Saturday, December 4, 2010

Disney Parks: Dining in the World (continued)

Besides the California Grill and the Yak and Yeti, we also dined at many other fine restaurants at Walt Disney World. I'm going to try to list them and say a few words about the experience, though not in any order.

The Hollywood Brown Derby was our lunch destination on Wednesday. It's a "signature dining" experience, and we'd not had the opportunity to eat there before. It's sort of pricey, but we figured that it would be worth trying. We split a Cobb salad to start, then I had the Sterling Silver Pork Chop, while my wife had the 6 oz Char Grilled Filet of Beef. The service was good though not outstanding, and the ambience was nice. The food was good but after eating the night before at Emeril's, we may have been spoiled. It didn't stand up to that experience, although the prices were right up there.

We also dined at Le Cellier on Friday night. This is a small restaurant with a limited number of tables, and though we called exactly 90 days in advance of our vacation to make the reservations, the only time we were able to get was at 8:20 pm. A little late when you're dragging 2 kids ages 8 and 10 around, but we (I) really wanted to dine there, so we took it. As it has been in the past, it was one of our best meals. I had the Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon, which is served with a wild mushroom risotto. That risotto is excellent. My wife had the same thing. I can't remember what we had as an appetizer; perhaps we didn't get one. I know I ate my kids' soup, and we did get an order of onion rings for the table. But I thought we did order something. Oh well. The food and service were both top notch. I see on the Disney website that this restaurant is considered "signature dining" also, but I thought it used to only take one table service point. No matter to us; we weren't on the dining plan.

The 50's Prime Time Cafe was another dining destination. We ate there on Wednesday night right after watching the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The greeters couldn't have been nicer. Our service was a little slow, but was she a riot! She was so funny! My kids were laughing so hard that we were worried they'd lose their supper. The food - eh. It's okay. My steak was so-so, and the kids' chow was average at best. My wife had the fried chicken, though, and said it was really good. The server made this experience, however, with her performance. I tried to remember her name but I didn't write it down so of course it's gone from my memory.

Les Chefs De France was the location of our first night's meal, and it was decent. I started with lobster bisque, and my wife had the Soupe a l'oignon gratinee (French onion soup). Both were excellent. I followed it with the Trio de fruits de mer au bouillon de homard (scallops, mahi mahi and shrimp), while my did the Filet de boeuf grille (grilled tenderloin of beef). Mine was quite good. She said hers wasn't as good as she remembered. Our service was excellent. It's pricey but worth it for the atmosphere and the service as well as the good food.

On Thanksgiving, we dined at Sanaa, the restaurant at our hotel. This was terrific. We started with the bread service, which consisted of Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. We selected the Mango Chutney, the Garlic Pickle and the roasted red bell pepper accompaniments. They were all excellent. For dinner, we both went with the "Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned" dishes. I selected the Chicken with red curry sauce and beef short ribs. My wife had the same chicken but did the Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce. She loved hers. I really enjoyed mine, too. (The waiter told us that we were one of the only tables to order off their regular menu, but we figured we're at this restaurant NOW, and we want to try what they have to offer, not an American Thanksgiving meal. We were getting that on our return home anyway.) For dessert we did the sampler, with Chocolate cake, passiou fruit kulfi, and chai cream. I really loved the chai cream. I'd highly recommend this restaurant.

I'll post separately, later, about the dining experiences at CityWalk and Universal. It won't be as long, thank God.


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