Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel is always a good time. This character meal is similar to Disney World’s Chef Mickey’s in that you’ll meet some of the same characters (with a few surprising ones!) and dine on family-friendly buffet food. And our Disneyland correspondent Heather (check her out @DiningInDisney!) tells us there are some funky new pizza options here that you’re definitely going to want to see!
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.
Ready for an emotional roller coaster? Because we have some good news and some bad news regarding Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Dining Room.
Wolfgang Puck Cafe and The Dining Room
I always think it’s best to get the bad news out of the way first, don’t you? So, here goes…
The bad news is that Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe will be closing up shop on August 1st.
And now, for the good news! Wolfgang Puck is not leaving Disney Springs entirely! In case you missed the news, he’ll be opening a brand new, modern restaurant in the Town Center of Disney Springs. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will open in 2018, and it will still feature some of the world famous chef’s most popular dishes. PLUS, the West Side location will be revamped into Jaleo, a Spanish tapas-style restaurant by Celebrity Chef Jose Andres, which will open in 2018. So two restaurants for the price of one!
So even after that announcement, I kept my recent Advance Dining Reservation at the Grand Cafe, since there will still be plenty more where this came from. AND I wanted to point out which items I most hope to see on the menu at the new digs!
First, though, let’s check out the old haunt before saying good-bye to the West Side space.
Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and The Dining Room are in the same general building, but there’s a cafe and a sushi bar downstairs, and a formal dining room upstairs. Plus, we can’t forget the Counter Service option with The Wolfgang Puck Express. (And don’t you worry, Express fans… the Marketplace Express location isn’t going anywhere!)
The decor is… umm, how do I say this?
TOTALLY SAVED BY THE BELL. I thought it the first time I walked in so many years ago, and it hasn’t changed an ounce. But, hey, it’s consistent — from colorful light fixtures to Formica tabletops. [Read more…]
DFB welcomes Guest Author Sara McCaslin with a review of Boatwright’s at Port Orleans Resort Riverside in Walt Disney World. Stop here for southern hospitality!
Boatwright’s Dining Hall
On Oct. 3, 2015, my dining companions (my husband and two dear friends) arrived at Port Orleans Riverside Resort for our 6:15pm advance dining reservation at Boatwright’s. The four of us were enjoying the delights of Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan for a few days and wanted to experience new sit-down places. Before our trip, I heavily researched many menus and reviews via the Disney Food Blog and decided to give Boatwright’s a try. The menu was intriguing with many comfort food options.
We arrived at Port Orleans Riverside via Disney’s bus transportation. Diners can also use the waterways from Disney Springs to travel to either Port Orleans Riverside or Port Orleans French Quarter. Port Orleans Riverside resort is a lovely, pleasant place to stay while at Walt Disney World. My husband and I have called this resort home twice throughout the years. We enjoyed both stays but did not take advantage of the resort sit-down dining option during those stays. Shame on us because Boatwright’s is a hidden treasure among the expert theming and exciting character experiences of other resort and theme part eateries.
Diners can access Boatwright’s from either the front or back of Port Orleans Riverside. If entering from the front of the resort, simply turn left at the lobby entrance to see the lounge and the dining room is just a few steps further. If entering from the back of the resort, perhaps after arriving via the boat, simply walk along the marina to your right and look up to view the welcoming Boatwright’s sign. This door will usher you directly into Boatwright’s check-in and waiting area.
Happy 20th Anniversary of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
We’re celebrating the best way we know how, with a trip all over Epcot to bring you the best of the best from the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
It was a tough job gathering all of the goodies and pricing for you at each of the Marketplace Booths for this year’s festival, but hey… somebody’s gotta do it. Of course, we needed a little sustenance along the way ;). What better excuse to Eat and Drink our Way Around the World again this year!
Be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth Page to see pictures of every single dish at the Festival. Just click through the links for each booth to see pictures of all your favorite dishes, along with every single new one from this year!
Then, come on back to see our must-buys among the new items at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
Chicken Sausage with Creamy Polenta at the Canada Marketplace
Well, whaddya know… along with the Le Cellier Beef Filet and Cheddar Cheese Soup, the Canada Booth can claim even more bragging rights with the return of the Chicken Sausage with creamy polenta and Minus 8 Onion Jam.
This was a favorite of mine back when it was on the menu at Le Cellier, and I was super excited to see it make its way to the festival back then. Sweet, savory, and with just a bit o’ heat, we’re glad it made its way back after being on hiatus for a couple years! [Read more…]
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.
Come see what I mean…
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.
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.
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!
Notice the bait hooks mixed in with some of the underwater themed 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.
Of course, if you’re just looking for a quick dinner, the bar area is very comfortable, too.
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.
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.
My friends and I enjoyed some the bread while scoping out the [Read more…]
The Disney Holiday season is in full effect at the Disneyland Resort! I love that the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is always introducing us to new seasonal items.
In fact, because I never know what I’ll find, I’ve make it a point to check in on nearly every visit to Disneyland!
On my last trip there were a handful of new items that are special for the Disney holiday season. Also in the bakery cases were some returning favorites.
The popular Santa Mickey Candy Cane Cupcake is back.
The cupcake is chocolate, topped with a mound of red & green “sure to stain your teeth” frosting, and finished off with a candy cane.
I’ve actually never tried one of these because 1) I’m not a huge chocolate fan and 2) it looks way too messy for me to deal with in public!
There are also Snowman shaped [Read more…]
Join me in welcoming guest author Lottie Linter with a review of The Steakhouse in the Disney Village at Disneyland Paris!
Unlike Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, the Disney Village at Disneyland Paris is where you’ll find most of the table service options at the resort. This is because the parks in Paris close very early (around 6 or 7PM) out of peak season, and not everybody wants to sit down to eat at 5:30PM, especially in Europe! We prefer to eat later, so we booked a table at The Steakhouse for 8PM on a Monday evening.
From the outside, the restaurant looks a little non-descript, and with the enticing Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Café, and Annette’s Diner drawing in people nearby, it’s easy to overlook this place if you only walk through the main thoroughfare of the village. In fact having visited Disneyland Paris seven times previously, I didn’t even notice this restaurant until I was a Cast Member there a few years ago!
The entrance takes up just a small strip of the Disney Village facades, but once you are inside and down a short corridor lined with dark wooden paneling and a wine fridge, the restaurant opens out into an absolutely huge warehouse complete with a large conservatory area.
After checking in, you can wait at the old-fashioned bar and have a pre-dinner drink, but as we were visiting out of season the restaurant wasn’t full and we were shown straight to our table.
The dining room is very impressive, and is themed around the Chicago meat markets during the prohibition era. There are black and white photographs all over the walls of who I can only assume were supposed to be wealthy meat-traders, or market owners – it’s not immediately clear, but I do think they add something quirky to the décor.
One of the big walls is vintage-style painted brickwork, but it has been made to look like they pulled down the plaster from a more modern steak restaurant to discover the old meat warehouse underneath. The conservatory area has black and white tiled floors and looks towards Lake Disney, McDonald’s, and the building that houses the Rainforest Café.
We were pleased to be seated in the main warehouse area, and although our particular two-top was quite close to the one next to us, in general the rest of the tables seemed to be quite nicely spaced.
At busier times they also have live jazz playing in this restaurant, which I imagine would really take the atmosphere up a notch, but tonight we just had the sounds of the hustle and bustle in the dining room. If there was any music, we couldn’t hear it!
In France, they tend to eat from prix-fixe menus – these are often made up of a select number of options from the à la carte menu but priced at a discount. The Steakhouse is no different, and offered up [Read more…]
The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is RIGHT around the corner! With the countdown at just about a week now, we know that you’re just as excited as we are.
Today we wanted to spotlight the NEW items that are coming to the menus at the World Showcase Marketplace booths this year. And with more than 30 new dishes and sips to sample this year, there’s plenty to experience!
We have a TON of stuff to cover, so to keep it all straight we’re gonna go alphabetically! Ready? Here we go! (And don’t forget, you can check out ALL of the menus from the World Showcase Booths — and many food photos — at our World Showcase Booth Page.)
We had the chance to try a sample of the brand new South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms from the Africa Marketplace and loved it! The egg dish packed a spicy punch when we tried it at a preview.
Lovers of South African wines will also appreciate the addition of the Fairview Pinotage to the menu.
America Adventure Coffee Cart
If you love the flavors of Fall, get ready to try the Apple Maple Spice Latte at the America Adventure Coffee Cart in the America Pavilion. It’s available hot or cold!
Always a fan favorite, the Australia Booth will feature a new lineup of beverages this year, including Cooper’s Brewery Original Pale Ale, Chateau Tanuda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling, St. Kilda Chardonnay, and Nine Stones Shiraz. The menu looks to complement classic Food and Wine Festival dishes like the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle and Rapini.
At the Belgium Marketplace, we’re seeing another hot trend — hard cider. We think that the Stella Artois Cidre will be a big hit with festival goers who are looking for a refreshing alternative to beer.
Block & Hans Kiosk
The Block & Hans Kiosk features a regular assortment of craft beer, but for the festival, they’ll add wines to the mix as well. Enjoy a bevy of American wines, which will include all of the following!
- Robert Mondavi, Fume Blanc
- The Great American Wine Company, Chardonnay
- The Great American Wine Company, Red Blend
- Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Domaine Chandon Brut Sparkling Blanc de Noir
- Still River Winery Apple Ice Wine
- Moqueca de pescado: Regal Springs Premium Tilapia with Coconut Lime Sauce and Steamed Rice
- Pao de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread
- Cocada: Brazilian Coconut Candy
- Tannat Reserve
We enjoyed the [Read more…]
Join us in welcoming back Guest Author Paul Kuconis! His latest review features dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors located at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World.
The Wave…of American Flavors
When I think of Contemporary Resort-based restaurants, California Grill and Chef Mickey’s immediately come to mind. It’s hard to miss the glass dome sitting atop the Resort — ‘Oooh, there’s California Grill!’; and Chef Mickey is always in sight from the monorail.
But there is a hidden gem neatly tucked away — The Wave…of American Flavors — and entering through the front door makes it easy to miss. We always arrive by boat from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge so we walk by it often. Well, we finally decided to stop ‘passing by’ and made reservations during our last visit.
The first thing I saw was a video marquee highlighting the culinary options presented inside. To me this presentation is very much in keeping with the ‘contemporary’ theme of the resort. OK, now I know what they serve, so let’s head inside.
The entrance is rather neat. First, it establishes the stainless steel theme I noticed throughout my meal, and the tunnel takes me to a different place — that of sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients.
As we approached the reception desk, I noticed the earth tones in keeping with the sustainable theme. Also, the wall partition presents the wave theme.
We had nice wall art to look at while we waited for our table. A very contemporary rendition, in keeping with the resort.
Even the ceiling features carry the wave theme with contemporary light fixtures. It all works well together as the earth tones carry throughout the restaurant.
A nice touch, and a very subtle one, is the wave embroidered on the linen napkin.
After we sat down and perused the wine list, we decided on a bottle of Bonterra Chardonnay 2012. I enjoy a nice chardonnay and this wine fits the bill. It’s from Mendocino, one of California’s better known wine regions with predominant vineyard acreage in chardonnay.
A very nice wine. An initial impression of rich, buttery cream quickly turns to aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon and crème brulee. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with a minerality that is both bright and clean, drawing you into a vibrant tartness and lemon zest.
Although that description sounds very complex, it’s not. Bottom line for me is, does it have a nice flavor? And yes, this one does! Notice the stainless steel wine cooler.
After we ordered we were served bread and butter — Multi grain bread with ground flax seeds and butter with Hawaiian sea salt. (Notice the stainless steel bread bowl.) The bread was nice and fresh and the butter was just soft enough to spread easily and allowed the salt to mix in giving each bite a nice crunch. The ground flax seeds provided a visual balance to the sea salt atop the butter. Nicely done!
I always look for menu offerings that I haven’t had before. The Sustainable Fish Taco fit the bill. To me, it also fit the theme of the restaurant, sustainable and locally sourced. I’ll try that!
Oooh! Very nicely plated with a stainless steel taco tray! The fish used were Snapper and Swordfish and fit nicely with the Apple-Jicama slaw and a mild white sauce drizzle, topped with micro greens.
The apples used were Pink Lady (a trademark and the variety is more correctly known as Cripps Pink). Cripps Pink apples are a cross between the Australian Lady Williams and the Golden Delicious. At any rate, this variety was new to me and had a very nice flavor and texture.
The slaw and sauce complemented the mildness of the fish and made for a nice bite. Providing a contrast in textures; the crunch of the apple and jicama worked well against the smoothness of the fish.
Yuzu Gelato was served providing a palette cleanser and a nice finisher. Yuzu a citrus fruit, originates in East Asia and looks like a very small grapefruit. The yuzu’s flavor is tart, closely resembling that of a grapefruit with hints of mandarin orange. A very nice way to end an awesome appetizer!
OK, how can my entrée top my appetizer? A tough task indeed.
I settled on the [Read more…]