We are heading back to one of my favorite spots to grab a quick bite and drink — Territory Lounge.
I really, really recommend this place. It’s comfortable, has a fantastic staff, is just a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom, and usually has a pretty incredible menu.
While my “love” for neighboring Artist Point waxes and wanes, I’ve enjoyed the majority of my visits to Territory Lounge. And with the recent installation at Artist Point of a new chef, who also covers Territory Lounge, I figured it was as good a time as any to visit again.
The decor of the cavernous Wilderness Lodge lobby area echoes the same Craftsman style as the outside of the resort. But as you begin to explore different corners, you see that there’s more here than just Arts and Crafts.
Territory Lounge is “refined rustic,” and may make you imagine the days of Lewis and Clark exploring the Northwest Territory.
It’s not a very large space, and the bar takes up a lot of the real estate. These fun carved bears hold the place up!
The vibe here is masculine, with rich wood and earth tones everywhere you look.
There are quiet nooks and comfy seating throughout the small area.
Tables for two along the wall are illumined by shadowboxes, which house an assortment of interesting objects.
It really is quite a small space, but I rarely have problems finding a seat. And the day I visited was no exception. Let’s check out what we sampled, made up of old favorites and new dishes.
As my friend and I flipped through the menu, we were happy to see a few favorites still available. But there were also a couple of new options to try.
I hadn’t had a Magical Star Cocktail for about a million years, so I knew I had to try this classic Disney drink again. This is a guest-favorite on the standard Disney bar and lounge menu, and it’s actually pretty good. It’s a sweet-sour mix of juices, liqueur, and rum.
Also at our table was a lovely and refreshing White Wine.
And we also tried the new-ish Sidecar Noir. The mix of trendy Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Cointreau Noir, Orange Juice, and fresh Lemon Juice was simultaneously cool and spicy.
After a few sips, the dishes began to arrive. And this is one issue that I do have at Territory Lounge — one teeny, tiny issue. If you order much more than one or two things, plus drinks, you run out of room quickly. Clearly, seating here doesn’t encourage visiting for a meal.
You’ll be shocked (HA!) to find that I started with one of my perennial favorites — the Fondue. This one changes up regularly; sometimes you find it made with Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris; other times, it’s Beer. Regardless of what the menu says, get it. Always. Get it.
Creamy and tangy, it’s the perfect dipper for the assorted Fruit and Bread that they bring to accompany it.
These also change up regularly. In fact, they were about to change when we visited. I can tell you that the chunks of Apple and Bread were perfect. But everything I’ve tried — Pretzel Bread, Apricots, etc. — has been divine dipped in that rich, cheesy goodness. And with Plastic Cheese disappearing throughout WDW — sob — I’ve gotta get my liquid cheese fix where I can.
Next, we ordered the Asian Chicken Wings. With their Miso-Soy Glaze and sprinkling of Sesame Seeds and Scallions, we expected a little more flavor. They were good, but not great.
So we also ordered some standard Buffalo Wings. Although lightly sauced, these were much more to my liking.
The Housemade Truffle Fries were next up. Now, the last time I visited, I was in love with the truffle fries here and felt they needed no sprucing up at all. This time, the fries were decidedly fancied up. They were hand-cut, and arrived to the table with a strip of cheese melted across the top.
Now, I’m not one to complain about melted cheese. But really, this could have been executed better (Sauce? Shredded? Something.) This way, the first couple of fries chosen ended up each getting half of the cheese…and that was that.
The fries themselves were fine, though a bit limp. And I reeeeeeally missed the old aioli that was served with them. This version was OK, but not the same.
The Caprese Flatbread, on the other hand, was a thing of sheer beauty. Capitalizing on the bounty of Tomatoes in seasion right now, it was a veritable rainbow of color.
We really enjoyed the Crispy Crust (made in house now) against the simple, locally-sourced topping.
But I’ve saved the best for last!
I’ve told you about Donuts at Territory Lounge before. But this is a culinary phenomenon that never lasts for long. So we seized the opportunity to try the Housemade Donuts with Nutella Dipping Sauce.
These arrive to your table warm from the fryer, and coated liberally in Cinnamon and Sugar.
But break them open, and find they’re filled with Marionberry Jam? Yes pls.
But these things have a way of disappearing FAST from the menu here at TL, so get ’em while they’re…um…hot.
Territory Lounge is pretty consistent as far as Disney food spots go, but with Chef Michael Gonsalves newly at the helm, you can expect more attention to detail and a stronger emphasis on seasonal items.
And though the menu was slightly different this time — and definitely fancier — the dishes, based on comfort foods like pizza, wings, and donuts, were still great pub grub.
Definitely look for more changes here at Territory Lounge, because they ARE coming; but we hope they don’t play too much with the basics. They’re what’s made Territory Lounge a must-visit for me for years.
Do you love Territory Lounge as much as I do? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience here!