the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Review: Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

I can’t believe that we’re nearly three years into this blog and I’m still reviewing restaurants for the first time, but, alas, that IS the case! But that also means — NEW STUFF!! Today we’re headed over to Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort in Walt Disney World!

Shutters is tucked into the end of Old Port Royale, the central amenities area at Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR). It’s the only table-service restaurant at the resort, and because CBR is an extra bus ride or car trip away from the parks, many folks don’t dine there unless they’re staying at the resort.

Sometimes, when a resort has a captive audience, they don’t try as hard to create good dishes and interesting meals. But Shutters was a pleasant surprise for us when we dined there. Though the overall appearance of the place could use some sprucing up, the food was good and the service was outstanding!

Atmosphere

Shutters has a couple of dining rooms decorated with pastel Caribbean colors, a bright carpet, fish artwork, and…of course…shutters!

Check-in Desk outside of Shutters

Shutters Dining Room

Shutters Booth Table

We were seated at the strangest table at the place — in a little pass-through room between the two dining rooms where they store the extra chairs and highchairs. I have no idea how we got seated there, but it sure was an experience!

Our Shutters Table

While this restaurant caters mostly to resort guests and isn’t usually full every evening, the large, echo-y rooms can get loud. Be sure to prep for that if you’re planning to bring a sleeping baby!

Eats

While Shutters’ menu is small, there are several options with Caribbean flair, and plenty of surf and turf menu items as well. The menu is also quite consistent — many of the dishes have been on the menu for years.

Current Menu -- click for larger image

We started in immediately on the yummy bread and seasoned butter. The flour-y rolls are a great complimentary addition to the meal.

Shutters Bread and Butter

And, I of course had to order the chicken wings with habanero sauce! These are full chicken wings, so be prepared to get messy! I enjoyed these (I always enjoy hot wings), but they weren’t as outstanding as what I’ve had at ESPN Club or House of Blues.

Chicken Wings

We also enjoyed the crisp, flavorful caesar salad!

Caesar Salad

For our entrees, we chose a couple of Shutters classics: the Caribbean Pork Ribs with chipotle-vanilla glaze, and the Caribbean Pasta with shrimp.

The ribs were quite good, though a bit well-done. The glaze was spicy-sweet, as expected, but they didn’t make the ribs all that “saucy.” The portion is quite large (you can see from the second photo that there are two large sections of ribs on the plate), and you can choose from two sides when ordering.

Shutters Pork Ribs

Shutters Pork Ribs

The Caribbean Pasta was probably the winner at the table that evening. A spicy (but not too spicy) twist on Orecchiette pasta, this option with the shrimp was a fun group of flavors. Spinach leaves and chunks of tomatoes add to the dimension of this dish, and you can see the strong addition of fresh cheese on top — quite good!

Caribbean Pasta with Shrimp

We weren’t wowed by the dessert menu, but ordered a couple of the recommended items: the Key Lime Tart and the Tres Leches cake.

The Key Lime Tart was relatively small, but had great flavor. I’d probably not spend the money for this again.

Key Lime Tart

The same was true of the Tres Leches cake. Small, but good if you’re a Tres Leches fan.

Tres Leches Cake

Both of these desserts seem mass produced (the Tres Leches cake less so than the Key Lime Tart); I’d like to hear your review if you’ve tried the chocolate cake.

Overall

Pretty much any Disney Moderate Resort table-service restaurant is going to get a bad rap from time to time. Not many folks eat there (unless they’re staying at the resort), and they don’t have the opportunity to change up the menu as often as a Disney signature resort. So, predictably, you don’t hear about Shutters at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort very often.

My take is this: I’m not likely to head out there for dinner again if I’m staying at a different Disney resort or off-site resort, but if you’re staying at Caribbean Beach, it’s well worth stopping in for a meal. Check out the menu and see what tickles your fancy!

Have you eaten at Shutters recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

16 Comments

  1. Alan says:

    I think AJ has it right about this place not being worth making a long trip for. It doesn’t have the wow factor of many of the theme park restaurants or even some of the other more visited resort eateries. I ate there many years ago, before the DDP came about and I seem to remember a larger menu. This menu looks more like one in which they just added Caribbean sauces to sort of ordinary foods.

    Changing the subject slightly, they have a nice pool bar that is really nice to sit at in the evening but could really use a little Caribbean entertainment such as a small reggae band or at least a steel drum band. It would then make this a must stop at place.

  2. Bill White says:

    This is NOT the place to take picky eaters!

  3. Valerie says:

    We’ve stayed at CBR twice and each time we’ve dined at Shutters. I get the steak since I’m the pickiest eater. My YDS was a chicken nugget addict both times and the kitchen made him some no problem. The shrimp fritters are really very good and plenty to share. They do have occasional specials and I that’s what DH had both times, I’ll have to see if I wrote down what they were.

    We had such great service the second time we were there that I wrote a letter to management.

  4. Maureen says:

    I was quite surprised with your review.. I thought you were very generous with positive feedback in this review. When I first ate at Shutters about 3 years ago, it was packed and this was during September, a slower season for WDW. Our waitress was fantastic, the food was great. I had ordered a Prime Rib( which was smoked and tasted like ham). It was delicious.. not sure what my husband ordered but I do remember him being pleased. We tried Shutters the following year. I believe they had changed management( I could be wrong) The place was empty, the menu changed, the service was not very good and the food was less then desirable. When returning home I had found some recent reviews that reflected my experience. I was so disappointed. How could a place drop so many notches in all respects? The following year we did not dine at shutters but I peeked in … empty. Your review is the first good review I have read in a very long time of Shutters.

  5. I had dinner here with Mike Scopa a couple years ago and that was enough for me. We both thought the food was mediocre at best.

  6. AJ says:

    Alan — Thanks for the corroboration. I feel like this restaurant should be getting more attention from Disney, but, in truth, Caribbean Beach Resort altogether doesn’t get much attention when it comes to upgrades and investment.

    Bill White — Sounds like there’s an experience behind that comment! :-)

    Valerie — Thanks again for bringing up the service; I really think that’s where this place shines.

    Maureen — Well, to be honest, mine is a bit of a lukewarm review, unfortunately. As much as I enjoyed the restaurant for its great service, we weren’t wowed enough to make a return trip unless we’re staying at Caribbean Beach again. What’s interesting about your comment is the experience of having a restaurant drop so many notches so quickly. I find that to be commonplace at Disney World. Restaurants will change exponentially from year to year depending on management and chefs. My mantra has always been that Disney restaurants are consistently inconsistent. I can love a place in January and hate it in March — and vice versa. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that because it undermines my ability to make good recommendations for people.

    Matt — There were definitely pluses and minuses about the food. I imagine I’ll need to go back within the next couple of years, though, as you never know what will happen at places like this.

  7. Barry Moss says:

    I have to agree with Matt, the only time I visited Shutters, the food was less than inspiring. It’s not that there was anything wrong with it, there are just so many fantastic places to eat at Walt Disney World that I don’t want to waste my time on the merely average.

    I actually preferred the former table service restaurant that used to be at Caribbean Beach. The name escapes me right now, but they had incredible coconut shrimp.

  8. Galloping Gourmand says:

    I think Shutters is like all moderate resort sit-down meals. It’s moderate for a reason. See, Disney doesn’t want you to eat at the resort. They want you to go eat in a park, visit Downtown Disney, or head off to the Boardwalk. At the other locations Disney can get you to walk in and out of shops or pay an admission. In short, they can get more money out of you. If you have a “resort day” at a moderate they want you to think about heading somewhere else at night, and by limiting the sit-down dining option to “mediocre” they can do just that. Would you go to Shutters when you can hop a bus and in 15-20 minutes be at Ranglin Road? They can’t totally blow off moderate resort, but they can certainly be less than committed to it.

    Why, then, do the deluxe resorts have better options? First, when a customer pays 250 a night for a room you expect good dining options. Second, all but WL and AKL are on either a monorail line making it easy for others to head to another hotel and, say, explore the grounds and shops or offer entertainment and shops within walking distance of another resort (BW, YandB Clubs). The value resorts don’t offer sit-down dining because they can get away without doing it. It’s harder to get families on a budget to part with their hard earned cash, and no tourists are coming to visit these resorts.

    I know that’s kind of cynical but, hey, it’s business.

  9. Robert says:

    Will be spending one night at CBR before beginning our DVC stay at SSR at the end of March. This will be our first visit to Shutters so I’m looking forward to trying something different (since we’ve never eaten there). Will post my thoughts.

    Keep up the “hard” work A.J., we enjoy it!

    Robert E.
    DreamnOfMagic

  10. Jay says:

    My best friend is the head chef at Shutters, and has been for the past year. He’s a brilliant chef, and has big visions. But please keep in mind that when he walked on stage, he had a complete **** storm to overcome. The previous “chef” was lazy and complacent, and had no real food vision. Chef Mike has turned things around, putting some of his own personal creations on the menu, as well as getting vital input from his cast. Carribean Beach Resort and Shutters are not considered a “destination” resort or fine dining. But with Chef Mike at the helm you won’t be disappointed!

  11. Jay says:

    My best friend is the head chef at Shutters, and has been for the past year. He’s a brilliant chef, and has big visions. But please keep in mind that when he walked on stage, he had a complete mess to overcome. The previous “chef” was lazy and complacent, and had no real food vision. Chef Mike has turned things around, putting some of his own personal creations on the menu, as well as getting vital input from his cast. Caribbean Beach Resort and Shutters are not considered a “destination” resort or fine dining. But with Chef Mike at the helm you won’t be disappointed! Stop in and see Chef Mike and be sure to let him know how much you enjoyed his food!

  12. Kathy says:

    I have noticed an extreme menu change since the time of the review posted above. I have also read about a new chef. I must say, some of the food (desserts in particular) look VERY tempting. I would love to see a new review of this restaurant given the new chef and new menu!

  13. Megan says:

    It was by far the worst meal we have had at WDW. I will say, though, that my daughter’s meal, the kids’ ribs plate, was great. And my son had the fish tacos appetizer which he said was very tasty.

  14. Kathy says:

    Megan,
    I am curious as to whether you’ve dined there since the new chef/new menu. My son and DIL dined there a few nights ago and were quite pleased!

  15. Kathy says:

    Megan,

    I looked at the current menu and it does sound like you probably dined there quite recently. Can you tell me what you ordered? What made it so bad? Did you have dessert? How was that?

    Thanks!

  16. Kim says:

    Just returned from a week at WDW. Stayed at CBR. 4 adults and 4 children (ages 5,6,7,8). Didn’t have plans to eat there, but we were tired by the time we checked in and didn’t care to go off-site. Decided to try Shutters. Evidently, we experienced the new chef and menu. It was outstanding!

    There are now 2 steaks on the menu. The one listed at the top of the entres was very good . . . until you tried the one listed toward the bottom of the menu. Out-freaking-standing! All 4 adults in our party agreed. I can’t even tell you now what the sides were. But I recall them also being tasty. The service was also great. I believe it was the one time we tipped above 20% during our trip.

    The pictures shown above do show the decor, but it’s not as bright as pictured. It has more of an appropriate darker feel to it for dinner.

    The other thing I distinctly recall was an adult beverage they had. I wish I could recall the name! I’m not a whiskey type of girl. I gear toward sweet blush wines and apple martinis. For some reason the cherry whiskey drink they had on the drink menu peeked my interest. I went for it. The first sip was “WOWZERS!” A bit stiff. But each sip toned down a bit more. I wouldn’t suggest it for a “with dinner” drink, but it was great after dinner and would be a perfect night cap.

    As for the kids food, they had tasty options – beyond the typical grilled cheese and chicken nuggets (but specifically told us they could provide those if wanted). The only complaint the kids had was on the pot roast, and it tasted fine to me. I think our boy was just being difficult that evening. Waitress happily replaced his me with something else (I don’t recall what).

    Desserts weren’t bad. The chocolate cake was good (hard to surpass the precedence set with the steak), but our friends enjoyed the 3 (or 4?) part dessert they had. It reminisced of coffee to me, which I am not fond of.

    We were celebrating the kids birthdays while there and they each received chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick, with sprinkles. They were in heaven.

    We enjoyed Shutters so much that we cancelled reservations we had somewhere else one evening and went back to Shutters. No way will we go to Disney again without making it here for dinner one evening.

    Sincerely hope you go back and try them again. They assuredly deserve an update since Feb 2012.

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *