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Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Today, we’re taking a look at a top notch restaurant on Disney property — Yachtsman Steakhouse.

The Yachtsman has been a consistently great restaurant throughout the years. We had heard some new things about the menu, so it was time to head back and get the scoop.

Atmosphere

Located at Disney’s Yacht Club, the Yachtsman Steakhouse is decorated with the same beautiful wood and neutral palette that you’ll find throughout the rest of the resort. Soft lighting and a nod to Arts and Crafts touches lend a refined yet relaxed air to the spot.

As you enter the restaurant, you’ll actually pass by the steak trimming room, which features a large window allowing guests to check out the steak aging process. At this point, you know you’re in a steakhouse that takes that moniker seriously.

En route to the dining room, you also pass by an open kitchen with its bustling activity and delicious smells.

Entrance

The dining area is broken up into several smaller spaces. My favorite is a round dining room that soars two stories high and is crowned with a lovely Craftsman-style chandelier at its peak.

Two-Story Dining Room

The circular space gives the room a bit of whimsy, and you dine while looking out on Stormalong Bay, the resort’s premium pool and water park.

Circular Dining Room

Honestly, I’m not really bowled over by fantastic themeing here. But the setting is comfortable with big substantial chairs and warm lighting. It’s simple, and doesn’t include fussy accessories or extras — just like a good steak!

And since the food is usually exceptional here, you don’t really miss the distraction of flashy decor elements.

Dining Room

It was time to tuck into our own comfortable two top and take a look at the menu. Come join us!

Eats

Coming from a long, fun, warm day of theme park hopping, we were anxious to kick off our meal with a few interesting beverage options.

The menu here changes up regularly since it’s a signature restaurant; and since the Yachtsman chef moved over to Le Cellier in 2012, the restaurant has been searching for its legs under the new head honcho.

As is the trend with many signature restaurants, there is an emphasis on seasonal offerings; so some of the dishes that you see here probably won’t be on the menu when you head to Yachtsman. But if they aren’t, you’ll find similarly intriguing options during your visit! (For current offerings, be sure to visit our Yachtsman Steakhouse restaurant page, where you’ll find all updated menu links.)

Here is the Drink Menu on the Yachtsman menu from our visit. Note that most of these are straight out of the standard Disney Bar and Lounge menu.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

I actually chose a drink that was from the bar menu and not listed in Yachtsman’s menu list — the Pimm’s Punch. I’d had it previously on the trip and wanted to see if it was still a winner! It includes Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur, Hendrick’s, Odwalla Lemonade, and Wil Strawberry. (Thoughts? Still good, but not AS good as the one I’d had previously. Bartenders make a huge difference.)

Strawberry Julep

My husband surveyed the Beer Menu and found a few interesting options. (Nope — that green crayon streak is NOT from us; I promise.)

Beer Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Ultimately, he chose the Full Sail Session Black Lager. A little shorter than a normal bottle (coming in at just 11 ounces), he agreed with the description that this dark beer was rich, but less heavy than most dark brews.

Full Sail Session Black Lager

With our thirst attended to, we turned our attention to the Appetizer Menu. Because it was October (basically, still summer in Florida), you definitely see lots of fresh produce options here.

Appetizer Menu -- Click to Enlarge

The Entrees also vary season to season. However, you’ll almost always find a selection of the most popular cuts of steak. What’s interesting to note is that, contrary to previous visits, the listed sides are no longer always interchangeable.

I used to be able to substitute any listed side for any other, but your server will tell you which sides are allowed to be substituted now.

Entrees Menu -- Click to Enlarge

The extra sides are, again, subject to seasonal availability. The chefs at Yachtsman are committed to bringing you what’s best at the time. That said, that truffle mac and cheese has been on the menu for ages, and it’s always a good choice.

Sides Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Having chosen our appetizers, entrees, and sides, we were ready to savor the complementary Bread Service. Yachtsman offers something really special bread-wise — in addition to standard sourdough rolls, you’ll also find onion rolls with a rich, pull-apart texture.

To accompany the house-made breads, you’ll receive salted butter and a ramekin of roasted garlic that is super-soft, spreadable, and delicious. (Just be careful with the onion bread and roasted garlic if this is date night… .)

Bread Basket with Roasted Garlic and Onions Bread

For our appetizer, we went with a new-to-us item on the menu — the Beef Pot Stickers. I love how the Yachtsman frequently takes a traditional dish and gives it a twist using steak!

Beef Potstickers

The presentation was beautiful with the lotus root and daikon radish accent. (There was initially some confusion when our server thought the lotus root was cheese…obviously not the case. But we got it ironed out in short order.)

The Yuzu-Soy Glaze stood up to the hearty beef filling really well, without compromising the classic flavors of the dish. This was a win for sure.

Beef Potsticker -- Up Close

My husband went with the Caesar Salad. The addition of Bresaola, an air-dried, cured beef, offered an extra punch of flavor to the dish. A classic steakhouse item, it was hearty, fresh, and crisp.

Caesar Salad

After experimenting with some different entrees during my last visit here, I went with my favorite menu item this time: the 16-Ounce Boneless Ribeye. The ribeye was served with bone marrow, sweet onion jam, and brioche in addition to the flavorful Red Wine Butter. However, I asked for Herb Fries as my side dish instead, and they had no trouble accommodating my request.

I kind of regret not ordering the bone marrow, as I have no idea what it would look or taste like, but those herb fries were worth the switch, I think. The salty, flavorful herbs on the crisp fries made an awesome side with the slightly sweet red wine butter.

16 Ounce Boneless Ribeye with Herb Fries Substituted

As always, my steak was cooked perfectly inside.

Steak -- Up Close

My husband went with the 12-Ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, which was served with a beautiful Carmody Potato Gratin. The Brandy-Peppercorn Sauce was a great, savory accompaniment.

12 Ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

But of course, we couldn’t stop there! When you are in a steakhouse, there must be some classic sides; and you’ve never know us to shy away from the sides list! First, we chose that Truffle Macaroni and Cheese that we love so much.

This is just gooey enough to be comfort food, but brings in a few more adult flavors as well. The cheese sauce is flavored with Reypenaer, a sharp and tangy Gouda. The truffle essence comes through distinctly, so if you aren’t a fan, you should consider another dish. And the choice of orecchiette pasta is exactly right for cradling the rich cheese sauce. Pretty heavenly.

Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

And I couldn’t resist trying the fresh Zellwood Corn as well. (Don’t worry — I shared. A little.) Grilled with rosemary butter and topped with bacon marmalade (!), the only thing that could make this better is a little cream… .

Zellwood Corn

What a meal!

We did take a look at the dessert drinks and menu, but in the end, we decided nothing looked as good to us as the treats next door at Beaches and Cream. ;-)

Dessert Drinks Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dessert Menu -- Click to Enlarge

I’ve had both the Lemon Pudding Cake and the Habanero-Infused Flourless Chocolate Cake on previous occasions, and I can happily recommend both.

Lemon Pudding Cake with Blueberry Shake

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

That Peanut Butter and Pretzel cake is pretty awesome as well! Here’s a bite-sized version I had at Party for the Senses at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Gianduja Cake (bite-sized version at Party for the Senses)

But on this particular evening, after all that beautiful food, what we craved most was a walk!

Overall

I’m always thrilled when the chance to review Yachtsman Steakhouse comes up. In a sea of Disney restaurants that can be vastly unpredictable, the meals that we have had here continue to be reliably solid, delicious choices.

Sure, it’s pricey. But usually it’s worth it. Our only complaint on most visits is that service is often very slow (and sometimes bumbling).

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or you’re just looking for a way to wisely spend those Disney Dining Plan table service credits, I heartily recommend that you give Yachtsman Steakhouse a try. I have had some of my best Disney meals here, and I’m confident that you will as well.

Will you be dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse anytime soon? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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16 Comments

  1. Shayne says:

    We love, love, love Yachtsman! After our first dining experience there a few years ago, it quickly supplanted our longtime favorite, Le Cellier, as the best steak on property. Reading this made me so hungry!

    My husband loves that truffle mac & cheese, though he’s not normally a big fan of truffles. I like truffles just fine, but didn’t care for the mac & cheese at all. Go figure! Maybe I’ll have to give it another try on our next visit.

    We have always been lucky to have great service at Yachtsman. Our most recent visit was on Christmas Day 2011 with a large party (9 of us). Our server was truly outstanding, and I regret that I cannot remember his name.

  2. Mark D. says:

    Should have tried the marrow. If you can get past what it is, it is absolutely delicious.

    I agree with what you said about Yatchsman, including the service. Really enjoy the food and can’t wait to get back for some steak, mac, and charcuterie.

  3. We are going there on our first night of our WDW vacation in June! Can’t wait. Haven’t been there in years.

  4. Jackie says:

    We are going here in September and I can’t wait to try it! AJ, would you recommend going to Yachtsman’s twice and Le Cellier once or the other way around? Thanks

  5. Miranda says:

    We used to love Yachtsman, then had one meal with poor service and we gave it a miss for a while. Then last year we went on the first night of our stay and were bowled over by the food. It’s definitely back on our must-eat list!

    We thought the Zellwood Corn side was mind-blowingly good. The sweet, fresh corn, the herby background notes and the savoury taste of the bacon were a spectacular combination. We ended up eating at Yachtsman a second time on that vacation because the meal and service had been so great, and we had a second terrific meal (with the corn again!) I also adore the onion pull-apart concertina bread. It is so fluffy and flavourful, and so delicate if you peel it off leaf by leaf.

    I enjoyed the Pretzel Gianduja with salted caramel gelato with both meals we ate there, and wow it was good. The first time (at the start of our trip) I managed about 2 bites, but by the meal at the end of our trip I practically licked my plate clean! I think I have a photo of the dessert with the gelato on the plate as it was served – I can look it out and email it to you if you like AJ?

  6. Sue says:

    Hands down my favorite restaurant on Disney( Artist Point/California grill are tied fro 2nds). The service and food have always been top notch. This is a must do on every trip. It has never failed us( or even come close).

  7. Sherri Erwin says:

    I was really disappointed in my meal at Yachtsman’s Steakhouse. We had high expectations, but the quality served to us was on par with some chain restaurants. Ingredients listed were substituted with cheaper ingredients or left off the plate. Our service was awful. We won’t go back. We’ve had excellent meals at almost every other Signature restaurant at WDW.

  8. Angela s says:

    My husband and I ate here on our honeymoon and it was the best meal of our trip for sure. My husband asked for the mac and cheese instead of the bone marrow, but they brought the marrow out by accident. Our server saw the mistake before we did and grabbed the mac and cheese but left the bone marrow for us to try, and oh man was it ever good! Make sure you try it next time!

  9. Scott says:

    Would you consider Yachtsman’s Steakhouse a prudent use of two dining credits? I am inclined to think it would not be. The comments regarding the less than stellar service is concerning. Especially if this is considered a high-end restaurant…..

  10. Adam says:

    We’ve stayed at the Beach Club each of the last two summers and have yet to eat at Yachtsman. We greatly regret missing out on it while we are they and look in the windows longingly but it just never made the must-do list while staying so close to World Showcase. It sounds awesome though and is a must-do for our next BC stay. The bone marrow sounds really interesting.

  11. Wendy Snelgrove says:

    Scott, I think it is worth two credits if you really enjoy beef. I respect the views of the person that had a bad experience, but there is no restaurant in the world that has a 100% perfect record – but in general, Yachtsmen’s gets good reviews. I had a porterhouse that was amazingly flavourful here, and my entire family of carnivores enjoyed it. I am told Shula’s is also excellent for steak, but I haven’t tried that. Yachtsmen’s beats all the other steaks I’ve had on WDW property.

    Can anyone tell me, are those crispy onions on top of the mac and cheese? I detest onions.

    Thanks, Wendy

  12. Novi says:

    I’m a veggie and have still always had a great meal here… the corn and truffle agnolotti was incredible! It was the same veggie option that they had in Oct 2012, so they probably don’t change the menu often, but it definitely won’t be a let down to eat that dish again!

  13. Pardonmyfrench says:

    It’s our #1 Disney restaurant. Expensive but best food. I agree with the server comments but with such a meal, we are ok taking it slow.

    I can’t eat nuts or corn so the head chef always come out to meet with us. The chef here was very attentive and sent some pork fat whipped into a butter like concoction for our steaks. I’ve only seen that done on the food channel and it was awesome.

    I like the flying fish a little more, but my wife and kids out vote me :-) we just book both now.

  14. Janel says:

    My Fiancé and I ate here in September 2012. Needless to say… every steak we’ve had since then had been compared to our dinner here and nothing has come close. We loved the pot stickers, filet, and porterhouse. The lobster bisque was just okay, but overall the meal was amazing. I’m excited to be bringing a few friends here later this year in September!

  15. Scott says:

    Wendy,

    Thanks for your thoughts regarding the experience you and your families experience at the Yachtsman’s Steakhouse. We will give this a lot of consideration for our trip later this year.

    Scott

  16. Marlene says:

    In the last 2 weeks we had Filet at LeCellier, Shula’s, and Yachtsman.
    We concluded that Yachtsman has the best Filet.

    We return to Yachtsman every year, but our recent “exploration” has caused us to decide never to deviate from Yachtsman again!

    The truffle mac&cheese was a bit too strong to be kid friendly.
    Definitely a grown up item.
    (They did tell us that the kid mac&cheese is available again!)

    We were able to substitute for the mashed potatoes (which are good, but we weren’t in the mood):
    Caramelized onions – loved by the balsamic lover, not liked by the non-balsamic lovers.
    Sauteed mushrooms – loved by most at the table, not liked by the no-herb-flavor diner.
    Potato gratin – we all vied for this one.

    BTW, our favorite dessert is the The Yachtsman Sundae – Trio of Gelato with Amarena Cherries !!!
    3 flavors of gelato, but some of us ask for all 3 scoops to be chocolate!

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