The diversity of visitors to Walt Disney World knows no bounds — and with those diverse visitors comes an infinite number of dietary preferences and requirements. We hear from loads of readers with different food needs, and we hear you loud and clear! And with 2019 beginning, we know a lot of you are looking to the popular keto diet to help keep your New Year’s Resolutions!
The 2018 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27, 2018.
And this event — which will mark its 9th anniversary this year — is one of my absolute annual favorites!
This two-night fall event coincides with the 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and includes The Causeway (which features more than 90 food and beverage stations with dishes from the resort’s 17 restaurants and lounges as well as more than 30 wineries) and four special food areas — Carnival Corner, Beer Garden, Chinatown, and NEW for 2018, The Pig & Poke — along with Educational Seminars.
And this week, we attended a Preview Event to see what’s in store, and let you know what you’ve just GOT to eat on the Causeway this year at the Classic!
First up, from Cib’s Smokehouse is roasted and smoked Iberico pork, fennel puree, honey caramelized apple, and buttered turnip.
When Ale & Compass Restaurant opened at Walt Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort last November, it received mixed reviews. The nautical and sparse decor appealed to some but made others feel the space was too stuffy.
The menus raised some eyebrows, with self-proclaimed New England-style options not appealing to, well, New Englanders. We gave it a bit of a tepid review for dinner, and we heard from lots of readers who missed the former Captain’s Grille breakfast buffet.
For one of those contentious topics, Ale & Compass offers a solution. A breakfast buffet is now available! (And we were told that it was due to popular demand from guests. So see? Sometimes your requests do make it all the way to the top!)
And the price is actually OK on this one!
Deciding where to dine in the World Showcase at Walt Disney World’s Epcot is no easy feat.
Chefs de France
And the France Pavilion makes a strong case for itself — as well it should, representing a country whose cuisine is legendary. The dining options in France cover all the bases. Monsieur Paul features signature dining upstairs in the Pavilion, while Les Chefs de France offers table service in true Parisian bistro fashion.
Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles serves up quick service eats like a Jambon Beurre Sandwich and soups — plus stunning pastries. And if you want a frozen treat, L’Artisan des Glaces offers sorbet and ice cream in lovely flavors.
We enjoy all of the dining options in France, but on my most recent visit, I stopped into Les Chefs de France for a table service meal full of French favorites! Does Les Chefs de France live up to the lofty expectations its pedigree belies?
Les Chefs de France is located front and center on the street level of the France Pavilion. You’ll spot the deep red awning over the entrance and the classic French architecture that lets you know you are, indeed, stepping into une autre pays.
Recently, we let you know that Cove Bar’s beloved Mickey’s Fun Wheel cocktail is now available at Alfresco Tasting Terrace (FYI — Neverland Tea and Black Pearl are available now, too!) — and now we’re helping ourselves to some tasty little appetizers at this relaxing and beautiful lounge in Disney California Adventure Park.
I’m so excited that the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is just around the corner! Mark your calendars for August 31-November 13, when we celebrate 75 incredible days of food, wine, and more!
The festival begins earlier than ever before this year, so we’re busy preparing and planning to make the most of our time there. And I suggest you do the same!
While taking in Low Cost Seminars and Demonstrations or splurging on a Special Event or two is super fun, my favorite festival pastime is still strolling along the World Showcase Promenade and taking in both new and familiar eats and drinks at the festival Marketplace Booths.
While we await news of just exactly what that means, and to see what if any new booths are announced, today we’re sharing the five booths you absolutely cannot miss at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year!
Note — Disney has not released their official list of Epcot Food and Wine Festival booths, yet, so these are subject to change. To make sure you get notified FIRST when this year’s booths are finalized, join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter!
So, What’s New?
There’s always something fun and new to look forward to each year. And this year will be no exception. Disney promises 35 booths to celebrate 35 years of Epcot awesomeness. So far, we’re getting a look at two newly returning booths that promise to offer some delicious and exotic fare.
Spain, last seen on the World Showcase Promenade in 2010, returns to the festival this year. Since Spain has a rich culture of beautifully prepared regional foods, we look forward to seeing this menu!
So far, we’ve confirmed a new Spain menu item, Charcuterie in a Cone. What a cool way to have your snack and stroll with it too. 😀 I’m pretty sure this plus a glass of Spanish wine will be very nice on a festival evening.
In addition, there’s a very real chance that we’ll see variations on dishes that have been featured here before. Look for possibilities such as Seared Albacore Tuna with Romesco Sauce, Snapper Escabeche, Spanish Almond Cake, or Crema Catalana, along with some interesting Spanish wines and beer.
On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I made it a mission to revisit one of my favorite restaurants, Jiko.
The restaurant is your top-of-the-line, signature dining option at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort, and I’ve been a big fan of the spot since my very first visit.
With a combination of wonderful ambiance, exotic flavors, and a killer wine list, it’s sure to please any adventurous food lover, and it always surprises me that it tends to fly a little under the radar. This may be because the food is a bit less mainstream, or because the restaurant is a hike to get to.
As regular readers know, though — no matter how much I like a restaurant, I insist on visiting and reviewing them time and again to make sure that I can still recommend them. Fortunately, that’s nearly always a pleasure to do.
Come with me as we take a look around and see what’s new at Jiko.
If you’re looking for Jiko, head down from the main lobby of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, past Victoria Falls Lounge, until you get to the bottom floor. Boma is below Victoria Falls, and then you can access The Mara and the resort’s pool here as well. Jiko is to the right.
Enter the refined space, and you see immediately that wine is given a place of prominence here. Jiko boasts the largest collection of African wines outside of the African continent. If you’re a wine lover, you’ll want to check out their suggested pairings. [Read more…]
As we mentioned in our update on the California Grill renovation, this popular restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will be unveiling new dishes when it reopens.
California Grill is expected to start taking reservations within the next few weeks for its end of August opening. But right now, in an off-site kitchen, California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki is creating delicious new dishes!
“We’re really trying to think of creative new ways to use our wood-fired oven,” says Piasecki. Those meatballs are one way, with pork, lamb, and veal spiced with house-made harissa.
An oaky, crispy crust makes them perfect for dredging in Meyer-lemon-scented chimichurri with a side of marinated picholine olives and a little orzo. “Perfect for sharing,” says Piasecki.
Sourcing as much as possible locally is a priority for Piasecki. The Cape Canaveral prawns are a great example. He roasts them head on in the wood-fired oven and serves with oven-roasted tomatoes, charred lemon, and a handful of peppery baby arugula. (And he’s using the shells to make prawn oil.)
He’s also creating house-made duck charcuterie – prosciutto, sausage, rillettes, butter, and mousse, all made with duck and served with [Read more…]
Bars and Lounges around Walt Disney World and Disneyland are often family friendly spots to grab a table-service bite or meal with no reservations needed.
You know that one of my favorites is Crew’s Cup Lounge in the Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World, but another fantastic spot to nosh is Territory Lounge in Wilderness Lodge.
I am a huge fan of all things food at Wilderness Lodge. Whether you’re whoopin’ it up at Whispering Canyon Cafe (go ahead…ask for ketchup!), having a refined and relaxed meal at Artist Point, or grabbing a bite to go at Roaring Forks, it’s pretty much always good.
But with a robust and interesting menu of cool pub food, The Territory Lounge is another must-try!
Step into the Lounge, and you’re immediately enveloped by dark woods, leather trim, and low, lantern lighting. You’re also likely greeted and welcomed by the awesome cast members here!! A big shoutout to LouAnn!
The bar is rarely crowded, and there is comfortable seating throughout. I love the padded and backed barstools, and the [Read more…]