News: Full Menus Announced for the 2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

While we’ve been focusing on all the excitement that Fall brings for Disney Food Fans, we have another fun event to update you about — the 2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Logo 2015

The two-night event, back by popular demand for the sixth year in a row, will once again take place over Halloween Weekend in 2015. Mark your calendars for Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31!

The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is made up of two components: Seminars and the Causeway. Seminars center around learning more about food and beverage in a fun, interactive way. For more details on this year’s Food and Wine Classic Seminars, be sure to check out our Food and Wine Classic Seminar Page.

But guests stay and play for the evening on the Causeway!

If you’re new to the Food and Wine Classic, the Causeway is a collection of food and beverage booths set up in the walkway that links the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Every single restaurant from both the Swan and Dolphin — all nine! — participate, and bring tapas-sized eats to the party. Chef Robert Ciborowski, the executive chef of the Swan and Dolphin Resort, also prepares some dishes in Cib’s Smoke Shop.

Shula's Booth Is Always Popular at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Shula’s Booth Is Always Popular at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In addition, there are tents representing beer and wine from all over the world, offering tasting portions. [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

It’s almost time! The Fifth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is just around the corner!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

This event, which takes place concurrently with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a fantastic evening for food and wine lovers.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 31 (yep! Halloween!) and Saturday, November 1. The two-day event consists of food and beverage tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening. And new for 2014, a Beer Garden experience has been added for even more great food and drink.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

We’ve enjoyed the event every year since it began, and 2013 was no exception! We thought a look back at last year’s event was the perfect way to get excited about what’s in store for 2014. Let’s head out to the Causeway for a delicious evening.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Atmosphere

Whether you’re staying at the Swan and Dolphin or you’re arriving from another location, head to the Promenade that connects the two resorts — that’s where the evening’s festivities will take place. We stopped by the Will Call Booth to pick up tickets.

As far as admission goes, you have options. Purchase an all-access ticket, and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pass to the booths. If you prefer, you can choose a la carte tickets instead, which are sold in books of 25.

Will Call Booth

Will Call Booth

The Check In Table provided us with handy plates and plastic wine glasses.

Check-In Table

Check-In Table

These would come in handy as we juggled plates and drinks on the Causeway.

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Booths line the walkway leading from the Swan to the Dolphin as well as the path directly behind the Swan. There’s a lot to take in!

The Promenade

The Promenade

Hi-Top tables are scattered throughout the middle of the Causeway. You’ll also find large tables with chairs off to the side directly behind the Swan.

High Top Table

High Top Table

At the end of the Causeway closest to the Dolphin, a stage is set up for musical performance. While you sip and stroll, you can listen to live tunes!

Stage

Stage

In addition to the food and beverage booths, last year’s Classic featured a large [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic: Highlights

More food and bev fun at Walt Disney World! The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns with seminars, tastings, sweets, and beverages for another year.

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

The Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be held Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014, from 5:30 – 9:00PM at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Walt Disney World. The resorts are just a short walk from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, making this event a convenient add-on to your 2014 Epcot Food and Wine visit.

Let’s take a closer look at all the event has to offer!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway

Immerse yourself in this culinary festival during an evening stroll of the Crescent Lake Causeway. Food, wine, and beer lovers will find delicious options while listening to live music.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, the Swan and Dolphin resorts have a nationally-recognized culinary team that will be showing off their talents! We’ve attended the event every year since it began, and it’s a delicious way to spend the evening.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Mulitple food and beverage stations will showcase food and drink from Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, and Todd English’s bluezoo, among other great Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

Sip the night away with all of your favorites. And if you love wine, enjoy selections from around the world! Sommeliers will be on hand to answer all of your questions and help you to discover new favorites.

Enjoying an evening on the Causeway as I sample appetizer portions of dishes from some of my favorite restaurants is always a fun time! The Shula’s tasting station is always a popular one, and this year’s Beef Tenderloin promises to draw a crowd.

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula's Steakhouse

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula’s Steakhouse

Thirsty? There’s no shortage of beverage options, which include Wine, Beer, and Sake. Tasting stations will offer sips from all popular U.S. wine regions as well as celebrated wines from around the world.

Chefs and Beverage experts staff every station and are happy to answer all of your questions.

You’ll also have the chance to meet executive chefs from the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team. And bluezoo’s Celebrity Chef Todd English will once more be on hand to greet guests and chat about the dishes he’s serving!

Seminars

If you’re interested in a more hands-on learning experience, consider booking

[Read more…]

Walt Disney World Steak Gallery

It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!

disney world steak gallery

We just love to share photos of all of our favorite foods — and collect them into galleries for easy viewing! Whether your craving is for popcorn, ice cream, or a cupcake, there’s a gallery for you!

And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.

Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!

Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.

My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.

Strip Steak

12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

Shula’s

Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.

When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!

Cowboy Ribeye

22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye

Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.

Steak Mary Anne

Steak Mary Anne

Flying Fish

If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.

When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!

Char Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Jiko

Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.

And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak-Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do). :-)

Liberty Inn

In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.

New York Strip Steak Meal

New York Strip Steak Meal

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In just a few short days, we will be headed to the The Fourth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This event, which coincides with the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a food and wine lover’s dream.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. The two-day event consists of food and wine tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

In addition, guests can enjoy a complimentary Cocktail 101 seminar three times during each evening on the Causeway as well as live musical entertainment.

Tasting Plate from Shula's Steakhouse

We’ve had the opportunity to attend the event for the last three years, and we’re looking forward to what 2013 holds! To give you an idea of what lies in store for guests of the Food and Wine Classic, let’s take a look at the 2012 event!

Atmosphere

When you first arrive, you’ll most likely need to pick up your tickets at the Check-In Table.

Check In for the Causeway

Here, staff will check for your reservation, and you’ll receive either your tickets or a wristband, as well as a palate plate and a wine glass.

We had wristbands for the event, which meant that we were free to enjoy unlimited trips to each of the tasting stations. If you prefer a ticketed approach, however, you can purchase books of 25 tickets (most of the booth items require between 2 and 6 tickets).

Food and Wine Classic Wristbands and My Seminar Ticket

For this event, tents are lined up the length of the walkway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts as well as along the walkway behind the Swan. The resorts are located within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Causeway Setup

Tables of all sizes are covered with brightly colored tablecloths, and offer guests a place to sit and relax while enjoying their food and drink.

Tables and Booths Ready for Guests

In addition to tables with chairs, guests can also take advantage of high tops if they prefer to stand.

Individual Tables

It wasn’t too long before the crowd began to swell as guests looked forward to tasting a myriad of dishes.

Causeway is Getting Busy

On Crescent Terrace, guests could also take advantage of [Read more…]

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

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Shula’s Steak House Chocolate Soufflé

I have the PERFECT recipe for you to try this weekend!! Are you ready for a little chocolate…?

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, making a romantic dinner, or just treating yourself to a marathon of your favorite TV show — it’s always good to have a classic recipe like Chocolate Soufflé in your back pocket. Pull it out for some serious shock and awe!

Today, we’re dropping by one of our favorite steakhouses at Disney World, the incredible Shula’s Steakhouse at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

I JUST had this dessert a couple of weeks ago, and it remains a favorite! (Stay tuned for our full review soon!)

Shula's Steakhouse Chocolate Souffle

So…if you’ve ever finished up a dessert at Shula’s and said, “Gosh, I wish I had that recipe,”…well, today is your lucky day!

The Pour! (Love that this is also served with Ice Cream!)

Here we go!

Shula’s Steakhouse Chocolate Soufflé*

Makes approximately 4-6 individual soufflés

Ingredients
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 egg yolks, divided
1 1/4 cups half and half
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup [Read more…]

Review: The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Just in case you didn’t know, TONIGHT begins the Third Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic right outside of Epcot! This year’s event will be held October 12-13 (tonight and tomorrow night) from 5:30-9:00 pm, and I think it’ll be even better than last year!

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

If you’re not familiar with this event, let me tell you a bit about it. The Food and Wine Classic is a fun companion event to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and features seminars and tasting stations from Swan and Dolphin chefs and restaurants as well as other culinary and beverage superstars. Seminars are beverage-related and feature everything from Wine Blending to Modern Mixology (check out our review here!).

But the centerpiece to the Food and Wine Classic is the tasting booths on the Causeway. To whet your appetite for the 2012 event, we have this review from last year’s Causeway. Be sure to check out this year’s menu selections to see what awesomeness is in store for 2012 guests!

Tables and Set Up

And stay tuned all the way to the end of the post, where we have special rate codes for DFB members to turn their Food and Wine Classic experience into a fun-filled weekend!

Atmosphere

This year, guests will choose from over 30 different tasting stations featuring dishes from all your favorite Swan and Dolphin eateries, including Todd English’s bluezoo, Shula’s, and others.

You’ll begin your evening at the check-in table on the Causeway. Here, your reservation will be checked and you’ll receive tickets or a wristband, as well as a plate and glass.

Check In for the Causeway

The Causeway takes its name from the location where the [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…]

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 :-)