Review: Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort

We are heading into Carthay Circle Restaurant today for dinner with a healthy dose of Old Hollywood glamour!

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Located on the newly re-imagined Buena Vista Street at the entrance of Disney California Adventure, this is one majestic building. Let’s head in!

Atmosphere

If there is one word that I would use to describe Carthay Circle as I approach, it would be impressive. Disney is in the business of re-creating scenes from film, as well as re-imagining the past and forging the future. And once more, they’ve done an excellent job.

Carthay Circle Premiere!

Carthay Circle Premiere!

I mean, I’ve seen Carthay’s likeness so many times. There’s a gorgeous mural inside Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios depicting the night that Snow White premiered at the famed Tinseltown icon. You’ll find an old framed print of the theatre in one of my favorite Studios haunts, Writer’s Stop (home of the famous carrot cake cookie.) You can also spy it in the relief work of the Studios arch, and there’s a mini version on Hollywood Boulevard, doubling as a gift shop. (For more info, check out this great post.)

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu

It’s clear that Carthay Circle holds a special place in the hearts of the Imagineering team. And since we’ll never have the chance to venture into the original theatre, it’s a joy to see it so lovingly recreated as part of the DCA overhaul.

Beautiful Detail on the Tower

Beautiful Detail on the Tower

Two sets of double doors greet you at the entrance of the building. The mirrored doors are great!

Carthay Entrance

Carthay Entrance

Don’t forget — this is a replica of an old Hollywood movie theatre. So naturally, you’ll find ticket windows on either side of the doors. I think it’s fun to see the scale here, don’t you?

Ticket Windows

Ticket Windows

A plaque reminds you of just why Carthay holds such an important place in Disney history.

Plaque Commemorating the Historic Premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Carthay Circle Theatre

Plaque Commemorating the Historic Premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Carthay Circle Theatre

And be sure, if you have the chance, to swing by here at night — if for no other reason than to see this gorgeous view.

Carthay Fountain at Night

Carthay Fountain at Night

As you head in, you’re greeted with separate doors. Two sets lead to Carthay Circle Lounge — and subsequently, onto the restaurant. The other set leads to the exclusive, members-only 1901 Lounge.

Don’t worry! Helpful Cast Members are there to show you the way.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Carthay Circle Restaurant is actually located on the second floor of the building. As you enter, you find yourself in the check in area. Upon confirming your table, you’ll bide your time in a spacious and comfortable waiting area.

Carthay Circle Waiting Area

Carthay Circle Waiting Area

Spend some time taking in the beautiful decor here, as well as all the fun memorabilia. There are tons and tons of photographs and other fascinating pieces. Be sure to check out the collection of Snow White animated cels that are said to have hung in Walt Disney’s home.

Snow White Animation Cels

Snow White Animation Cels

Or you can step into the Carthay Circle Lounge, and enjoy a [Read more…]

Walt Disney Ate Here: The Tam O’ Shanter

Located just a few miles away from the Disney Studios in Burbank, The Tam O’ Shanter is Los Angeles’ oldest restaurant that has remained in the same location under the same ownership and management since 1922.

AND Walt Disney ate here. A lot. 

The Tam O’ Shanter was very close to Walt’s Hyperion Studio when it opened. He frequented the restaurant so often that is was commonly referred to as the “studio commissary.”

The Tam O' Shanter

After seeing Beauty and the Beast in 3D at the Disney Studios, my family and I decided head over to The Tam O’ Shanter to check it out — and possibly sit where Walt once sat, Table 31. 

Atmosphere

I made us a reservation, which I highly recommend as the restaurant does get fairly busy. I even requested Table 31. Since it was dark, my pictures really don’t do the building justice. The restaurant looks like a quaint cottage located smack in the middle of a busy Los Feliz Boulevard.

The Tam O' Shanter

The entrance is guarded by a robust lion statue, and an old phone booth stands just to the left of him. As you enter the lobby area, you feel as though you’ve stepped through a time portal… [Read more…]

Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse

Awesomeness! It’s been a long time since we’ve reviewed Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort, which is a real shame considering how much I like this restaurant! (Meat? Good! Butter? Good! Habanero-Infused Flourless Chocolate Cake? Good!)

But on this visit, I broke away from my standards and tried some new items! Can’t wait to share them with you! Let’s get started…

Atmosphere

Yachtsman Steakhouse has very clean, traditional lines when it comes to decor.

One of the Yachtsman Steakhouse Dining Areas

Guests enter into a foyer where they’ll encounter a large picture window looking into the steak trimming room, then they’ll pass by the open kitchen and into the dining room, which is furnished in light woods and tasteful artwork from top to bottom. Craftsman style chandeliers hang over the white-clothed tables.

Restaurant Entrance

Chandelier in the Two-Story Dining Room

My favorite room in the dining area is a [Read more…]

Spotlight: Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse SignYachtsman Steakhouse is one of those Disney Resort restaurants that I didn’t even know was there for several years. Then one day I caught Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel eating steak at some hoity-toity restaurant during the Yacht and Beach Club “Great Hotels” special, and I knew I had to try it!

Restaurant Forum Plaque

Restaurant Forum Plaque

I was lucky enough to do so during Disney’s first free dining stint several years ago. It’s now become a standard in our Disney restaurant rotation whenever we need a special treat or celebration.

Located in the Yacht Club Resort, Yachtsman Steakhouse is a high-end dinner spot with a view of Stormalong Bay. Specializing in delicious grain-fed beef steaks, the restaurant has a glass-walled butchering room where guests can actually see their steaks being prepared!

Butchering Room

Butchering Room

Led into the restaurant past the open kitchen, guests can catch a glimpse of the dessert offerings before being seated in a dining room furnished in sturdy knotty pine, leather, and brass. If you’re lucky enough to be seated in my favorite section – the semi-circular room with plenty of window tables – be sure to take a glance upward at the simple, elegant chandelier above.

Open Kitchen

Open Kitchen

Dining Room

Dining Room

The View From Our Favorite Table

The View From Our Favorite Table

Chandelier

Chandelier

As I said, this restaurant is a permanent fixture on our “fancy places” rotation; and I will say that spots only get on that list when we know we can expect excellent service, fabulous food, and a comfortable atmosphere. We’re picky, and this place fits every one of our guidelines.

That said, there are always little changes and updates being made to the menu. Desserts are tweaked, the cheese plate is rotated, and even steak offerings can be different from time to time (we were sorely missing the boneless rib eye), but we always walk out happy. It’s like a miracle.

This evening, we ordered our dinners and were faced with the first change: weird butter. Usually, Yachtsman brings a basket of gorgeous onion and sourdough rolls along with a HUGE pat of butter topped with sea salt. Today, the butter was in a dish with oil and balsamic vinegar. Butter’s my favorite, so I was a bit concerned; but this stuff was amazing. Yes! Please add weird oil and balsamic vinegar to my butter!

Yachtsman Steakhouse Onion Rolls and Roasted Garlic

Yachtsman Steakhouse Onion Rolls and Roasted Garlic

Sourdough Rolls

Sourdough Rolls

Butter with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, and Salt

Butter with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, and Salt

We moved on to salad and my cheese plate. The salad was simple and elegant; the cheese plate was delicious as always. I know I owe you guys a cheese plate blog, which I’ll do soon, but for now, here’s the pic and description of the plate.

Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate Descriptions

Cheese Plate Descriptions

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

From there, we enjoyed our entrees (…steak) and extra order of fries (what can I say? We were in the mood for fries!). My steak — the Cowboy Steak — was a bone-in rib-eye. I substituted gratin potatoes for the fried onion strips on the menu.

Cowboy Steak and Potato Gratin with White Diamond Cheddar

Cowboy Steak and Potato Gratin with White Diamond Cheddar

Yachtsman Filet with Mashed Potatoes

Yachtsman Filet with Mashed Potatoes

French Fries

French Fries

At this point, you can imagine we were stuffed, so we skipped dessert. But no worries; I took a shot of the dessert tray for you!

Desserts

Desserts

Here’re the specs! Enjoy!
Yachtsman Info

Dinner menu here. All other menus (including wine and dessert) can be found here.