Disney Food Trends: Desserts + Fire

Crepe Suzette at Bistro de Paris

I’ve been noticing some interesting trends at Disney area restaurants lately! I mentioned the gourmet Mac & Cheese trend a while back, but here’s an interesting one that has to do with dessert — flames!

Yep, that’s what I said. Fire. Right there at your table.

Flambeing is certainly nothing new, but to have it as a prevalent show at so many restaurants in the Disney area is pretty interesting. Here are some of the spots where we’ve seen it recently…

Bistro de Paris, Epcot
In the France pavilion of Disney World’s Epcot, Bistro de Paris offers high-end dining in a beautiful second-floor dining room. The view of [Read more…]

New Year’s Eve Dining Events in Disney World

Time to plan your favorite way to celebrate in style! Disney World is offering some fun, cool, and downright romantic ways to ring in 2011!

La Hacienda de San Angel: Enjoy a six-course menu accompanied by live music. Menu includes a margarita, ceviche, Chiles Toreados y Chorizitos, Sope de Chilorio, and cheese empanada with green sauce. Meat and Seafood platters and dessert — a sweet guava tamal — will be included. The new year will be marked by champagne and a Spanish tradition — eating 12 grapes that are said to predict how your upcoming year will play out.

$199 ($255 with wine and spirits) + tax for adults
$49.95 for kids ages 3-9.
TO BOOK: 407-842-1107 or lahaciendadesanangel@me.com

Bistro de Paris: A New Year’s Eve menu includes smoked salmon with stuffed with crab, horseradish and caviar cream; lobster and vegetable salad or truffle soup; scallops or sea bass; grilled filet of beef or roasted venison. Assiette de dessert de réveillon (that’s [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food & Wine Festival French Regional Lunch

Thanks to Brenda Meng, who writes a hilarious blog about food at her own Gastropod Travels, for putting together this detailed review of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival “Frunch” (French Regional Lunch) at Bistro de Paris on October 10, 2010!

Table Setting

I love the French… their fearless use of heavy cream, their puzzling adoration of Jerry Lewis, their glorious national obsession with cheese. Any country that manages to produce nearly 400 distinct cheese varieties gets a gold star in my belly’s book of delights –- in fact, it almost makes up for [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 4th, 2010

Happy July 4th

Happy Independence Day!

The big news this week is: Only 90 days until the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival begins!! I’ve re-vamped the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page to be even more useful for your planning. (Breaking news, including the new info on the Grand Marnier Tasting event, is at the top of the page.)

Also, don’t forget that the new Taste of Africa Street Party is slated to begin this week in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. AND those Downtown Disney cooking classes are calling your name on July 10th!

Finally, stay tuned this week for more info about the WDW Foodie Fest meet-up on October 3rd, 2010!! Save the date!

Now, on to the round-up!

Food Finds With Robin showcases some delicious photography that captures some sweet treats in Disneyland.

Main Street Gazette takes us to Cafe Rix in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

A Taste of Disney whips up a batch of Le Cellier’s Beer and Cheese Soup in this cool video. He also gives you the recipe if you’d like to make it at home.

The OC Register reports that Disneyland Resort’s liquor license has been updated to allow special bar set-ups for this summer’s Glow Fest in Disney California Adventure.

Chip and Co takes a look at casual dining options in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney Shawn checks out Surf Doggies in Typhoon Lagoon.

The Daily Disney shares the recipe for Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli from California Grill. Yum!

All Ears Net has a fun photo gallery of the Polynesian Resort’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Theme Park Insider has announced the winners for the 9th Annual Theme Park Insider Awards. Bistro de Paris and Chefs de France have taken top spots in the running! See Orlando Restaurant Guru Scott Joseph’s take here.

The Disney Parks Blog posted some great stories this week, from the wonderful (Coffee With Walt) to the helpful (Top 5 Restaurants Where You Get the Most for Your Money) to the delicious (Sweet Treats for Summer)!

photo source: burgers

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: October 4th, 2009

Eat here
I hope you’re staying up to date on the goings-on at the 2009 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival on our index page! This week, we looked at the newest booths — Rio and Bangkok, the Taste of Puglia Seminars, and the Pruem Wine-Tasting Seminar.

But while I’ve been covering the Festival, there have been some other great food posts from around the globe. Check out these great sites and their “tasty” posts!

The Daily Mickey takes a look at Quick Service Restaurants in the Magic Kingdom.

Orange County Register reports that a new bar is opening in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney. Stop by for a Margarita!

The Disney Chick has compiled her list of tested Disney recipes, including Princess Cake from Akershus and Dulce de Leche.

All Ears’ Jack Spence reviews Epcot’s Bistro de Paris and includes some wonderful photographs!

DF ’82 discusses Au Chalet de la Marionette in Disneyland Parc, Paris.

The Daily Loaf gives some basics on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The W.E.D. Page steps back in time to review the Diamond Horseshoe Revue.

Main Street Gazette analyzes the lives and times of the Dinoland USA students based on their treatment of Restaurantosaurus.

Finally, join Lou Mongello as he interviews Gary Vaynerchuk from WineLibrary.tv at Epcot’s World Showcase.

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fireworks Viewing: Part II

World Showcase

World Showcase

Here’s the second in our series of Best Disney World Restaurants for Fireworks Viewing! Today, we’ll discuss the restaurants with the best views for Illuminations fireworks viewing. (The previous blog post, Part I, has information about Wishes fireworks viewing.)

Illuminations, Reflections of Earth, is shown at Epcot at 9:00PM every night, Saturday-Thursday. Friday nights vary between 9:00PM and 8:00PM depending on Epcot’s schedule.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room, patio table
Rose and Crown in Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion is the quintessential dining and viewing spot for Illuminations. If you’re lucky enough to get one of the coveted tables out on the covered patio, Rose and Crown’s view of Illuminations will offer you one of best experiences in Walt Disney World. There’s simply nothing like it.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

That said, the fierce competition for these tables has made me forego even making a reservation for dinner at Rose and Crown over the past few visits to Disney World. While Rose and Crown cannot guarantee their ability to grant requests for patio tables, hopefuls begin crowding the podium before 7:00PM each night, willing to wait as long as it takes. The line of patrons waiting to check in can stretch all the way to Tudor Lane. As a result, Rose and Crown has instituted a policy (in my experience) that those checking in at the podium may wait only one hour for a table request; after an hour, they must take the table offered, or choose not to dine at Rose and Crown.

Patio View

Patio View

How can you improve your chances? Visit Disney World during a slow season (e.g. Winter or early Fall), book your reservation for around 7:30-7:45pm (it’s simply not fair to the servers to book earlier; unless, of course, you’re willing to pay three times the tip!), and tell the cast members when you check in that you’re willing to wait the hour for a fireworks-view, patio table.

Back Patio

Back Patio

Note that the Rose and Crown patio stretches around the Rose and Crown, meaning you might be seated at the side of the restaurant. You can still see the fireworks here, but the view will not be as good as from the back patio, directly next to the lagoon. You can specify that you’re requesting a back-patio, fireworks-view table, but patio is patio… .

Side Patio

Side Patio

Rose and Crown is a casual restaurant; park-wear is acceptable. No reason to dress up. By the way, the potato and leek soup is to die for!

La Hacienda de San Angel
One of Epcot’s newest restaurants, La Hacienda de San Angel, offers — for the first time in Epcot history — an Illuminations view rivaling that at Rose & Crown! While many of the tables offer excellent views (the windows are expansive), those that are right up against the windows will be highly prized.

View from Our La Hacienda de San Angel Window Table

One of the Main Dining Rooms at La Hacienda

Bistro de Paris
This high-end restaurant located on the second floor of the building housing Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France pavilion has excellent Illuminations viewing. Again, you’ll want to arrive early and request a window table, but a steep price and nearly hidden entrance (the entrance to Bistro de Paris is hidden around the back of the Le Chefs de France building) mean that competition for seating is limited compared to Rose and Crown.

Fireworks from Bistro de Paris Window

The dining here is top-notch, but the view from the second story windows can’t be beat. Dress up for this one and make it a celebration.

Cantina de San Angel
The Mexico pavilion’s counter service dining option has been touted by some, panned by others, but everyone agrees that it’s a good option for watching Illuminations…assuming you can commandeer a table and stand your ground!

Cantina de San Angel

Because the tables are lined up along the World Showcase Lagoon, patrons have complained about kiddos squeezing themselves between tables and fence to get a better view. Also, folks who might not have as much need for personal space as you do may invite themselves to infringe upon yours by “sharing” your table.

This spot might be more hassle than it’s worth, but it’s an inexpensive way to get one of the best views in the park. And the food’s tasty, too!

Tokyo Dining
Tokyo Dining, in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, was recently renovated and re-opened in 2007. Specializing in sushi and tempura, the restaurant shares the second floor of the Mitsukoshi Department Store building with Japan’s other table-service restaurant, Teppan Edo.

Tokyo Dining

This might be your best bet for getting an advanced dining reservation less than 90 days out, as many folks don’t yet know about Tokyo Dining, aren’t sure where it is, or simply don’t want to try the food. Luckily, this means that the floor-to-ceiling window views are up for grabs!

Dining Room

Dining Room

As with the other restaurants, make a reservation for an hour or so before Illuminations and arrive early. Request a window table (tell them you’ll wait if necessary). Once seated, enjoy your meal leisurely until the show begins.

View of World Showcase Lagoon

View of World Showcase Lagoon

Note that there is an outdoor, public walkway along the windows at Tokyo Dining. If people notice it’s there, they may crowd it before the show. You’ll still be able to see the fireworks, but this could possibly block the view a bit.

Outdoor Walkway

Outdoor Walkway

Tokyo Dining is a more casual restaurant; park-wear is acceptable.

Other Potential Viewing Spots With Dining
While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend either of these spots for Illuminations viewing, Tangerine Cafe in Morocco and Liberty Inn at the American Adventure might offer a decent place to sit to see the higher-up fireworks. At Tangerine Cafe, even if you’re sitting outside (the windows are too opaque to see from the inside), the crowds will likely mar your view of the action on the water. At Liberty Inn, the American Gardens Theater tends to block out the lagoon view. But both offer spots to sit, take a load off, and nosh a bit while you listen to the music and enjoy at least some of the show.

If you have other ideas and options, be sure to let me know in the comments section below!

Check out the other “Best Disney World Restaurants” in our series!