We return to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts with a stop at the Pastoral Palate Food Studio to assess its new and returning dishes. This Walt Disney World dining review features real world photos of every food and dessert on the menu, and offer our reviews & thoughts on each dish.
Probably because my reading comprehension skills are poor, but I was expecting this booth to serve German cuisine. It’s adjacent to Germany and normally serves Bavarian favorites at other Epcot festivals, so my assumption was that it was just given an artsy name arbitrarily.
In actuality, Pastoral Palate serves (per the menu) “hearty dishes inspired by the rustic settings where Bavarian Folk Art was painted.” Not sure how that applies to the opera cake available at the Pastoral Palate Food Studio, but we’ll just go with it…
Here’s what’s on the menu at the Pastoral Palate Food Studio:
Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Purée, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic
Wild Boar Cassoulet with Duck Confit, Ham Hock and Wild Boar Sausage
Opera Cake: Almond Joconde, Coffee Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
Now let’s take a look at our photos and reviews of each food item…
First up, the Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib. A high quality short rib that falls apart when cut with a fork, but the real highlights here were the juicy tomatoes, rich parsnip puree, and acidity provided by the balsamic. I was going to write that it makes your taste buds pucker up for that tender beef, but I’m not even sure what that means. Let’s just call it mouth-watering.
As with most dishes at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts, price is the primary concern here. It’s hard to justify the cost here, but this is very high quality. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it’s worth noting that this qualifies as a snack credit, and it’s an absolute no-brainer from that perspective.
Next up, the Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille. This is a light fish, that flaked apart easily with the fork and tasted incredibly mild. A bit too mild for my personal tastes, but I could see this being the kind of dish that non-seafood enthusiasts would enjoy.
Most of the flavor comes courtesy of the ratatouille, which itself is juicy, flavorful, and has a nice herbal seasoning. Setting aside my personal preferences, I think this is a real winner for the type of person who would be into this sort of thing. The execution is spot-on.
Moving on to desserts, we have the Saint-Honoré Tart. This dessert is incredibly photogenic, and is an interesting twist on a classic French pastry. It’s been on the menu here for the last couple of years, and has many fans.
We don’t count ourselves among those fans. It’s perfectly fine, but I don’t quite get the rave reviews. We found it was heavy on crust and light on actual caramel cream, which was a bit disappointing. The puffs on top provide a couple of excellent bites, but overall this struck us as a great idea in theory, but only so-so in execution.
Finally, the Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie. This is a returning item found at several booths that we elected not to order this year. Unless it’s changed radically, this is a pretty good giant cookie but nothing that revolutionizes the cookie concept. They put the ‘paint’ dabs on right before handing the cookie to you, which is a nice touch.
You probably already know the answer to whether a chocolate chip cookie is “worth” over $5.
Here are your options in terms of drinks at the Pastoral Palate Food Studio:
3 Daughters Brewing Rosé Hard Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
81Bay Brewing Co. Rosé Blonde Ale, Tampa, FL
A Play on Rosé Flight
Marietta Old Vine Rosé, California
Overall, the Pastoral Palate Food Studio is among the better booths at this year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Both of the savory dishes are winners in quality and taste, and if you’re “paying” with Disney Dining Plan credits, any concerns about value are obviated. It’s still unclear what this has to do with 18th and 19th century art, but I guess we simply aren’t sufficiently well studied to understand the deep metaphorical and symbolic connections between beef, fish, and classicism.
What do you think of the Pastoral Palate Food Studio? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? Do you agree that this ranks as one of the better booths at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!