Review: Dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe on Disney’s BoardWalk

Welcome back to the Flying Fish Cafe!

While all the dining talk on Disney’s BoardWalk has centered around the opening of the brand new Trattoria al Forno as of late, I wanted to bring you back to the Flying Fish, which is not only my favorite restaurant on BoardWalk, but also one of my very favorites in all of Disney World. Period.

During the interim between the closing of Kouzzina and the opening of Trattoria al Forno, the Flying Fish served a stint as a breakfast location, previewing some of the dishes that are now on the breakfast menu at Trattoria al Forno.

But this signature restaurant is now back to its regular dinner-only schedule, and if you haven’t enjoyed dinner at Flying Fish before, I’ve gotta say it: it’s practically a must-do.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Come see what I mean…

Atmosphere

The decor of the Flying Fish pays tribute to two things: first, the atmosphere honors its place on Disney’s BoardWalk through some insanely fun murals depicting things like turn-of-the-century roller coasters, those old school parachute swing rides, and other carnival-style attractions.

Boardwalk murals

Boardwalk murals

Boardwalk murals

Boardwalk murals

The theme is continued as you move further into the restaurant with a gorgeous backlit ferris wheel, and the most enviable seating space of all right underneath the circus tent.

Backlit Ferris Wheel

Backlit Ferris Wheel

Circus Tent seating

Circus Tent seating

The second design element plays on the star of the culinary scene here: seafood. And nowhere is that theme more evident than in the parachuting fish “flying” above as you dine!

Flying Fish!

Flying Fish!

Notice the bait hooks mixed in with some of the underwater themed lighting fixtures.

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

With everything going on, you may not notice the open kitchen (unless you’re seated at the Chef’s Counter directly in front of the show), but try to take a moment to observe, since what happens in this kitchen is some of the best of Disney culinary feats in action.

Bar seating in front of the kitchen

Chef’s Counter in front of the kitchen

Of course, if you’re just looking for a quick dinner, the bar area is very comfortable, too.

Bar seating in front of the kitchen

Bar area

I have no idea if “upscale-whimsy” is an interior design term, but if it is, that pretty much sums up the Flying Fish. It manages to be both sophisticated and super fun at the same time.

Eats

The name of this restaurant gives guests an idea that there is a focus on seafood at the Flying Fish, but don’t let that scare you or anyone in your party off who isn’t a seafood fan. Remember, I said this was one of my favorite restaurants, and seafood isn’t exactly my ultimate choice in cuisine. There’s plenty of meat and pasta to go around, too.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s start with the complimentary bread served with butter, which was hard to hold back on thanks to the unique touches of herbs and cheese tucked inside the nooks of the rustic bread.

Bread

Bread

My friends and I enjoyed some the bread while scoping out the [Read more…]

First Look! Photo Tour: Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is officially open for business, and we’ve enjoyed our first dinner there!

Trattoria al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk

The restaurant began serving breakfast and dinner yesterday to a packed house (see our Trattoria breakfast menu review here). When we left late last night, the waiting area was standing room only!

We’ll have a review of all of the dishes we tried this first time out on Monday; but in the meantime, we wanted to give you a look around the newly remodeled space. Thanks to our friend Mealtrip for bringing his fabulous photography back to the blog in this post!

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno occupies the space that was previously Spoodles, and most recently the home of Kouzzina by Cat Cora. Many Disney food fans were sorry to see the Greek-themed restaurant close.

Trattoria Entrance

Trattoria al Forno Entrance

Now, Disney takes the space back to its original roots with a “family Italian restaurant” that has grown in its physical space and has evolved in its culinary approach over time.

Trattoria Sign at the Hostess Station

Trattoria Sign at the Hostess Station

While the dining room of Kouzzina was open, basically occupying one large room, the Trattoria designers claim you’ll see smaller rooms as you travel the length of Trattoria al Forno, with subtle differences in decor signaling your progression from one room to the other.

The backstory of the restaurant holds that an Italian family ran a modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. As the restaurant was growing, boardinghouse rooms were converted into additional dining spaces — each family generation adding their own touches to the menu and the restaurant’s design.

Now, in all honesty, the overall space is pretty much the same general area that it was when the restaurant was Kouzzina. There’s an entryway and waiting room, a big dining room (which Trattoria has outfitted with brick columns to indicate said “rooms”), and an open kitchen. The room used in the past as a private dining room has been included as a general dining area, but that’s pretty much the only completely separate dining room in the place. But we can chat more about that later. Let’s get inside!

Beginning in the Entrata, or entrance, the space has been overhauled to create a warm but open area with minimal detail. No more Cat Cora cookbooks or merchandise. Just a wine “wall,” very little seating, and a hostess podium.

Entrata

Entrata

Stone, wood, and warm lighting accent the space. Framed wall hangings give it that “family Italian” restaurant feel. You know the deal.

Seating While You Wait

Seating While You Wait

It’s very comfortable when it’s not crowded. While we didn’t have to wait long for our 5 PM advance dining reservation, the seating area was inviting.

Waiting Area

Waiting Area

Once your party is called, you’ll travel through frosted glass doors to your table.

The open kitchen remains the restaurant’s main focal point.

Wide Shot of the Trattoria Kitchen

Wide Shot of the Trattoria Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Here, you can see the open oven, which serves to anchor the Cucina portion of the restaurant. This is Trattoria’s first dining area, and offers a casual, “eat-in kitchen” vibe.

Forno Up Close

Forno Up Close

Kitchen from the Cucina, the Restaurant's First Dining Room

Kitchen from the Cucina, the Restaurant’s First Dining Room

Beyond the more casual Cucina, you travel into the slightly more opulent

[Read more…]

Review: Red (Velvet) White and Blue Cupcake at BoardWalk Bakery

Anytime is a good time to stop by the BoardWalk Bakery to check out the Seasonal Cupcake, and summer is no exception.

Through the Fourth of July, Boardwalk Bakery’s Seasonal Cupcake is a patriotic confection I like to call the Red (Velvet) White and Blue Cupcake.

Red White and Blue Cupcake

Red White and Blue Cupcake

The bakery case sign, as you can see, simply states “Seasonal Cupcake,” and it’s not difficult to spot the Red, White, and Blue in the case as soon as you walk in the door.

Red White and Blue Cupcakes in bakery case

Red White and Blue Cupcakes in bakery case

These cupcakes are huge, thanks to the more than ample amount of decorations on top, featuring red and blue fondant stars as well as an explosion of white chocolate spirals that bring celebratory fireworks to mind.

There is also a small sprinkling of edible silver glitter covering the whipped topping.

Toppings on Red White & Blue Cupcake

Toppings on Red White & Blue Cupcake

My one moment of disappointment was when it came time to [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie From the Boardwalk Bakery

And now…a recipe for a super-interesting new dessert in Disney World!

When the brand new BoardWalk Bakery reopened earlier this year, we were there bright and early on the very first morning to bring you a full account of what was new, and what was returning.

And while we found many brand new things to love, like the Lemon Meringue Tart (sigh), one of our top pics was the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie!

Sounds pretty keen, doesn’t it?

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

Well, it kind of is! The combination of [Read more…]

Review: Disney World’s Flying Fish Cafe

Ah, yes — I get to write about one of my very favorite restaurants in Disney World today!! Flying Fish Cafe is located on Disney’s Boardwalk in Walt Disney World, right next to the back entrance of the Boardwalk Inn.

The entrance is adorned with a giant neon sign complete with flying fish! You can’t miss it. ;-) And once inside, you’ll be treated to whimsical decor, an incredible seasonal menu, and an awesome view of Chef Tim Keating’s open kitchen.

Atmosphere

I think this restaurant is the perfect mix of Disney magic and star-quality food. Plus, the place is just fun to look at. There are shiny things and smooth things and fun things and colorful things all around you when you walk in. Don’t miss the jumping fire at the grills in the open kitchen!

Flying Fish Chef's Counter

From the parachuting fish on the ceiling to the colorful circus-themed mural on the walls there’s always something you missed the last time you were there. And let’s not even start talking about the draped “circus-tent” room in the back of the restaurant where you get to eat if you’re really, really lucky!

Flying Fish Cafe Tables and Murals

Parachutes and Flying Fish

Can you see the hidden Mickey in this mural? I know, I know — I point it out all the time, but I [Read more…]

News! Flying Fish Cafe Offers February Wine Dinner

The team at the Flying Fish Café at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort has announced another wine dinner! This Winery Event will take place February 2, 2012.

Special Guests
Book now to meet special guests, Jenny & Dick Dore, Marketing Director and Proprietor from Foxen Wines in Santa Maria, California.

Time
6:00 pm Reception; 6:30pm Dinner

Cost
$149.00 per person, (inclusive of gratuity) plus tax

Flying Fish Cafe Tables and Murals

Degustation Menu

Amuse Bouches: “Small Bites”
Best-suited with the Crisp Flavor Profiles of Santa Maria Valley Chenin Blanc
2010 Chenin Blanc, Ernesto Wickenden Vineyard “Old Vines”, Santa Maria Valley

1st Course
Crispy Togarashi-laced [Read more…]

Walt Disney World New Year’s Eve Dining and Special Events

Ringing in New Year 2012 from Walt Disney World? It’s going to be a memorable night! Call 407-WDW-DINE for holiday dining information and reservations! Here are some of your options for dining on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

Disney Resorts and Event Spaces

Boardwalk
Atlantic Dance Hall
Dance into the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., ages 21 and up.

Video DJ Tony Zapulla will play hits on the main dance floor. Beverages will be for sale from three different bars. There will be limited viewing of Epcot’s fireworks.

$37 (gratuity not included) for access to the main floor of the Dance Hall.
$80 for a VIP ticket that allows guests entrance to a private 2nd floor area with guaranteed seating and access to a private upstairs balcony for “limited” viewing of the fireworks. In addition, you’ll be able to indulge at a Dessert Station and private VIP bar. Cocktail service will also be offered.

Dress Attire: Business Casual or Formal

Parking:
Parking passes for the self parking lot will be given with advance purchases. Parking not guaranteed to be available for same day purchase.
Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s (New Year’s Day brunch)
California Grill will host an evening of elegance!
$550 per person.

View of Castle from our California Grill Table

Entertainment will include casino-style games, live music and Disney characters. Enjooy food stations and beverages while watching [Read more…]

2011 Gingerbread Holiday Display Pins

New pins were released to commemorate the 2011 Gingerbread Holiday Displays. These pins would make wonderful gifts for the Disney food fan and/or pin trader in your life! Get them at the individual Gingerbead locations in the Deluxe Resorts, or by calling WDW Mail Order (info at the bottom of this post)!

The Beach Club‘s traditional carousel is highlighted on this adorable pin.

Beach Club Pin

Beach Club Resort 2011 Gingerbread Carousel

Stitch has taken over the bakery at the Boardwalk Inn. Stop by to see this gingerbread display and pick up a pin!

Boardwalk Pin

Boardwalk Inn Gingerbread Display 2011

Stitch Took Over the Bakery Display in the Lobby!

At the Grand Floridian, the Gingerbread house beckons guests to [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast (and the new menu!) at Kouzzina

Since it opened, Kouzzina, by Cat Cora, has long been one of our favorite breakfast stops. We’ve reviewed it once before, but now there are brand new menu items to chat about!

And this is a two-part post! We’ll:
1. Chat about the new menu items, and
2. Welcome back guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with her full review of a recent Kouzzina breakfast! She’s got a few menu updates in her review as well!

New Kouzzina Breakfast Menu Items

On my recent visit to Kouzzina, I noticed a couple of fun new menu items that I had to try! First up, the French Toast Baklava! This super-sweet breakfast extravaganza includes Grilled Fig and Anise country bread with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon along with Bacon or Chicken Sausage for $11.99.

We were extremely glad that we also ordered the new savory dish on the menu, because we really needed some salty to cut through the sweet in this dish. That said, this breakfast was phenomenal. By the way, it also includes an apple-y syrup! Talk about dessert for breakfast!

Baklava French Toast

Chicken Sausage

The second new item we ordered was the Breakfast Skillet with eggs, Pequillo peppers, Nueske’s bacon, onions, Greek cheese, and Sweet potato hash topped with arugula for $13.99. This was a wonderful dish and a great spin on your classic hearty breakfast. While the skillet isn’t “all you care to eat” like at Whispering Canyon Cafe, it’s definitely worth an order!

Breakfast Skillet

Now, check out the guest review below for even more updates to the Kouzzina menu!

Guest Review — Kouzzina Breakfast

Once again, thanks to Melissa Sorrells Galley for this great review of her breakfast at Kouzzina…

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. Pancakes, oatmeal, egg sandwiches or toast: you pretty much can’t go wrong. I love breakfast so much that [Read more…]

Boardwalk Pizza Window Now Accepting Disney Dining Plan Credits

Next time you’re strolling by the Boardwalk pizza window at Disney World, feel free to stop by for a meal using your Disney Dining Plan credits!

Pizza Window

Here’s the breakdown…

One Quick-Service Credit
You can get: 1 slice of pizza and 1 soft drink, plus 1 dessert

Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Two Quick-Service Credits
You can get: 1 whole pizza and 2 soft drinks, plus 2 desserts

Dine at nearby outdoor tables or get your Boardwalk meal to go.

Let us know if you’ll use your dining credits at the Boardwalk Pizza Window! We want to hear your comments — chime in below!