Flying Fish Cafe has a whimsy about it that you don’t find at many of Disney World’s signature restaurants. The ocean-side carnival theme — including massive and colorful murals on the walls — fits well into the Disney World Boardwalk area. Even a few of the columns in the restaurant look like they’re covered in gold fish scales.
And the flying fish dangling via parachutes from the ceiling is likely not something you’ll see anywhere else!
With stylized roller coaster tracks on the carpet and a massive Ferris Wheel decorating the back wall of the restaurant, it’s probably some of the best themeing I’ve ever seen in a signature restaurant (this and Jiko take the cake).
You can even find a hidden Mickey in the mural at the back of the restaurant… Can you see it?
How about now…
Another Flying Fish Cafe component that draws folks to the restaurant is the Chef’s Counter. This counter dining option, where guests get to watch the incredible show in the open kitchen, offers both dinner AND a show!
I pretty much want to eat everything on the menu at Flying Fish Cafe. Every word on the page sounds delectable. Alas, I wasn’t able to indulge in everything, but between the group of us at the table that evening we sure did come close! (Though I forgot to order the “Truffle and Herb-laced Idaho Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli,” which is a gaffe I shall remedy on my visit in September!)
One thing that was unusual about our group was that there were quite a few special requests due to allergies and eating plans. As is customary at a Disney World restaurant when there is a food allergy, the chef came to the table to determine the specifics of each dietary request so that he could create dishes that would both be delicious and fit the required restrictions. I think we can all attest that he did a wonderful job! The dishes he created were incredible!
Around the table, we started off with a few items from salad and appetizer list:
Salad of Local Vero Beach Arugula and Watercress, Candied Walnuts, Red Pears, Gorgonzola Dolce, and Artisanal Montegottero Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Floribbean Wild Gulf Shrimp Cocktail with Ruby Grapefruit, Blood Oranges, Winter Radishes, Hearts of Palm, Sauce Verde, and Piqaunt Mango-Mojo Emulsion (It’s not a typo. “Floribbean” means a Florida/Caribbean fusion.)
Our Signature Flying Fish Cafe “Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake” with Savory Vegetable Slaw, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Ancho Chile Rémoulade
Our Chef’s Degustation of Worldly Artisanal Cheeses. Five Tasting Portions and accompaniments of Raisins on the Vine, Membrillo, Honeycomb, Pumello-Red Onion-Golden Raisin-Yuzu Compote Agrodolce. This one I actually shared with a friend and it was wonderful. But, you know I’m a fan of cheese plates in Disney World! If you give me cheese, honeycomb, and some little toasty breads I’m in heaven.
Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala, “Ugli Ripe” Beefsteak and Tiny Florida Grape Tomatoes, Balsamic Glaze, Exotic Peppercorns,
Petite Basil, and Sicilian Olio Verde
Crispy Sesame and Togarashi-scented Calamari with Spiced Green Papaya, Wakame, and Vegetable Julienne, with Asian Dipping Sauce
Moving on to our entrees, I couldn’t help but order that gorgeous “Char-crusted Certified Black Angus New York Strip Steak” with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Root Vegetables, and Pole Beans, with Classic Sauce Foyot. I had to learn about pole beans to write this blog post — they’re just beans that grow on poles or trellises. Pretty boring, really, but cool to be able to call them pole beans and confuse people. The steak was absolutely incredible, by the way! The char-crusting didn’t give a burnt or heavy taste; it was smokey and rich and tender.
I was lucky enough to sit next to Disney World Mom’s Panelist and blogger Kathie F. at this meal, and I snapped a shot of her beautiful entree as well. Because Kathie eats vegetarian, the chef created a delicious “bento box” for her:
Next up? Dessert!!! Here were our choices:
I wanted everything, of course, but as it ended up, many of us went for the Rustic Spring Crop Black and Blue Dark Berry Tart with Almond Creme, Mascarpone Gelato, and Honey-Mascarpone Crema.
It was delicious, but I wish I’d ordered Kathie’s Sinful Flourless Dark Chocolate Creation with Morello Cherry Compote, Riesling and Cherry Gelee, and Chocolate Accentuations. Deeeeeeee-licious! And served with Riesling jell-o, to boot! Who woulda thunk it? (Kathie was excited to find there was a “hidden Mickey” in the cookie on top…)
While we didn’t sample the restaurant’s famous “Potato-wrapped Red Snapper” with Leek Fondue, Veal Glace, Red Wine and Cassis Butter, that just means I have something to look forward to on my next visit. That and the Truffle and Herb Laced Idaho Fries!
Flying Fish Cafe is a place I could see myself returning to again and again. The incredible staff, great menu options (that change seasonally), and chef’s counter alone are reasons to return. I’ll be headed back with another big group in September and I’m looking forward to trying all new things on the menu!
This is also a great place to consider if you’re headed on a relatively last-minute WDW trip but want an incredible dining experience. First-time visitors might not yet know about Flying Fish Cafe, so it may be possible to get a table a little later in the game. But get a reservation if you can; you don’t want to miss out on this restaurant that combines incredible, high-end dining with just the right amount of jovial fun.
Don’t forget, you may be able to take part in the coveted
Dine with an Imagineer program at Flying Fish Cafe.
Have you been to Flying Fish Cafe? How would you rate your experience? Let me know in the comments section below if you have menu suggestions for me in September!
In accordance with FTC guidelines, please note that my transportation, lodging, and food were provided by the Walt Disney Company for the 5 Stars to Mickey Bars event in April 2010.