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View Full Version : Party For The Senses 11/05/05 review


Robert P
08-03-2006, 03:51 PM
I had written this for a trip report, but did not post last year.
With all of the questions and interest about PFTS, here it is now.
It starts when we were allowed into the event area....

Promptly at 6:30, but maybe 1 or 2 minutes early by my watch, the curtains were pulled back, and the rush of the herd (cattle stampede reference seemed to be an accurate description) poured into the facility. We were nearer the back half of the crowd, and I saw a few of the first ones through almost running to get tables, while behind us, people were actually pushing their way to get in. I know that people wanted to get in, but if finding a table was that important to them, they should have planned better, and gotten there in plenty of time to be nearer the front. Pushing rudely into the group in the middle of the crowd is not going to get you anywhere but into trouble, because there was nowhere for us to go until the group ahead moved on into the room. (Picture the old rope drop jog/sprint for the mountains at MK. Now, remove children, teenagers, and people wearing tennis shoes, and replace that image with adults who just shelled out a C-note for this event, wearing nice clothes and mostly dress shoes, trying to jog to capture a table. Thank goodness the distance here for them to run was greatly reduced as well.)

Once we got inside, the layout and size of the area was amazing. Color coded areas corresponded to the menu listing. The size of the building itself was surprising, as it seemed to just keep going. Around the building, various cooking stations were set up, and usually they had a wine serving station along side. People proceeded into the room, many laying claim to a table in the area they were most interested in sampling. No real pattern here that we could make out, except I believe those in some of the larger groups had someone near the front of the line, to hustle in and capture a large table for their party, which was fine. At least they planned well enough to get there ahead of time, and didn’t try to rudely push their way through the crowd.

We ambled in with the main part of the group, plunged about half way into the arena, and sat at a large table that would seat 8-10 people. We sat with another couple who was there, and were not saving the seats for anyone. We remained at this table for almost the first hour, slowly branching out and trying the various cooking stations nearby. Over the course of our time at this table, we were joined by at least 4 different small groups (2-4 people), who would come by, get samples in that area, eat, then move on. Everyone we encountered was quite polite, and always asked those at the table if the seats were taken, prior to sitting down. I think the roving ‘grazing’ technique worked well for this event. I would not have wanted to sit at the same table all night, getting farther away from the
various booths, as we branched out to more and more stations. As the night went on, we finally said goodbye to that table, and went mobile for the rest of the evening, occasionally stopping for a few minutes at an unoccupied table, here and there.


The Food

Regretfully, I cannot list all of the food offerings on that night. I recall most of our favorites, and the very few we either didn’t sample, or didn’t care for.

Our top entrees:
Metro Bis Crab “Cocktail”
Ginger-Citrus Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado, Tomato, and Crispy Malanga
Pan-seared Butcher’s Tender with Proscuitto, a Watercress Roll, and Goat Cheese
Pan-seared Duck Breast with Wild Mushrooms
Castellana Soup with Serrano Ham
Lemon Pepper-crusted Day Boat Scallops on Toasted Orzo Minestrone
and my favorite…
Beef Tenderloin with Fontina Cheese Potatoes and Mushroom Sausage baked in a flaky Crust

Our top desserts:
Toffee Banana Cake
Chocolate “Domino” Cake (think chocolate times three)
and my favorite…
Fluffernutter – Peanut Butter Cookie with Marshmallow Ice Cream and Sauteed Bananas in Rum-Caramel Sauce

Beverages (all):
There were so many wines (and more) there, it was hard to keep them all straight, but the ones that stood out most for us were (and my memory may fail me somewhat in this regard, due to my extensive ‘research’ conducted on the subject, that evening): :drinking1
Upper Barn Sauvignon Blanc
Inniskillin Vidal Icewine
Inniskillin Riesling Icewine
Villa Maria Estate – Cellar Selection Merlot-Cabernet
Chapagne Pommery – Pommery POP
Nobilo Icon Pinot Gris

We also visited the other beverage stations for Samuel Adams, Remy Martin, and the InBev Stella Artois. Many of the wines we sampled were very good, I can only recall not liking one brand that we tried (the organic). Of the numerous types offered, I can safely estimate that I sampled more than half. Note: I normally would not consider mixing an evening with reds and whites (let alone sweet Icewine), but for this occasion, I left my usual wine ‘rulebook’ back at the room. There were just so many new things to try, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

All during the evening there were strolling musicians, and at the center stage, several different Cirque acts did their performances, every 20-30 minutes. This seemed to pull people out of the lines, while they watched this. A few times, I got to ask the chef(s) questions about their food, but this was better accomplished later in the evening, after the crowds at the stations had died down a bit. The vineyard reps were quite informative, of the few I got to chat with.

Summary:
When we first booked PFTS, we thought there was no way we could continuously sample food and wine for 2.5 hours. And we were wrong. By pacing ourselves, taking in the atmosphere and entertainment, and prioritizing our food choices from the very beginning, we ate for almost 2 hours. Then, I continued sampling at more wine stations until we made our way out, just a few minutes before Illuminations started.

In all, the PFTS was a wonderful display of food and wine, most of which I can say I had never tried before. If we weren’t willing to be somewhat adventurous in our food selections, we would have missed out on several excellent dishes.

If you have any questions, I will try my best to answer.
Hope the review was helpful.
Robert P

CoolDisneyCat
08-03-2006, 04:28 PM
Thanks for posting this! We have booked our first P4TS for 10/14!

Kaycee
08-03-2006, 06:11 PM
What a great review! As you said, so many DISers have questions about PFTS. Your review will give those who will be going for the first time a good idea of what to expect. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! :)

OKWMom
08-03-2006, 09:47 PM
Thank you so much for your very informative review. We have never been during F&W and this year is not in the cards for us either, but DH has promised we will go in 07. PFTS is one of the things I am most looking forward to.