Risotto Around the World

Ah…time to talk about one of my very favorite side dishes EVER!!! Risotto is often overlooked, but the creamy savory goodness that is risotto could easily take center stage in a dish (and does in some of these highlighted below)! Disney chefs have mastered the art of making this slow-cooked yumminess — rice patiently mixed with flavorful broth — and whether it’s mixed with meat, fish, or vegetables, risotto doubles as as a sophisticated recipe and mouth-watering, comfort food.

I was looking through our Disney Food Blog Flickr group and saw so many gorgeous photos of risotto that I simply had to do a post about this dark horse side dish. (Of course, I’ve added a few of my own photos as well…;-D.)

Let’s take a tour around the world…

Butternut Squash Risotto from Artist Point

This butternut squash risotto topped with pork belly is easily in my “top 5″ risottos in Disney World. Offered at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge, the hint of sweet from the squash and tartness courtesy of the cranberry drizzle create amazing (and memorable!) flavors. Sigh. I miss it.

butternut squash risotto

Dungeness Crab Risotto with Blood Orange Sauce and Pea Shoots; from Artist Point

This ample portion of risotto is mixed handsomely with crab creating a decadent appetizer. (Looks amazing!!!) Dishes at Artist Point tend to change seasonally, yet Dungeness crab seems to be used in many dishes — like these crab cakes we highlighted earlier this week!
(Photographer: Roger Weeks)

Dungeness Crab Risotto

Mushroom “Risotto” (in reality this is white corn, but I love that they made a “risotto” out of it), served along side Seared Bison with, Turnips, Chestnuts, and Pinot Noir Juniper Emulsion; from California Grill

This striking presentation from the California Grill has a slight [Read more…]

Review: Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Editor’s Note: The Buffalo strip is now a three meat combo of buffalo steak, venison loin, and wild game sausage.

There are some signature dining restaurants in Disney World that really don’t get mentioned very much, and are held in the shadow of greats like California Grill and Victoria & Albert’s.

Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge is one of these, but it’s actually the perfect spot if you’re looking for a quiet, out-of-the-way restaurant where you can enjoy some truly innovative eats.

Over the past several years I’ve dined at Artist Point four times and while my first visit was a rocky start, the subsequent three visits have been delightful. I’d love to hear YOUR comments about Artist Point!

Atmosphere

Artist Point, because of it’s location in the Wilderness Lodge, is themed to the American Northwest. You can expect Craftsman furniture, a slightly art deco feel, and sturdy, simple decor.

Entry

Entryway

Restaurant dining room

The artwork is the true draw in the main dining room at Artist Point (natch). The walls sport gorgeous murals by celebrated artist Thomas Moran, who is noted for his “larger-than-life interpretations of the West during the late 1800’s.”

Smaller paintings were inspired by Albert Bierstadt works. Bierstadt sketched landscapes of the [Read more…]

Best Disney Soups

We threw out an inquiry asking for favorite Disney soups and got back a crockful of great ideas! Soups are satisfying meals and hearty snacks and can really warm you up on a chilly park day. Disney’s been working overtime creating memorable ones!

The Best Disney Soups

Thanks to our DFB readers and Facebook Friends for sharing their soup suggestions via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page!

Gorgonzola Onion Soup with Pear and Bacon Garnish at Grand Floridian Cafe

The hands down favorite soup mentioned was the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup at Epcot’s Le Cellier. Honorable mentions go to the soup selection at Boma and the French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France.

Let’s take a look at the winners, then drool over the runners-up and a few of my own new favorites!

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Made with Moosehead beer and bacon, the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup is one of the reasons you should secure a coveted reservation at Le Cellier!

Sooth your soup craving and try the Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe at home.

Cheddar Cheese Soup at Le Cellier Steakhouse

Kathy B. exclaims “It is the BOMB!!!”

Margaret C. even has a cost-saving tip. She suggests [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Cupcakes at Main St. Bakery

Welcome to the SUPERBOWL EDITION of the Disney Food Post Round-Up!!

Does this mean that these articles are particularly football-related? No. But it does mean that I’m probably prepping to watch some football while you’re reading!! ;-) Here we go!!

Disney Food News

Get your news hot and fresh this week!

  • Watching the Big Game in WDW? Check out some Super Bowl eats! Main Street Bakery is even offering those Pats and Giants cupcakes you see in the pic! (Thanks to @PlazaandMainSt for the photo!)
  • Flavorful popcorn (including test flavors) are popping up around the Disney Parks. There’s also Vinylmation Popcorns coming up soon!
  • Disneyland Cupcakes are back in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney! Yummy pictures included. ;-)
  • Earl of Sandwich has a new “for a limited time” french dip sandwich! Check out a photo here!
  • The Landscape of Flavors food court at Art of Animation resort will open this summer! Check out these newly revealed menu items!
  • There’s lots of news from Raglan Road at Downtown Disney including St. Patrick’s Day luncheon with Chef Kevin Dundon and new gluten free items on the menu!

For more sweet and savory food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book

The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book is proving invaluable to food-lovers headed to Disney World!!

We couldn’t fit this detailed information into our overview book, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, so we’ve created an entire guide detailing over 70 Magic Kingdom snacks!

You’ll see photos, reviews, costs, and Disney Dining Plan snack credit information about each featured snack! Be sure to check out http://DFBMiniGuides.com for details about the e-Book, sample pages, and even a list of the bonus items in the book!

To grab a 20% discount today, use code MAGIC at the check-out!! We hope you enjoy!

And don’t forget to pick up the 250-page, picture-packed DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining while you’re at it! :-) Thanks for supporting the Disney Food Blog!

On to the Round-Up

Yesterland bids farewell to Bur-r-r-bank Ice Cream in Disney California Adventure.

WildernessLodgeSite.com makes the Artist Point’s Berry Cobbler. Yum!

Main Street Gazette heads to Sunshine Seasons for a vegetarian review of the S’mores Brownie.

Orlando Sentinel talks turkey — and confirms that those popular turkey legs being served in the parks are definitely not emu legs.

AllEars.Net‘s Deb Wills reviews eats at the Magic Kingdom and Contemporary Resort.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World takes a look at new adult beverages in Epcot’s World Showcase!

a Mouse and a Dream discovers sweet potato fries at Cafe’ Orleans in Disneyland. Thanks to DFB reader Alex for letting me know about this site!

Have a great week!! May the best team win ;-)

Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]

The Legend of Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Welcome guest author Kevin Carpenter who brings us the back-story of the Wilderness Lodge Resort’s Artist Point. Kevin works in professional soccer and has contributed to Celebrations Magazine and ESPN Cleveland. You can follow him on twitter at @kejcarpenter. Thanks, Kevin, for taking us back in time…

Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge remains one of the most popular destinations for a fine dining experience on Disney property. Whether it is the restaurant’s ambience or famous berry cobbler, guests have flocked to Artist Point since its opening.

Yet few know Disney’s “official” backstory for the resort’s flagship dining establishment. The stories that WDW creates around its restaurants, hotels, and attractions help establish the extraordinary attention to detail that is the foundation of these well-known areas of Disney World.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

During Wilderness Lodge’s first few years, all guests would receive a copy of the Silver Creek Star newspaper upon check-in. While this newspaper included information on the resort and various guest amenities, a closer read reveals its true treasure: the Disney-created mythology behind the Wilderness Lodge and, for our purposes, Artist Point.

Wilderness Lodge and Artist Point both officially opened in 1994, but that is not how the Silver Creek Star remembers it…

The Silver Creek Star

The History of Artist Point

Filled with inspiration by the stories of Lewis and Clark, Colonel Ezekiel Moreland set out for the American West in 1822. On his travels, the Colonel made a discovery that would change his life forever: Silver Creek Springs. His prize, a valley full of unrivaled natural splendor, would eventually house the Wilderness Lodge.

The Colonel quickly sent for his daughter to join him at the new settlement. Genevieve Moreland, known to her friends as Jenny, worked back east as an art curator before receiving her father’s summons into the wilderness. Prior to her departure, though, Jenny met Frederich Alonzo Gustaf, the man for whom Artist Point would one day be named. A young Austrian artist, Gustaf dreamed of capturing the majesty of America’s West on his canvas and so joined [Read more…]

Review: Wilderness Lodge’s Artist Point

Ah, Artist Point. This restaurant and I have had a love-hate relationship, to be sure. On my first visit, I loved it. But after the second visit, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to go back.

On my third visit last December, I was in heaven.

Atmosphere
Artist Point is one of Disney’s lesser-known signature restaurants (read about the dress code here). Located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, it specializes in cuisine inspired by the American Northwest (think salmon, big game meat, apples, berries, and mushrooms, for starters).

Entry

The high-ceilinged restaurant is understated, decorated with muted earth tones and a mix of light and dark wood. Chunky craftsman-style chandeliers punctuate the dining room, and soaring murals of Pacific Northwest scenes provide a [Read more…]

2011 United Way Chef’s Gala To Be Held in Epcot on May 21st

Benefiting Heart of Florida, The United Way’s Chef’s Gala will be held in Epcot’s World Showplace on Saturday May 21, 2011. The 19th annual Chef’s Gala touts the event as “A Tasteful Way to Make a Difference” which raised almost $170,000 last year! Walt Disney World has hosted the Chef’s Gala since its inception with over a million raised in that time!

Chef's Gala

Specs
The festivities begin at 6:45 pm. with a cocktail attire dress code.

6:45 – 8:15 pm Champagne Served and Martini Bar Opens
7:30 – 10:00 pm Chefs Begin Serving

Guests will enjoy a silent auction and wine reception. This tasteful event continues with a scrumptious tasting featuring over 20 top chefs (and restaurants) from Central Florida. There will also be paired fine wines, desserts and specialty coffees. For questions about wine and wine pairings, Sommeliers will be on hand.

Participating restaurants include: Artist Point, Kouzzina by Cat Cora, La Luce by Donna Scala, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, Sanaa, Todd English’s bluezoo, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Tusker House Restaurant, The Wave…of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery, Epcot Bakery, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company.

Ticket Info: [Read more…]

Disney World and Disneyland Dining for Valentine’s Day

Romance can be found all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland. And at these dining venues, there won’t be a single character in sight! Some restaurants feature special menus for Valentine’s Day.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Sweetheart Dinners
These special meals for two are offered all year-long at Walt Disney World, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to splurge on this decadent dining experience.

Enjoy a 3-course, prix-fixe meal that includes an appetizer, entrée and a shared dessert. Toast your love with a selected beverage in etched champagne flutes, then take [Read more…]

Disney Food Trends: Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Even Chef Mickey is in on the trend...

I’ve been noticing a few food trends while traipsing through Disney parks, and I think they’re important to mention — especially since they seem to be popping up on every menu re-vamp out there.

First, we gotta take a gander at good old macaroni and cheese. When I asked Disney World’s Sanaa Chef Bob Getchell about the gourmet mac and cheese trend that seems to be taking over Disney restaurants, he mentioned that chefs like to make food they themselves love; many have fond memories of mac and cheese while they were growing up, and they want to create new and improved contemporary recipes for the dish. Here are a few of our favorite versions on and around Disney property:

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yacht Club Resort’s Yachtsman Steakhouse gets a nod due to a relatively new mac and cheese dish I found on the menu in October. Their truffle mac and cheese uses huge orecchiette noodles and Reypenaer cheese with a touch of truffle oil and a topping of crunchy onions. It’s served in a cast iron baking dish that lends a rustic look — very fun! The best part — it tastes amazing. Rich, tangy, creamy sauce nestles into those pasta pieces and serves as the perfect accompaniment to the meal. This is sold as a side dish only, so be sure to look for it at the bottom of the menu.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Le Cellier
Not to be outdone, Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse has also introduced some mac and cheese on the menu. Served in a cast iron skillet, elbow macaroni is [Read more…]