Aulani Food News: Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, and Kids Eat Free!

The second annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is a four-day event scheduled for September 6th – 9th, 2012. And the grand finale signature event, “Cuisines of the Stars” A Magical Journey of Food & Culture,” will be held from 6-9pm at Ko Olina Resort, featuring Aulani, on the last evening.

Participants at the many events can look forward to the expertise of 50 international master chefs, as well as renowned wine and spirit makers. Ethnic foods and beverages from around the world will be highlighted.

AmaAma View

Chef Andrew Sutton (Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel) and Chef Patrick Callarec (Disney’s Aulani Resort) join the [Read more…]

Construction Update: Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney California Adventure

The Carthay Circle Theatre is looking gorgeous in Disney California Adventure. Disney Imagineering has worked hard on the replica of this famed theatre in which “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” premiered in 1937. Check out these great pics that Heather got!



We first reported on this construction back in 2009, and then learned at the D23 Expo that this venue will showcase an exclusive restaurant.

Acclaimed Napa Rose Chef Andrew Sutton is creating the menu, and we anticipate exquisite cuisine. The last time we dined at Napa Rose, Chef Sutton let us know that [Read more…]

2011 DFB Choice Award Winners!

It’s time to announce the winners of the second annual DFB Choice Awards!!

The awards are 100% based on Disney Food Blog reader choices. Nominations and final winners are selected by DFB readers who participate in the process. Everyone is welcome to participate! If your favorites didn’t win this year, be sure to nominate and vote for them next year! :-)

Thanks to those of you who took the time to nominate your favorites, and to vote for the winners!

Without further ado, here are this year’s DFB Choice Award winners!

[Read more…]

Review: Napa Rose Chef’s Counter

Napa Rose

We finally got the chance to dine at Chef Andrew Sutton’s Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort (Disneyland) — and I’m pretty sure I’ve never been so excited in my life. We’ve eaten at Napa Rose once before, but we’ve never had this experience!

Eight people can dine at the Chef’s Counter at a time — four on one side of the “order up” area, an four on the other. There are two seatings per night at 5:30pm and 8:30pm; we were there for the last seating and had the chance to take up one whole side of the counter with Heather Sievers and her husband, so we already had great company taken care of.

And as far as atmosphere goes, this was definitely one of the most incredible meals I’ve ever had at a Disney restaurant — or at any restaurant…

Napa Rose Show Kitchen from the Chef's Counter


Napa Rose is a signature restaurant — i.e. “high end” — but it has a very casual feel. Guests enter through the Napa Rose lounge (a great place to eat if you don’t have reservations and want to experience fantastic food) and pass the [Read more…]

Disneyland Resort Restaurants and Chefs Win Awards

Traveling to Disneyland soon? You’ll want to add these resort restaurants to your dining list! We give a foodie shout-out to the winners of the Southern California Restaurant Writers awards!!

With a 36 year history, the Southern California Restaurant Writers, Inc. selects winners from south Santa Barbara to the border of Mexico. With such a large region, it’s a testament to the food quality at Disneyland that so many awards were presented to Disneyland restaurants at the annual banquet Sunday night.

Join me in congratulating Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Viallet named the Pastry Chef of the Year! For the last ten years, Viallet has been dreaming up creative pastries for Disneyland guests.

Jean-Marc Viallet, Executive Pastry Chef, Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort received top honors in five categories! The Golden Bacchus is presented to restaurants with an extensive wine collection. The Golden Sceptre is considered the “top restaurant” award.

Special Award Category

* Pastry Chef of the Year: Jean-Marc Viallet, executive pastry chef, Disneyland Resort

Golden Bacchus Wine Award

* Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)
* Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)

Golden Sceptre (Five Star)

* Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)
* Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)

Gold (Four Star)

* Ariel’s Grotto (Paradise Pier, Disney’s California Adventure park)
* Blue Bayou (New Orleans Square, Disneyland park)

Sterling (Three Star)

* Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)
* Storyteller’s Cafe (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)

Source: Disney Parks Blog
Chef Photo copyright Disney

Disney Food Trends: Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Even Chef Mickey is in on the trend...

I’ve been noticing a few food trends while traipsing through Disney parks, and I think they’re important to mention — especially since they seem to be popping up on every menu re-vamp out there.

First, we gotta take a gander at good old macaroni and cheese. When I asked Disney World’s Sanaa Chef Bob Getchell about the gourmet mac and cheese trend that seems to be taking over Disney restaurants, he mentioned that chefs like to make food they themselves love; many have fond memories of mac and cheese while they were growing up, and they want to create new and improved contemporary recipes for the dish. Here are a few of our favorite versions on and around Disney property:

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yacht Club Resort’s Yachtsman Steakhouse gets a nod due to a relatively new mac and cheese dish I found on the menu in October. Their truffle mac and cheese uses huge orecchiette noodles and Reypenaer cheese with a touch of truffle oil and a topping of crunchy onions. It’s served in a cast iron baking dish that lends a rustic look — very fun! The best part — it tastes amazing. Rich, tangy, creamy sauce nestles into those pasta pieces and serves as the perfect accompaniment to the meal. This is sold as a side dish only, so be sure to look for it at the bottom of the menu.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Le Cellier
Not to be outdone, Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse has also introduced some mac and cheese on the menu. Served in a cast iron skillet, elbow macaroni is [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s Napa Rose

As promised in the August Disney Food Blog Newsletter, here’s our review of premier Disneyland restaurant, Napa Rose!

Napa Rose is the top brass when it comes to dining in Disneyland. The restaurant, presided over by decorated Chef Andrew Sutton, is located in the woodsy Grand California Resort located in the middle of Disneyland’s Downtown Disney district.

Napa Rose

The style of the restaurant is similar to that of the Grand Californian — warm, muted tones fill out the craftsman style, with light woods and an open floor plan. The massive windows look out onto a lovely patio and wooded area, so the feeling of seclusion compliments the openness of the restaurant itself.

View of Open Kitchen From Restaurant


Pass by a “few select” wines in the restaurant’s wine cellar — showcasing a few special Lasseter vintages, of course — on your way to the dining room, where the focal point is [Read more…]

No Park Tickets? No Reservation? No Problem!

The main complaint I hear regarding the re-instated 180-day window for Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations is that it’s impossible to get a seat in a restaurant “on a whim.” I wanted to address that concern and add another challenge: what if you don’t have park tickets, either?

I thought it’d be fun to tackle this situation and suggest a few spots in both Disney World and Disneyland for those who find themselves in this “pickle!”

Beaches and Cream Beef Sandwich Au Jus

Walt Disney World

Nope! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to find a good, table-service meal in Disney World — even when you don’t have a reservation or a park ticket! Here are four of my favorite go-to locations at all different price points:

Beaches and Cream $
Welcome back to the 1950’s soda shoppe! Beaches and Cream is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and doesn’t even take reservations, so you won’t ever run into the no ADR problem! This spot serves simple, but delicious, [Read more…]

Sharing is Caring: Three Great Appetizers That’ll Feed A Crowd

I loooooooove appetizer platters. Give me a way to sample everything on the menu at once and I’m there. (I know. You’re so surprised to discover that about me, right?) Seriously, though, appetizer platters are a good way to give food-loving families a little taste of everything, and to give picky eaters a better shot of finding something they’ll enjoy as well. They bring peace and harmony wherever they go, and this is why we always have to order them when available.

So, going through my photos the other day, I realized that I’ve had three such delights in the past few months! This sampling covers three distinct food themes — Irish at Raglan Road, California Cuisine at Napa Rose, and Italian at Portobello — so I thought it’d be especially interesting…

Appetiser D’Lirrah for Two: Raglan Road Pub, Downtown Disney, Disney World

Raglan Road

At Raglan Road, amidst the stained glass, live Irish music and dancing, and imported bars (yep — they imported the actual wooden bars themselves from Ireland), you’ve got some incredible, authentic Irish food with a modern twist designed by Celebrity Master Chef Kevin Dundon).

Located in the Downtown Disney district of Walt Disney World, Raglan Road offers a great spot to while away an evening on some imported beer, keen cocktails, or incredible food — including this piece of foodie decadence called [Read more…]

The Five Best Things I Ate In Disneyland

So, as my twitter and facebook friends know, I am embarking on a series of posts with the working title, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney.” (What? I love the Food Network!) I’ll be including in the series a bunch of suggestions from readers and friends about delicious, not-to-be-missed Disney foods, so stay tuned for those posts.

But I thought it’d be fun to start off the series with my own picks for the five best things I ate on my recent trip to Disneyland! I’ll be reviewing each of these restaurants separately as well — but here are the dishes that really knocked my socks off while in the “west coast office.”

#1. Pommes Frites: Cafe Orleans, Disneyland

I’m pretty sure my husband and I both dream about these at night. Think about the best french fries you’ve ever eaten, and then make them about 50 times better, and then you might come close to imagining the Pommes Frites at Cafe Orleans. According to the official Disneyland Cafe Orleans menu: Traditional French Fried Potatoes tossed with Parmesan, Garlic, and Parsley served with Cajun Spice Remoulade. The amazing part? They cost $5.

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

#2. Cinnamon Roll French Toast: Carnation Cafe, Disneyland

This stuff pretty much speaks for itself. The Cinnamon Roll French Toast came frosting-less, with a cup of cream cheese frosting and [Read more…]