Rumor: Yeeha Bob to Perform at The Boathouse in Disney Springs

UPDATE: Please note, at this time Bob Jackson is not schedule to perform at The Boathouse. If anything changes, we’ll update this post accordingly. 

You know, for…like…forever, as Disney food fans we’ve all had our eyes on a couple of major food stories: breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant and the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto have received all the attention lately (well, that, and the rumored news of a possible Jungle Cruise Restaurant coming to the Magic Kingdom).

So, you may be thinking, “Well, that’s it. I guess all the big Disney food news is over for now.”

Not so fast, my friends!! Because now we’re turning our attention to the next presumed restaurant opening in Disney World: The Boathouse, which is anticipated to open sometime in April in Downtown Disney/soon-to-be-Disney-Springs. While we don’t have an exact opening date just yet, we do have some news about one of our favorite Disney performers that may be joining the entertainment line-up.

Concept art for The Boathouse -- Outside View

Concept art for The Boathouse — Outside View

The Boathouse under construction

The Boathouse under construction

You see, in addition to food, The Boathouse is also expected to offer [Read more…]

Review: Tutto Italia Ristorante in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Nestled in Epcot’s Italy pavilion at Walt Disney World, Tutto Italia Ristorante is open for lunch and dinner. Welcome back DFB guest author Rebecca Dolan with a review!

Epcot’s Italy had long been one of our family’s favorite places to dine since we started visiting in the ‘80s. We were huge fans of the pavilion’s original restaurant L’Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante, and were admittedly a little crushed when we heard it was going to be closed and replaced with Tutto Italia. (Yes, this happened like seven years ago, but the wound is still fresh.)

We’ve been back to Tutto a few times since with mixed experiences, so we ventured back a few months ago to give it another go.

Atmosphere

You’ll find Tutto Italia off the Italy pavilion’s central piazza. Enter under the large black awning (that says Tutto Italia, of course). The understated lobby area is small, so be prepared to stand while waiting for a table if it’s crowded. The lobby also connects to the Tutto Gusto wine bar, which makes for a nice place to enjoy an early glass of wine if your wait is long.

Outside Tutto Italia

Outside Tutto Italia

Off the front of the building is a patio with some seating (how very Mediterranean of them) which is great for a balmy Florida evening, though probably less so for a scorching July afternoon. In fact, Tutto Italia is one of the few full-service restaurants along the world showcase to offer outside seating.

Enjoy the chance to dine full-service outside at Epcot

Enjoy the chance to dine full-service outside at Epcot

Inside, the dining room looks much like it did in this building’s previous incarnation as Alfredo’s. Murals still decorate the walls and giant crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling, otherwise it’s lots of dark wood and booths that make the room seem small and crowded.

Inside the no-frills dining room

Inside the no-frills dining room

Eats

The menu features a number of familiar Italian classics like fried calamari, antipasto, lasagne, ravioli, and risotto. For those not into carb-loading at lunch, there are a few meat and fish entrees as well.

Appetizers

Appetizers

Pasta Entrees

Pasta Entrees

Entrees and Children's Menu

Entrees and Children’s Menu

Each meal starts out with a plate of pillowy focaccia bread plus olive oil for dipping and whole green olives for munching. I’m a big fan of the olive oil here, which always seems to be more fruity and flavorful than what I can get in the store.

Focaccia and olives to eat while you look over the menu

Focaccia and olives to eat while you look over the menu

I also took this opportunity to order the “tropical blend” iced tea. I’m not sure how Italian that really is, but I’m a sucker for flavored iced teas and this fruity brew did not disappoint. A glass of sangria, however, had a little too much of some alcohol in the mix, which kept its fruitiness from coming out. We kept trying to ask exactly what was in it to no avail.

Being an Italian family, we can never visit Tutto Italia (or any Italian restaurant for that matter) without ordering the antipasto platter. The version here came piled with cured meats, cheeses, farro salad, artichoke hearts, eggplant caponata, marinated mushrooms, and sweet peppers. It was easily enough to feed four, and could be shared by more depending on your appetites.

The grande antipasto misto

The grande antipasto misto

We also ordered the Fior de Latte mozzarella, which was accompanied by roasted sweet peppers. It was indeed creamy and delicious, but both, as it turned out, were components of the antipasto platter. So, it was unnecessary repetition.

Fior de Latte mozzarella with roasted peppers

Fior de Latte mozzarella with roasted peppers

After finishing our appetizers we put in our entree orders. Curiously, the orders came out less than 10 minutes after we ordered. Sure pasta isn’t exactly time intensive, but the quick turn around made us wonder how much of the meal was pre-prepared. That might have accounted for the fact that much of it was cold. So, you may want to take a bite before your server walks away.

I went for the spaghetti, which came topped with beef and veal meatballs and pomodoro sauce. I rarely order spaghetti and meatballs out since they almost always fail to live up to expectations. And, while this was definitely not my grandmother’s spaghetti, it was better than most restaurant versions I’ve encountered. The sauce was thick and low on chunks (there are few things I hate more than chunky sauce) and the pasta was just firm enough. The meatballs were ok, if a little dense.

Classic spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce

Classic spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce

The penne caprese, topped with tomato sauce and cubes of mozzarella, is similar to the spaghetti. The big difference (aside from the pasta shape, of course) is the sauce that’s lighter tasting and flecked with bits of cherry tomato and basil. Nothing mind blowing, but nothing to complain about.

A heaping plate of penne

A heaping plate of penne

The lasagna was pretty standard, with layers of pasta, chunky meat ragu, and creamy bechamel sauce. Carnivores will appreciate the generous amount of meat tucked between those pasta sheets, but as a cheese lover, I was disappointed that the ricotta and mozzarella cheese I’m used to weren’t there. The flavor was fine, even without the cheese, but between the too-soft pasta and too-much bechamel, the texture was mushy.

Hearty lasagna al forno

Hearty lasagna al forno

The Polenta Valsugana was a big [Read more…]

News: “Frozen Fever” Sweet Treats at Disneyland and Disney World

So… Frozen Fun ends in Disneyland on May 15th, and Frozen Summer Fun LIVE won’t return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios until June 17th. That’s one full Frozen-free month… What’s an Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf fan to do?!?

What will we do when there's no Frozen Fun?!

What will we do when there’s no Frozen Fun?!

Fret not, Frozen fans! In the downtime between the two events, Disney is releasing a few treats in honor of “Frozen Fever,” the film short that can currently be seen on the big screen prior to showings of the live-action “Cinderella” film.

As in the film short, these treats go about the task of celebrating Anna’s birthday… and what’s a birthday celebration without a little cake? Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake is a vanilla cupcake with blue buttercream frosting, topped with marshmallows, snowflake candies, and a white chocolate Olaf.

Anna's Happy Birthday Cupcake

Anna’s Happy Birthday Cupcake ©Disney

At Disneyland, you’ll want to check spots like the Jolly Holiday Bakery, Market House, Pacific Wharf Cafe, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, and The Coffee House.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

While the cupcakes are already available at Disneyland, starting April 8th, Disney World guests can check various eateries scattered across property, in parks and resorts alike. Altogether, twelve restaurants will carry the cupcakes in WDW, including Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, Starring Rolls Cafe and ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios, and Sunshine Seasons and Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Epcot.

Resort restaurants  that will carry the cupcake include BoardWalk Bakery, Beach Club Marketplace, Contempo Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill, Landscape of Flavors and The Mara.

BoardWalk Bakery

BoardWalk Bakery

Looking for something a little more frozen to celebrate the cast of Frozen? Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day features birthday-cake flavored ice cream topped with hot fudge, mint marshmallows, brownie pieces (!), whipped cream, and sprinkles.

Olaf's Perfect Sundae Day ©Disney

Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day ©Disney

Those mint marshmallows look a lot like the ones currently available to enjoy with your Warm Hugs Hot White Hot Cocoa over at Olaf’s Snow Fest in Disneyland!

At Disneyland, the Sundae is available at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Clarabelle’s.

Clarabelle's in Disney California Adventure

Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure

 

And again, starting April 8th, Disney World guests will find it at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Hollywood Scoops, and Beaches & Cream.

Beaches and Cream at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

In a new twist, even a few Table Service restaurants are [Read more…]

Raglan Road Irish Pub Wants to Send YOU to Ireland with Their Master Chef Contest!

One thing is certain: Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant knows how to celebrate!

We recently enjoyed sampling some of Raglan Road’s new menu items. And today, we’ve got some news for you about how they plan to celebrate their upcoming Tenth Anniversary!

The restaurant, located in Downtown Disney Orlando (soon to be Disney Springs), will mark their Tenth Anniversary in October. And to celebrate, they’re hosting a Master Chef Contest that could land YOU in Ireland!

Now through April 21st, amateur cooks are invited to submit “a video featuring an original three-course menu of appetizer, entrée and dessert worthy of the restaurant’s 10th anniversary celebration.”

Raglan Road’s Master Chef Kevin Dundon will judge entries and choose five finalists on April 28.

Raglan Road Contest Pic

Finalists will all win an all-expenses-paid trip to Ireland! They’ll fly to the Emerald Isle on May 21 and stay at [Read more…]

News! Jungle Cruise Restaurant May Be Coming to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

We first brought you news that a new restaurant was coming to Adventureland a while back. And today, there’s more buzz that the rumor may be fact!

Jungle Cruise Eats? Sign Me UP!!!

Jungle Cruise Eats? Sign Me UP!!!

The folks over at Orlando Weekly and WDW News Today have been reporting on some GREAT news for Adventureland Fans! While initial reports we were hearing firsthand indicated that a new restaurant would be a New Orleans-themed, a la Princess and the Frog…it may be that something EVEN BETTER is coming instead. Because the area just may actually be themed after the Jungle Cruise!

Do You Think Any of the Specialties from the Crew Mess will Make It to the Skipper's Cantina Menu??

Do You Think Any of the Specialties from the Crew Mess will Make It to the Menu??

The whole thing would take place at the old Adventureland Veranda, which served as a restaurant for years – with Kikkoman as a corporate sponsor. Here’s an awesome photo by Widen Your World that shows the old signage.

Old Adventureland Terrace Sign, Courtesy of

Old Adventureland Veranda Sign, Courtesy of Omniluxe.net

But most recently, the veranda has been used as a character Meet and Greet with Tinkerbell and her Fairy Friends. (Tink and Co. have since flitted over to the Main Street Theater, where you can catch them, along with Mickey and other characters, for aaaaaalllll of your photo op needs.) These days, you’ll frequently spy Peter Pan and Wendy here.

But now, it would seem that this new opening is definitely linked to the switcheroo we told you about last week, when Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace swapped real estate (and treats). You can find all of your favorite Dole Whip Delicacies at the new Aloha Isle location, while the new Sunshine Tree Terrace continues to offer Citrus Swirls (and it’s pretty busy there, too, if our trip through the area the other day is any indication.)

But back to the restaurant. The backstory for the new spot may include a retreat for Jungle Cruise skippers, or even a secondary source of income for them!

After a Day of Dodging These Guys, It Will Be Great to Kick Back and Grab Some Grub!

After a Day of Dodging These Guys, It Will Be Great to Kick Back and Grab Some Grub!

Ahhhh...Jungle Waterfalls

Do you think we’ll be able to dine while viewing the backside of water?

Perhaps the spot will be similar to Be Our Guest Restaurant, in that it will offer counter service lunch (or quick service, more accurately) and table service dinner.

So another great question — will any of the fun drinks that we associate with the now defunct Adventurer’s Club, or Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian (I’m counting the days ’til it opens later this month!!!) OR Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar be on the menu?

Schweitzer Falls at Trader Sam's Tiki Bar

Schweitzer Falls — a non-alcoholic drink at Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar

After all, Disney broke the long-standing tradition of no alcohol in Magic Kingdom with the inclusion of beer and wine on the Be Our Guest Dinner Menu. We’ll anxiously await the answer to this one. :-)

Wonder if Trader Sam Will Be a Frequent Visitor?

Wonder if Trader Sam Will Be a Frequent Visitor?

While we look for answers to the many, many, MANY questions this news brings up, if the rumors are true we anticipate the new restaurant could open as early as late 2015.

Are you as excited as I am about this HUGE rumor/news out of Magic Kingdom today?? Leave a comment and tell me if you think it’s a good idea…

Source: Orlando Weekly, WDW News Today, WDW Theme Parks

News: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Fun Options at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

St. Patrick’s Day is TODAY! (Are you wearing green??) And if you’re looking to join in the celebration of all things Irish, we have some great suggestions for observing the holiday at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District!

Say cheers with green beer!

Say Cheers with Green Beer!

Whether you’re after delicious St. Paddy’s Day-inspired dishes, or entertainment to stoke the festive spirit, here’s what you need to know to celebrate the Luck o’ the Irish at the popular spot!

Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar started the party earlier! During the entire month of March, guests can enjoy their homestyle Corned Beef Reuben served on a rustic Marble Rye Roll. The sandwich comes with Uva’s Garlic Shoestring French Fries. Pair the platter with Red Trolley Irish Red Ale by Karl Strauss.

Shaved Corned Beef Reuben

Shaved Corned Beef Reuben and Trolley Irish Red Ale at Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar

Crossroads Restaurant at House of Blues will offer lots of options for hungry guests in search of a hearty Irish feast. Look for menu additions such as Corned Beef Sliders, Cheese Soup featuring Guinness, Fish and Chips, and a Reuben Sandwich made in the traditional style with Corned Beef. Add [Read more…]

Guest Review: Bistrot Chez Rémy at Disneyland Paris

Join us in welcoming Guest Author Mark Zambrano with a review from Disneyland Paris. Today, he takes us to the brand new Bistrot Chez Rémy!

Welcome to Chez Remy

Welcome to Chez Remy

Bistrot Chez Rémy is the new 370 seat table service restaurant located on La Place de Rémy at Walt Disney Studios Park, the largest in Disneyland Paris.

Immaculately themed with Disney details around every bend, this rat-sized addition to Disneyland Paris is a fantastic chance to step inside the wonderful world of Ratatouille.

Atmosphere

Follow the signs from Toy Story Playland to La Place de Rémy, where roofs are crowded with crooked chimneys, classic Parisian street lamps line the cobblestone streets, and hidden Rémy’s abound.

Imagineers seemed to have spared no expense creating this “Pixar Paris” that transports guests to the City of Light right in the middle of a Disney Park.

Remy Lamp Post

Adjacent to the incredible new ride, Ratatouille: The Adventure – L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, is Bistrot Chez Rémy, serving French food with flare and shrinking diners to the size of Rémy & Co. with the help of some very oversized furniture, cutlery, and other accoutrements.

Chez Rémy Sign

Chez Rémy Sign

Bistrot Chez Rémy Outdoor Awning

Bistrot Chez Rémy Outdoor Awning

Chez Rémy Door Detail

Chez Rémy Door Detail

As soon as you walk through the door of Chez Rémy, you are immersed in Ratatouille. From Chef Gusteau’s Golden Fork award, Rémy’s honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts, Anton Ego’s famous critique or the famed “Anyone Can Cook!” cookbook, the walls are awash with memorabilia to set the mood.

Make sure to pay special attention as you walk past the check in desk – you might just spy a 5 euro note framed on the wall. It’s the tip left by Chez Rémy’s very first customer!

Chez Rémy Check In Podium

Chez Rémy Check In Podium

Chez Rémy Podium Up Close

Chez Rémy Podium Up Close

Chez Rémy Waiting Area

Chez Rémy Waiting Area

Chez Rémy Waiting Area Seating

Chez Rémy Waiting Area Seating

Chez Rémy Decor

Chez Rémy Decor

Chez Rémy

Chez Rémy

Chez Rémy Wall Decor

Chez Rémy Wall Decor

Chez Rémy Lobby Decor

Chez Rémy Lobby Decor

Continue on to the dining room where champagne corks serve as stools, giant plates divide the booths and lights come courtesy of candles on spoons. Tropical drink umbrellas add flare to jelly topped tables, Christmas lights hang through giant copper pots on the ceiling and measuring spoons dress the walls with tacks.

You can tell great pains were taken to replicate the final scene of the movie to a T. As we were guided to our table (AKA the top of a sardine can), we barely had enough time to take it all in.

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Table

Chez Rémy Table

Chez Rémy Tables

Chez Rémy Tables

Chez Rémy Table and Decor

Chez Rémy Table and Decor

Chez Rémy Dining Room Details

Chez Rémy Dining Room Details

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Lighting

Chez Rémy Lighting

Chez Rémy Decor Detail

Chez Rémy Decor Detail

Chez Rémy Seating Areas

Chez Rémy Seating Areas

Eats

Our bottle cap chairs were surprisingly comfortable as we perused the menu – all prix fixe with the exception of dessert, if you so choose. While offerings are limited, there should be something for everyone on the menu – including vegetarians. The dish made famous by [Read more…]

News! Enjoy “Eat Local Week” in Disney World

Fun news for those of you visiting Disney World this week!

EatLocalWeek Orlando Logo

Slow Food Orlando is sponsoring Eat Local Week in The City Beautiful — and it’s happening right now!

While the event showcases eating, drinking, and shopping local throughout the Central Florida Region, there are opportunities to celebrate local growers and producers by dining in some of our favorite Disney Restaurants.

Enjoy menus featuring locally-sourced ingredients all this week, showcasing ingredients from Florida farms, ranches, and fisheries.

And the list of participating Disney restaurants includes some of our tried and true favorites. Choose from The Wave…of American Flavors or California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We’ve enjoyed delicious seasonal dishes in both.

California Grill view

A Beautiful View and the Season’s Best Flavors at California Grill

At Disney’s Grand Floridian, dine slow-food style at the beautiful Citricos. Or hop over to Disney’s BoardWalk for dinner at Flying Fish Cafe — hands down, one of my absolute favorite spots! (Read our latest review of Flying Fish here.)

Crab Cake

The Flying Fish Cafe is Always an Excellent Choice, Especially for Seafood, Like Their Killer Crabcakes

But we aren’t finished! Yachtsman Steakhouse, known for perfectly prepared steaks and seasonally-inspired sides, will also be participating. Finally, end your Eat Local tour at [Read more…]

Guest Review: Disney Cruise Line’s Remy

Join us in welcoming back Victoria Kabakian! She’s treating us to a review of the ultra-posh Remy — a Disney Cruise Line fine-dining restaurant.

Welcome to Remy

Welcome to Remy

The crème de la crème of Disney Cruise Line dining is without a doubt Remy, the Ratatouille inspired restaurant on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. On a recent cruise on the Disney Fantasy, I finally got to check out the “other” adults-only dining option from Disney Cruise Line.

The classic ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) only feature Palo, a wonderful Italian restaurant inspired by Venice, but the two newer ships have also added this French culinary experience deriving half its menu from Chef Scott Hunnel from Walt Disney World’s Victoria & Albert’s and half from Chef Arnaud Lallement from L’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Tinqueux, France, to create a gastronomic collaboration that is worth every penny (and calorie).

Atmosphere

Located on deck 12 aft (that’s the ship’s rear end for you land-lubbers), Remy is the ultimate tribute to the most perfect “little chef” there ever was. Even before entering the main dining room, two of the wines that are featured in the film Ratatouille are displayed in the wine case: a 1961 Château Latour (featured in the scene where Chef Skinner and Linguini are drinking in the office) and a 1947 Cheval Blanc (featured in the restaurant review scene with Anton Ego). And by the way, you can actually purchase these wines at Remy from their wine vault if you’d like. They cost $13,000 and $25,000 respectively.

1961 Château Latour

1961 Château Latour

1947 Cheval Blanc

1947 Cheval Blanc

Wine vault

Wine vault

Past the wine display is the intimate and elegant dining room, with windows stretching from end to end. This is truly the perfect setting for enjoying a view of the sunset during your meal. In fact we did, and trust me, it was stunning.

The view from our table

The view from our table

Sunset

Sunset

Details featuring Remy and his brother Emile can be found throughout the main dining room. Remy is found hidden in glass atop one of the vibrant chandeliers. He is carved in wood on the backs of chairs. Remy and Emile are stitched into the fabric of the booths and their figures frame every mirror in the space.

Remy atop one of the lighting chandeliers

Remy atop one of the lighting chandeliers

Rat detail on the back of a chair

Rat detail on the back of a chair

Part of the gorgeous dining room

Part of the gorgeous dining room

Rats stitched onto a booth

Rats stitched onto a booth

Remy on one side of a mirror

Remy on one side of a mirror

And his brother Emile on the other side

And his brother Emile on the other side

Upon further exploration, there are two additional dining rooms: a small wine room and of course the beloved Gusteau room, which is a replica of Gusteau’s restaurant in Ratatouille and even features a painting depicting the kitchen at Gusteau’s. A hand-woven carpet (one of three on the ship — the others are found in the atrium and the bridge where the ship is navigated). We’re told it took several months to create.

The Gusteau Room

The Gusteau Room

The hand-woven carpet is a focal point

The hand-woven carpet is a focal point

The painting of Gusteau’s kitchen

The painting of Gusteau’s kitchen

Eats

Although Remy also offers a Champagne brunch (at a $50 surcharge) on sea days, on this recent cruise we decided to splurge on dinner (a $75 surcharge plus $99 more if you add the wine experience, which we did not). First and foremost, the meal begins with a very special Champagne cocktail inspired by a very special character in the film, Colette.

 

The Colette

The Colette

The Colette is prepared tableside and includes a bit of strawberry, a mint leaf, some Absolut Pears, and Taittinger Champagne. By mixing the Champagne with a spirit, the bubbles dissipate, but by adding a small bit of dried apricot at the end, it creates an effervescent effect that mimics the natural bubbles in Champagne. It’s like a fun magic trick that you get to drink. Cheers.

Tableside preparation of the Colette cocktail

Tableside preparation of the Colette cocktail

After the strawberry and mint, they add the Absolut Pears

After the strawberry and mint, they add the Absolut Pears

Taittinger Champagne

Taittinger Champagne

Adding the bubbly

Adding the bubbly

The dried apricot replaces the lost bubbles

The dried apricot replaces the lost bubbles

The finished product

The finished product

Even before menus are presented, another taste of apparent magic hits your plates. The amuse bouche is a small sphere of deep-fried tomato soup. How is it made, you ask? Well after guessing that it’s prepared similarly to the way Chinese soup dumplings are made (using gelatinized broth in the filling, which then essentially melts when its heated), our amazing server Guiseppe confirmed that my suspicions were on the right track. How does it taste? Like deep-fried tomato soup, and oh so good.

Deep Fried Tomato Soup

Deep Fried Tomato Soup

A selection of fresh breads including tiny baguettes, multi-grain, and caramelized onion brioche are offered up next along with creamy butter from Vermont and sea salt from Bordeaux in France. The baguettes feature the perfect sound that Colette describes in the film as being a sign of great French bread. It has that crackle and that perfect taste and texture. The brioche is delicate and rich, another classic French creation. The multi-grain is the only bread I didn’t try.

The rat-detailed bread plate

The rat-detailed bread plate

Bread Selection

Bread Selection

Butter and Sea Salt

Butter and Sea Salt

The menu is divided in half with two tasting menus (with a la carte options as well so you can easily mix and match). The Saveur menu (meaning “flavor” in French) is created by Lallement, while the Goût menu (meaning “taste”) is created by Hunnel. Both are exquisite options, and while my sister opted to stick to the Goût side of the menu, I tried a little bit of each.

Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

Our next treat from the chef before starting our official first course is langoustine with lobster bisque and lettuce reduction. The bite of langoustine is perfectly tender and succulent atop the super flavorful mound of bisque. The flavor of the sea really shines through here, creating a lovely start to this very special meal.

Langoustine with lobster bisque and lettuce reduction

Langoustine with lobster bisque and lettuce reduction

For our first course, we both selected the Wagyu carpaccio with ratatouille, basil coulis, 8 year aged Modena balsamic, and Parmesan crisps. The cold ratatouille is actually hidden underneath paper-thin layers of one of the world’s most famous beefs. The soft textures of the beef and ratatouille are offset by the Parmesan crisps, while the basil coulis and aged balsamic each provide contrasting nuances of herbaceous freshness and sweetness.

Wagyu Carpaccio

Wagyu Carpaccio

Ratatouille hidden underneath

Ratatouille hidden underneath

For our second course we tried the scallop crusted with masago (Japanese pearl rice) and served with a curried coconut broth, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy. The scallop itself is the largest scallop I’ve ever seen in my life. It is perfectly cooked, still soft and slightly under in the center, with a lovely crisp texture on the exterior from the masago. The curried broth is so full of flavor, I wanted to tip the edge of the bowl directly into my mouth and slurp. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Anton Ego wouldn’t approve of that behavior!

Scallop with curried coconut broth

Scallop with curried coconut broth

Our third course is a polenta and chicken egg yolk stuffed ravioli served over a mixture of corn, black barley and poulet rouge topped with a sweet corn emulsion. This course truly encompasses the chicken AND the egg. I love the sweetness in this dish from the three different uses of corn (polenta in the filling, and corn in the base and in the emulsion). The chewiness from the black barley adds a great textural element, and of course the oozing yolk is the highlight of the dish.

Ravioli

Ravioli

Mmmmm, runny yolk!

Mmmmm, runny yolk!

My sister’s entrée from the Goût side of the menu is onion ash and black Hawaiian salt dusted lamb medallions, asparagus, marble potatoes, and pickled onions. The meat is succulent with a very unique flavor from that onion ash dusting. My sister only spared me one bite (but it was a wonderful bite) and she couldn’t stop swooning about her choice. It really is a lovely dish.

Lamb

Lamb

My entrée from the Saveur side of the menu is cold smoked and pan-roasted Wagyu beef with carrot puree, baby carrots, an orb (thanks, molecular gastronomy) filled with more carrot puree and braised short rib, spinach coulis, and served with a tableside drizzle of Bourguignon sauce. The beef is cooked perfectly and is so utterly tender. The bit of carrot puree and braised short rib that is encapsulated on the dish (not too visible in the picture, unfortunately) is a really neat surprise. It almost bursts in your mouth with sweet carrot puree and then that delicious meatiness that is short ribs. Oh yes. No regrets.

Wagyu Beef

Wagyu Beef

At this point because we were here for my birthday (belated, but still worth celebrating!) the chef actually came out and took a photo with us and then signed personalized menus for us. What a great treat!

Personalized signed menu

Personalized signed menu

Next it’s time for the famous Remy cheese [Read more…]

News! Planet Hollywood Will Be Re-imagined to Fit the Disney Springs Look

If you’ve found your parking spot by using Planet Hollywood’s giant globe-meets-spaceship as a landmark, get ready for a change.

As we mentioned in a previous post, we now have confirmation that the iconic restaurant will be undergoing a major transformation in the near future. The makeover will take place to ensure that the restaurant’s decor is consistent with the rest of Disney Springs. (Read more about the transformation of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs here.)

The star-themed eatery will transform into Planet Hollywood Observatory, and will be modeled after a turn of the century (20th century, that is) observatory, a feature that a town might have had at the time.

The new motif will incorporate a high-tech planetarium inside, thus enabling guests to “dine among the stars.”

But if you’re sad to see the Hollywood memorabilia go, don’t be. Much of it will stay put, as the restaurant and lounge will still feature props and costumes from film. In addition, large movie screens will play movie features as you dine. (You can take a look at the current atmosphere and menu in our review here.)

Entrance to Planet Hollywood

Current Planet Hollywood

The outside area will also transform with brick surrounds, and the pole that has hosted the neon “Planet Hollywood” sign will be turned into a [Read more…]