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Sharing is Caring: Three Great Appetizers That’ll Feed A Crowd

I loooooooove appetizer platters. Give me a way to sample everything on the menu at once and I’m there. (I know. You’re so surprised to discover that about me, right?) Seriously, though, appetizer platters are a good way to give food-loving families a little taste of everything, and to give picky eaters a better shot of finding something they’ll enjoy as well. They bring peace and harmony wherever they go, and this is why we always have to order them when available.

So, going through my photos the other day, I realized that I’ve had three such delights in the past few months! This sampling covers three distinct food themes — Irish at Raglan Road, California Cuisine at Napa Rose, and Italian at Portobello — so I thought it’d be especially interesting…

Appetiser D’Lirrah for Two: Raglan Road Pub, Downtown Disney, Disney World

Raglan Road

At Raglan Road, amidst the stained glass, live Irish music and dancing, and imported bars (yep — they imported the actual wooden bars themselves from Ireland), you’ve got some incredible, authentic Irish food with a modern twist designed by Celebrity Master Chef Kevin Dundon).

Located in the Downtown Disney district of Walt Disney World, Raglan Road offers a great spot to while away an evening on some imported beer, keen cocktails, or incredible food — including this piece of foodie decadence called the Appetiser D’Lirrah for Two.

D'Lirrah Appetizer Menu Item

The ribs were absolutely my favorite part — I’m pretty sure I had to battle my husband for the last one — and the battered sausages and scallops in the “forest” of forks were a fun addition to the plate. By the way, the thing in the bowl to the right is another battered sausage that didn’t fit into the “forest.” ;-)

D Lirrah Appetizer for Two

Sizzling Beach Rock Appetizer: Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort, Disneyland

Napa Rose

Napa Rose is Disneyland Resort’s premier restaurant, and under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, the menu is an ever-evolving wonder of fresh new tastes.

The Beach Rock Appetizer came highly recommended by trusted Disneyland fans, so we knew we had to try it — and it is impressive.

Sizzling Beach Rock Appetizer Menu Item

Again, the ribs came out on top for me, but the shrimp and chicken were incredible as well. This was the perfect way to begin our evening at Napa Rose. By the way, the beach rock does come to the table sizzling a bit — and it’s sitting on a bed of sea salt. Pretty Zen, eh?

Sizzling Beach Rock Appetizer at Napa Rose

Beach Rock Close-Up

Crostini Sampler: Portobello, Downtown Disney, Disney World

Portobello has greatly improved over the past year or so and now offers some delicious, rustic dishes and appetizers. The desserts are pretty outstanding, too, but we’ll cover that another day!

While we’re not huge crostini lovers, we really wanted to sample this Misti platter, which included meats and cheeses in addition to the two types of crostini.

Chef's Antipasti Platter -- Misti

While the prosciutto and cheeses were delicious and definitely whet my appetite for my pasta entree, the Winter Park honey crostini with ricotta cheese was out of this world. A truly delicious way to start the meal!

Chef's Antipasti Platter -- Misti

What are your favorite appetizers?

Do you have favorite shareable appetizers, or just favorite appetizers in general? I’d love to hear your suggestions in our comments section below (always ready to add “must-eat” items to my next trip plan)! :-)

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10 Comments

  1. jim says:

    All of the appetizers look delicious but the Crostini Sampler right up my alley. I’m Chinese and so I didn’t grow up eating a lot of cheeses (or prosciutto or roasted red peppers), but my wife is German and has introduced me to the wonders of cheeses… and despite it being nearly 1AM here, my stomach is grumbling seeing that plate.

  2. Becca says:

    Wow – I’m seeing and hearing more and more incentives to check out Raglan Road! Definitely on our list for next trip.

  3. Rich T. says:

    The battered sausages and Dalkey mustard at Raglan Road are nothing like the battered bangers and mustard I had in the actual Dalkey. While the presentation is definitely unique and much better than the paper sack the real thing comes in, the food itself doesn’t seem quite right to me. My biggest problem with this dish is that the batter is too thick and heavy. It makes the flavour and texture of the batter overpower that of the bangers to me.

  4. Michelle P. says:

    Oh, the late, lamented Breads and Spreads appetizer at Mama Melrose’s! It was great for sharing, especially while sipping a cold glass of white wine in the cool, dark restaurant on a hot summer day!

  5. Sarah says:

    Last Saturday, Matt and I spent the morning at Animal Kingdom and stopped by the Yak & Yeti bar to give the Dim Sum Basket for Two a try. We were pleasantly surprised and we each had our own favorite components to the dish, so it was easy to split!

  6. Gray says:

    I’m with you. I’m a grazer. I could live off small portion sizes of multiple things, which allows me to sample more. I love that. What I don’t love is how many of these appetizer samplers state specifically they’re “for two”. So, since I travel solo, I either need to be willing to eat for two (which I can’t do), or order it and waste a ton of food, or not order it. It makes me crazy. Why can’t they prepare something for one??? What’s so hard about that?

  7. Mark D says:

    Gray – Appetizer for 2 = Entree for 1 IMO

  8. Nate says:

    Raglan Road: Love RR! Glad to see you feature it here. The scallops are great (or they used to be a while ago). Those sausages don’t look like much, but I bet they are great! The silverware drawer isn’t big enough for how many forkfuls I could eat!! :)

    Napa Rose: Classy! But here’s a question. They didn’t just give you one beach-rock shrimp for an appetizer for two, did they!?? :) I hate it when that happens. (The wife and I always fight over the leftover appetizer. We are always served an odd amount whenever it is the two of us.)

    Portobello: Fantastic! But where are the ribs? (Kidding!) I’m a sucker for antipasti, so good work!! Winter Park honey… is that something local?

  9. Abby says:

    I LOVE the antipasti platter at Portobello! I shared that and an order of calamari with my grandmother and it was our whole dinner. The crostini with oven dried tomatoes was amazing!

  10. AJ says:

    Jim — Mmmmm…cheese!! And this is some serious cheese, too — not your typical “tasteless” stuff we try to pawn off as cheese a lot of the time here in the US (no offense to the gorgeous cheeses produced in WI and OR of course).

    Becca — I’ll have a full review of Raglan Road coming up soon. Hopefully the dessert photos will give you even more incentive!

    Rich — I hear ya. I haven’t been to Dalkey, but I do trust Chef Dundon. He’s a pretty big deal in Irish cooking, though he IS trying to give his dishes at Raglan Road a “twist,” so maybe straight authenticity isn’t the goal. Now, does serving them in a paper bag make the bag all soggy with oil?!? :-)

    Michelle — What a great picture you’ve just painted! I’m always looking for places to unwind in the parks and that sounds luxurious!

    Sarah — I’ve got to get into the habit you have of eating at the bar! By the way, where IS Yak and Yeti’s bar? I haven’t seen it!

    Gray — Have you ever ordered an appetizer sampler for one? I wonder if the special request would be too difficult for them to manage.

    Mark — I feel the same way, but I’m not 100% sure I could finish some of these on my own. Maybe the Napa Rose one…

    Nate — The other shrimp(s) were in a dish to the left :-) They didn’t just give us one, I promise! And, yes, I think the Winter Park honey IS local…

    Abby — That thing is HUGE!! No way I could eat that much ricotta. We really liked our dinner at Portobello, though!

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