Review: March Signature Dinner at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Anytime I can enjoy an evening at Raglan Road, I know it’s going to be a good one.

The Irish pub, located in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, is well known for its authentic atmosphere and delicious, modern twist on Irish food. And the nightly live music and dancing makes it one of the best values in all of Disney. It’s dinner and a show all in one!

But recently, we had the opportunity to attend one of Raglan Road’s special dining events, the March Signature Dinner.

Part dinner, and part opportunity to launch a new book detailing the history and recipes of Raglan Road, we couldn’t wait to take part. Read on to see pictures of the evening, as well as some of the interesting dishes we had the opportunity to enjoy.

Atmosphere

If you haven’t had the chance to pop into Raglan Road for a pint and a meal, you should take care of that as soon as possible. If you have any interest in pubs, this is a place you want to see.

Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

Authentic is an apropos descriptor here, as much of the inside of the pub actually came from Ireland. Bars and fixtures were salvaged from churches and pubs.

We have explored the beautiful space in other reviews; click over to our last lunch review to take a bit of a tour. For today, we’re going to stick to the event.

As guests arrived we checked in at the podium and were ushered through the main dining room, around the bar to the left, and into the Raglan Room. The room is a cozy spot with lower ceilings than the main dining room. A partition separated the room from the rest of the pub for the dinner.

Seating for the event consisted of six or so large tables with an open arrangement; there were no assigned seats.

Room

The Raglan Room Begins to Fill Up with Guests

And here’s where I apologize for all the wonky light. It was very bright early in the evening, and then very dark later on. While it made for lovely views to watch the light ebb, it didn’t do my pictures any favors. :-) Still, I’m hopeful you’ll get an idea of what a beautiful event this was.

The Newly Remodeled Snug and Another Table

The Newly Remodeled Snug and Another Table

The tables set just the right tone, with an elegant, farmhouse feel. A close up of our table gives you a better idea of the setting. I loved the white tablecloths and kitchen towels that would serve as napkins.

Our Table

Our Table

The fresh flower centerpieces and candles were a beautiful touch as well.

Table Candles

Table Candles

But there was a touch of whimsy in the place setting as well, owing to the [Read more…]

Review: Citricos at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort

Come along with us on a great date night destination at Walt Disney World — Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa!

If you haven’t had the pleasure, there are so many reasons to give this wonderful restaurant a try. It’s a little easier to get an Advance Dining Reservation here than other, more popular spots in the Magic Kingdom area.

But with food that rivals the hottest spots at Disney World — and a quiet, comfortable atmosphere — this has become a restaurant we return to again and again. Does it continue to wow? We shall see…

Atmosphere

Citricos is tucked back behind Victoria & Albert’s (another review we’ll be treating you to soon!) on the Grand Floridian’s second floor. And with that “hidden” location, Citricos is often the overlooked signature dining spot here in the Magic Kingdom resort area. Diners often gravitate to California Grill or Narcoossee’s over Citricos in favor of spectacular fireworks views.

But don’t underestimate this place. While the fireworks viewing potential is pretty small here, sometimes being the “odd man out” can make a restaurant even more compelling. Citricos’ strengths come in the form of warmth, elegance, and a very quiet, comfortable atmosphere. I keep saying “comfortable” over and over again, and I’m pretty sure it’s because these dining chairs are some of the best on property! No kidding!

Seating Area

Warm light, sunny colors, and copper details make this an inviting space. (And did I mention the chairs? They’re comfortable.) A full bank of floor-to-ceiling windows lets in plenty of natural light during daytime hours.

Seating Area Near Windows

I like the whimsical, colorful glass touches on the tables. The candle holder and bread plates really add a pop of color to the formal place settings.

Table Setting

It’s always fun to watch the action in the open kitchen. The setting is beautiful, and the staff is poised and professional as they go about dinner service. (Don’t forget to take a peek as you walk to your table to see what items you might want to try!)

Exhibition Kitchen and Expediting Station

Off to the side of the restaurant — just next to the kitchen — is the Chef’s Domain. I’ve had the pleasure of eating in this private dining room recently for a good friend’s birthday dinner, and it’s very nice. You can order from a specialized menu or stick with the regular offerings. For events ranging from a private dinner party to a more elaborate affair, this is a great spot. This must be booked well ahead of time, and there’s a food and beverage minimum cost.

And as a bonus, you can get a really good view of the pastry specialists working at their craft – yum!

Pastry Chef Preparing Desserts

Now, back to our regular old dining room experience! Just walking to our table was enough to excite us about the meal! We were ready to get started.

Eats

The menu at Citricos focuses on [Read more…]

Review: Epcot’s Bistro de Paris

One of Disney World’s “signature” restaurants, Bistro de Paris is a truly elegant getaway from stereotypical theme park dining.

The restaurant is the concept of French chefs Roger Verge, Paul Bocuse, and the late Gaston Lenotre; these three also created concepts for — and originally ran — Chefs de France downstairs from the Bistro and the Boulangerie Patisserie next door. Today, Chef Bocuse’s son keeps an eye on the proceedings here.

Bistro is expensive and high-end, and service is usually excellent. I’ve heard raves about this restaurant, but I’ve also heard that it can be disappointing. My review lands somewhere in the middle.

Atmosphere

The entrance to the restaurant can be tough to find! Guests must walk into the France pavilion and all the way around Chefs de France before coming to a small, residential-looking door marked with a small Bistro sign and menu. I can imagine wandering around the pavilion for quite some time if I were looking for this place in the dark!

Once you enter, things become much more…refined. The general feeling of the Bistro lobby is one of richness.

Entryway Ceiling

Lighting

The deep red carpeting, brass fixtures, milk-glass light treatments, and drop-dead gorgeous art nouveau staircase and “chandelier” are [Read more…]

Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby

Note: See answers to last week’s photo quiz at the bottom of this post!

One of my new favorite restaurants on Walt Disney World property is one I’d never set foot in during all my trips to Disney World: the Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

I’d always looked at the menu and figured, “Too expensive. Too hoity-toity,” and never gave it a second thought. But since starting the Food Blog — and embarking on an adventure of eating in every Disney restaurant I could — I was excited to finally have a reason to try this place out. After all, I’ve always heard glowing reviews. And, let me tell you, they’re deserved.

Atmosphere
Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby is a replica of the famous Vine Street Brown Derby, originally built in 1928 and home to dozens of famous Hollywood rumors and stories, including Clark Gable’s proposal to Carole Lombard in booth #5 and Lucille Ball’s dinner roll food fight. Disney World’s Brown Derby is an officially licensed Brown Derby Restaurant, and is the fifth Brown Derby Restaurant to be built.

Brown Derby History -- Click Image for Larger View

The likeness to the original restaurant is uncanny — the covered entryway, signage, dining room, and even decor are identical to the namesake. And those well-known caricatures grace [Read more…]

More Dishes From California Grill

The Disney Food Blog took you to the California Grill back in April 2009, but we’ve returned since then and we’ve got more pics for you! :)

Located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill is one of Orlando’s most outstanding restaurants. It’s well known for sushi, wine, market-specific menus, and that fantastic fireworks show that happens right outside!

The Eats
We began this evening with our customary cheese plate (I can’t pass up a good cheese plate!), and California Grill doesn’t disappoint. The cheeses will change seasonally, and usually range from mild and buttery to a strong blue cheese (my favorite is the Monte Enebro, which you’ll find on other Disney World cheese plates as well). You’ll often find a variety of sources as well, from sheep’s milk to goat’s milk to cow’s milk. The plates also come with several sweet accompaniments. As you know, the honeycomb is my absolute favorite, but on this plate the candied nuts and sweet apples also were delicious.

California Grill Cheese Plate October 09

California Grill Cheese Plate October 09

Cheese Plate Listing -- Click for Larger Version

Cheese Plate Listing -- Click for Larger Version

Also for starters, we wanted to sample the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Basil, which is probably one of the most [Read more…]