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Old 01-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #46
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October 2009 cruise = canceled


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Oh no! I'm sorry!
Not as sorry as the BOBers are.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #47
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Ok, so I've been sitting here wondering how hungover everyone could have been that no one had posted in days I never got the update that the thread had closed

I'm here now though so feel free to update

I'll head over to the other new thread to post about my Very Merry Disney Birthday meals
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:52 PM   #48
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Don't worry... Bendy snuck out the back door with the booze...
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:21 PM   #49
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F&W Special Event - French Regional Lunch @ Bistro Paris

Sunday, October 12th - French Food ... Utterly Unpronounceable But Oh-So-Easy to Eat!

Ahhhhh, lazy Disney World Sundays ... sitting on our wee little balcony overlooking the SSR golf course and sipping freshly ground Velvet Soul coffee while discussing the previous evening's parking lot smackdown.

What's that about a smackdown, you ask?

Well, it went something like this ...

After Jay and I returned to the resort from Party for the Senseless we talked about going over to Ghirardelli’s for a sundae, but truth be told my feet were tired and neither one of us thought we could do justice to a fifth ... or would that be sixth? ... dessert. Since it was late (for Disney) we thought a visit to the hot tub with a few miniature bottles of boozie goodness would be just the thing to round off a pretty darn good day.

We changed clothes and headed for the Grandstand Pool ... a mere five minute stroll from our building. The balmy, mostly clear evening was punctuated with the insistent croaking of tree frogs and the occasional ripple of children's laughter. Saratoga Springs was calm and peaceful that evening and forgive me for saying this, but the resort had an almost Midwestern hominess that made us feel like we were in our own Stinktown backyard ... if our backyard had several acres of land, professional landscaping, and an 18-hole golf course.

And then

... cue unexpected event that you just knew had to happen...

the night was pierced by the shrill vocal stylings of a woman who nearly mowed us down with her feet. We jumped off the sidewalk momentarily to allow her to pass and so as not to have tread marks on our backsides ... in light of what she was complaining about I think her actions qualify as ironic but you can make your own decision once you're done reading.

Apparently she and her party - a husband, some small offspring, and her slightly elderly father - had narrowly avoided becoming pavement pancakes when some maniac pulled into the parking lot at the speed of sound. We know this because the more she talked about it with the older gentleman she was speed-walking with the more upset and strident she became. To hear her talk you'd think the driver of the Voracious Man-Eating Vehicle (as dubbed by Jay and yours truly) was blazing around the resort in a black hearse custom painted with licks of bright orange flame and sporting jacked-up monster-truck tires slick with the blood of previous victims.

And then suddenly the woman stopped in her tracks. "There's the SUV that nearly killed us all. I'm going to go say something to the driver."

I admit at this point that Jay and I slowed down on purpose to see how this was going to unfold because as adamant as the woman was about confronting the driver of the Terror Truck, her father was equally as adamant that she leave well enough alone.

In all fairness, since we didn't see what actually happened it's hard to really comment on whether or not this woman's level of agitation was warranted. All I know is that no one was murdered or maimed by RacerX and her mad Carmageddon-like driving skillz, so I tend to agree with Grandpops - let it go because you never know just which guest is a ticking timebomb waiting to explode.

But no no no no no no! This lady must go tearing across the parking lot to begin haranguing the driver of the SUV before she'd even completely exited the vehicle. And of course pops had to follow his daughter so the driver was out-numbered and on the defensive right away.

Jay and I decided to get the hell out of dodge when the shouting began.

I totally understand why the first woman who nearly trampled us to death was upset, but since no one was hurt I think she should have just vented to Dad and then relaxed with a drink or two. And I can more than sympathize with the so-called demented driver who could have been in a tearing hurry for any number of reasons or who may just have been one of those myopic people like me who really have a difficult time driving at night.

A final point ... ladies I think we can all agree that having total strangers approach you in a parking lot when you are alone, even at Disney World, is a scary prospect. In that regard I don't blame the SUV driver for being testy in return ... my hackles would have risen in that situation, too. Although if it were me I would have refused to leave my vehicle and if I'd been dumb enough to lock my cell phone in the safe again I would have turned on the ignition and headed right for the Resort Big House and requested security ... 'cause you don't tempt fate and you never take strangers at face value when you're by yourself.

And thus ends what you'll all probably feel is a totally pointless and quite possibly downright disappointing tale of the first and only parking lot argument Jay and I have ever witnessed at WDW. We lead a sheltered vacation life.

Anyway, enough about that … let’s get to the reason you’re here in the first place: the Food & Wine Festival French Regional Lunch at Bistro Paris!

Here is the description from Epcot’s F&W guide book: Discover the cuisine and wine from a different region in France on select Sundays from 12PM to 2PM throughout the duration of the Festival. Lunch will be prepared by the chefs from The Bistro de Paris at Epcot’s France Pavilion and wines will be presented by a visiting winery principal. Cost per person to attend: $135 plus tax, gratuity included.

Just for fun … here’s a list of the different regions & wines that were being offered during the specific lunches:

October 5th -
Wine / Region: Bordeaux
Presenter: Lionel Gallula, Metrowine

October 12th –
Wine / Region: Jean Sauvion Wines; Loire Valley
Presenter: Jorge Hernandez, Director of Corporate Education & Training, W.J. Deutsch & Sons

October 19th –
Wine / Region: Maison Louis Jadot: Burgundy
Presenter: Marc Dupin, Export Director for Maison Louis Jadot

October 26th –
Wine / Region: Pierre Sparr; Alsace
Presenter: Evan Goldstein, M.S.

November 2nd –
Wine / Region: Georges DuBoeuf; Beaujolais (I think this is really more of a province than a region of France)
Presenter: Mike Aitken, VP of Sales, W.J. Deutsch & Sons

Pretty pricey for a two-hour lunch, but Jay and I really wanted to try something different at this year’s festival and with the program cutbacks our choices were pretty slim. We had a great dinner at Bistro the previous October so we were confident that the food would be good, but not knowing anything about the region or wines that were to be featured that afternoon made us both a little nervous. Louis Jadot and Georges DeBouef are wines / distributors that we’re very familiar with, but Sauvion was a big ol’ question mark and I admit to being nervous about the whole event.

We cleaned up and headed for the bus stop by eleven (yes, it goes to eleven) so that we could catch a ride to Epcot and arrive at the restaurant with time to spare ... or so we hoped.

You smell and look all nice and flowery!


Jay and I were struck on more than one ocassion during the trip by the crowd sizes ... never have we seen so many people at WDW in October. This next picture sort of sums up what was in many ways a weird trip ... financial markets crashing, credit markets seizing, political parties trembling ... and everyone and their third cousin twice removed was waiting in line at Epcot to ride the newly refurbished and less than impressive Spaceship Earth.

This is just wrong...


I haven't seen a line like that for this ride since before the advent of Fast Pass. Granted, there does appear to be a tour group nestled in the queue but still ... who waits more than five minutes to ride Spaceship Earth in October? Jay and I still shake our heads over the oddness of it and echo the two gentlemen who were walking behind us that morning before we stopped to snap a picture for posterity:

What recession???

We made our way back to the French pavillion with lots of extra time and since it was such a warm day we cooled off in the shops for a bit before checking in at Bistro's podium. In keeping with our run of bad seating karma that seems to have begun with our 2006 trip and the infamous "your party can't sit together fiasco" at Sweet Sundays, Jay and I ended up seated at a table about as far away from the gentleman presenting the wines and leading the discussion as humanly possible. The only good thing about the table location was that it wasn't a far walk to the bathrooms.

I don't normally get too annoyed by the seating at these events but I admit that I am starting to feel some festival angst. I call and book events as early as possible but then because we don't show up hours in advance on the day of the event to check in we're penalized with the crappiest seats available. And lest you think I exaggerate hold your skepticism for my review of the Kitchen Conversation we attened a few days later.

I know ... no one is ever completely happy, but part of reviewing an event is to point out how we think it could be better and we always seem to end up with the worst possible seats. I do think that for the amount of money guests pay to attend these events that more care should be taken to ensure that everyone has a seat that allows them to see without obstruction and to hear without noise pollution.

End minor rant.

Feed me!


Booze me!


Place setting


Keepsake menu ... it's a chef's jacket!


There was one other couple seated at the table with us ... a very nice husband and wife from Tampa. Sharing lunch with them made the afternoon a truly enjoyable one ... we talked about different Disney restaurants that we'd tried and different foods that we liked. Funny how we have to travel more than one thousand miles from home to find people who like food and booze as much as we do.

Here's some information about the region and winery, because I’m sure you’re just dying to know. Much of this was taken from the back of our menu and I actually thought it was kind of interesting.

The Loire Valley is the fourth largest wine producing area in France after Languedoc-Roussillon, Bordeaux, and Rhone, and is often referred to as The Garden of France. The region is subject to varied climatic influences from maritime to continental and is considered France’s most diverse wine growing region. The principle grapes grown in the Loire include Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet), Gros Plant / Folle Blanche (Muscadet, Cremant), Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre, Pouilly Fume), Chenin Blanc (Vouvray, Savennieres), Cabernet Franc (Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur, Rose’ d’Anjou), and Pinot Noir (Sancerre Rouge, Vin Gris, Rose de Loire).

The House of Sauvion has been long established in the Loire Valley and is family owned and operated by two brothers: Jean-Ernest and Yves Sauvion. Sauvion et Fils is one of the best known Muscadet producers and one of the largest Loire Valley negociants (I had to look this up … it’s the French term for a wine merchant who gathers the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and then sells the results under its own name). Sauvion wines are renowned for their purity, elegance, clarity, and their varietal integrity.

Is it just me or does that sound a little like the 4 Cs of diamond shopping?

The afternoon began with a brief introduction from our winery representative and the first pour ... a lovely Rose that I admit to being suspicious of because it looked an awful lot like a pink zinfandel and I don't really care for those. But surprise surprise ... this ended up being my favorite wine of the afternoon!

Rose' d'Anjou, Sauvion 2007

It's so pretty!


If you're offering me another glass I'm not saying no ...


To accompany the wine, each table was presented with a platter of snackeroos to ready our tastebuds for the courses to come.

In French: Amuse Bouche
In English: Appetizer
In Stinktonian: Is that Salmon Mousse?

Amuse Bouche


Everybody gets one of each!


These were both very good and paired well with the wine. The appetizer on the left was just a piece of cold, smoked salmon rolled up and placed on a small, soft slice of french bread; the other appetizer was a very light, mild salmon mousse sprinkled with poppy seeds.

We were all offered fresh, warm rolls before the first course was served and who can say no to that?

Yeah, it's bread ... but it's French bread!


Course I

In French: Soupe de Moules de Bouchot au Safran
In English: Mussels Saffron Soup
In Stinktonian: Who dropped seashells in my soup?!

Love the presentation!


This doesn't look completely objectionable.


I'm not a fan of mussles so I was actually relieved when this was placed before me. There were a goodly number of them gathered at the bottom of the soup bowl but that was it ... there were no foreign or freaky objects floating about. The soup itself was a delicious surprise - creamy, rich, and subtle - I could have eaten just this for the rest of the afternoon and been perfectly happy. For a seafood based soup it didn't taste or smell of fish and we all agreed that it was a fantastic start to the meal. By the way, my three table-mates all said that the mussels were well cooked and of generous size.

The wine served with this course was a Sauvion du Cle'ray, Muscadet 2006.

Very nice!


Course II

In French: Filet Mignon Veau Farci aux Cepes, Gratin de Topinambour at Pommes de Terre au Lard Fume’
In English: Veal Tenderloin Stuffed with Porcini Mushrooms; Sunchoke and Potato Gratin with Smoked Bacon
In Stinktonian: Bleargh! Mushrooms. And hey …. is Dan Quayle working here because potato has been spelled p-o-t-a-t-o-e on the menu!
Stinktonian V.2: Garcon … there appears to be a toe in my gratin!

Mmmmm, meaty goodness even with the 'shrooms


The veal was very good - tender and flavorful ... I just had to eat around the 'shroom stuffing. The potato dish was tasty and creamy and we all asked each other if anyone knew what the heck a sunchoke was. Luckily the winery rep. broached the topic and told us that sunchokes are a type of underground vegetable that are a cross between a rutabaga, potato, sunflower seed, and water chestnut. That doesn't even make sense, does it? It's like Mother Nature went all greenhouse of Doctor Moreau when she thought this thing up. Since the sunchoke was mixed in with other stuff it's hard to actually comment on its taste or texture.

The wine served with this course was Chinon, Sauvion, 2007.

Not bad for a red wine!


And to prove that I do not mock the French just for the sake of being mean ... here are pictures of the inside of the souvenir menu. See for yourselves how they spell not well.

I mock because it's what I do ...


No jokes about toe jamb, please.


Course III

In French: Tarte Tatin, Glace Vanille Caramel au Beurre Sale’
In English: Carmelized Apple Tart Tatin, Vanille and Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
In Stinktonian: Nekkid apple pie with a spoonful of ice cream

Very good indeed!


A wonderful light, fruity end to the meal and the ice cream was to die for! This was like eating a deconstructed caramel apple and if you ever dine at Bistro and find this on their menu I highly recommend giving it a try.

The wine served with dessert was Vouvray, Sauvion, 2007.

Another good selection


Va-va-va-vouvray!


As the event concluded the chefs were brought out so that we could offer our thanks and give them a well-earned round of applause. They created a nice menu and served wonderfully tasty food - nothing less than we would expect from the Bistro culinary team.

Well done!


Final thoughts: Jay and I both thought this event was a home-run. Yes, it was expensive but we felt that the program lived up to the price tag. It was held in a lovely restaurant, we received top-notch service, the food and wine servings were very generous, and the menu was quite tasty. The winery representative made sure to stop at each table to speak with the guests and when he found out how much I enjoyed the Rose he had the waiter bring another bottle for our table, poured it out for us all, and shared a glass with us. We weren't rushed to leave once the event was formally ended and throughout the afternoon we were always offered more wine by the wait staff.

To my way of thinking that's how these events are supposed to be - informative and relaxing little oases in the midst of theme park chaos filled with good food and good wine and good company. In this case the Food and Wine Festival planners did a wonderful job and we walked out of Bistro very happy with the manner in which we'd spent our afternoon and our money.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:37 PM   #50
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Well, after all the disappointments you two suffered, I'm really glad that this event went so wonderfully. And you look adorable in that dress . I also want to thank your for the English and (very funny) Stinktonian translations of the menu; I'd have been lost (oh, I know, I'm lost most of the time anyway) without them . Man, I'd love to try one of these events, but sadly we won't be in Epcot during F&W any time soon (although, since we're going to be cruising the next two Septembers, I'm really not complaining).
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:40 AM   #51
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That was just lovely! And I, too, appreciate the translation esp. being up at 2 a.m. (I think I'm having a not so pleasant reaction to the antibiotics, jittery, can't sleep, anxious). So thank you for posting this tonight, it was so nice to find at this ungodly hour!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:54 AM   #52
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In Stinktonian: Who dropped seashells in my soup?!
Your posts need to come with a warning: "put down all food and drink before reading or you may end up snorting it all over the keyboard when you burst out laughing."
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:21 AM   #53
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I think you've sold me on trying this if they offer it up again at 09's F&W Festival. The veal and nekkid apple pie definitely would have been a hit with me...although after all that booze, I'm sure EVERYTHING would have tasted delicious to me!

Now about that parking lot smackdown. I have to agree, I think I would have let that go if I were that irate woman. No reason to get up close and personal-especially on vacation. Oh well...made for great storytelling.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:59 AM   #54
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Well, after all the disappointments you two suffered, I'm really glad that this event went so wonderfully. And you look adorable in that dress . I also want to thank your for the English and (very funny) Stinktonian translations of the menu; I'd have been lost (oh, I know, I'm lost most of the time anyway) without them . Man, I'd love to try one of these events, but sadly we won't be in Epcot during F&W any time soon (although, since we're going to be cruising the next two Septembers, I'm really not complaining).
Thanks for reading and thanks for the kind words ... glad you enjoyed everything (the Stinktonian translations were a last minute inspiration that would not have been included in the first version of this review that the computer gobbled last week).

Cruising is a nice alternative to F&W ...

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That was just lovely! And I, too, appreciate the translation esp. being up at 2 a.m. (I think I'm having a not so pleasant reaction to the antibiotics, jittery, can't sleep, anxious). So thank you for posting this tonight, it was so nice to find at this ungodly hour!
Thanks! I do hope you start feeling better soon ... I've had those reactions to antibiotics before too, and it totally bites.

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Your posts need to come with a warning: "put down all food and drink before reading or you may end up snorting it all over the keyboard when you burst out laughing."
Why thank you! I'm always hesitant to put a warning like out here ... it's awfully subjective and what if I'm wrong? Then you will all be virtually looking at each other and shrugging your shoulders saying, "That wasn't funny at all."

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I think you've sold me on trying this if they offer it up again at 09's F&W Festival. The veal and nekkid apple pie definitely would have been a hit with me...although after all that booze, I'm sure EVERYTHING would have tasted delicious to me!
We would definitely do it again as long as the program would be a different one from this one (just to try something new). And yes ... there was definitely a lot of wine being shared around which was refreshing after some of the stinginess of other F&W events (Kitchen Conversations, anyone?).

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Now about that parking lot smackdown. I have to agree, I think I would have let that go if I were that irate woman. No reason to get up close and personal-especially on vacation. Oh well...made for great storytelling.
It was a strange thing to see for sure ... I guess they must have resolved their problem because when we came back about an hour later all was quiet, the SUV was parked in the same spot, and there weren't any bloodstains on the pavement.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:42 AM   #55
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It was a strange thing to see for sure ... I guess they must have resolved their problem because when we came back about an hour later all was quiet, the SUV was parked in the same spot, and there weren't any bloodstains on the pavement.
You have such a way with words Brenda. You totally crack me up! Definitely a great way to start an otherwise crappy Monday.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #56
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Love the review as always Brenda! Jason and I have our dates and now have the long wait to see what events we will be able to choose from. Maybe ,please ,they will add more lunch options when we are going, your day looked so nice!
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:08 AM   #57
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Oh my! I love the Stinktown translations

We here at the Dis need to whip up some sort of VIP badge for you and Jay, Brenda. Show it at all the finer places at the World and exclaim,

"Don't you know who I am? I'm DisBoard royalty! Seat me at your finest table and don't be stingy with the cheese and wine!"



As always, looking forward to reading more!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #58
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I can't wait till the kids are out of the house so DH & I can go to F&W. You lunch looked wonderful!
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:52 PM   #59
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You have such a way with words Brenda. You totally crack me up! Definitely a great way to start an otherwise crappy Monday.
Glad I could help ... it was a tough Monday, wasn't it? I thought the day was never going to end.

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Love the review as always Brenda! Jason and I have our dates and now have the long wait to see what events we will be able to choose from. Maybe ,please ,they will add more lunch options when we are going, your day looked so nice!
Thank you very much! I hope they have events similar to this one for 2009 - I remember that they offered a bunch of lunch options in 2007 and none of them were scheduled for our dates (Flying Fish and Narcoossee's were among the options I believe) so we were excited to nab this for 2008. It was a delicious all-around experience.

BTW ... so, what are those dates anyway?

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Originally Posted by Ciciwoowoo View Post
Oh my! I love the Stinktown translations

We here at the Dis need to whip up some sort of VIP badge for you and Jay, Brenda. Show it at all the finer places at the World and exclaim,

"Don't you know who I am? I'm DisBoard royalty! Seat me at your finest table and don't be stingy with the cheese and wine!"



As always, looking forward to reading more!
Hey stranger! Glad you enjoyed the update ... Stinktonian is tough to master and even more tough to prevent from bursting out at the most inappropriate times.

I fear that if we were easily identifiable to Disney folks they would ban us from the premises ...

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Originally Posted by ChelleinNC View Post
I can't wait till the kids are out of the house so DH & I can go to F&W. Your lunch looked wonderful!
It was a great event for us ... we'd definitely do it again if given the chance. As for F&W ... what about a short getaway trip for mom and dad? Surely you've earned that?
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:54 PM   #60
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Great update Brenda, I'm still kicking myself for having to cancel Bistro this past trip.
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