Review: Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel

Ah, Steakhouse 55, a bastion of yesteryear near the Park That Started It All. Going to this place is like a living time capsule. Some historical exhibits celebrate the past by letting you look at it. But at Steakhouse 55, it’s like you’re actually stepping back through the years. And that’s a good thing.

Steakhouse 55

But if we’ve learned anything about Disney, it’s that change is always potentially on the horizon. Recently, they decided that the menu needed an overhaul. Maybe to match to some degree the rest of Disneyland’s emphasis on healthier fare?

We actually visited Steakhouse 55 prior to the recent menu refresh. But there has been so much to tell you guys over the last month, I’m just getting around to sharing my experience! So be aware that if you plan to visit, the menu will look a little different than what you see here.

Atmosphere

While Steakhouse 55 underwent a bit of a refresh in the decorating department last year, we didn’t find much different when we visited recently. You’re still greeted by this iconic, enlarged photo of Walt Disney as you enter the space. Rich wood trim and painted paneling hint at the more formal environment. Once you’ve entered, it’s very hard to remember that Goofy’s Kitchen is right next door.

Photo of Walt in Entryway

Photo of Walt in Entryway

You’ll come to the Steakhouse 55 Lounge first. Incidentally, this is a great spot to keep on your radar. Reservations are not required and they feature a bar menu with some delicious and satisfying options.

Recently they’ve also begun offering the full Steakhouse 55 Restaurant Menu in the Lounge as well. Stash this away in your bag of tricks in case you find yourself starving and looking for an upscale dining experience if the steakhouse itself is booked up.

Lounge

Steakhouse 55 Lounge

You’ll find shades of plum and silver, with plush finishes like satin and velvet. The bar area features a flat screen television, handy for checking out the latest scores.

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

Full Bar with Seating and Television

Find a spot at the bar, or enjoy comfortable seating in softly upholstered chairs and plush couches and chaises.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Small tables are perfect for Bar Bites and Cocktails, but might pose a challenge if you’re enjoying a full meal.

More Seating

Additional Lounge Seating

Exit the lounge and you’ll find the main dining room. Low lighting and white tablecloths hint at the more formal setting here.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

But you’ll find the same understated decor, punctuated by those large photographs of famous faces from years gone by.

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

The feeling here is retro chic, and it’s not hard to imagine what this spot may have been like when the name over the door was still Granville’s, and the people in the pictures were sitting at the next table.

Eats

I’ve shared with you that Steakhouse 55 is my absolute most favorite spot for breakfast at Disneyland, and Heather has written about her delicious experience dining in the Lounge. But it had been a while since I had taken in dinner here.

Unfortunately, my timing was just a little off. Immediately after we enjoyed this experience, the menu underwent a change.

Here is the menu that Steakhouse 55 featured at the time of our dinner.

Menu: Starters, Soups, and Salads -- Click to Enlarge

Menu: Starters, Soups, and Salads — Click to Enlarge

Menu -- Main Dishes and Side Dishes -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Main Dishes and Side Dishes — Click to Enlarge

Chef Marcel St. Pierre, a Disney veteran who was most recently over the kitchens of Club 33, has taken over at Steakhouse 55. Not surprisingly, he is eager to put his stamp on things here, and to experiment with some popular trends and classic French preparations.

Since the changes, I’ll try to note where the dishes that we ordered have been updated.

We began our meal with fresh, warm Sourdough Bread, served with softened, Unsalted Butter.

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

My husband was dining with me. And you long-term DFB Readers know — he never passes up the chance to enjoy a Caesar Salad, and this visit was no exception!

The classic version of the salad was served with Olive Tapenade atop a Parmesan Crisp. This salad has been replaced with Hearts of Romaine — served with Caesar Dressing. Yep. Basically the same. Just fancier.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad with Olive Tapenade and Parmesan Crisp

Another classic dish that we couldn’t pass up ordering was the legendary Steakhouse 55 Seven Onion Soup. It’s delicious, but even better — it’s food theater. The soup comes together from two different dishes.

You are presented a soup bowl with French-Fried Onion Bits.

Seven Onion Soup Bits and Cream Base

Seven Onion Soup — French Fried Onion Bits

The soup is poured over the bits of onion for lots of flavor and texture.

Combining the Soup Seven Onion Soup Components

Combining the Soup Seven Onion Soup Components

The finished product is a rich, brothy soup that reminds me of French Onion Soup without the cheesy crouton.

Seven Onion Soup

Seven Onion Soup

This classic has been replaced by a more decadent-sounding Creamy Onion Soup on the current menu, which no longer comes with the “presentation” element.

Having thoroughly enjoyed our starters, we turned our attention to the Steaks we ordered. Our first selection was the Bone-In Ribeye, which is dressed with the signature “Steakhouse 55 Rub”. The steak was garnished with French-Fried Onions and was cooked perfectly.

To dress your steaks up a bit, you can choose from a number of toppings: Bearnaise, Peppercorn, or Chimmichurri Sauce, or Bleu Cheese or 55 Butter. We opted for the 55 Butter. The rub and butter combined to provide a savory seasoning.

Sadly, the Bone-In Ribeye did not make the cut on the new menu (although other classic steaks did, thank goodness). But don’t stress if this is your favorite. Steaks change here from time to time based on what’s available in the marketplace at a good price, so the ribeye may be on the menu when you’re here.

Bone-In Ribeye

Bone-In Ribeye

We also decided that we couldn’t pass up the chance to compare the Filet Mignon with others at Disney, so that was our next choice. Served with the same French Fried Onion Garnish, the Filet was cooked to a perfect medium rare temperature as well. The Filet remains on the menu, of course.

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon

Because steaks do not come with sides, we welcomed the opportunity to choose a few of the a la carte offerings. We started with 55 Fries. There’s really nothing special about them, but they were well executed and fresh.

Fry lovers can now enjoy a more upscale version of the side on the new menu: Duck Fat-Fried Pommes Frites, which are sprinkled with Aromatic Salt and are served with Blood Orange Sabayon for dipping. (FYI — Heather tried these recently and wasn’t wowed.)

French Fries

French Fries

Maybe I was thinking about my favorite Disney Filet, the Wild Mushroom Filet at Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse, but I knew I had to try the Seasonal Risotto. It just happened to be — you guessed it! — Mushroom!

The Seasonal Risotto continues to be offered at Steakhouse 55. Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried it — and what the chef was serving up during your visit!

Seasonal Risotto -- Mushroom

Seasonal Risotto — Mushroom

While I don’t love mushrooms on their own, I think they’re delicious in a soup or risotto with a healthy helping of cream, butter, and/or cheese. So this was a win for sure.

We also couldn’t pass up the Yukon Gold Garlic Mashed Potatoes. And I’m glad we didn’t, because they were incredible. Creamy, buttery, and seasoned perfectly, they were a hit.

Fortunately, this is another classic they didn’t mess with. You can still get these dreamy clouds of potato goodness when you visit these days.

Yukon Gold Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Yukon Gold Garlic Mashed Potatoes

After such a delicious and filling dinner, we were tempted to skip dessert. But we didn’t. ;-)

Dessert Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dessert Menu — Click to Enlarge

It was a given that we’d sample Steakhouse 55’s signature dessert, the 24 Layer chocolate Cake. Isn’t it beautiful?

While I’m not always a huge chocolate cake fan, this is a thing of beauty. It’s so over the top, how could you not love it? And the Chocolate Sponge Cake combined with Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Nutella is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. And it’s still available on the new menu. Yay!

24-Layer Chocolate Cake

24-Layer Chocolate Cake

Our other sweet option was a little lighter — Vanilla Bean Yogurt Cheesecake. We enjoyed the tangy sweetness of the cake and the fresh, bright flavor of the Berry Compote, but honestly, the dessert isn’t one we’d order again.

Vanilla Bean Yogurt Cheesecake

Vanilla Bean Yogurt Cheesecake

Overall

I have had delicious experiences across the board when I’ve visited Steakhouse 55. Whether I’m meeting friends for a quiet breakfast, having cocktails and snacks in the Lounge, or I’m digging into a luxurious dinner, this has always been one of my favorite spots to dine. Because it’s understated, it tends to fly under the radar a bit. But sometimes, in the midst of over the top theme park themeing, that’s not a bad thing. And if the menu were the same as it’s been in the past, I’d have no trouble recommending that you visit Steakhouse 55. It’s always been pricey, but the food quality and nod to Disney tradition was worth it for me.

However, with the menu changes that have come about under Chef Marcel, I’m going to have to reserve judgement until I can visit again.

Have you visited Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel? Leave us a comment and let us know your impressions of this classic dining spot.

Comments

  1. Kimberly Simpson-Kee says

    Do you know if you can get the 24 layer chocolate cake for take out or if it is available any place else on property? i don’t think we’ll have time for a sit down on our next trip but I would LOVE to try this cake. Sounds amazing.

  2. says

    We visited the new Steakhouse 55 in November. Our last visit to the restaurant, under the old menu, was disappointing, not so much due to the food as much as the other diners. We were seated next to a family with young kids running around and a father wearing a sweatsuit. They had an issue because one of their entrees was apparently served later than the rest. When they were leaving, the wife reminded her husband to leave a tip, and he loudly shouted, “I ain’t leaving s#!t!” Then a couple was seated next to us who talked on their cell phone for 10 minutes, and when we were leaving, they were seating a pair of young women wearing short shorts and bikini tops. We live in Las Vegas, and I told my wife that if we wanted to have an okay meal surrounded by no-class tourists, we could just stay home.

    However, we decided to give the new menu a try, and I’m sorry to say that a restaurant that was once a must-dine place for us is now a place we are in no hurry to revisit.

    We had read that the staff had been receiving fine-dining training, but that wasn’t evident from our server. Eager to try the new appetizers, I ordered the pork belly, while my wife ordered the smoked filet mignon tartare. The pork belly was okay, but with more fat on it than I’ve had at other restaurants. The smoked tartare was similar to what we’ve had here at Gordon Ramsay Steak: the dish is served under a glass dome filled with smoke, so the meat is infused with the smoky flavor. At Gordon Ramsay, they set the plate in front of you and remove the dome so you get the full effect of the smoke, and it’s one of our favorite appetizers there. Here, they brought the appetizers to our table on a cart, and removed the dome while the plate was still on the cart. As a result, my wife said the meat had less of the smoky flavor. I tried some, and it definitely didn’t compare to what we’d had at Gordon Ramsay.

    For dinner, we each had an old favorite: prime rib. (My birthday tradition used to be prime rib at Steakhouse 55.) We had been excited to read that all steaks came accompanied with bone marrow, but either that was not correct, or prime rib does not come with it. The meat was just fine; perhaps not as tender as it might have been, but nothing to complain about. I ordered the shallot-habanero jam as an accompaniment, and it paired very well with the meat.

    For sides, we ordered the Delmonico gruyere casserole and the duck fat-fried pommes frittes. We wanted compare this new cheesy potato dish with the classic Steakhouse 55 au gratin brick, and we couldn’t resist something fried in duck fat. The fries were indeed excellent, and the casserole was a nice change from the earlier au gratin option. It tasted much lighter and fresher.

    I had a banana cheesecake for dessert, and it was really good. My wife, on the other hand, had an apple tart or some sort of apple dish (I can’t recall exactly what it was) and it was pretty disappointing. Plus it was served cold, which shouldn’t be anyone’s choice for an apple dessert ever.

    At the end of the meal, our server asked if we had been there before, and we told her we had been there many times before, but this was our first experience with their new menu. We told her we liked the sides and the jam. She then told us about a lot of the complaints other longtime diners had made about the new menu, which seemed unnecessarily negative and unprofessional. That pretty much summed up her performance as a server; she came across as a casual service restaurant worker in a fine-dining restaurant.

    We also had similar issues with the other diners that we did on our previous visit. We understand that a restaurant at Disneyland is going to cater to all kinds of people and families, and that’s fine. But if you are going to a restaurant where entrees are more than $20 each, you should wear a shirt with a collar and buttons, take your hat off, and keep your kids at the table with you. They’re not my kids; I don’t want to have dinner with them. And use your inside voices.

    I think part of the problem is that the Disneyland Hotel doesn’t have a mid-range, nice, table-service restaurant like Storytellers or PCH Grill. If you want a sit-down, table-service meal in the hotel, that is your only option. Regardless, between the quality of the food, service and atmosphere, it’s not longer a restaurant we feel is worth the price, which is a shame.

  3. says

    Kimberly — I’m not sure, but what a great question! I’ll ask my next visit, or you could always call in advance and see if they’ll set aside a piece for you!

  4. says

    Andrew, thank you SO much for your review. I think your experience was similar to our Disneyland correspondent’s experience. She was disappointed and said that a must-visit restaurant has turned into a never-again. So sad. I wonder how breakfast has fared. No menu change there, so I hope it’s still up to snuff.

  5. Nancy says

    DH and I have been to Steakhouse 55 both before and after the menu revamp. On our most recent visit in December and our first experience with the new menu, we too had the smoked filet tartare appetizer. We our our dome removed at our table, which made for a fun presentation, but I didn’t find that it actually enhanced the flavor of the dish. It was still very tasty though, and I would order it again.

    I was really surprised to find that they had taken the creamed spinach off the menu, as that was by far our favorite side from before and IMHO the best creamed spinach I’ve had anywhere. Thankfully they still had the sauteed spinach available and the kitchen was able to make the creamed spinach for us. Unlike most creamed spinach you may experienced where the spinach is a dull dark/olive green, chopped into tiny bits, and served in a thick beige sauce, Steakhouse 55’s creamed spinach comes with whole spinach leaves still bright green and full of flavor, with a white cream sauce that is light (in texture, not taste) so that it coats the spinach nicely without overwhelming it and tasted more like actual milk cream. It is truly delightful. I highly recommend that you order the creamed spinach on your next visit even though it’s off the menu. :)

    As for the 24 layer chocolate cake, it is amazing. I’m not normally a chocolate dessert person, as I typically find them too rich and too sweet for my taste. But this cake is moist and spongy, just the way a chocolate cake should be, and the flavors of the different layers are wonderful and just right, neither too rich nor too sweet. With that said though, DH and I shared a slice of cake and still weren’t quite able to finish it all, so this is best when ordered for the table to sample.

  6. JOHN R DUNCSAK says

    MY CHILDREN AND WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN GOING BACK TO CALLY FOR OUR FAMILY VACATION FOR THEIR BIRTHDAYS FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS AND THE LAST TRIP WE DISCOVERED STEAKHOUSE 55… AND, WHAT AN AWESOME …AWESOME…RESTAURANT… WE ATE THERE FOR DINNER EVERY NIGHT. MY TWINS REALLY ENJOY EATING OUT AND WE LIVE ON THE EAST COAST WHERE THERE ARE NUMEROUS STEAKHOUSES AND THEY HAVE EATEN AT PETER LUGARS IN BROOKLYN AND NUMEROUS STEAKHOUSES IN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK . EXAMPLES, LIKE MORANS AND MY KIDS AND WIFE FAVORITE STEAKHOUSE IS RUTH CHRIS AND STEAKHOUSE 55 RATE UP THERE WITH THE BEST OF THE BEST… PLANNING ANOTHER VACATION IN JULY 2015 AND WILL DEFINITLY VISIT STEAKHOUSE 55 AGAIN AND AGAIN. DISNEY IS A CLASS OPERATION AND I WAS A DISNEY CAST MEMBER 1984-1986 WHEN I LIVED IN CALIFORNIA . I ATTENDED CAL STATE FULLERTON … STEAKS WERE GREAT AND THAT 24 LAYER CHOCOLATE CAKE WAS AMAISING… THANKS, JOHN R. DUNCSAK

  7. jennifer says

    Well we just had our annual anniversary dinner at steakhouse 55 with the new menu. It was good but not as good as the old menu. We always had the ceasar with olives my favorite but the new salad is boring and lacks presentation. Missing are the scalloped potatoes and the new ones have to much bacon,so sad. We also always ordered the creamed spinach which they made for us but not quite the same. Then we always end with the chocolate cake but this time they served with pumpkin ice cream Yuk! and the toffee chips were missing, such a disappointment.I think the chef is a fool to change the favorite dishes just for pride sake. He could have kept the standards and added his new dishes. Chefs are often primadonas maybe that’s what going on here. It was still a nice evening but also disappointing. Would I go again ? Probably children are always treated so well and we love the way they cook the steaks and the lobster was wonderful.

  8. Elizabeth says

    We have eaten at Steakhouse 55 twice (with the old menus) and the food is delicious! However, after eating here, BOTH TIMES my stomach was extremely upset. I will definitely not eat at Steakhouse 55 again. It is not fun getting sick on vacation due to something you eat.

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