The California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort has re-opened with a new menu and revitalized decor. This week, guest author Paul Kuconis returns with a review from this Walt Disney World restaurant.
My daughter and I last ate at California Grill in May 2012, seated in the Wine Room overlooking Wilderness Lodge and Epcot in the distance. The meal, as usual (and expected) was superb! Soon after this the restaurant was closed for a remodel. And the wait began.
When I found out (in early September, I believe) that California Grill was accepting Advance Dining Reservations I thought I would give it a shot for our October visit. I was able to grab the date and time I wanted. AWESOME!!
So off we head on the boat from Wilderness Lodge to the Contemporary.
You can’t beat this view of the Contemporary right around dusk! Red sky at night, Sailor’s delight. We are in for a nice day tomorrow.
The reception desk is now on the right of the elevator banks, moved from the left.
Right off the elevator — the first new element I saw was the immense wine cooler.
As we waited for our table we took in the sights.
The results of the remodel look fantastic and the contemporary theme was carried throughout. The bar has a nice clean look to it with illuminated shelving and neatly arranged bottles.
The open concept seating remained, providing good views out all the windows.
Even the light fixtures carry the ‘contemporary theme’, right down to different colored globes!
It was nice to see that the open kitchen concept was maintained through the remodel. I enjoy watching the chefs prepare the offerings. And it is done with Military precision. No ‘Hells’ Kitchen’ theatrics here!
You can’t beat white tablecloths and sharp, branded linen napkins. Classy!
OK, enough of the Atmosphere. We came to eat!
Now the fun begins. The menu logo mirrors the signage we saw at the reception desk.
My daughter and I selected a bottle of Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay. The vineyard is located in Kenwood in the heart of Sonoma (along with Napa and Mendocino) in the North Coast wine region of California. Also in keeping with the California theme.
We made a nice choice. We noticed aromas of dried pit fruits, melon, honey, and tarragon. It was very fruity, with a nice finishing warmth and lingering spiciness.
Luckily we got rolls and butter and that gave me something to eat while I perused the menu.
As usual with Disney, they are not just ‘rolls and butter’. We had a choice of sourdough rolls (my favorite and a staple of San Francisco) and focaccia. The butter was topped with sea salt and a lavender blossom. Visually, perfect! This is important as we ‘see’ the food before we eat it.
The crunchiness of the salt worked well with the butter and spread that on the sourdough roll — it doesn’t get any better. At least until the appetizer arrives!
Appetizer and entrée selections proved to be very difficult. To me, that is the sign of a well thought out menu. So many choices, so little time!
I like to try items I have never had and the [Read more…]