Review: Dinner at The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs Resort

We’re off to the races!

And by “races,” I mean sitting and enjoying dinner ;). Today we’re heading to The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. The theme of this Disney Vacation Club resort reflects upstate New York and celebrates its history of horse racing.

Naturally, this theme extends to its solo Table Service Restaurant – The Turf Club (a common name for dining establishments offering great club views of the races at many horse racing destinations across the country).

Oh, and if you’re curious about where you can find THIS chocolate dessert at Disney World, you’ll want to stay tuned!

Sign leading you to the Turf Club

Sign leading you to the Turf Club

Heading towards the Turf Club Bar and Grill

Heading towards the Turf Club Bar and Grill

And so with that, I say… “Riders up!” Let’s dig in!

Atmosphere

Upon arriving for our Advance Dining Reservation at 5:00 pm (the earliest seating at this dinner-only spot), I noticed that just behind the check-in stand was a beautiful wooden piece resembling an old-fashioned horse stable.

"Horse stable"

“Horse stable”

Okay, that’s not entirely true… I didn’t pick up on the fact that it was supposed to be a stable until exiting the restaurant, which is why this picture was taken from the back :). Once I realized it, I thought it was pretty clever. All that to say… themeing here is quite subtle. Dark woods and deep greens are predominant, and the overall effect is appealing.

Indoor Seating at the Turf Club

Indoor Seating at the Turf Club

Of course, you will find a few nods to the equestrian theme throughout the restaurant.

Framed horse racing gear

Framed horse racing gear

Carpet decoration

Carpet decoration

Covered, outdoor seating is available, offering views of the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

And our host checked with us if we would like to be seated outdoors, but since they day was still very warm, we chose indoor seating.

Indoor Seating

Indoor Seating

Table for two

Table for two

Overall, think less whimsical, and more [Read more…]

Guest Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Guest author Paul Kuconis returns with a review of Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World. Take it away, Paul!

For years, friends of mine (also Disney Freaks) told me to go to Yachtsman Steakhouse; and for years I never went. No particular reason.

Finally I did and this is now my second visit in three months. Why did I wait so long?!

Atmosphere

A hidden gem!

Up four steps to an inviting entrance of hardwood and glass and we are in!

Yachtsman Steakhouse Signage

Entrance.

Once inside we are greeted with the Aging Room. Our server told us the meat is dry aged 6-7 days. This is well short of the normal 15-28 days, but the results are still awesome!

First View of the Aging Room

Aging tenderizes and intensifies the flavor and draws out some of the moisture.

Beef Aging

While waiting for our table we looked at today’s cuts. Yum! Can’t wait!

Today’s Cuts

We asked if Thomas was working – he was, and we were seated in his section, at the same table as our previous visit. Clearly my daughter has already gotten down to business!

Our Table By The Window

Our table was in the middle of a huge bay window with a nice view of the pool area and across the way to the ESPN Club.

The View Outside

The view of the restaurant’s interior from our table was equally impressive; very open with the glass and hardwood theme carried throughout.

Notice the portholes (the yacht theme) and the bay windows above, mirroring the bay window we sat near.

Into The Restaurant From Our Table

The chandelier and ceiling structure (along with what I would call a ‘widow’s walk’ skylight) is immense and breathtaking and fits the size of the room. The attention to detail is unbelievable!

Chandelier

After catching up with Thomas we got down to business!

Eats

First stop [Read more…]

New Menu at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

A new menu has debuted at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

In case you haven’t been to Sci-Fi, it’s basically a giant indoor drive-in theater! The all-day menu (lunch and dinner) is served to guests dining in convertible car/tables (awesome!) while old clips of B-movies are shown on a giant screen. The sky twinkles with “stars,” and there’s even a “concession stand” (aka, the kitchen) at the back of the restaurant.

And we love when we get to share updates about the eats — so let’s take a look!

New Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant Menu

I love the addition of the Buffalo Popcorn Chicken, and I’m SUPER glad that the Picnic Burger was left on the menu! It’s monstrous, but well worth it! (You can read my review here!)

Here’s the full new menu! Scroll down to see what’s been removed and what’s been added!

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Menu - click image for larger version

Appetizer Updates

Buffalo Potato Skins have been substituted with [Read more…]

Review: New Steak Dinner (and more!) at Liberty Inn in Epcot

Liberty Inn has been an afterthought due to uninspired food for quite some time; but when I started hearing some buzz about a new steak dinner, I knew I needed to get over there ASAP…

This counter service restaurant, located in the American Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase, has always been a reliable stop for “typical” American fare, like hamburgers and french fries.

And because of its large size, it’s a good place to find a spot to eat should you find yourself in Epcot without an Advanced Dining Reservation.

 

Sign

Let’s go check out the latest!!

Atmosphere

“Liberty Inn Publick Dining Room” — known to most of us as Liberty Inn — is located in the large building that serves as the central location when you look at World Showcase. Situated across from the American Gardens Theatre, the building also houses the American Adventure, an animatronic and film attraction; and an American history mini-museum (a great place to get away from the crowds!).

Entrance

Inside, you’ll find ample seating in the atrium-style dining area. Skylights allow for plenty of natural light, and flags from the original colonies line the brick walls.  You can see them up close in this post.

The decor is decidedly colonial, and the surroundings contain many items that look like they came straight from Colonial Williamsburg.

Seating Indoors and Flags

Baker's Rack and other Colonial Decor

Pots, Pans, and Utensils

But if you’d rather [Read more…]

Guest Review: Le Cellier…From a Canadian Point-of-View

Welcome back James Hummel (@DisneyNorth on Twitter) with a review of Le Cellier. As a Canadian, James offers a unique perspective when reviewing this popular restaurant! He also gives us a glimpse of a proper poutine.

I figured it was high time that a Canadian review one of the most popular restaurants in Walt Disney World. I do want to give a disclaimer first though: these are my opinions only and do not represent all Canadians. And no, I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada (the Canadian readers will get that joke).

The entrance to steak heaven

So, as they say in Quebec, Allons-y!

Atmosphere
You’ve seen the pictures, maybe even the outside of the restaurant and, if you are really lucky like me, seen the inside too (multiple times). Le Cellier is a hidden restaurant in EPCOT. No, not hidden gem… I mean really hidden! If you didn’t know where to look, you would literally walk right by it. I mean, there is no giant doorway for this place. You have to go through the wonderful Victoria Gardens to find, what appears to be, a doorway to an underground bunker. But of course, it is all about the story. Enough talk about the outside, let’s get in from the snow…er…I mean oppressive Florida heat.

The inside of Le Cellier is inspired by the large wine cellars of the grand Chateau style hotels in Quebec City and the Rockies. For me, the restaurant reminds me of [Read more…]

The Five Best Steaks in Disney World

I started out this evening writing a post about the best underrated steaks in Disney World, but then realized that I hadn’t even done the five best steaks in Disney World, yet! So here you go! (Also, please note that this post isn’t about the best steakhouses in Disney World — that’s another post altogether…which Jeff promised me he’d help write…right, Jeff?)

The Five Best Steaks in Walt Disney World

Yachtsman Steakhouse Cowboy Steak

Yachtsman Steakhouse is a tidy little nondescript restaurant churning out some really incredible food. All light woods, white tablecloths, and windows, you really don’t know what to expect when you walk in; but do me a favor and order yourself a steak.

The Cowboy Steak is just about my favorite cut of meat. It’s a ribeye that still has its bones, and it has incredible flavor all on its own. However, I always order it with some melted garlic butter on top, which makes it even better.

Sadly, the Cowboy Steak isn’t on the menu at “press time,” but they change the steaks up quite regularly at Yachtsman Steakhouse, so think happy thoughts and maybe it’ll be there when you are.

Cowboy Steak with Potato Gratin

Le Cellier Filet

Ah, yes. How would I dare do a “best steaks” post without include this darling of the Disney set? Luckily, I’m right there on the bandwagon with everyone else who loves the Le Cellier Filet with Wild Mushroom Risotto and White Truffle-Herb Butter Sauce.

The filet is always tender, and coupled with that superstar mushroom risotto it just can’t go wrong.

Le Cellier Filet — Dinner Portion

Jiko Filet

Found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko is a bit of a dark horse in the favorite steak category. But anyone who’s tasted it knows that their Oak-grilled Filet Mignon with Macaroni and Cheese and Red Wine Sauce is a force to be reckoned with.

The macaroni and cheese adds a sharp taste while the red wine sauce adds a tangy accompaniment to the smooth Filet. It really is an orchestration of flavors that anyone can enjoy. I mean, just look at that picture! Don’t you want to dive in?!?

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko

Shula’s Steak House Cowboy Steak

What can I say — another cowboy (did you know I currently live in Texas?). Shula’s Steak House is a fascinating place for so many reasons — Don Shula himself, the 48-ounce eat-it-all-and-you-get-your-name-on-a-plaque steak, the menu on a football, and so much more. But today we’re just talking about steak, and the steak is luxurious. Shula raises his own cattle, and there is a bit of a “Dolphin Difference” at this place. The meat isn’t dressed in any special way, but the taste is out of this world.

Cowboy Ribeye

Flying Fish New York Strip Steak

While there are several restaurants that I could slide into this final spot, Flying Fish Cafe wins the slot because it’s innovative and eager-to-please. It’s an incredible steak at a seafood place — pretty hard to come by, yet I’m always hearing recommendations about it! When I finally tried their signature Char-crusted Certified Black Angus New York Strip Steak with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Root Vegetables, and Pole Beans with Classic Sauce Foyot, I understood what all the shouting was about.

It has a different taste to it than any other steak I’ve eaten in Disney restaurants. The char-crusting gives it a depth that might be a bit too much for some folks, but for a steak-lover like me makes it just unique enough to edge out other favorites.

Flying Fish New York Strip Steak

By the way, I didn’t know what Pole Beans were, either. Apparently they’re just beans that are grown on poles or trellises. See, I learn so much by writing this blog.

Let the Discussion Begin

I know that there are a lot of you meat-heads (ha ha) out there who have different ideas about the best steaks in Disney World, so let’s hear ‘em! Like I said, I’m putting together a post about the most underrated steaks in Disney World, and I can always use suggestions!

Let me know your favorites in the comments section below :-)