We’re back at The BOATHOUSE for dinner today on DFB!
(And you’re gonna have to pardon me. Because I know it’s called The BOATHOUSE — but all those caps get a little tiresome, IMO. So I hope it’s ok with you if I write it all normally and stuff from here on out.)
So, here’s what happened. I had some time to kill on a recent holiday trip to Walt Disney World one evening. I found myself hungry and without an advance dining reservation when I remembered the excellent lunch that I’d had at The Boathouse.
That hadn’t been the only DFB trip to the restaurant. While we enjoyed our first visit and look around the place, we definitely walked away with a mild case of sticker shock. Our second lunch time visit, during which we checked out both the lunch and bar menu, yielded a much more enjoyable experience. We found some truly delicious fare at a far lower price point.
So — it seemed like a good time to check back in, and see if we could work the same hocus pocus on the dinner hour — a meal at The Boathouse that didn’t require a small loan to afford. Did we succeed? Let’s check it out.
You’ll find The Boathouse sort of anchoring The Landing area in Disney Springs. As you travel through the shops on your way from West Side to Marketplace along the water side, you can’t miss it.
The restaurant is much larger than it looks from the outside, with four separate dining rooms and three different bars.
I’m still waiting for my turn to sit here… . Anyone want to join me?
Of course, The Boathouse’s other claim to fame are the vintage Amphicars that ply the waterways outside of the restaurant.
Please be sure to head over to our account of our first visit to see an extensive tour of the space. This time, we’re going to focus on just a couple of areas.
All of our other visits to The Boathouse have taken place during the day, so I thought you might like to see the restaurant at night. As I mentioned above, there are three separate bars here — and I’m showing you two of them! Here’s the Dockside Bar, which is situated right on the water. It’s a beautiful spot for enjoying a drink or even a full meal.
And this brings me to another point: I’ve had no trouble getting a table at The Boathouse as a walk up. I’d imagine that unless you are dining at a peak time of day, or during a particularly busy time of the year, you’ll probably find a similar situation.
This time, I opted once more to sit in the Main Bar. It really does look much different at night here, when natural light isn’t streaming down from above. It gave me a chance to notice details, like the backlighting above the bar.
Also worth noting were the white tablecloths that appear on tables for dinner service. It definitely has a fancier feel than daytime.
The bar also continues to feature live music. These guys were great! And isn’t that fluffy white Christmas tree gorgeous?
Like I said, please be sure to check out that first review if you’d like the full tour. I was more interested in food than sightseeing on this most recent visit. Let’s check out the options.
It seemed to me that the menu was very similar to what I had encountered the last time. Things are just arranged a little differently.
Raw Bar items appear at the top left, and you’ll also find Salads and Appetizers (“Launch”). There were also Dock Side Buckets, which are fried items served with French Fries on the side.
Further down the menu, I found Fish Features and Sandwiches.
Sea & Shore and Steaks, Chops, & Provisions feature the higher priced items. We did note that the Tomahawk Rib Chop and the Niman Ranch Heritage Pork Chop aren’t currently on the menu — making the “Chops” part of the menu seem a little odd. In fact, the red meat options also seem slimmed down across the board.
In addition to other Raw Bar options, there was a large variety of Oysters, priced per piece.
A list of Chef’s Dailies featured a few Fresh Catch and Market-Priced Options, including Caviar. Sweet!
We had no trouble arriving at a decision fairly quickly. To begin, we opted for the Firecracker Shrimp. The Shrimp are tossed in a Sriracha Mayo and are sprinkled with Black and White Sesame Seeds.
I’d fallen in love with the firecracker shrimp over at Yak & Yeti on my earlier visit, so I couldn’t wait to try the dish here. It wasn’t a disappointment. In fact, it was probably my favorite dish of the night! So, note to self, always order firecracker shrimp on any menu! ;-D
I had enjoyed the Gibsons “Sandwich King” Burger tremendously on my previous visit, so I was confident in the restaurant’s ability to handle Turf as well as Surf. This time, I splurged, and went for the NY Steak.
It was topped with Maitre d’ Butter and Roasted Garlic, and came with a hearty helping of Hand Cut Fries.
While the steak was a little thinner than I might have liked it, the meat was cooked perfectly. This dish was a winner overall, and backs up the many, many claims I’ve heard of the Boathouse being a favorite for steaks.
But the fries — exquisite. Don’t they look amazing? I know — how often does one rave about french fries? But these took some serious effort to stop eating!
My friend and I decided to stretch the two courses with some of The Boathouse’s generous side dishes. All side dishes are listed as big enough to share. And truly, they are.
I had really enjoyed the Shrimp and Andouille Mac and Cheese (sans Shrimp) during a previous visit, so I tried the plain Mac and Cheese this time. The look of this stuff reminds me of Velveeta Mac and Chese, which you may love or hate. I, personally, love it. So I have good associations already with the Boathouse mac. And the taste is great on this one as well. Good, savory (seriously, how can some mac and cheese options be so tasteless?? But they ARE, right??) flavors on this one, and the creamy texture is just what you’re looking for. So this is going to be a good choice if you’re in a mac and cheese mood.
I normally can’t resist Truffle Fries, so we had an order of those as well! They’re served with a tangy Lemon Aioli for dipping. Again, more excellent french fries (I’ll have to ask how they get them so good). But, oddly, I enjoyed the non-flavored ones more than the truffle version on this evening.
And yep — you’re reading that right. $40. For a bunch of rocky road ice cream with some marshmallow fluff on top and some hershey bars. It is NOT Baked Alaska. I seriously canNOT believe it’s still on the menu. I guess enough people order one for the table to keep it around. As far as I’m concerned — SO not worth it.
And to add insult to injury, the other desserts are SO SO GOOD! So why would you spend $40 on a crappy one when you could get four of the amazing ones for the same price?!? Don’t do it, people. Don’t get sucked into the Baked Alaska scam here. OK, rant over.
There is also a very impressive selection of Whiskey and Scotch to indulge in as well.
As much as I love that Key Lime, it was time to try something new. First, we chose the New York Style Blueberry Cheesecake. The dressed up version of this classic is topped with Cinnamon Streusel and lots of Blueberries. This was good, but the Key Lime is WAY better.
Speaking of Streusel, I couldn’t pass up one of my comfort food favorites, Warm Apple Crisp. This version is topped with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce.
I mean, seriously. You can KEEP all your fancy desserts. Give me this right here any day of the week. It was fantastic. On a par with the Key Lime. So get both!
Perfect ending to a terrific meal.
Every visit to The Boathouse has gotten better.
This spot is still a bit of a headscratcher, though. At least as far as price goes. I mean, this is a Disney Dining Plan Two Credit spot. And I get it, if your tastes run to Filet Mignon Oscar Style. But seriously — there are GREAT meals here that are far more reasonable, and are, pricewise, on par with One Credit Table Service spots. In a nutshell, the menu is AAAALLLLL over the place when it comes to price, for what it’s worth.
As for quality, I continue to recommend it. I was a little afraid that it wouldn’t live up to the hype initially, but a year and a half later, and I have to tell you — I think they’re settling in nicely.
Oh, and when it comes to service, this place is still great. I’ve been well taken care of on all of my visits here — even when sitting in the bar. So, really, I gotta hand it to the Boathouse!
But I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts! Has The Boathouse become a favorite Disney Springs Dining Spot for you? Leave a comment and let us know what you think below!