Chef Interview: New Kids’ Menus Debut in Downtown Disney Orlando

Can healthy kids’ menus also be fun and interesting?

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Richard, executive chef of Downtown Disney’s Portobello Trattoria in Walt Disney World. Portobello and its sister restaurants, Fulton’s Crab House and Wolfgang Puck Cafe, have debuted some brand new children’s menus that aim for healthy as well as fun.

Since healthier — and more grown-up — kids’ eats is a growing trend among Disney-area restaurants (for example, check out the kids’ menu at the new Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom), I was interested to hear all the new menus and the impetus behind them.

Portobello Trattoria

Portobello continues to offer freshly-prepared rustic Italian fare, with an emphasis on slow cooking and local ingredients. And the family-friendly atmosphere provides a cozy-yet-refined alternative where families with children can relax.


Though I’ve seen some negative reviews for Portobello, my experiences here have pretty positive. And the new kids’ menu focuses on freshness and whole foods, without sacrificing kid pleasers, like pizza.

It seems that choice really was the driving motivation for the recent updates to the menus at all three restaurants. “We wanted to offer choices,” said Chef Steve. “People are on vacation and they might be inclined to be indulgent. With all the menus, we feel it’s important to offer healthy choices as well.”

Portobello Dining Room Seating

The choices emphasize a balance between indulgence and smarter eating. “We think the best approach is to offer healthy meals for kids as well as something that mimics the adult dining experience,” he explained.

“We are trying to offer things that are indulgent, like the option to have an ice cream sundae made with locally-made gelato at Portobello. But then we also have grilled meats and fresh fruits, as opposed to things we normally see on children’s menus.”

Chef Steve and his team have also included fresher choices for beverages, like 100% juice options and low-fat milk.

Portobello Kids' Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Fulton’s Crab House

Fulton’s Crab House has retained many of their classic dishes, while offering a new flair featuring sustainably and responsibly harvested [Read more…]

Be Our Guest Restaurant Kids’ Menu Food Pictures

Recently, we drooled over these yummy Be Our Guest Restaurant food pictures from the adults’ menu at Disney World’s most highly anticipated restaurant!

Beast's Castle - the Home for Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant will soft-open on November 19 (with an official debut on December 6) in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland. And today, we’ve got a food photo preview of the kids’ menu, featuring grown up tastes in kid friendly flavors!

Delicious options are plenty, although the Disney chefs have not included kid-favorite chicken nuggets or pizza. Rest assured, the entrees will be appealing to kids while allowing them to dine like grown-ups.

The sneaky chefs are doing their best to make sure your kiddos eat healthy while they’re in the park: “We’re making the ketchup from scratch using carrots,” said Walt Disney World Executive Chef Lenny DeGeorge. “And the meatloaf also has vegetables and bulghur wheat, so kids are getting their vegetables and whole grains and don’t even realize it.”

Let’s take a look at those food pics!

Be Our Guest Restaurant Kids’ Lunch Menu Pictures — Counter-Service

On the counter-service lunch menu, turkey meatloaf is made fun by its Mickey-shaped presentation!

Turkey Meatloaf

A carved turkey sandwich is served on multi-grain bread with sweet potato wedges and peach applesauce. Even without fries, this dish is sure to be a kid-pleaser!

Carved Turkey Sandwich at Be Our Guest

Another selection is the roasted pulled pork. It’s served with [Read more…]

Guest Review: Fulton’s Crab House

Today, we’re welcoming Orlando native Matt Shealy with a guest review of Fulton’s Crab House in Downtown Disney. Matt shares a rave review of the seafood as well as the memorable ambiance of dining at Fulton’s at sunset.

My childhood memories of Disney include images of loveable characters like Mickey, Minnie and Pluto as well as care free roaming of the park’s lush grounds. Those memories were still vivid after an over ten year hiatus. Now that I am a proud father of a two year old girl, I made the 30 minute trek south of Orlando to that magical place called Disney. Other memories of Disney include long lines and Florida’s summer heat, so we headed to the park bright and early.

After a long day of rides and good times, it was time to grab some good food and relax. My wife and I are huge fans of seafood. After asking some of the cast members we settled on Fulton’s Crab House.

On our walk to Fulton's Crab House


We arrived at Downtown Disney at dusk on a warm breezy Central Florida evening. As we strolled towards the larger than life riverboat style restaurant, the [Read more…]

Disney World To Serve Up New Kids’ Menu Items Starting February 15th

We’ve written before about dining with your adventurous child in Disney World — there’s lot of options out there for kids who’d rather have sushi than spaghetti!

But there’s even more great news from the Disney Parks Blog! For those of you who have kids who like to break out of the burger-pizza-fries mold once in a while, check out these new additions to Magic Kingdom table-service kids’ menus launching February 15th.

Liberty Tree Tavern BBQ Chicken Pizza with Pineapple (c) Disney

You’ll find a bbq chicken pizza/flatbread with pineapple (for your spice lovers!), or an oven-roasted turkey meal with mashed potatoes, veggies, and fruit at Liberty Tree Tavern. Tony’s Town Square will offer a “steak skewer spiedini” (basically a kebab) with roasted sweet potato [Read more…]

Ariel and Jack Sparrow Kids’ Cup Glow Lights to Debut

Word on the Disney Streets is that two new glowing Disney character lights will be appearing at the Disneyland Resort this holiday season. Both Ariel and a Pirates of the Caribbean Skull that is being called “Jack Sparrow” will make their debut at Ariel’s Grotto very soon.

These two new character lights will be clipped, as usual, to the “Glowing Character Punch” that is served in a souvenir cup for $6.99.

Buzz Lightyear Glowing Character Punch

Other Characters that are currently available throughout the parks include [Read more…]

Review: Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s quiet, it’s refined, the food is decent, and it’s one of those “hidden gems” when it comes to seeing the Magic Kingdom fireworks!! What more could you ask for? ;-)

Narcoossee’s boasts prime real estate at the Grand Floridian resort on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and has some of the best seafood on Disney World property.


Getting to Narcoossee’s can be a bit of a trick — maybe that’s why it’s still not all that difficult to get an ADR here!

The restaurant is located at the end of the Grand Floridian transportation boat dock, which means it’s about as far from the front door of the lobby (and the monorail) as you can get! If you wind up taking a boat there, it’ll be easier; but since Narcoossee’s is a signature dining location, you’ll likely be a bit dressed up, so a boat from the theme park might not be the best choice. ;-) Once you arrive at the lobby, ask a Cast Member how to get there. It’s much easier than trying to follow signs or a map.

Narcoossees Sign

Upon arriving at the restaurant, you’ll walk past the Chef’s vegetable and herb garden, which lines each side of the entry sidewalk to the resort. (Oh yeah, remember that Narccoossee’s is outside the main lobby, so bring your ‘brella if [Read more…]