Disney World Dolphin Resort’s Shula’s Steak House Recognized for Wine List

Shula’s Steak House has been awarded the 2011 “Best Of” Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine!

This Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort restaurant can boast being one of only eight Orlando venues to earn this recognition. Wine Spectator Magazine issued the 2011 Restaurant Wine List Awards to 833 restaurants worldwide.

The Restaurant Wine List Awards recognize each year the restaurants whose wine lists are: [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan

As you know, Kim L. is our behind-the-scenes manager here at the Disney Food Blog, a Disney World Moms Panelist, and a blogger! You’ll begin to see her name more and more in that little author line! Learn more about her on our staff and contributors page! Here, she discusses her top choices for Disney World restaurants not on the Disney Dining Plan!

UPDATE 4/2012: The restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin Resort are not yet on the Dining Plan, but the others — T-Rex, Rainforest Cafe, Portobello, Fulton’s, Paradiso 37, Wolfgang Puck Cafe The Dining Room, and House of Blues, should now be on the Dining Plan!

Lots of guests want to know the top restaurants when dining with the Disney Dining Plan, but since those restaurants seem to fill up more and more quickly these days, we’ve also been getting requests for recommendations on restaurants not included in the Dining Plan. Here are my picks for the best table service locations that do not participate in the DDP! ;-)

Top 5 Restaurants Not on the Disney Dining Plan, for Adults

Portobello
For guests craving a casual meal with value, Portobello at Downtown Disney dishes out hearty Italian fare. Choose from a value dinner menu, wood-burning oven pizzas, signature sandwiches plus a meatball and beer bar!

AJ recommends the Bucatini!

House of Blues
Got late night munchies at Downtown Disney? House of Blues is open til 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights! The southern-inspired menu includes a large variety of sandwiches and seafood such as Creole Jambalaya. To soothe your soul, look for [Read more…]

Holiday Menus, Dining Events, and Discounts at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Headed to Disney World during November or December? The Disney World Swan and Dolphin have some great menus and events planned — and even some spectacular discounts and free gifts!

Specialty Menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas bring the holiday spirit to some of our favorite restaurants in [Read more…]

More Sneak Peek Tasting Photos from the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Just wanted to share a couple more tasting photos from the upcoming Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic, being held on October 8-9, 2010!

You’ll recall earlier this week when we spoke with Tony Porcellini, Swan and Dolphin’s Director of Food and Beverage, and got a sneak peek into the Classic — including what guests will discover when touring the tasting booths and taking part in the Wine Blending seminar at the event.

Today, we have a few more sneak peek photos from the tasting booths — tried and true favorites from Shula’s Steak House and Il Mulino New York Trattoria! [Read more…]

Exclusive: First Look at Menus and Details from the Swan & Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

I recently had the incredible opportunity to speak with Anthony “Tony” Porcellini, the Director of Food and Beverage at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and the brains behind the brand new annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Tony was kind enough to share with me a few more details on the upcoming event, including menus for the tasting booths, specifics on the seminars, and a few surprises for next year’s event! I also received fantastic photos of some of the menu items that will be available in the tasting booths! You can see a few of them below, and a few more will be highlighted over the upcoming weeks.

What We’ll Be Tasting at the Food and Wine Classic

Six Swan and Dolphin restaurants will be featured at the Causeway tasting stations on Friday and Saturday nights (October 8th and 9th, 2010). The offerings will change each night, so be sure to check out the menus below before deciding your dates (or just head over both nights — that’s what I’d do!)

Todd English’s bluezoo
The first night of the festival will feature one of the restaurant’s trendiest dishes: Shrimp Steamrollers! According Tony Porcellini, to make the steamrollers, bluezoo Executive Chef Chris Windus basically “deconstructs a shrimp cocktail in a tube.” Eating them is an even bigger adventure! Chef Windus will be on hand at the tasting booth to demonstrate.

bluezoo Steamroller

Another trendy dish takes the stage at the bluezoo booth on Saturday. Pipettes filled with buerre blanc sauce will spear small pieces of scallop and bacon. To eat, simply pull the scallop and bacon from
[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 :-)

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (And Alternatives When They’re Full)

Chef Donald

You guys remember when we covered the Top Ten Disney Dining Tips, right? Overwhelmingly, the tip that was mentioned the most by Disney Food Blog readers was making Advanced Dining Reservations for high priority meals at Disney parks and resorts.

While this might be obvious to many, not everyone knows which Disney restaurants fill up the fastest when it comes to reservations. Having a little frame of reference on this might be extremely helpful as you’re planning your Disney dining and trying to determine what meals are high priority for you. So, I’ve prepared a little primer on which Disney restaurants are the toughest to book, along with great alternatives if you don’t happen to get your favorites!:

1. Le Cellier

Le Cellier Steakhouse has been, for years, one of the toughest tickets in Disney World for both lunch and dinner. Seriously, I have heard Le Cellier cast members mention more than once that they’re continuously booked up for lunch and dinner 6 months in advance, with walk-up reservations rarely an option. In my opinion, this is due to three things: [Read more…]