News! Jiko Wine Dinner August 16, 2012, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko has announced a Wine Dinner for August 16th!

Partnering with Cape Classics, the premier importer of South African wines, 6 courses of delicious creations from our Chefs will be paired with excellent wines for an unforgettable evening.

Time: 6pm
Reservations: Email Victoria.j.thompson@Disney.com to reserve your spot!

Let’s check out the menu!

Reception

Butter-poached South African Lobster Tail Lobster Bisque, Imoya, and Saffron Cream
Buffalo Samosas Potato, Sweet Corn, and [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…]

Disney World Crème Brûlée Gallery

I’ve had numerous requests from folks asking for a round-up of where you can get Crème Brûlée in Disney World, and finally we’ve put this gallery together!

Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

For those who haven’t indulged before, classic Crème Brûlée is a dessert created from baked and cooled custard topped with (usually) blowtorched sugar forming a candied crust.

Disney pastry chefs have bent over backwards figuring out how to put their own personal touch on this decadent recipe… Let’s take a look at some of the interesting ones!

Please note that Disney dessert menus change all the time, so some of these may no longer be available on your visit.

Be sure to let us know in the comments below about your favorite Crème Brûlée desserts in Disney restaurants!!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Check out Portobello‘s yummy version! The white chocolate shavings really made this dessert!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Pistachio Crème Brûlée

A classic at Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom is this beloved Pistachio Crème Brûlée. And I fully agree with it’s cult favorite status — it was delicious!

pistachio creme brulee

Pistachio Creme Brulee

Key Lime and Regular Crème Brûlée Duo

Narcoossee’s serves this dessert as a duo — two for one deal!! The true winner is the Key Lime — it’s the perfect dose of tart and tangy with the [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Free Tours at Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

We’ve added lots of fun and new dining info to our updated e-Book — The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013. One of my favorite tips in the book is the recommendation of the free tours at the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants! Yep, free!

After you read all about this great Disney Dining Tip, learn more about our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining grand launch — including a limited-time discount code — here!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant Tours

The Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World is known for quality table-service restaurants that offer some exotic menu items and exquisite, African-themed decor. But there’s a way to explore the restaurants without actually dining there!

Learn The Meaning Behind the Decor At Jiko Restaurant

Jiko, Boma, and Sanaa offer half-hour culinary tours each day! These tours cover some of the decor and meaning behind the architecture of the restaurants, and also explain certain menu items. You may even get to sample some of the restaurant’s dishes.

You can see our review of the Boma and Jiko Tour here.

Seating at Sanaa

When you don’t have time to eat at each restaurant, [Read more…]

What is Your Most-Missed Extinct Disney Food?

We’ve been talking a lot about new restaurants and new menu items these past few weeks, but for many Disney food fans the long-lost favorites really stick in their memories.

I decided that we need to pay tribute to some of these famous dishes and want to find out: What are your most-missed extinct Disney dishes? I’ll start the ball rolling with a few of my own!

Fried Boursin Cheese at 50’s Prime Time Cafe

UPDATE –> This one is back!! Woo!! This is, no doubt, my most missed dish in a Disney restaurant. While it’s meant to be shared, you know I ordered one all for myself when I visited 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Fried Boursin Cheese at 50\’s Prime Time Cafe

This is basically herb cheese spread that’s fried and served with fruit and bread crisps. Pretty standard, eh? But that warm, creamy cheese coupled with the sweet fresh fruit was the perfect starter!

Maui Scalloped Potatoes at ‘Ohana

There have been several appetizer changes at ‘Ohana in the past several years, but the most devastating has to be the switch from scalloped potatoes to noodles. (You can read the whole, sad story here…in fact, please do, because I’m uncharacteristically funny in that blog post and it will change your whole perception of me, I promise.)

RIP Scalloped Potatoes (photo courtesy Brett Young)

Meyer Lemon Curd Dessert at Jiko

You know I love Lemon Curd, so to have an entire dessert based around the stuff at Jiko in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was quite a find. And when they added [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…]

News! Jiko Wine Dinner Announced for April 5th, 2012

The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko has announced their first Wine Dinner of 2012!

Jiko kicks off this year’s Wine Dinner series highlighting the wines of Paul Cluver on Thursday April 5, 2012, at 6:00 PM.

The Cluver Family has owned property in the Elgin Valley near Cape Town since 1896 and are known as pioneers of wine in the area. The chefs at Jiko will create a masterful menu including some great wine pairings.

Jiko’s wine dinners are particularly recommended not only for the outstanding food and wine, but also for the chance to speak with a winemaker who has come all the way from South Africa. This is something we don’t get to do everyday, and I give props to Jiko for going to distance to make sure these events are high-quality and out of the ordinary.

Jiko Tasting Wines

For a reservation, email [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Flatbreads

One of our favorite pastimes is looking at your photos submitted to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! While they make us really hungry…please send more! ;-)

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature flatbreads! Flatbreads (also possibly known as fancy pizzas) can be found at many of Disney’s table-service and quick-service restaurants.

First up, a tempting Mushroom & Arugula Flatbread from Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Looks gorgeous!
Photographer: Kelly Tressler

Mushroom and Arugula Flatbread

And the flatbreads from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko are always delicious! Check out this [Read more…]

Guest Review: The Mara

I’m happy to welcome back Bill Iadonisi with another enlightening review. This time he explores the counter-service eatery, The Mara, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House. Take it away, Bill!

Hello Disney Food Blog fans! I know it’s been long between reviews, so let’s get started on this month’s eatery! I have always said that Disney’s resorts hold some of the best places to eat on property. Usually much quieter and less hectic then the restaurants in the parks, and many times you can just walk in and sit down.

Today we are going to the dark continent of Africa for this review. Well, maybe a quick safari trip to Disney’s Jambo house is what we’ll do. The main attractions at this beautiful resort are the breathtaking views of the African Savanna from select rooms. But it’s also home to some of Disney’s finest restaurants.

Although not a five-star eatery, Jambo House’s counter-service establishment, The Mara (named after the Mara River in Africa) is a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it does all three equally well.

The Mara Story - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

So before we explore the eats, let’s take a look at the décor.

Themeing and Decor
Located very close to the Jambo House pool, the Mara is themed (like all Disney eateries), but not as strongly as, say, Pizzafari or even the Flame Tree Barbeque.

Entrance

Inside is a spacious dining area with a colorful mural of African flora and fauna on the two back walls.

Spacious Dining Area

The tables and chairs are plain and Spartan, but overhead are metallic cut-outs that resemble tree leaves, and several support posts that have large wooden beams resembling tree limbs make it appear as though you are [Read more…]

Sanaa’s “Dine with an Animal Specialist” Lunch Now Available Two Days Per Week

Thanks again to Vallen Tucker at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge concierge office for providing us with more exciting news about the Dine with an Animal Specialist experience and the Jiko Wine Tasting experience.

We have some great news to share about two brand new experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Dine With An Animal Specialist Adds Extra Availability

The Dine with an Animal Specialist program has been so successful that it will now be offered twice per week!

During the “untamed” lunch at Sanaa, your family will be immersed in African culture while posing questions to an animal expert regarding the animals on the beautiful savanna. Take a look at the delicious menu here.

Parts of the First Course Offerings

This dining experience has been in such high demand that it will be continued as an official offering that can be booked on Saturdays at Noon or Wednesdays at 11:30 am.

Cost
$49 adults
$29 children
Payment required in full at time of booking.

Reservations
The Saturday program begins October 1st and can be reserved now. Call 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463) to reserve!

Jiko Wine Tasting Now Available Through 407-WDW-DINE

In addition, the Wine Tastings at Jiko can now be reserved via Disney Dining. Read a guest review of a wine tasting here. [Read more…]