Welcome to Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, where “luxury meets magic!” We got a chance to take a look around the hotel before it opens, and wanted to give you a quick peek! (Nope; they’re not paying us to do this. We just figured you’d be interested. ;-D)
Opening August 3rd, Four Seasons Orlando says they will provide a best-of-both-worlds vacation experience: “easy access to all the area entertainment in a tranquil setting,” at Golden Oak in Walt Disney World, according to Thomas Steinhauer, Regional Vice President and General Manager.
Twenty-six acres will hold 423 rooms, five acres of recreation, a spa… oh, and a few restaurants . Dining will play a major role in the guest experience.
Four Seasons will be home to five restaurants (as well as two lounges), varying in cuisine and atmosphere. Capa, the rooftop Spanish Steakhouse, and Plancha, a daytime stop on the resort’s golf course featuring Cuban fare, are set to open in September. Three restaurants are set to open immediately in August: Ravello, PB&G, and Lickety-Split.
FYI, Director of Food & Beverage Stephen Wancha mentioned that the hotel has an “approachable and affordable” dining focus, with the goal that guests would feel equally as comfortable and welcome coming in for dinner on a Tuesday night as they would celebrating a 15th anniversary. Since all dining locations will be open to the public – and not just resort guests – we thought everyone might enjoy a glimpse!
Ravello will feature Italian cuisine in a sleek, urban atmosphere.
It shares two features with every other restaurant at the resort: first, an open kitchen.
And the second shared feature is indoor and outdoor seating.
In the mornings, Ravello will offer a full breakfast buffet, offering everything from a healthy wellness section to unique items like Lobster Benedict. But the biggest breakfast news might be that Ravello will also offer Character Dining! Every Thursday and Saturday and on select Tuesdays, “Goofy and Pals” will help guests greet the day with a Good Morning Breakfast.
In the evenings, the focus will turn to house-made pastas and pizzas served a la carte.
Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi shared a bit of the philosophy behind his creations: a focus on making everything they possibly can in-house with the freshest ingredients, and plans to work with as much local Florida food as possible. The exception here will be the olive oils, tomato, and flour, which will be imported from Italy. The water used in the restaurant will be sourced from Torino.
Check out this Veal Ravioli!
The veal, spinach, and ricotta stuffed ravioli is topped with wild mushrooms and truffle “essence.”
Though the focus is on pasta and pizza, other entrees will be available as well, such as the beautifully plated Tonno: tuna quickly seared in a saba reduction and basil oil, and served on top of eggplant caponata.
Later in the evening we saw Ravello’s light, creamy, and refreshing Panna Cotta, topped with edible gold leaf. Fancy.
But let’s say you’re more the mood for some poolside fun… then we’re off to PB&G!
The acronym standing for Pool, Bar, & Grill gives you some idea of what to expect: an open bar and grill set between the resort’s adults-only and family pools.
I mentioned that it only gives you “some idea.” That’s because some of the dishes and flavors here are decidedly unexpected! We’ll start with one of the poolside cocktails, Peach Time.
Absolut Peach Vodka, Peach and Raspberry Grand Marnier, ginger tea, fresh cut peaches and thyme (offering a fun play on the name “Peach Time”) combine in this smooth, just-sweet-enough beverage.
But the biggest surprises come from the concept behind the menu. At PB&G, the barbeque dishes will fall in one of two categories: “Homage” and “Treason”.
“Homage” dishes will do exactly that: pay homage to traditional, southern barbeque with entrees such as rotisserie chicken and beef brisket.
But the Chef described the “Treason” dishes as “barbeque sacrilege.” Alongside of the more traditional items, they’ll be smoking foods such as octopus and tofu. It sounds like nothing will be off limits!
Plates will be chock full of barbeque goodness: Rotisserie Chicken with potato salad, Beef Brisket with sauerkraut coleslaw on rye, and Oysters “Roc”a Fella with spinach puree, smoked aioli, bacon breadcrumbs.
The beef brisket with sauerkraut will be w inner. The punch of the sauerkraut slaw on top of the tender, smoky brisket is unexpected!
It’s all a terrifically fun take on barbeque that manages to please both adventurous eaters and those who are pickier.
Small bites will be available as well, including these deviled eggs topped with caviar – can’t say I’ve seen these at any other pool bar .
Our final stop is Lickety-Split: the house coffee bar and gelataria, which will also offer other goodies created in-house daily.
Coffee selections will include six different blends and several different brewing methods. I was completely fascinated with the cold brew drip tower, dripping ice water over the grounds and into the decanter, taking 8 hours to brew.
It’s the only one of its kind in Orlando.
Morning guests will have the chance to enjoy Bomboloni: Italian donuts described as having a “muted sweetness.” The star here, however, will likely be the 15 flavor gelato bar, opening along with the resort on August 3rd. Unique flavors such as Sour Patch Kids and Key Lime Pie will make their debut alongside more traditional tastes.
Speaking of Key Lime Pie…
We had the opportunity to sample a few of the desserts that will be featured around the resort, made by a team of gourmet chefs led by Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber. It was difficult to decide which to choose from options such as Carrot Cake, Dulce de Leche, and Tiramisu.
But ultimately I couldn’t pass up the to-die-for Pecan Pie.
Oh, and a little of that gorgeous Panna Cotta, too ;).
Again, two more restaurants will be opening at Four Seasons in September: Capa, a Spanish Steakhouse also serving tapas, will boast fireworks views from the 17th floor roof of all three nighttime Park spectaculars. Plancha will be available during the day right around the resort’s golf course.
Upon it’s August 3rd opening, Four Seasons will welcome both resort and non-resort guests to enjoy their unique and varied restaurants and lounges. Reservations are currently being accepted on www.opentable.com. For more information on the resort, its dining opportunities, amenities, and room reservations, visit http://www.fourseasons.com/orlando/ and learn more about what is bound to be a remarkable experience!
Booking for the restaurants may soon be available on DisneyWorld.com.
Thanks to the Four Seasons for showing us around and letting us sample some of the eats!
Would you like to dine in one of the Four Seasons restaurants? Please let us know which one with a comment!