Welcome back to Club 33! A visit to the exclusive members-only restaurant just so happens to be on the Disney Bucket List for Disney fans world over, which is exactly why it’s #OnTheList this week.
Ever wonder what’s behind the door?
Then let’s step in…
Club 33 is discreetly located next door to the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, and much has changed here in just a short time. The venue was entirely renovated in 2014 (you can read a history of the space featuring the original location here). Even amidst the changes that come with a major renovation, it remains true that Club 33 is only open to members and their guests.
Of course, the door you see in the photos above is just the first of two. Guests ring that iconic doorbell to get into the check-in area, and then are led up the stairway.
Once you reach the top you encounter the second door, leading into where you will dine.
Upon entering, you discover that the setting is most certainly dressed to impress (though you don’t have to be — while there is a dress code, it falls along the “business casual” lines).
Again, though much has changed, pieces of history from the original location have been incorporated into the more recent design. For instance, the lift that used to bring guests upstairs to the original Club 33 was converted into a table for one in the Salon lounge.
The Club 33 Trophy Room Vulture made the trip to the newer setting as well.
Many of the well-appointed tables offer a view of New Orleans Square…
… and invite you to sit and enjoy this storied setting while indulging in some Club 33 cuisine.
You may recall our previous review of the lunch buffet, so I was thrilled to finally have the chance to try the Four-Course Brunch. Brunch isn’t offered on a regular basis, but on special occasions at Club 33.
Of course, what is brunch without a traditional brunch cocktail? Choices include the Club 33 Signature Bloody Marys and other “Classic Morning Cocktails.”
I selected a drink from the “Juice Balls” selections. The Bay Breeze included Ayelsbury Duck Vodka, pineapple, and a splash of cranberry juice. The menu explains that the Juice Balls are a family of familiar drinks, but the versions served are specific to Club 33.
This shaken cocktail resulted in a terrific foam on the top layer along with a nice blend of the fresh juices.
The Royal Street Mimosa is not exactly your typical mimosa, as it features Louis Roederrer Cristal Brut Champagne (ooh la la!).
Additionally, a beautiful croissant bread basket with fresh strawberries and homemade butter was placed on every table, which we enjoyed while perusing the brunch menu.
The four-course brunch experience includes your choices of an appetizer, salad and soup, entree and dessert. Note that the menu will change regularly based on what is locally available.
The Shaved Virginia Ham, Pineapple, Fresno Chili and Black Garlic offered a beautifully-plated start to the meal, featuring a wonderful mix of smokey, spicy and sweet flavors.
The Sautéed Asparagus with Ricotta Cheese Dumplings, Lamb Bacon and Pea Tendrils consists of four ricotta cheese dumplings that are crispy on the outside with a soft, cheesy inside. The asparagus heads, lamb bacon and pea tendrils are sautéed together on top, with the lamb bacon presenting a surprisingly strong and unique flavor that paired very nicely with the ricotta.
The second course features soup and salad (no choices to make here — there is one of each per the offerings). The salad on my visit was a mix of Red Frill Mustard Greens, Watercress and Green Beans with a Buttermilk Avocado Dressing.
This peppery salad was served light on the buttermilk avocado dressing (which is almost unfortunate, because it was a delicious touch!).
The unique Chilled Champagne Melon Soup is made with lemon olive oil sorbet and petit basil.
The champagne base was quite pronounced in the soup, and the lemon olive oil sorbet lent a citrus twist to the otherwise melon-heavy soup.
Entree choices included both breakfast and lunch selections, each with their own unique twist. Though the options were primarily savory, I couldn’t resist trying the decadent and sweet Creme Brûlée French Toast with Fresh Blackberries and Whipped Mascarpone.
The fresh bread is dipped in a Creme Brûlée flavored batter, allowing the vanilla and coffee flavors to jump out. But it’s the mascarpone — resembling an extra-whipped, flavorful cream cheese — that really made the dish for me.
The table also ordered the Braised Pork Roulade with Cheesy Grits and Wilted Southern Greens.
The thick-cut, tender pork is served in a rich au jus (gorgeous!!!). The grits are served as a patty, and the creamy texture paired wonderfully with the pork.
As a huge fan of all-things-lemon, I went with the Meyer Lemon Strawberry Tart with Lemon Gelée and Strawberry Sorbet for dessert.
The meyer lemon definitely gave this dish a sweetness as opposed to a more typical lemon tang, while the tart was topped off with fresh strawberries and served on a strawberry puree.
The other dessert choice was the Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and “decadent” is definitely the operative word, with the mousse sitting on top of a cake that was so rich and dense it seemed closer to a brownie. The choice of dark chocolate kept everything from being overly sweet, as did the hint of salt in the ice cream.
Another lovely end to another lovely meal at Club 33.
Club 33 is steeped in Disney history, especially since it was near and dear to Walt’s own heart as part of his original vision for hosting friends and business associates at Disneyland. (Unfortunately, Walt died six months prior to the original location’s opening.) For this reason — along with some seriously stunning cuisine — a meal at Club 33 is on many a Disney fan’s Bucket List, and it still feels like a true privilege any time I get to visit. The more recent Brunch offering was no exception to the rule! And, as always, the Club 33 Cast Members are gracious and personable, going out of their way to make sure guests are having a one-of-a-kind experience that never fails to impress.
Altogether, the words that were previously written on the history of the original location still ring true: “Tradition, accompanied by gracious hospitality, has been the hallmark of of Club 33 since its opening day… and will continue to be for many years to come.”
Do you dream of dining at Club 33? Please let us know with a comment!