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…]

Walt Disney World Steak Gallery

It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!

disney world steak gallery

We just love to share photos of all of our favorite foods — and collect them into galleries for easy viewing! Whether your craving is for popcorn, ice cream, or a cupcake, there’s a gallery for you!

And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.

Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!

Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.

My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.

Strip Steak

12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

Shula’s

Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.

When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!

Cowboy Ribeye

22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye

Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.

Steak Mary Anne

Steak Mary Anne

Flying Fish

If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.

When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!

Char Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Jiko

Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.

And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak-Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do). :-)

Liberty Inn

In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.

New York Strip Steak Meal

New York Strip Steak Meal

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]

News! New Exclusive Magical Dining Experiences Announced for DVC Members

Disney continues its quest to become a destination for fine dining as much as attractions!

DVC Logo

Recently, Disney Vacation Club announced that it will begin offering “Magical Dining Experiences” exclusively for DVC members and their guests. (This sounds a LOT like the Tables in Wonderland events, for those who are members of that discount program.)

Dinners will take place at popular signature restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. The prix-fixe menus are crafted by Disney chefs, and will feature accompanying wine and/or beer pairings. In addition, a culinary specialist will offer a live presentation throughout the dinner.

The events, which can be booked exclusively by DVC Members for themselves and their guests, promise to be intimate, with limited spots available for each dinner.

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

The first three dinners have been announced, and details are as follows:

February 27, 2014
Location: Flying Fish
Number of Guests: 40
Hosted by: Renowned Wine Expert
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Price: $165

Menu [Read more…]

Disney Popcorn Gallery

We always love adding to our Disney food galleries!

From Margaritas to Ice Cream to Creme Brulee and more, we’re always collecting options and photos to share with you. And we quickly realized that there was one salty snack missing from our gallery list! What’s a trip to Disney without at least one bucket of Popcorn?

I think Disney popcorn is some of the best popcorn anywhere, and while newfangled snacks and treats will come and go, the classics will never go away.

You’ll find carts selling popcorn all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland, as well as in some of the resorts that also draw visitors, like Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. But there’s even more variety to it than that, so we’ve put together this handy gallery to showcase all the great popcorny options available!

You Never Get Tired of Disney Popcorn!

We’re going to share with you some of our favorite popcorn and popcorn-related goodness, but be sure to let us know your favorites or anything we don’t mention in comments below! Also, please keep in mind, especially in regard to menu items that include popcorn, that menus are constantly changing, so you may not always see these items when you visit a restaurant.

Disney Popcorn: A Classic

In need of some popcorn at Disney? You never have far to look. In fact, if your first stop is Magic Kingdom, you encounter a popcorn stand as soon as you set foot onto Main Street USA! Some of our readers say that Disney popcorn is the best-tasting in the world — and who am I to disagree?

Disney Popcorn!

And another great bit of news — Disney popcorn is vegan and gluten-free! Popcorn is naturally devoid of gluten. But the kernels are popped in a combination of coconut, corn, and canola oil, and are seasoned with kosher salt, so there are no animal products used. (Disney cautions that because the popcorn is prepared in outdoor locations, there is potential for cross-contamination. When in doubt of a food’s ingredients, be sure to ask for an ingredient list.)

Souvenir Buckets

If you think the fun stops with the snack, well…then let me show you something completely awesome. In addition to the crunchy goodness, you can also amass a completely fabulous collection of souvenir buckets should you be so inclined.

Collect different ones from each Disney park! Here’s one from Animal Kingdom, [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Caramel Popcorn Treats!

What is a trip to Disney without some popcorn thrown in for good measure? And caramel popcorn? Even better! When it comes to salty sweet Disney snacks, this is one of our favorites.

Readers who post over on our Flickr site, Disney Photo Food Extravaganza, have captured some crave-inspiring shots for sure…

Pre-Packaged Mickey Caramel (and Other) Corn

Popcorn as far as the eye can see! And in lots of interesting flavors! We told you about all the different varieties that are popping up in the parks, and we’ve kept up with new additions, too. We’ve even taste tested them for you!

Judging from this fantastic photo, we aren’t the only ones with a serious love of all things crunchy, sweet, and salty!

Photographer: Kirsten Marie Hutton

Pre-Packaged Mickey Popcorn as Far as the Eye Can See

Caramel Corn Cupcake at Big Top Treats

Can’t decide between caramel corn and a cupcake? You don’t have to! Head over to Big Top Treats, and you can pick up a cupcake topped with their yummo housemade caramel corn. Now, that’s what I call having your cake and eating it, too!

Photographer: Ryesah

Caramel Corn Cupcake at Big Top Treats

Caramel Corn at Karamell-Küche

I can’t get enough of the [Read more…]

Entree Duo and PB&J Creme Brulee at Flying Fish Cafe on Disney World’s Boardwalk

Any time I have the chance to dine at Flying Fish Cafe in Disney World’s Boardwalk Inn Resort, I take it! I love this restaurant, and it always manages to surprise me with its clever and innovative menu.

I dined there in July, and while I’m not going to do a full review of that meal, I needed to share these awesome menu items with you just in case you’re headed over. I wish I had this meal to do over again, because I’d definitely order the same thing!

Get these on your must-eat list, stat!

Duo of Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper

Well, Flying Fish Cafe has two signature entrees…can you guess what they are? ;-) Yep, the Char-Crusted Strip and the Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper are the menu’s highlights, and Flying Fish has done us all a favor and put them together on one plate!

Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

The Potato-Wrapped Snapper includes Leek Fondue with a Veal Glace, Red Wine, and Cassis Butter reduction; while the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip comes with Fingerling Potatoes, Hericot Vert, Young Carrots, and Bermuda Onions, and an applewood-smoked Bacon Mustard Seed Vinaigrette and Classic Sauce Foyot (hubba hubba!).

I was very surprised and impressed how well everything actually went together. I was using the sauce from the Snapper with the steak, and vice versa. The flavors were [Read more…]

What Are Your Favorite Disney World Hotel Restaurants?

I love hearing from you about your favorite restaurants and experiences in Disney parks and resorts. So as I gear up for another trip to Walt Disney World in the very near future, I’m sharing with you a few of my favorite restaurants at Disney resorts (aka: hotels)…and hoping you’ll share right back!

Beaches and Cream

What are your favorite Disney World Hotel Restaurants, and why? What are the spots that keep you coming back, visit after visit?

I’ll tell you mine, and then I want to hear all about yours…

Beaches and Cream

If you know me, you know that Beaches and Cream Soda Shoppe is truly my go-to place (and it’s my parents’ go-to place…chances are you’ll see AJ’s Dad and AJ’s Mom there if you’re in Disney World at the same time they are)!

Nestled between the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts, this table service restaurant — which does NOT accept reservations — is just like the soda fountains that you grew up going to (or hearing about)! This is THE place at Disney for burgers and ice cream treats, like my absolute favorite, the No Way Jose.

The ooey gooey peanut butter and hot fudge confection is pretty amazing, don’t you think?

No Way Jose

Flying Fish Cafe

The Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn consistently wows me every time I dine there. With unique decor, awesome service, and inventive food, this spot currently holds one of the top spots on my list of hotel restaurants…and never disappoints.

Whether you choose seafood or a land lover’s option, you will leave happy! And fun desserts, like this Trio of Concession Sweets (a nice tribute to their spot on the Boardwalk) are just [Read more…]

Risotto Around the World

Ah…time to talk about one of my very favorite side dishes EVER!!! Risotto is often overlooked, but the creamy savory goodness that is risotto could easily take center stage in a dish (and does in some of these highlighted below)! Disney chefs have mastered the art of making this slow-cooked yumminess — rice patiently mixed with flavorful broth — and whether it’s mixed with meat, fish, or vegetables, risotto doubles as as a sophisticated recipe and mouth-watering, comfort food.

I was looking through our Disney Food Blog Flickr group and saw so many gorgeous photos of risotto that I simply had to do a post about this dark horse side dish. (Of course, I’ve added a few of my own photos as well…;-D.)

Let’s take a tour around the world…

Butternut Squash Risotto from Artist Point

This butternut squash risotto topped with pork belly is easily in my “top 5″ risottos in Disney World. Offered at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge, the hint of sweet from the squash and tartness courtesy of the cranberry drizzle create amazing (and memorable!) flavors. Sigh. I miss it.

butternut squash risotto

Dungeness Crab Risotto with Blood Orange Sauce and Pea Shoots; from Artist Point

This ample portion of risotto is mixed handsomely with crab creating a decadent appetizer. (Looks amazing!!!) Dishes at Artist Point tend to change seasonally, yet Dungeness crab seems to be used in many dishes — like these crab cakes we highlighted earlier this week!
(Photographer: Roger Weeks)

Dungeness Crab Risotto

Mushroom “Risotto” (in reality this is white corn, but I love that they made a “risotto” out of it), served along side Seared Bison with, Turnips, Chestnuts, and Pinot Noir Juniper Emulsion; from California Grill

This striking presentation from the California Grill has a slight [Read more…]

Disney Food New Year’s Resolutions — What’s on Your Bucket List?

All right, all, I’ve been writing this blog every day for nearly three years now, and there are still a few Disney Food items on my bucket list if you can believe it!

They always say that if you share your goals and resolutions with your friends you’re more likely to stick with them, so I’m sharing them with you guys in the hope that you’ll keep me accountable to accomplish these! :-)

And if you have your own Disney Food resolutions or bucket list items, let me know in the comments section below! I’d love to hear what you guys want to see/do/eat in the parks and resorts!

Here we go!

Resolution 1: Dine at the New Disney Restaurants

Oh my GOODNESS, you guys, there are SO many restaurants opening this year! In Disney World, there are Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, and the new Landscapes Cafe at the Art of Animation Resort.

Gaston's Tavern Concept Art...does anyone else think that turkey leg makes that girl look like she has a beard?

In Disneyland, we’ve got Flo’s V-8 Cafe (“Eat here and get gas!”), the Cozy Cone Motel, and Fillmore’s Taste-In in Cars Land; the new Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant; and the Jolly Holiday Bakery and the updated indoor Carnation Cafe.

Artist Rendering of Cars Land and Flo

And — while I’m pretty sure it’s (to quote Deborah Gibson) “only in my dreams” to try them — there are the new restaurants on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and the restaurants at [Read more…]

Disney Food Trend: Popcorn on the Menu!

Sure, you expect to see Popcorn in Walt Disney World! It’s all over the place, from Main Street to Dinoland and back again!

BUT, you don’t often expect to see popcorn hitting the menu at some of Disney’s signature restaurants and lounges. I’m kind of excited to note that’s exactly what’s happening!

Three of my favorite dining locations in Disney World are featuring popcorn on their menus, and I’m sure they’re not the only ones! Let’s check it out…

Flying Fish Cafe

Over at Flying Fish on Disney’s Boardwalk, popcorn takes center stage on a new dessert trio called “Out on the Boardwalk,” featuring a twist on treats you might find ocean-side.

From the Flying Fish Dessert Menu

This dessert comes to the table like this:

Out on the Boardwalk Dessert Trio at Flying Fish Cafe

And the popcorn mousse is delicious. It doesn’t have a strong “popcorn jelly belly” kind of taste; instead, it’s more caramel-like in flavor, with rich, buttery undertones.

Popcorn Mousse and Caramel Corn

This dessert is extremely fun, but I’ll warn you [Read more…]