Guest Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Guest author Paul Kuconis returns with a review of Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World. Take it away, Paul!

For years, friends of mine (also Disney Freaks) told me to go to Yachtsman Steakhouse; and for years I never went. No particular reason.

Finally I did and this is now my second visit in three months. Why did I wait so long?!

Atmosphere

A hidden gem!

Up four steps to an inviting entrance of hardwood and glass and we are in!

Yachtsman Steakhouse Signage

Entrance.

Once inside we are greeted with the Aging Room. Our server told us the meat is dry aged 6-7 days. This is well short of the normal 15-28 days, but the results are still awesome!

First View of the Aging Room

Aging tenderizes and intensifies the flavor and draws out some of the moisture.

Beef Aging

While waiting for our table we looked at today’s cuts. Yum! Can’t wait!

Today’s Cuts

We asked if Thomas was working – he was, and we were seated in his section, at the same table as our previous visit. Clearly my daughter has already gotten down to business!

Our Table By The Window

Our table was in the middle of a huge bay window with a nice view of the pool area and across the way to the ESPN Club.

The View Outside

The view of the restaurant’s interior from our table was equally impressive; very open with the glass and hardwood theme carried throughout.

Notice the portholes (the yacht theme) and the bay windows above, mirroring the bay window we sat near.

Into The Restaurant From Our Table

The chandelier and ceiling structure (along with what I would call a ‘widow’s walk’ skylight) is immense and breathtaking and fits the size of the room. The attention to detail is unbelievable!

Chandelier

After catching up with Thomas we got down to business!

Eats

First stop [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 Advanced 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 other castle restaurant (the first being Cinderella’s Royal Table, of course!). Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the relative novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland are still a hot ticket in Walt Disney World since the expanded land’s 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 (the original or the live-action version!). You almost expect to look down and find your plate come to life!

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, Be Our Guest was the first place in formerly-dry Magic Kingdom to order beer and wine, and that added to the location’s novelty.

So, what to do if you can’t get a reservation at Be Our Guest?  [Read more…]

Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Today, we’re taking a look at a top notch restaurant on Disney property — Yachtsman Steakhouse.

The Yachtsman has been a consistently great restaurant throughout the years. We had heard some new things about the menu, so it was time to head back and get the scoop.

Atmosphere

Located at Disney’s Yacht Club, the Yachtsman Steakhouse is decorated with the same beautiful wood and neutral palette that you’ll find throughout the rest of the resort. Soft lighting and a nod to Arts and Crafts touches lend a refined yet relaxed air to the spot.

As you enter the restaurant, you’ll actually pass by the steak trimming room, which features a large window allowing guests to check out the steak aging process. At this point, you know you’re in a steakhouse that takes that moniker seriously.

En route to the dining room, you also pass by an open kitchen with its bustling activity and delicious smells.

Entrance

The dining area is broken up into several smaller spaces. My favorite is a round dining room that soars two stories high and is crowned with a lovely Craftsman-style chandelier at its peak.

Two-Story Dining Room

The circular space gives the room a bit of whimsy, and you dine while looking out on Stormalong Bay, the resort’s premium pool and water park.

Circular Dining Room

Honestly, I’m not really bowled over by fantastic themeing here. But the setting is comfortable with big substantial chairs and warm lighting. It’s simple, and doesn’t include fussy accessories or extras — just like a good steak!

And since the food is usually exceptional here, you don’t really miss the distraction of flashy decor elements.

Dining Room

It was time to tuck into our own comfortable two top and take a look at the menu. Come join us!

Eats

Coming from a long, fun, warm day of theme park hopping, we were anxious to kick off our meal with a few interesting beverage options.

The menu here changes up regularly since it’s a signature restaurant; and since the Yachtsman chef moved over to Le Cellier in 2012, the restaurant has been searching for its legs under the new head honcho.

As is the trend with many signature restaurants, there is an emphasis on seasonal offerings; so some of the dishes that you see here probably won’t be on the menu when you head to Yachtsman. But if they aren’t, you’ll find similarly intriguing options during your visit! (For current offerings, be sure to visit our Yachtsman Steakhouse restaurant page, where you’ll find all updated menu links.)

Here is the Drink Menu on the Yachtsman menu from our visit. Note that most of these are straight out of the standard Disney Bar and Lounge menu.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

I actually chose a drink that was from the bar menu and not listed in Yachtsman’s menu list — the Pimm’s Punch. I’d had it previously on the trip and wanted to see if it was still a winner! It includes Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur, Hendrick’s, Odwalla Lemonade, and Wil Strawberry. (Thoughts? Still good, but not AS good as the one I’d had previously. Bartenders make a huge difference.)

Strawberry Julep

My husband surveyed the Beer Menu and found a few interesting options. (Nope — that green crayon streak is NOT from us; I promise.)

Beer Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Ultimately, he chose the Full Sail Session Black Lager. A little shorter than a [Read more…]

Disney World Crème Brûlée Gallery

I’ve had numerous requests from folks asking for a round-up of where you can get Crème Brûlée in Disney World, and finally we’ve put this gallery together!

Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

For those who haven’t indulged before, classic Crème Brûlée is a dessert created from baked and cooled custard topped with (usually) blowtorched sugar forming a candied crust.

Disney pastry chefs have bent over backwards figuring out how to put their own personal touch on this decadent recipe… Let’s take a look at some of the interesting ones!

Please note that Disney dessert menus change all the time, so some of these may no longer be available on your visit.

Be sure to let us know in the comments below about your favorite Crème Brûlée desserts in Disney restaurants!!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Check out Portobello‘s yummy version! The white chocolate shavings really made this dessert!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Pistachio Crème Brûlée

A classic at Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom is this beloved Pistachio Crème Brûlée. And I fully agree with it’s cult favorite status — it was delicious!

pistachio creme brulee

Pistachio Creme Brulee

Key Lime and Regular Crème Brûlée Duo

Narcoossee’s serves this dessert as a duo — two for one deal!! The true winner is the Key Lime — it’s the perfect dose of tart and tangy with the [Read more…]

Risotto Around the World

Ah…time to talk about one of my very favorite side dishes EVER!!! Risotto is often overlooked, but the creamy savory goodness that is risotto could easily take center stage in a dish (and does in some of these highlighted below)! Disney chefs have mastered the art of making this slow-cooked yumminess — rice patiently mixed with flavorful broth — and whether it’s mixed with meat, fish, or vegetables, risotto doubles as as a sophisticated recipe and mouth-watering, comfort food.

I was looking through our Disney Food Blog Flickr group and saw so many gorgeous photos of risotto that I simply had to do a post about this dark horse side dish. (Of course, I’ve added a few of my own photos as well…;-D.)

Let’s take a tour around the world…

Butternut Squash Risotto from Artist Point

This butternut squash risotto topped with pork belly is easily in my “top 5″ risottos in Disney World. Offered at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge, the hint of sweet from the squash and tartness courtesy of the cranberry drizzle create amazing (and memorable!) flavors. Sigh. I miss it.

butternut squash risotto

Dungeness Crab Risotto with Blood Orange Sauce and Pea Shoots; from Artist Point

This ample portion of risotto is mixed handsomely with crab creating a decadent appetizer. (Looks amazing!!!) Dishes at Artist Point tend to change seasonally, yet Dungeness crab seems to be used in many dishes — like these crab cakes we highlighted earlier this week!
(Photographer: Roger Weeks)

Dungeness Crab Risotto

Mushroom “Risotto” (in reality this is white corn, but I love that they made a “risotto” out of it), served along side Seared Bison with, Turnips, Chestnuts, and Pinot Noir Juniper Emulsion; from California Grill

This striking presentation from the California Grill has a slight [Read more…]

Walt Disney World New Year’s Eve Dining and Special Events

Ringing in New Year 2012 from Walt Disney World? It’s going to be a memorable night! Call 407-WDW-DINE for holiday dining information and reservations! Here are some of your options for dining on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

Disney Resorts and Event Spaces

Boardwalk
Atlantic Dance Hall
Dance into the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., ages 21 and up.

Video DJ Tony Zapulla will play hits on the main dance floor. Beverages will be for sale from three different bars. There will be limited viewing of Epcot’s fireworks.

$37 (gratuity not included) for access to the main floor of the Dance Hall.
$80 for a VIP ticket that allows guests entrance to a private 2nd floor area with guaranteed seating and access to a private upstairs balcony for “limited” viewing of the fireworks. In addition, you’ll be able to indulge at a Dessert Station and private VIP bar. Cocktail service will also be offered.

Dress Attire: Business Casual or Formal

Parking:
Parking passes for the self parking lot will be given with advance purchases. Parking not guaranteed to be available for same day purchase.
Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s (New Year’s Day brunch)
California Grill will host an evening of elegance!
$550 per person.

View of Castle from our California Grill Table

Entertainment will include casino-style games, live music and Disney characters. Enjooy food stations and beverages while watching [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…]

Disney Food Trend: Savory Beignets

One of the new food trends I noticed on my last visit to Walt Disney World was the use of savory beignets as sides or garnishes in many of the dishes I tried!

I don’t know about you, but beignets have always been sweet and powdered-sugary in my world; I’d never heard or seen a savory version! But it’s always good to sample something new! Here are a few of the versions I saw…

Sweet Potato Beignet: Yachtsman Steakhouse

At Yachtsman Steakhouse in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the Sweet Potato Beignet was a rib-eye steak side dish that we thought was a lot of fun!

Light, airy, and savory-sweet, this was an interesting mouth feel for a flavor most of us know well.

Sweet Potato Beignets at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Sweet Potato Beignets at Yachtsman close-up

Mushroom Beignet: Flying Fish Cafe

Over at my beloved Flying Fish Cafe, the “exotic forest mushroom beignets” came as an accompaniment to the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 10, 2011

Casey's New Specialty Hot Dogs

I’ve been having fun sharing my latest restaurant reviews and there’s lots more on the way from our March trip to Disney World.

Plus, stay tuned this week for a 2011 WDW Foodie Fest announcement.

Let’s start with the latest news:

DFB Guide News & One-Day Discount Sale
And there are more stellar reviews of our e-Book, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining to share this week. Hooray! About.com Theme Parks Guide, Arthur Levine, gave us a shout-out. Read it here. All’s Fare Food Blog also gave the book a thumbs up. Learn why the book is helpful to veteran visitors to WDW here.

You can purchase your own copy here: http://DFBGuide.com. Use code: DFBA11 for a 20% discount today only!

Now, on to the round-up!
Disney History shows a vintage commercial for Baker’s Instant Chocolate with Jiminy Crickett.

Eating (and Drinking) Around WDW creates Korean Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw from the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival South Korea booth!

Main Street Gazette taste tests a Mickey’s premium ice cream bar.

Imaginerding shares an early Disney marketing effort for the Globetrotter milk and bread program.

StudiosCentral shares a fun look at some photos with the theme of “drink.”

Disney Parks Blog highlights wine tastings and five-course specialty dinners offered at Jiko.

The Disney Go To Girl: A Luxury Travel Blog takes us to France. Well, Epcot’s France and highlights Les Chefs de France with a beautiful picture tour.

Illuminating Epcot braves the “Battle of the Steaks”.

Disney World and Disneyland Dining for Valentine’s Day

Romance can be found all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland. And at these dining venues, there won’t be a single character in sight! Some restaurants feature special menus for Valentine’s Day.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Sweetheart Dinners
These special meals for two are offered all year-long at Walt Disney World, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to splurge on this decadent dining experience.

Enjoy a 3-course, prix-fixe meal that includes an appetizer, entrée and a shared dessert. Toast your love with a selected beverage in etched champagne flutes, then take [Read more…]