That's a dessert, not a cigar. It's bittersweet, tender and flaky and creamy all at once. That's because the interior is Mexican chocolate ganache, the exterior a chocolate wafer. The ash is made from merengue--colored with squid ink!
That's the kind of creativity you find at Bull & Bear, a steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. And it's the kind of dish you might be served during the Food & Wine Weekends the resort shares with its sister property, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
Throughout the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, these hotels, which are near the theme park, have a host of complementary activities. Sushi pairings,"royal" teas, and chocolate and champagne tastings, are among the options. You needn't lodge at the hotels to participate.
I got to sample a Global Venture wine-pairing dinner. Here's my favorite part, besides the food: Sixteen guests maximum participate in a Friday or Saturday night meal and they all dine together at one big table. Trust me, those strangers sipping sparkling wine at the beginning will be your chums by the time you polish off that last bite of dessert. Bonus: Chefs and managers will talk about each course and wine as it's served.
I know you'll stop reading if I don't post photos, so here are images of some of what I tasted. Your foods will be different because each weekend has a new four-course wine-pairing meal.
There was more, from wilted spinach to "the lemon" dessert, but I don't want to make you jealous.
Here's what's up next:
Burgundy-Oregon Wines Menu
Bordeaux-California Wines (the link is broken so here's the menu: foie gras pate de choux, tuna three ways, short ribs with potatoes au gratin, and crème brûlée).
And then The Great Whites and others that haven't yet been announced.