Guest Review: Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort

With an open kitchen and whimsical decor, Flying Fish Café boasts an impressive menu where diners enjoy a relaxing, “seaside” setting at the BoardWalk Resort in Walt Disney World.

Join us in welcoming back Guest Author Paul Kuconis! His latest review features a steak dinner (that’s right, landlubbers!!) at this restaurant.

The Epcot Resorts provide a very nice respite from the hustle and bustle of Future World and World Showcase, not to mention awesome restaurants and watering holes.

My travel agent’s favorite restaurant is Flying Fish Café. Every time they visit Walt Disney World they book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR). So, I figured, why not, let’s try it. This trip we decided to give it a whirl!

Using the My Disney Experience app I made a 4:30PM dinner reservation for two. Rather early, but given the temperature, humidity, and heat index, it turned out be a good move.

The Long, Hot Walk

The Long, Hot Walk

We decided to walk over rather than take the boat. Either way, both involved no air conditioning!

We Hit the Boardwalk

We Hit the Boardwalk

We reached the Boardwalk and stepped back in time. After a quick stop at the ESPN Club for a soft drink, to cool off, and to kill some time, we ventured on.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Atmosphere

There it is! Nicely tucked away. The setback pulls the restaurant away from the hustle and bustle of the Boardwalk and provides a little quiet. Depending on your approach, the Café can be easily missed. After checking the posted menu we headed inside.

Flying Fish Door Pulls

Flying Fish Door Pulls

The flying fish theme begins right at the front door.

But, before we head inside, a question; why the name ‘Flying Fish’? It fits with the Boardwalk theme and evokes the roller coaster ride of yesteryear at Coney Island called Flying Turns.

While we waited to be seated I took in the décor.

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel

Fish Hook Light Fixture

Fish Hook Light Fixture

Murals of Yesteryear Fun

Murals of Yesteryear Fun

Roller Coaster Motif

Roller Coaster Motif

Seating Area

Seating Area

The Bar

The Bar

Flying Fish Light Fixture

Flying Fish Light Fixture

It was at this point I started to think of the name ‘café’ and how it contrasted to the structure itself (I don’t want to call it a ‘restaurant’). Dictionary.com defines café as: 1) a restaurant, often with an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk (nope, didn’t see that), 2) a restaurant, usually small and unpretentious (not from my view), and 3) a barroom, cabaret, or nightclub (not really). Maybe more of an oxymoron? Or just a play on words? Something to ponder.

As we waited by the reception desk I scoped out the seating area and determined where I wanted to sit.

Kitchen

Kitchen

This spot looks good to me. Now, can I convince the Cast Member to seat us here?

Reception Desk

Reception Desk

I asked, and was granted, seating at the Chef’s Counter, the closest thing to the Chef’s Table you can get. (Editor’s Note: Flying Fish does do a “Chef’s Counter” meal, but outside of that seating, other guests are able to have their meals here at the Chef’s Counter.)

My View From the Chef's Counter

My View From the Chef’s Counter

My Place Setting

My Place Setting

Disney does it up well. Granite counter top and linen napkin with the Flying Fish motif embroidered. Nice touch!

Eats

First off, we looked over the wine list.

Black Stallion Chardonnay Menu Item

Black Stallion Chardonnay Menu Item

We selected the Black Stallion Chardonnay.

Black Stallion 2012 Chardonnay

Black Stallion 2012 Chardonnay

We enjoyed it very much, noting a lovely nose of green apple, lemon zest, and vanilla followed by flavors of citrus, brown butter, pear, and flint. The 2012 Chardonnay is soft and round on the palate with bright fruit and creamy notes that lead into a long, elegant finish.

Now we get down to the business of the menu and what to order.

The Menu

The Menu

During my visits to Walt Disney World, I always check out Cast Member name tags. I want to know their name and am curious as to where they moved from. Tim, our server for the evening, grew up in the city next to where we live. In fact, he is familiar with our neighborhood. How cool is that!

Potato Bread

Potato Bread

Tim brought us Potato Bread to munch on while we perused the menu. A very interesting bread with a nice, airy texture with pieces of potato throughout. That’s the cool thing with many Disney restaurants. They do not serve just ‘bread’ or ‘rolls’; at least at the restaurants I have visited.

Choosing the appetizer was rather easy. I like to try different offerings where possible to enjoy the Chef’s take and development of the ingredients. So I selected the crab cake.

Flying Fish Café Crispy Crab Cake Menu Item

Flying Fish Café Crispy Crab Cake Menu Item

Wow! Look at the plating! We eat with our eyes as we ‘see’ the food before we taste it. If it is visually appealing it enhances the experience.

My Crab Cake Appetizer

My Crab Cake Appetizer

Almost too pretty to eat. Nah! Because of the extreme heat, humidity, and heat index I wanted to eat light tonight. This was not a heavy appetizer.

No Filler Here

No Filler Here

The slaw was made with cabbage, red and yellow peppers, carrots, and finely shredded cucumber and the light vinaigrette provided a nice amount of acidity to balance the crab cake. Mix that with the dots of roasted tomato coulis (adding a little sweetness) along with the slight hint of heat from the ancho chile remoulade (WOW!), that makes for a nice, balanced bite, with no single flavor overpowering the other — especially the crab cake — the star of the dish. Topped with micro basil, it brings the whole thing together. Nicely done! Oh, and there was more crab than filler in the cake — can’t beat that!

Now for the entrée. A tough choice. All offerings looked sooooo good. What they need to do is offer a ‘menu sampler’. Tiny bites of everything. Why not, they do it with beer! Where is the suggestion box?

Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak Menu Item and more!

Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak Menu Item and more!

Well, this is a first! This was supposed to be a picture of the daily quote. I neglected to take a full, clean shot of my menu item. But you can get the general idea of the entree. I settled on the steak over Panzanella Salad.

One of Those Steaks is Mine

One of Those Steaks is Mine

One of the advantages of sitting at the Chef’s Counter is [Read more…]

Guest Review: Napa Rose Chef’s Counter in Disneyland Resort

Please welcome back guest author Heather Jones as she shares a review of the Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian in Disneyland Resort!

Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to take a quick trip out to California to visit friends and of course, Disneyland! Because this was a bonus trip, money was a little tight. However, I had always dreamed of dining at the famous Napa Rose Restaurant.

Napa Rose

We decided to save our pennies by snacking our way through the weekend and then have a big, splash-out meal at the end of the trip. I’m here to report that this was a great move!

Atmosphere

Napa Rose is located in Disneyland’s flagship hotel, The Grand Californian.

We started our journey in the lounge. There were plenty of cozy areas to relax and enjoy a drink while we waited for our reservation, but I just dashed around snapping pictures.

Napa Rose Lounge

Rose themed lighting.

Comfy seating in the lounge.

Outdoor fireplace seating area.

Napa Rose Bar

Very expensive scotches and liquors behind glass.

Custom-label Pixar Wines from John Lasseter's Vineyard!

After a short wait, we were ushered into the dining room, which features floor to ceiling windows that allow beautiful views of the lush landscaping. We, however, would not be sitting at one of these tables because we decided to experience the Chef’s Counter.

Napa Rose Dining Room...and tables where we would NOT be sitting tonight!

The Napa Rose rose!

Here’s the Chef’s Counter, which offers two seatings per night and has eight seats — four on one side and four on the other. The view of the open kitchen is [Read more…]

Review: Napa Rose Chef’s Counter

Napa Rose

We finally got the chance to dine at Chef Andrew Sutton’s Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort (Disneyland) — and I’m pretty sure I’ve never been so excited in my life. We’ve eaten at Napa Rose once before, but we’ve never had this experience!

Eight people can dine at the Chef’s Counter at a time — four on one side of the “order up” area, an four on the other. There are two seatings per night at 5:30pm and 8:30pm; we were there for the last seating and had the chance to take up one whole side of the counter with Heather Sievers and her husband, so we already had great company taken care of.

And as far as atmosphere goes, this was definitely one of the most incredible meals I’ve ever had at a Disney restaurant — or at any restaurant…

Napa Rose Show Kitchen from the Chef's Counter

Atmosphere

Napa Rose is a signature restaurant — i.e. “high end” — but it has a very casual feel. Guests enter through the Napa Rose lounge (a great place to eat if you don’t have reservations and want to experience fantastic food) and pass the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Flying Fish Cafe Chef’s Counter

I recently “met” (not yet in person yet, but I hope soon!) a few Disney foodies who have sought out some great culinary experiences. I’ve begged a couple of them to put together guest posts, and the first is this fantastic review from Chelsi Murphy of the new Flying Fish Chef’s Counter at Disney World’s Boardwalk! Take it away, Chelsi!

The Flying Fish Café is connected to The Disney Boardwalk Resort. It has been consistently one of our favorite restaurants through the years. When it was announced in April that Chef Tim Keating would be offering a Chef’s Tasting Wine Dinner at the Chef’s counter, we knew that we would have to book it for our next trip out in July.

Atmosphere:
The Flying Fish Cafe is a beautiful and whimsically decorated restaurant overlooking the busy hustle and bustle of the Boardwalk. The Chef’s Counter is to your left as you walk in and gives you an up close and personal view of Chef Keating and his crew preparing the night’s menu. [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: March 28, 2010

Our Goodies at the Wishes Dessert Party

Our Goodies at the Wishes Dessert Party

Well, folks, “when it rains, it pours” regarding Disney food news this week! Here’s a recap from DFB before we launch into the Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up.

Plus, if you’re a Disney blogger, considering joining the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival this week!

Now, on to the Round-Up! For those of you who are new to Disney Food Blog, each week we scour the web for some of the best Disney food writing around, then highlight it on our Sunday blog post. Enjoy!

Cupcakes Take The Cake showcased the Disney World Cupcakes from our “You Won’t Believe This!” snack series! (Nope, we’re not afraid to toot our own horn!)

Disney History Institute talks Disney and General Mills, with a focus on a Disney-fied August 1955 issue of The Modern Millwheel of General Mills.

Main Street Gazette has an awesome post about “Widowmaker Fries.” Don’t know what they are? Neither did we… check it out!

DF ’82 takes us on a tour of Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost in Disneyland Paris Resort.

Gorillas Don’t Blog has an enchanting post and some keen photos of the current whereabouts of the Disneyland Carnation Truck from Carnation Corner.

Tasty Chomps goes to Epcot’s Sommerfest! Yum!

Disney Every Day reviews Whispering Canyon Cafe…and has a really big knife to boot!

Babes in Disneyland shares a pic of an adorable Disneyland Easter Treat!

WDW Radio‘s Lou Mongello takes us on a video tour in search of the best snack in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

SamLand’s Disney Adventures pays homage to his Flying Fish Cafe “Chef’s Counter” meal (I wish there were pictures, but the descriptions of the courses are mouth-watering). Scroll down to mid-post for the restaurant visit.

AllEarsNet blogger Mike Bachand brought pics back from the first Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Garden Town Breakfast.

Disney Parks Blog reports new evening hours at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill.

OC Register highlights a “Cheap Disneyland Kids’ Meal That’s Not Nasty.” You HAVE to love that title.

Cakewrecks shares a coolio “UP” cake…keep scrolling down and you’ll find it!

Rumor: Flying Fish to Add Chef’s Counter Option

Flying Fish Cafe
Update: Flying Fish has instituted their Chef’s Counter, so book away!

SamLand’s Disney Adventures has included in a recent trip report post that Flying Fish Cafe might be using their open kitchen counter seats as a “Chef’s Counter” within the next couple of months!

Chef’s Counters at Disney’s signature restaurants are in the theme of the Victoria and Albert’s Chefs Table, though not quite as elaborate. You book the special experience and have the opportunity for the Executive Chef to build a custom menu for that evening around your likes and dislikes. It’s an extraordinary chance to [Read more…]