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…]

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…]

FULL Review: The NEW BoardWalk Bakery in Walt Disney World!

OK,  I promised you on Saturday that I’d have a full, extensive review of the new BoardWalk Bakery for you soon…and here it is!!

Last Friday, I was up bright and early to be first in line for the grand re-opening of the brand new BoardWalk Bakery at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn! And while I wasn’t FIRST in line, I came pretty close. :-)

Long a fan favorite, this tiny bakery needed a major overhaul in the space department, and we couldn’t wait to see what Imagineers had dreamed up.

We’ll start with atmosphere pics and lead into the goodies. If you want to dive right into the super sugary part, scroll to the bottom section called “What Did I Pick?”

Atmosphere

When looking for the BoardWalk Bakery, head down the steps from the hotel’s main lobby to the BoardWalk, and you can’t miss it.

Sign Leading Down to the BoardWalk

I wasn’t disappointed to see that the bakery had tripled in size. This place really needed to be larger!

The NEW Boardwalk Bakery -- three times the size of the old one!

You can see that there are now two entrances to the bakery — one for those queuing up for food, and one for BoardWalk Inn and Villas guests who just need to refill their resort mugs. A great system!

Mug Filling Station Has a Separate Entrance from Bakery Queue

And, of course, Hue G. Krazont is still the proprietor. :-)

Bakery's Windows and Proprietor's Name

Time to head inside!! Guests who were there first thing received these snazzy celebration buttons. (Okay, they’re the regular celebration buttons with handwriting. But still.)

Celebration Buttons to Mark the Grand Re-Opening!

We are ecstatic to see a lot more room inside the bakery, even though most of it is reserved for the actual queue line.

The classy red walls and checkerboard floor along with wrought iron, brass, and dark wood accents give this spot a been-there-forever kind of classic feel. The schoolhouse lighting is another fun addition!

Note, however, that the display cases have multiplied by about four! They’re not kidding around with the focal point here!

Bakery Display Cases and New Queue Setup

If you do find yourself in that long queue line, at least the large windows make people watching on the BoardWalk an easy sport.

Looking Out from the Inside Onto the BoardWalk

Soon you’ll get up to the bakery and dessert cases to make your selections. We’ve got LOTS more pics of these in our “Eats” Section of this review…so scroll down for the goodies!

Assorted Pastries in the Bakery Case

After you’ve made your selections and check out, it’s time to [Read more…]

Review: To Go Kiosk at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Heading to Disney’s BoardWalk for a stroll or some shopping? If you need a bite to tide you over until that next Advance Dining Reservation, you’re in luck!

We can always recommend the Boardwalk Bakery for quick eats, but on this recent trip I decided to find out what the Boardwalk To-Go kiosk had to offer!

BoardWalk To Go Kiosk

This place has been on my radar for a loooooong time, because they keep tempting me with new specials listed on vibrantly colored boards hanging out front (Fried Ravioli! Chicken Wings! Corn Nugget Fritters!)! That said, I’d never actually eaten here since I’m always on my way to or from another meal (and usually I’m LATE for said meal!).

But on this recent trip, I promised myself I’d check out the goods here. And I should probably just go ahead and throw it out there: this stuff ain’t healthy. The menu is definitely “basket” and “fried” driven, so while it’s easy to grab-and-go, it’s probably not an everyday choice if you want to maintain the energy you’ll need to run around the parks!

Menu - Click to Enlarge

Sides and Drinks Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Chicken Wings and Hamburger Menu Detail -- Click to Enlarge

Basically, the process is as such: pick out what you want, order, wait a few minutes while they fry it, eat. You’ll find nearby seating at table and chair groupings, as well as nearby benches; but there’s no completely sheltered or indoor seating available at To Go. PLUS, the ducks are serious about stalking you, so [Read more…]

Review: Flying Fish Cafe

During April’s 5 Stars to Mickey Bars event, I was very grateful to have the opportunity to dine with some incredible women at the Disney World Boardwalk’s Flying Fish Cafe!

Atmosphere
Flying Fish Cafe has a whimsy about it that you don’t find at many of Disney World’s signature restaurants. The ocean-side carnival theme — including massive and colorful murals on the walls — fits well into the Disney World Boardwalk area. Even a few of the columns in the restaurant look like they’re covered in gold fish scales.

Flying Fish Cafe Tables and Murals

And the flying fish dangling via parachutes from [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 1, 2009

Eat hereA belated Happy Halloween to everyone! I hope you all had some wonderful treats (and very few tricks!).

Welcome to November and the first Disney Food Post Round-Up of the month — there’s already a LOT happening… . And remember, this week is your last chance to experience the incredible Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Click that link for information, highlights, and photos and menus from the World Showcase international marketplace kiosks!

On with the Round-Up!

Disney Parks Blog highlights an invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner at Disneyland in the Disneyland Hotel. Sounds delicious!

Scott Joseph Orlando has an exclusive — the recipe from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie. This recipe was featured in the Cork, Ireland, marketplace kiosk.

Meet The World in Progressland shares a truly wonderful post revealing some incredible Halloween Disney details in Tokyo Disneyland’s popcorn carts.

Main Street Gazette showcases the Animal Kingdom’s Royal Anadapur Tea Company — one of my favorite places to have breakfast in the World.

5 Kingdoms compares the different “Casey’s Corners” throughout the Magic Kingdoms. Take time to read it and not just look at the pictures ;)

The Disney Chick is back with another wonderful Disney recipe, complete with photos of each separate recipe step. This time, try out the Shrimp With Tomato Feta Compote from Citricos in the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Daveland presents us with some great indoor and outdoor photos of Disneyland’s Aunt Jemima’s Kitchen –> River Belle Terrace.

Theme Park Insider reviews Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans. (You really owe it to yourself to look at these photos today. Trust me.)

Mouseplanet reminds us what’s great about San Angel Inn in Epcot’s World Showcase. (Stay tuned to the Disney Food Blog this week to see even more great reasons to enjoy San Angel Inn!)

Global Disney Pinvestigation shares the latest news and concept drawings of the restaurants on the Disney Dream cruise ship! Also, check out his great Epcot Food and Wine Festival photo blog.

Touring Plans reminds us to stop by the ESPN Club on Disney World’s Boardwalk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Disney food posts! If you spot a great food post this week that you think belongs on the round-up, be sure to let me know — just click on “contact me” at the top of the page!

Thanks for reading!

Kouzzina Food Photos!

Thanks to @GoofyBeast, here are a few great photos — including food shots! — of Kouzzina on Disney’s Boardwalk:

Kouzzina Lobby

Kouzzina Lobby

Kouzzina Dining Room

Kouzzina Dining Room

Kouzzina Sampler: Prawns and Chicken on Skewers, Olives, Spiced Cashews, Dolmades, Tzatziki, Hummus and Pita

Kouzzina Sampler: Prawns and Chicken on Skewers, Olives, Spiced Cashews, Dolmades, Tzatziki, Hummus and Pita

Spanakopita

Spanakopita

Fisherman's Stew

Fisherman's Stew

Red Snapper

Red Snapper