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Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse

Awesomeness! It’s been a long time since we’ve reviewed Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort, which is a real shame considering how much I like this restaurant! (Meat? Good! Butter? Good! Habanero-Infused Flourless Chocolate Cake? Good!)

But on this visit, I broke away from my standards and tried some new items! Can’t wait to share them with you! Let’s get started…

Atmosphere

Yachtsman Steakhouse has very clean, traditional lines when it comes to decor.

One of the Yachtsman Steakhouse Dining Areas

Guests enter into a foyer where they’ll encounter a large picture window looking into the steak trimming room, then they’ll pass by the open kitchen and into the dining room, which is furnished in light woods and tasteful artwork from top to bottom. Craftsman style chandeliers hang over the white-clothed tables.

Restaurant Entrance

Chandelier in the Two-Story Dining Room

My favorite room in the dining area is a two-story, circular room with two-top tables that look out onto the Yacht and Beach Club Resort’s own water playland — Stormalong Bay.

My favorite Dining Room

Basically, the setting here is relatively bland, but upscale. Consider it a blank canvas on which to create your carnivorous fantasy dinner ;-)

Eats

While the menu here changes seasonally, you can always find some great steaks and classic side dishes to try. I love the appetizer menu, which tends to feature some really interesting options from time to time!

Appetizer Menu - click image for larger version

Dinner Entree Menu - click image for larger version

We began the evening with Yachtsman’s complimentary bread basket, which includes yummy bread rolls as well as this onion pull-apart bread, which is extremely delicious. Breads come with roasted garlic for spreading as well as salted butter.

Yachtsman Onion Pull-Apart Bread

Yachtsman still offers its cheese plate, but our table ordered this new charcuterie board this time! You get cheese on this one, too, but also smoked duck sausage, venison terrine, beef tartare, and other accoutrements! This is a varied and interesting board, and if you’re a fan of game or interesting meats, it’s a must-try.

Charcuterie Board with Smoked Duck Sausage - Venison Terrine - Beef Tartare - Artisanal Cheese - Accoutrements

The escargot received rave reviews (the person who ordered this is a big escargot fan, so I’ll take her word for it)!

Escargot

And I ordered the root vegetable side dish (which is no longer on the menu) as my appetizer. It was quite good, though I could have done without so many turnips/parsnips (not sure which one it was :) ).

Root Vegetables Side Dish

For our entrees, we ordered some extremely different items on the menu! Personally, I couldn’t get past the term “flagship cheddar fondue” and thus had to order the Braised Beef Ravioli, which came with the fondue as a sauce.

The ravioli was delicious — a very fun dish when you’re craving both meat and pasta or aren’t in the mood for a steak. The cheddar fondue had a strong, hearty cheese flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering for the ravioli. They complemented each other nicely.

Braised Beef Ravioli -- Crispy Wild Mushrooms -- Summer Radishes -- Flagship Cheddar Fondue

Would I order this again? Yes. But Yachtsman really is all about the steaks, so if you’re a steak fan (like I am), it’s hard to branch out!

Ravioli Cross-Section

A tablemate ordered the rib eye (which is what I usually get), which came with sweet potato beignets and red wine butter! This steak is rarely a disappointment — it’s tender, flavorful (thanks to that rib eye marbling), and has delicious (and not overpowering) seasoning. My only complaint is that I can’t ever finish it! Also, I usually order it with garlic butter instead of the red wine butter.

Rib Eye with Sweet Potato Beignets

I thought the addition of sweet potato beignets was so interesting, and then I started to see savory beignets on quite a few menus! I guess it’s all the rage…

Beignets Cross-Section

The third entree at our table was a very interesting one — Deconstructed Beef Wellington. The components of Beef Wellington are a pate and duxelles with filet inside a puff pastry, usually served with veggies. On this board, everything was separate, with the pate spread on the board in the center, the filet to one side, and the vegetables (with mushrooms/duxelles) also separated.

While this dish didn’t get low marks for taste (my table mate thoroughly enjoyed the meal), I wasn’t very impressed with the presentation. I don’t like the look of the pate spread in the middle of the board. I also am not a fan of “foams” on my drinks and dishes, so seeing the foam on top of the filet just looked a bit like soap bubbles to me…

The concept of this dish was a good and interesting one, but the presentation just made it less desirable for me.

Deconstructed Beef Wellington - 8 oz Filet - Trio of Wild Mushroom Duxelles - Puff Pastry - Parsnips - Potatoes - Carrots - Red Wine Sauce

Of course, we couldn’t stop at just entrees! Since this is a steakhouse, there are plenty of high-quality side dishes to order as well. Of course, your entree will usually come with a side dish already included on the menu (e.g. the sweet potato beignets), but how can you resist truffle mac and cheese and creamed spinach? Other options: sauteed mushroom caps, creamed corn, and caramelized onion along with some seasonal offerings.

The truffle mac and cheese is one of my favorite versions of this dish on Disney World property. The Reypenaer has a strong, rich taste, and the truffle oil is very noticeable (note — if you don’t like truffle flavor, you might want to skip this). I also love the Orecchiette pasta, which act like little scoops to hold all of that cheesy goodness!

Mac and Cheese Side Dish

The creamed spinach is very rich here, and I’m not sure it still qualifies as a vegetable with all of that cream and butter! (That’s a good thing when you’re at a steakhouse…)

Creamed Spinach

During our meal, the acting chef in the kitchen kindly brought over a dish he’d been working on to be a new side dish — Brussels sprouts! Now, I know what you’re thinking — you don’t like Brussels Sprouts, do you. Well these are different! Complemented with bacon and a tangy, buttery carrot sauce, these were delicious!

New Brussels Sprouts Dish with Bacon and Carrot Sauce

Now, on to dessert! The desserts here at Yachtsman change pretty consistently, and they’ve already changed since I was there in October. However, two of the items we ordered are still available: the Habanero-infused flourless chocolate cake and the signature banana napoleon.

Dessert Menu

When I saw the words “habanero” and “flourless chocolate cake” together, I knew I was in the right place. After trying the flourless chocolate cake at Flying Fish a couple of years ago, I promised myself that I would order flourless chocolate cake more often — and this was NOT a disappointment!

The cake was bitter-sweet upon tasting, followed by a significant kick of habanero flavor after swallowing! Those flavors coupled with the smooth, rich dark chocolate texture made for a great dessert!

To lighten things up and offer some complementary flavors, the dish was served with lime sorbet and mango compote. I enjoyed the lime sorbet (even when eaten with the cake), but wasn’t too much a fan of the mango compote.

If anyone wants to take me back to Yachtsman, I’ll gladly order this dessert again!

Habanero-infused Flourless Chocolate Cake -- Mango Compote and Lime Sorbet

The table also ordered the Stone Fruit and Cream dessert, which was a seasonal summer dessert. This included nectarines, Bavarian Cream, and Peach-Champagne Espuma (a.k.a. foam) on top!

Stone Fruit and Cream

Also on the menu that evening was a Lemon and Blueberry dessert, which was fantabulous, called Lemon Pudding Cake. It also was a summer seasonal dessert, but it included fruit leather (awesome), candied lemon, and a “blueberry shake” that everyone loved.

Lemon and Blueberry Dessert

Overall

This trip — like most Yachtsman Steakhouse visits — was delicious. This is a restaurant that is quite reliable in terms of food quality and variety. Service can sometimes be slow here, but that’s more a function of the servers not wanting to rush you rather than not being attentive. Most signature dining locations want guests to feel as though they’re welcome to stay as long as they want, so if you’re in a hurry be sure to mention that to your server.

The menu here continues to introduce new and interesting options, though all still fit in the relatively heavy steakhouse category. I have never been disappointed with an entree at Yachtsman steakhouse, and I consider it a great alternative to busy restaurants like Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot. However, the Yachtsman chef did just transfer over to Le Cellier, and we’re already starting to see some Yachtsman-esque dishes popping up on the menu over there.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts about Yachtsman Steakhouse. Let us know what you think about this spot in the comments section below!

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21 Comments

  1. Becca says:

    Wow. Yachtsman sounded like “just another steak house” until I read this review! Definitely on the list now. The habanero-infused flourless chocolate cake sounds spectacular, and I could enjoy pretty much any of those entrées. It’s a shame about the beef wellington. While I think the “deconstructed” trend is quite fun, it doesn’t always work, especially if a lot of the appeal of the dish is combining the flavours together in one mouthful.

  2. Pudge the Fish says:

    Yachtsman has been one of my long time favorites. I have many fond memories of phenomenal meals there including an incredible Easter brunch buffet many years ago. Two of my WDW culinary regrets have also occurred there: I never had a chance to try the Kobe steak (when Japanese kobe was still legal in the US, not the current American wagyu) and I regret getting cold feet one night when rattlesnake was on the appetizer menu.

    I felt that Yachtsman had slipped in quality and atmosphere a while ago. While I havent been there in a few years I think a return is in finally in order based upon this review.

  3. Katie says:

    My fiancé and I just ate there two nights ago. For appetizers, we had the Caesar salad (pretty standard but good presentation) and the cheese board (delicious). My fiancé had the filet – he’s sad he just found out now that he could have swapped red wine sauce (too sweet for his taste) for garlic butter. He deemed the mashed potatoes the best he’s ever had. I don’t eat beef and tried their new pasta dish – Sonoma goat cheese arugula tortellini in a pumpkin purée. There was sun-dried tomato mixed in with the goat cheese. The arugula was in the tortellini pasta but was not overpowering. This was THE BEST dish I’ve ever had on property. I wish this would stay on their menu. It makes me sad knowing I may never have it again since the menu changes often. And our server was fantastic – if she saw we were in conversation she would change directions and let us carry on, or take plates without interrupting. Great meal!

  4. Interesting review from an interesting restaurant AJ. I look forward to trying this out during my next visit because no matter how much i read about it I still can’t decide whether I like the sound of it or not!!
    One question (and this might apply to all the signature restaurants at WDW) can we order a dish but request that the sauce is made without the alcoholic ingredient?

  5. marcellina says:

    I’m with Becca… this is on my must do list now! Wow, where to start with this post???

    1. Beef Ravioli – wow, so different!! Is it just me or do you NEVER see a BEEF ravioli offered anywhere? Sounds delicious!

    2. I’m typically not a huge steak girl but that Rib Eye looks RI-DIC-U-LOUS!

    3. When I saw the deconstructed beef wellington on the menu I thought that might be something I’d order but I agree, the presentation is not so great. I for one though have always wanted to try a foam! LOL. I’ve never had a dish with a foam on it before and being a huge Marcel fan from Top Chef, you can understand why I want to try one! lol

    4. Truffle mac and cheese? Yes, yes, and YES!

    5. I’ve never had a flourless cake before.. what makes it so much greater than regular cake? Is it more dense? flavorful? moist?

    6. and finally … any dessert with lemon and I’m there!

    Thanks AJ for this review. I won’t be able to visit Yachtsman on my next visit but I will definitely be keeping it in my back pocket for the time after that!

  6. JulFromMD says:

    I was once in the “don’t like Brussels sprouts” category. I think for most of us who grew up in the 70s or so, the typical way to prepare them was to boil the life out of them and then maybe serve with a splash of vinegar. That pretty much kills any good flavor or texture possible. Instead, if you can get fresh Brussels sprouts and then lightly sauté with a little butter or oven roast them and mix in some flavor enhancers (at home, we use dried cranberries and chopped hazelnuts), these things are insanely good. Glad to see a good use of them on property!

  7. AJ says:

    Becca — It’s a really great restaurant! Relaxed and unassuming, but still has some great food on the menu — the perfect mix. Plus, because it’s in a resort, it doesn’t fill up with ADRs as quickly. You can often get a reservation the day of.

    Pudge — There’s a brand new chef as of March 2011, and my visit was very good. Not sure if he’ll be changing the menu more significantly, but now’s a good time to visit. And rattlesnake? I think I would have gotten cold feet, too… I need to be more daring!

    Katie — That pasta dish sounds amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and review!!

    Emma — At a signature restaurant, you should definitely be able to order the sauce without the alcohol. Some non-signature restaurants might make sauces ahead of time, but they should also be able to substitute something in a pinch. Can’t wait to hear if you like Yachtsman or not!

    Marci — I know! Beef ravioli with a fondue on top, no less! The flourless chocolate cake is much denser than a typical cake, and usually has a stronger, deeper flavor as well. Think a cross between fudge and a brownie when it comes to texture — super moist and dense.

    Jul — Great ideas for Brussels Sprouts!! I thought the sweet carrot-butter sauce at Yachtsman was great. Interestingly, the dish is not yet on the menu, so maybe it didn’t make the cut :-(

  8. Alan says:

    We usually don’t eat at steakhouses as I can do them at home about as well and save so much money. But never the less this restaurant is a nice treat and never fail to be pleasing. I’ve tried many of their dishes over the years and they are almost always memorable.

  9. Mark D. says:

    Love the Yachtsman. When I went last January the charcuterie board had a bleu cheese with lemon brittle. It was amazing! Ribeye and Truffle Mac were also pretty special too. Can’t wait to go back.

  10. richard says:

    It’s interesting… the decor really looks as if it would fit better at The Wilderness Lodge. Maybe it’s those lamps. This is one of those places I’d love to try, but probably won’t get around to anytime soon as one of my party is a vegetarian and, while there is butternut squash ravioli on the menu, there’s really not enough variety to make it worth his while (which makes sense, it being a steakhouse and all!)

  11. Sue says:

    We went to Yachtsman two weeks ago for the first time after hearing rave reviews. Sad to say, it really didn’t live up to our expectations. The steaks were good, but I’ve had better at Le Cellier. I ordered the New York Strip (because I wanted to try an aged steak) but was able to have the beignets and red wine sauce with it (thanks to our server for changing things up for us). My mother ordered the New York Strip with its regular sides. When we got our steaks they looked a bit different but I didn’t think much of it. It was good, but not spectacular. A couple days later, when we were discussing our dinner, my mother said she thought I ended up with the rib eye instead (probably because of the change in sides). If this is true, the waiter should have caught the mistake, and the steaks did look different. So now I’m bummed that I spent all of that money for the wrong steak.

    Also, we both ordered our steaks medium rare, and there was a big difference between the two. Mine was definitely on the rarer side, while my mother’s was more on the medium side. Now I know why she wouldn’t switch steaks! My father got the porterhouse and he actually complained to the server about the saltiness of it at the end of the meal (after not saying a word to us during the meal). I so wish he had said something when he tried the steak as I’m sure they would have brought him another. We think Dad was just cranky about the prices. The server did remove the two alcoholic drinks from our bill for the salty steak.

    Mom and I have decided that we will try Yachtsman again at some point, without Dad. But sadly it wasn’t a “we have to come back here soon” meal for us. We ate at Le Cellier just two days later and felt it was a much better steak (and both were cooked the same). So we will continue to visit Le Cellier as much as possible, and will try Yachtsman again, someday. Sorry for the novel!

  12. Love2Travel says:

    I have to side with the posters here who aren’t over the top about the Yachtsman. My family “does Disney” about 2x a year and have for eons. This used to be a regular haunt for us, but not so much over the last 5 years or so. The pricing has steadily increased (although food prices have increased here slower than the mixed drink/ wine prices), and the quality has slid somewhat, so at the end of the meal when I ask “If I had this same meal outside Disney, would I be satisfied?” the answer is usually no. It’s not that I’ve ever had a particularly bad meal here, but at $90+ per person (App., main, sides, drinks, etc.) it doesn’t live up to the standard I’d expect of the same priced meal off property or at home.

    There are several Disney restaurants that are quite good – in comparison to other Disney restaurants. If we’re honest, there are only a few that are quite good in comparison to restaurants outside the Disney bubble. To me, this just isn’t one of them.

    I will say, however, that I did have a spectacular interaction with a Cast Member here on my last visit. Still, for the money I’ll put on my walking shoes and head to Shula’s or the Flying Fish for a better, equally priced meal.

  13. Paula B. says:

    As I was reading the menu I mentally selected my own choices, so funny that you actually enjoyed several of them. Would have tried the pasta and or the deconstructed Wellingtons. And those desserts, oh my. I have always heard good things about this restaurant but have never eaten there. It will be a must on my next trip, for sure.

  14. AJ says:

    Alan — Thanks for your review! I do find that Yachtsman offers a bit more than our average steakhouse at home, but maybe that’s just the Disney magic.

    Mark D. — Lemon brittle? Sign me up!

    Richard — I know! The decor seems a lot like Artist Point, right? I hope you get over to Yachtsman sometime soon. :-)

    Sue — No worries on the novel, I really appreciate you sharing your experience with us!! And I’m sorry you didn’t have a great meal. When it comes to how steaks are cooked, I’m very picky, so I can understand completely how you’d be upset with not only inconsistent cooking but also possibly the wrong steak!

    Love2Travel — I love Flying Fish and Shula’s as well — two of my favorite spots! Thanks for your review and thoughts about Yachtsman!

    Paula B. — Ha ha! I look forward to hearing about your visit when you get over there.

  15. Nikki says:

    I’m sitting here drooling!!!

  16. Shayne says:

    I’m a few days late chiming in, but wanted to say that we had Christmas dinner at Yachtsman and it was superb. Because of the holiday, they were serving a slightly more limited, prix fixe menu. Chilled shrimp was served as a family-style appetizer, then we had a choice of Caesar salad or lobster bisque. There were a few steaks, plus a chicken dish and a vegetarian tortelloni dish as main course choices. Family-style sides were creamed spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Dessert was a Valrhona chocolate yule log (can you say “YUM!”?).

    My filet was tender and well seasoned. I ordered mine medium rare and it was slightly overcooked (more pink than red in the center), but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the meal or even to complain about. We were sad, though, that the truffle mac & cheese wasn’t on the menu, as my husband really enjoyed it on our prior trip to Yachtsman (thankfully, he had ordered it at California Grill the night before!).

    Our server, Joey, was excellent. He was accommodating and friendly and was present whenever we needed him, but not hovering.

    After many years as Le Cellier fans, Yachtsman is our new favorite place at Disney to indulge our carnivorous palates!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I just visited at the beginning of December and had a less then stellar meal. I found the steak I had early in the week at Tony’s of all places better than the one I had over at yachtsmans. I made the mistake of getting the deconstructed beef wellnington and my steak was so over cooked that it was rock like and it just made the funny foam look like soap covering up bad beef. They quickly exchanged my meal…service I will say was wonderful and they had these little lime cookies that I’m still craving. I visited shulas 2 nights earlier and found that to be far better than yachtsmans. Given the cost and the comparison to shulas my family won’t be back.

  18. Matt says:

    Partner and I ate here this past weekend on Presidents Day Eve. He had been here before but I had not, so I was excited to try yet another new WDW restaurant. And let me tell you, this place did not disappoint.

    If you look at the photo up above labelled “My favorite dining room”, our table was the 2 seater in the middle next to the window. The perfect spot of people watching. And this room, too, was our favorite.

    We were going to try the cheese plate, but after seeing that it was exactly the same as the one we had at California Grill just 2 weeks prior (and we’re not too keen on) we passed. Instead we just enjoyed the rolls, butter and roasted garlic. And let me tell you, that roasted garlic is pure heaven. Especially paired with the onion rolls. Bad breath be damned!

    Partner did get the oysters. He said he enjoyed them, but prefers raw oysters (these were cooked).

    For dinner we both got the filet which was cooked perfectly for our likings. The mashed potatoes were fantastic! We also got the mac and cheese, and while I’m not a huge fan of mac and cheese, this was one of the best I have ever had. Right up there with the truffled mac and cheese you can get at Club 33 at Disneyland. In fact I think I liked it from here a LITTLE bit better than from when I’ve had it at 33!

    We shared dessert which included a glass of port, and a chocolate peanut butter and pretzel concoction that was out of this world! Think of it as a glorified and WAY better Reeses. It also came with a caramel gelato with red Hawaiian sea salt on top, which was really yummy.

    All told, the food, the service, actually everything here was just perfect. I highly recommend Yachtsmen Steakhouse for a nice dinner. If you can’t get into California Grill, I’d recommend this place as an alternate.

  19. AJ says:

    Matt — I had that pretzel dessert at Party for the Senses this year and LOVED it! Would really like to have it at Yachtsman, too. :-) Thanks for the great review — my mouth is watering!!

  20. Kirk Gerety says:

    Best meal that I had in Disney. Ask for Oscar for your waiter, he was great and made our dining experience the best.

  21. Rich Englebach says:

    Looked at the menu and sorry, any restaurant that does not have whisky (scotch) as a dessert drink will not get my business.

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