented, “As a palate cleanser, it shouldn’t be so syrupy sweet.”

 

Ok, now back to the main course…

Filet of Beef Tenderloin served atop Celery Root Silk and with Globe Carrots and Black Garlic Butter

The filets the three of us were given randomly were cooked to various temperatures.  I would normally order my steak cooked medium if given a choice and the filet I received was very close to medium so I was happy.  Hunter received the rarest of the three filets and wanting to please his wife (who likes her steak rare), he traded with Paula, who had gotten the most cooked one.  Because you know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life.”  ;)

This was a pretty large piece of meat, larger than you would expect as part of a 5 course meal.  I don’t think any of us were able to finish the whole thing, but what we did eat was delicious!  For me, this was my favorite course.

And that just leaves the dessert course, which was actually twofold.  The main dessert was…

Autumn-spiced Cheesecake with Heirloom Apples, Ginger Snap Crumble, and Morello cherries

And a look inside at the cheesecake…

 

Now to be honest, I really don’t remember much about this.  I think I was so full at this point that I really couldn’t properly evaluate it.  So I am dependent upon Paula and Hunter’s memories/opinions regarding the cheesecake.  Hunter liked it and he doesn’t normally like cheesecake, so that says something.  He said that the outside coating was a white chocolate spray.  Paula thought this coating was too sweet but really enjoyed the cheesecake underneath.

To pair with this course, our La Crema wine rep had flown in a very special late harvest gewurztraminer dessert wine. Unfortunately though, I’m not really a fan of late harvest/ice wines so this (no doubt expensive) gesture was rather lost on me.  While I do like sweet wines (such as moscato, Rosa Regale, etc.), this was just too sickly sweet for me, especially when combined with a sweet dessert.

And that just leaves (what I called) the “bonus” dessert plate but Hunter  (a trained pastry chef) used the proper term of Mignardises (aka petits fours)…

Bonbon, chocolate bark, macaroon, and pate de fruit

Paula and Hunter received a macaroon that was a different flavor than mine…

 

 

Hunter’s definition of mignardises: “What pastry chefs give customers instead of putting a bucket of mints on the host counter.”  :laughing:

 

Then we showed our appreciation to our chefs and servers with a round of applause…

 

So, did I enjoy this lunch?  You betcha!  :thumbsup2   Was it $169 worth of enjoyment?  In (my) real world, maybe not. :worried:   But considering Disney food/alcohol prices,  $169 (including tax & gratuity) was not a terrible price to pay for the amount and quality of food and wine we received.  So I left feeling satisfied with my purchase.

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