The Disney Food Blog took you to the California Grill back in April 2009, but we’ve returned since then and we’ve got more pics for you!
Located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill is one of Orlando’s most outstanding restaurants. It’s well known for sushi, wine, market-specific menus, and that fantastic fireworks show that happens right outside!
We began this evening with our customary cheese plate (I can’t pass up a good cheese plate!), and California Grill doesn’t disappoint. The cheeses will change seasonally, and usually range from mild and buttery to a strong blue cheese (my favorite is the Monte Enebro, which you’ll find on other Disney World cheese plates as well). You’ll often find a variety of sources as well, from sheep’s milk to goat’s milk to cow’s milk. The plates also come with several sweet accompaniments. As you know, the honeycomb is my absolute favorite, but on this plate the candied nuts and sweet apples also were delicious.
Also for starters, we wanted to sample the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Basil, which is probably one of the most delectable dishes I’ve ever had in Walt Disney World. There’s a reason it’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened! This is also a vegetarian dish.
My husband and I knew we were in for a big meal, so we had the kitchen split the ravioli between two plates. This is my half:
Finally, the third appetizer we tried was the seasonal soup. We always like to order the “soup of the day,” because they’re usually outstanding. We must have been coming off of the high from our Spring celery soup earlier that year, though, because this Beefsteak Tomato soup just didn’t hit the spot. It was too smoky for me.
For entrees, we stuck with good ol’ meat this time and ordered the Oak-fired Filet of Beef with Olive Oil Whipped Potatoes, and Teriyaki Barbecue; and the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Goat Cheese Polenta, Button Mushrooms, and Zinfandel Glaze (a new one for us). The Filet was just as delicious as we remembered. This is a classic steak that California Grill does very well. But I have to say I was blown away by the Pork. I never expect pork to be any good in restaurants; it’s always dry or underdone. Not the case here! This was moist, flavorful, and paired perfectly with the polenta. A stunning dish.
Finally it was time for Wishes and our dessert! First up was the Fall Apple Cobbler, Walnut-Oatmeal Streusel, Calvados Ice Cream and Apple Caramel Drizzle (we can’t pass up an Apple Cobbler in my house); and the Warm Chocolate Cake with Molten Center, House Made Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and Roasted Golden Pineapple. (Again, these desserts change based on what turns the head of the chef at the market, so you might not enjoy the same options as we did.)
The Apple Cobbler (as our waiter warned us when we ordered it) was a “dryer” recipe than one would expect, but was well-complimented by the ice cream. Disney wins me over whenever they serve me a dessert in a little frying pan, so there ya go. The chocolate cake was ooey, gooey, and rich, as one would expect, but I have to say I enjoyed Kouzzina’s version more. The salted caramel ice cream and pineapple were outstanding, though…wish I’d had more of that!
We also had the chance to enjoy HalloWishes from the restaurant that evening. Just as a study in how the fireworks look from the restaurant, here’s a couple of views from our table:
Hope you enjoyed our second trip to the California Grill! I promise I’ll get my husband to order some sushi next time — it’s beautiful and you’ve gotta see it!