First Look AND Review: Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

2016 is gearing up to be a positively HUGE year for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The headlining news revolves around the highly anticipated Rivers of Light spectacular, which — along with evening journeys at Kilimajaro Safaris also beginning sometime in the spring — will transform Animal Kingdom into a park with nighttime activities for the first time.

Naturally, this transition into a full day park will affect dining options, since expanded operating hours will result in a larger need for more dining opportunities. In fact, it’s already been announced that Animal Kingdom will also be getting its first Signature Restaurant in 2016, Tiffins.

But it’s not just huge shows and signature eateries coming to Animal Kingdom. Some additions are more subtle, but certainly still worth noting. For instance… SURPRISE!! As of this past Saturday, there is a brand new bar and snack stand you can now enjoy in Animal Kingdom’s Asia.

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks

Welcome to Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks! Let’s have a look! [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Alfresco Tasting Terrace at Disney California Adventure

DisneyFoodBucketList 8-018
This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

 

Welcome to Wine Country!

Alfresco Tasting Terrace Menu

Alfresco Tasting Terrace Menu

Nestled above Wine Country Trattoria is the Alfresco Tasting Terrace in Disney California Adventure. This little haven for wine lovers and Disney fans alike is #OnTheList this week! [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Rockin’ Burger Block Party

Today, we are heading back to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival for a look at a brand new Special Event!

Epcot Food and Wine Rockin Burger Block Party Graphic 15

One of the new events introduced this year is the Rockin’ Burger Block Party, and DFB has been at two of the parties.

Join us today as we share our experience, which includes visits with a few celebrity guests and an incredible variety of burgers.

And if you like what you see, there are still tickets left for the November 6th Party, which features Cake Boss Buddy Valastro! Just call (407) 939-3378 to make your reservations.

Atmosphere

The Rockin’ Burger Block Party sounds like it might take place outside…but no.

The event is held in World ShowPlace, the events pavilion that’s tucked away behind giant doors in World Showcase. If you haven’t been there before, you’ll find the entrance between the Canada and UK Pavilions.

Just look for the Events Cast Members, and they’ll point the way!

Entrance

Entrance

Check-in for the event is located inside the main entrance. The party actually takes place in the large room that’s beyond. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Bistrot Chez Rémy at Disneyland Paris

Join us in welcoming Guest Author Mark Zambrano with a review from Disneyland Paris. Today, he takes us to the brand new Bistrot Chez Rémy!

Welcome to Chez Remy

Welcome to Chez Remy

Bistrot Chez Rémy is the new 370 seat table service restaurant located on La Place de Rémy at Walt Disney Studios Park, the largest in Disneyland Paris.

Immaculately themed with Disney details around every bend, this rat-sized addition to Disneyland Paris is a fantastic chance to step inside the wonderful world of Ratatouille.

Atmosphere

Follow the signs from Toy Story Playland to La Place de Rémy, where roofs are crowded with crooked chimneys, classic Parisian street lamps line the cobblestone streets, and hidden Rémy’s abound.

Imagineers seemed to have spared no expense creating this “Pixar Paris” that transports guests to the City of Light right in the middle of a Disney Park.

Remy Lamp Post

Adjacent to the incredible new ride, Ratatouille: The Adventure – L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, is Bistrot Chez Rémy, serving French food with flare and shrinking diners to the size of Rémy & Co. with the help of some very oversized furniture, cutlery, and other accoutrements.

Chez Rémy Sign

Chez Rémy Sign

Bistrot Chez Rémy Outdoor Awning

Bistrot Chez Rémy Outdoor Awning

Chez Rémy Door Detail

Chez Rémy Door Detail

As soon as you walk through the door of Chez Rémy, you are immersed in Ratatouille. From Chef Gusteau’s Golden Fork award, Rémy’s honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts, Anton Ego’s famous critique or the famed “Anyone Can Cook!” cookbook, the walls are awash with memorabilia to set the mood.

Make sure to pay special attention as you walk past the check in desk – you might just spy a 5 euro note framed on the wall. It’s the tip left by Chez Rémy’s very first customer!

Chez Rémy Check In Podium

Chez Rémy Check In Podium

Chez Rémy Podium Up Close

Chez Rémy Podium Up Close

Chez Rémy Waiting Area

Chez Rémy Waiting Area

Chez Rémy Waiting Area Seating

Chez Rémy Waiting Area Seating

Chez Rémy Decor

Chez Rémy Decor

Chez Rémy

Chez Rémy

Chez Rémy Wall Decor

Chez Rémy Wall Decor

Chez Rémy Lobby Decor

Chez Rémy Lobby Decor

Continue on to the dining room where champagne corks serve as stools, giant plates divide the booths and lights come courtesy of candles on spoons. Tropical drink umbrellas add flare to jelly topped tables, Christmas lights hang through giant copper pots on the ceiling and measuring spoons dress the walls with tacks.

You can tell great pains were taken to replicate the final scene of the movie to a T. As we were guided to our table (AKA the top of a sardine can), we barely had enough time to take it all in.

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Table

Chez Rémy Table

Chez Rémy Tables

Chez Rémy Tables

Chez Rémy Table and Decor

Chez Rémy Table and Decor

Chez Rémy Dining Room Details

Chez Rémy Dining Room Details

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Dining Room

Chez Rémy Lighting

Chez Rémy Lighting

Chez Rémy Decor Detail

Chez Rémy Decor Detail

Chez Rémy Seating Areas

Chez Rémy Seating Areas

Eats

Our bottle cap chairs were surprisingly comfortable as we perused the menu – all prix fixe with the exception of dessert, if you so choose. While offerings are limited, there should be something for everyone on the menu – including vegetarians. The dish made famous by [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…]

News! Enjoy Disney Family of Wines and a New Menu at Alfresco Tasting Terrace in Disney California Adventure

Wine lovers have something new to try at Disneyland Resort!

Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland

Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland

We’ve long enjoyed the Alfresco Tasting Terrace at Disney California Adventure for a place to enjoy small plates and California wines. You’ll find the secluded spot on the second floor of the Park’s Wine Country Trattoria.

Alfresco Tasting Terrace Seating

Alfresco Tasting Terrace Seating

But now, we have even more reason to visit, as the rustic venue has introduced a revamped menu to complement their brand new line up of wines.

A Selection of Options from the Disney Family of Wines

A Selection of Options from the Disney Family of Wines

Alfresco has introduced the “Disney Family of Wines”, a collection of California wines all bearing some connection with the Disney brand. While some of the wines are featured at other Disney restaurants, Alfresco is the only spot where you can sample selections from all eight of the wineries featured in the collection. They include: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Join us in welcoming back Guest Author Paul Kuconis! His latest review features dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors located at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World.

When I think of Contemporary Resort-based restaurants, California Grill and Chef Mickey’s immediately come to mind. It’s hard to miss the glass dome sitting atop the Resort — ‘Oooh, there’s California Grill!’; and Chef Mickey is always in sight from the monorail.

But there is a hidden gem neatly tucked away — The Wave…of American Flavors — and entering through the front door makes it easy to miss. We always arrive by boat from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge so we walk by it often. Well, we finally decided to stop ‘passing by’ and made reservations during our last visit.

Atmosphere

The first thing I saw was a video marquee highlighting the culinary options presented inside. To me this presentation is very much in keeping with the ‘contemporary’ theme of the resort. OK, now I know what they serve, so let’s head inside.

Video Marquee

Video Marquee

The entrance is rather neat. First, it establishes the stainless steel theme I noticed throughout my meal, and the tunnel takes me to a different place — that of sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients.

Entrance to The Wave

Entrance to The Wave

As we approached the reception desk, I noticed the earth tones in keeping with the sustainable theme. Also, the wall partition presents the wave theme.

Reception Desk

Reception Desk

We had nice wall art to look at while we waited for our table. A very contemporary rendition, in keeping with the resort.

Wall Art

Wall Art

Even the ceiling features carry the wave theme with contemporary light fixtures. It all works well together as the earth tones carry throughout the restaurant.

The Wave Themed Ceiling

The Wave Themed Ceiling

A nice touch, and a very subtle one, is the wave embroidered on the linen napkin.

Themed Linen Napkin

Themed Linen Napkin

Eats

After we sat down and perused the wine list, we decided on a bottle of Bonterra Chardonnay 2012. I enjoy a nice chardonnay and this wine fits the bill. It’s from Mendocino, one of California’s better known wine regions with predominant vineyard acreage in chardonnay.

Bonterra Chardonnay 2012

Bonterra Chardonnay 2012

A very nice wine. An initial impression of rich, buttery cream quickly turns to aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon and crème brulee. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with a minerality that is both bright and clean, drawing you into a vibrant tartness and lemon zest.

Although that description sounds very complex, it’s not. Bottom line for me is, does it have a nice flavor? And yes, this one does! Notice the stainless steel wine cooler.

A Nice Pour

A Nice Pour

After we ordered we were served bread and butter — Multi grain bread with ground flax seeds and butter with Hawaiian sea salt. (Notice the stainless steel bread bowl.) The bread was nice and fresh and the butter was just soft enough to spread easily and allowed the salt to mix in giving each bite a nice crunch. The ground flax seeds provided a visual balance to the sea salt atop the butter. Nicely done!

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

I always look for menu offerings that I haven’t had before. The Sustainable Fish Taco fit the bill. To me, it also fit the theme of the restaurant, sustainable and locally sourced. I’ll try that!

Sustainable Fish Taco Menu Item

Sustainable Fish Taco Menu Item

Oooh! Very nicely plated with a stainless steel taco tray! The fish used were Snapper and Swordfish and fit nicely with the Apple-Jicama slaw and a mild white sauce drizzle, topped with micro greens.

The apples used were Pink Lady (a trademark and the variety is more correctly known as Cripps Pink). Cripps Pink apples are a cross between the Australian Lady Williams and the Golden Delicious. At any rate, this variety was new to me and had a very nice flavor and texture.

The slaw and sauce complemented the mildness of the fish and made for a nice bite. Providing a contrast in textures; the crunch of the apple and jicama worked well against the smoothness of the fish.

Sustainable Fish Taco Appetizer

Sustainable Fish Taco Appetizer

Yuzu Gelato was served providing a palette cleanser and a nice finisher. Yuzu a citrus fruit, originates in East Asia and looks like a very small grapefruit. The yuzu’s flavor is tart, closely resembling that of a grapefruit with hints of mandarin orange. A very nice way to end an awesome appetizer!

OK, how can my entrée top my appetizer? A tough task indeed.

I settled on the [Read more…]

Disney World March Dining Events: The Wave Discovery Dinner and Jiko’s Wine Dinner

Disney fans, check out The Wave Discovery Dinner (for Tables in Wonderland members only) and a Wine Dinner at Jiko — both events will be held in March at the Walt Disney World resort!

The Wave Discovery Dinner

Tables in Wonderland has announced a January Discovery Dinner at The Wave…of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort for January.

Discovery Dinner Details - click image for larger version

Discovery Dinner Details – click image for larger version

The Wave Discovery Dinner Details

Here are a few details for ya…

Location: The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:30PM Reception; 7PM Dinner
Cost: $110 per person includes tax and gratuity
Dress Code: Casual Evening Attire

To celebrate Central Florida’s strawberry season, this event will feature family-owned Lott Farms. Tim Mahr (Vice President of Sales for the Southern Division of Martin Ray Winery) will be the wine speaker.

Menu

Welcome Reception
Strawberry Tequila Shooter with Lime Caviar
Strawberry Sweet Tea Braised Short Rib Slider
Kumamato Oysters in Strawberry Gelee with Micro Wasabi
MARTIN RAY CHARDONNAY, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

First Course
U-12 Scallop Crudo with Strawberries Five Ways and McGregor Farms Opal Basil
MARTIN RAY SAUVIGNON BLANC, NAPA VALLEY

Second Course [Read more…]

Photos and Review Part 3: Spice Road Table Market in Walt Disney World’s Epcot

Today, we’re back with more photos from Spice Road Table, Epcot’s newest restaurant!

Spice Road Table and Shops in the Morocco Pavilion

Spice Road Table and Shops in the Morocco Pavilion

The table service spot has been enjoying rave reviews from our staff and guests alike since its soft opening on Saturday. Business has been brisk, and we have enjoyed bringing you photos and reports of many of the menu items!

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

But Spice Road Table is only part of the story. When the new restaurant debuted, it was part of a newly renovated and expanded waterfront presence in Morocco.

Returning is the popular Art of Henna, where guests can have their very own temporary henna tattoos applied.

Getting Your Henna Tattoo is Part of the Fun!

Getting Your Henna Tattoo is Part of the Fun!

The entire front portion of the Morocco Pavilion has undergone a bit of a shift-around since Spice Road Table moved in. The Mo’Rockin stage, home to the popular Moroccan live band that plays here throughout the day, has moved to the other side of the walkway.

Mo'Rockin Stage

Mo’Rockin Stage

Also returning is the waterfront gift shop. Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco is your one-stop shop for authentic Moroccan clothing and other items. But it’s also a fantastic find if you’re looking to recreate some of the flavors you just experienced at Spice Road Table.

Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco

Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco

Today, we’re taking a little look around this interesting spot to get a look at all the Mediterranean delicacies that you can head home with as souvenirs!

Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco

Enter Souk-al-Magreb via the door from the World Showcase Promenade, or or you can take a stroll through the shop directly from Spice Road Table. If you come through the front door, the first thing you’ll see food-wise is this wonderful little display of spices in tagines. I kept thinking that the collection would cost a small fortune in the Spice Route Days!

Spice Display

Spice Display

Behind the curio housing the spices, the back of the round table holds a [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: The Chocolate Dinner!

How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish I could eat CHOCOLATE for dinner!!!!” I know. TONS, right? Well the dream has finally come true! And it happened at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

This year, a brand new signature dining experience kicked off the festival during opening weekend. The Chocolate Dinner, hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate, promised to be a sumptuous experience for the discriminating chocolate lover.

The dinner consisted of a reception, followed by six plated courses, presented by the Disney chefs who created them.

Let’s head over to Epcot’s World Showplace Event Pavilion for a look at this decadent event!

Reception

Ever wonder what’s behind those enormous brown doors between the Canada and UK Pavilions within Epcot’s World Showcase? You might, if you’ve never attended an event at the World Showplace Pavilion. But if you look closely at your Epcot map, you’ll see it there.

That was the setting for the evening’s event, and the sign above the beautiful awning announced it in style.

Chocolate Dinner Sign

Pan back a bit, and you can see the main entrance to the building. A reception preceding the plated dinner took place in the World Showplace courtyard, to the left of the main entrance.

World Showplace Entrance to the Chocolate Dinner

As we entered through the massive brown wooden doors, a team of servers greeted us with beverages. Guests could choose from Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Martinis, or Sparkling Wine. The drinks disappeared quickly every time the staff came out with another tray of them!

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Chocolate Martini

While guests sipped on their cocktails, beer, and wine, teams of cast members passed trays of [Read more…]