Shutters at Old Port Royale
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!
Shutters has a couple of dining rooms decorated with pastel Caribbean colors, a bright carpet, fish artwork, and…of course…shutters!
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!
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!
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.
We started in immediately on the yummy bread and seasoned butter. The flour-y rolls are a great complimentary addition to the meal.
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.
We also enjoyed the crisp, flavorful 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.
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!
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.
The same was true of the Tres Leches cake. Small, but good if you’re a Tres Leches fan.
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.
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!