at Downtown Disney continues to be one of my favorite spots to gather with friends.
Raglan Road Irish Pub
Although the major overhaul of the Downtown Disney / Disney Springs area makes getting here more difficult, I think it’s worth the time and effort to make it happen.
You’ll find Raglan Road right in the front of what was formerly known as Pleasure Island, but what is slowly morphing into The Landing at Disney Springs. Indeed, so much work has taken place in this area (finally!) that you’ll hardly recognize it if you haven’t been there for a while. Let’s take a quick look at the immediate area, and also have a little look around the Pub before we settle in for the food talk.
So…how long’s it been since you visited Raglan Road? Because the landscape around the Pub has definitely changed a bit. At least, for the time being. If you’re accustomed to approaching Raglan Road from the (previously) adjacent parking lot, you might be a little disoriented.
We actually parked in the completed West Side Parking Building, and the exit brings you out in front of Planet Hollywood. From there, it’s just a short walk, past some of the new Disney Springs shops, to reach Raglan Road.
Don’t let all of those construction walls put you off. Once you’re inside, it’s exactly the same, and you’ll start to feel that sense of the familiar as you step into the foyer.
The gift shop is located to the right. You’ll find a good assortment of Raglan Road merch, but there are also some interesting items that would make awesome gifts.
You can choose between two bars. And be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to look around — the bars and other trim in the pub were actually salvaged from pubs, churches, and other spots in Ireland. That sense of nostalgia and antique? Totally authentic.
Raglan Road is pretty large, boasting three separate dining rooms, plus a snug and a few inviting corners. For a more extensive tour, check out our most recent lunch review.
Recently, I had the chance to sample some of the new menu items that Raglan Road has introduced just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
The staff of Raglan Road were excited to share some delicious new dishes with us. To showcase them, we enjoyed a sampling of several new items at a recent luncheon.
Raglan Road fans will be relieved to see that a lot of their favorites, like Dalkey Duo and Nom Nom Wings, made the cut.
Likewise, there are a couple of new Entree options that we’ll look at, but all of the signature items remain.
While what you see here may not be plated in exactly the same way it was for us when you order it, you’ll get the idea from the pictures of the fives courses we enjoyed.
We also have several drinks to show you. Don’t worry; what you’re about to see was a team effort, and not my own personal parade of drinks. 😉 To keep things straight, I’ll share the cocktails as they were served — paired with each course.
We began our meal with an aperitif, an Irish Honey Cup. The refreshing drink combined Bushmills Irish Honey, Pimms, Fresh Lemon Sour, and Sprite for a little sparkle. The drink was garnished with Cucumber and Fresh Lemon.
We began with Harry’s Beef Carpaccio, a combination of Seared Beef Tenderloin with a side of Greens and Tomato, simply dressed with Creamy Anchovy Vinaigrette. The dish is garnished with freshly shaved Parmesan…
…and an Anchovy Filet. I confess, this wasn’t my favorite part. But others seemed to enjoy it. And it was certainly a showstopper!
Our next course would be an
exploration of some of the new brunch items, so our cocktails were ones that matched particularly well with those breakfast dishes. From left to right, we sipped on Grapefruit & T, a Strawberry Fields Mimosa, and a Bitta Hop On.
The Grapefruit & T was a continental combo of Gin, Tonic, Aperol, and Grapefruit. It was the perfect off-sweet sip for morning time.
The Strawberry Fields Mimosa is a true brunch cocktail, and only appears on that menu. A fresh Strawberry Syrup combines with Ciroc, Lemon Juice, and Aperol. It’s topped off with Prosecco for a little celebratory effervescence — perfect for the weekend!
Finally, A Bitta Hop On is the Pub’s take on another popular trend — a beer-based cocktail. You’ll taste Gin, Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA, West Indian Falernum, and Orange Bitters. But the drink benefits from the sweetness of a special house ingredient — Guinness Glaze! Yep, the same wonderful stuff you dip your bread in!
Sampling the Brunch Menu on a weekday afternoon was kinda fun! You’ll find the special menu served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 3PM. We had the opportunity to try the Smoked Salmon Pancakes served with Creme Fraiche, Ellis Isle Steak and Eggs, and Pork Hashed Tagged.
The Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes were a favorite of some of my companions, while I really enjoyed the Steak, which is served with a Battered Poached Egg! (On this plate, you see it with the hash, but when you order it, it will be served with the steak.)
But that Hash deserves a moment, too. With Braised Pork Belly, Scallions and Potato, it’s a beautiful way to re-imagine a familiar favorite.
Soon, we were treated to another round of drinks. This time out, we enjoyed Our Whiskey Sour, the Smoking Margarita, and Blueberry Mint Lemonade.
Our Whiskey Sour is a well executed version of a classic — although I would like to taste just a little more sour. (But then, I am a huge fan of sour drinks. So that might be a personal preference.) But I felt that the Blueberry Mint Lemonade was somewhat tasteless. I needed more flavor here.
The most interesting choice in this crop was the Smoking Margarita. If you’re looking for a traditional margarita, this one may surprise you a bit. Patron Silver is combined with Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey, which gives the drink a distinctly smokey flavor. That sense is carried through by the Smoked Paprika and Sugar Rim.
As we sipped on these citrus-based cocktails, we enjoyed the next course — Cod Cornucopia. Fresh Cod is seared to yield a crisp skin, and is served on a bed of Warm Mustard Potato Salad with a garnish of Chorizo Vinaigrette. This was one of the highest rated dishes at the table, and I loved it, too. The Chorizo Vinaigrette was simply outstanding. And you guys know I’m not a fish eater, but I ate every single bite of this one.
Next up, we sampled two cocktails that highlighted the spicy bite of Ginger. Teelings Whiskey Punch combines a Small Batch Irish Whiskey, Apple Cider, Ginger Beer, Angostura Bitters, and Fresh Lime Sour. A garnish of Candied Ginger allows you to stir even more of the spicy flavor into your drink.
But we flipped for the Ginger Mojito, with its flavors of White Rum, Lime, Sour, and Ginger Beer.
The stronger flavors complemented the next course of Meats particularly well. In order to accommodate our large party, they were served family style.
To begin, we sampled the Double Joint, a 28-ounce Bone-In Ribeye for two. It was added to the menu as a request from guests who love the idea of Host the Roast, but would prefer a smaller version of that family-style menu.
Our other entree was the Proud Pork, a Bone-In Grilled Pork Chop, served with Cracklins.
Each of the meats is served with homestyle sides. Fat Chips (which just means wider-cut french fries), roasted and fried Veggies, and a Salad of Greens come with the Ribeye, and Colcannon Potatoes accompany the Pork.
But wait — there are incredible Sauces as well! The beef is served with Béarnaise and Red Wine Jus. Enjoy the pork chop with House Made Applesauce and Cider Port Jus.
For our final course, we once again returned to the Brunch Menu to sample a couple of new offerings. We enjoyed small sips of Raglan Road’s Seasonal Fruit Smoothie with Honey Yogurt and Vanilla. The not-too-sweet drink will be a great addition to a light breakfast meal.
But the final offering was a great one — Champion Cheese, the Chef’s Featured Farmhouse Cheese Selection. The day we visited, it included three varieties. On the first plate, you’ll see Carrigaline Farmhouse, an Irish Smoked Cheese, and Brandonvale Vintage Cheddar Cheese. They were accompanied by Crisp Toast and Apricot Chutney.
But the star of the cheese show was this gooey Cooleeney Farm Daru Irish Cheese. Served hot and bubbly, it was similar to Brie, and truly incredible. Had this been the first thing served, we may not have made it to the other courses. I could totally have made a meal out of this cheese!
And yes — if you can believe it!! — there was one more cocktail. The truly stunning Raspy Old Fashioned combines Tennessee Whiskey, Guinness Glaze (!!), Sour, and Fresh Raspberry Puree. If you had told me that Whiskey and Raspberries would go so well together, I wouldn’t have believed it. But this is a great drink.
After such an incredible meal — you guessed it. I didn’t eat or drink much for the rest of the day! (Oh, who are we kidding. I had three more lunches and two dinners.) But I did do a whole lot of walking — I’m pretty sure my pedometer read about 14 miles on this day. 🙂
Once again, Raglan Road impresses. I don’t know how they do it, but the Pub continues to deliver delicious fare, with passion and humor, in one of the most entertaining settings in all of Disney World.
And that’s what I love so much about it. There is such a strong thread of respect for tradition running through the menu. You won’t ever go wrong with Fish & Chips or Keen Eye for Shepherd’s Pie. But then, they’re right there, changing things up in surprisingly traditional ways! And yet, they stay on trend with the addition of so many fresh cocktail options.
AND — don’t forget the music and dancing!
Speaking of… let’s talk about a fun upcoming event at Raglan Road that’s becoming a favorite tradition for many.
The Return of the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival
Once again, Raglan Road celebrates the luck o’ the Irish with their Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival. Enjoy live entertainment and family friendly activities March 13-17 at Raglan Road.
The music is sure to provide a diverse and lively backdrop, as Raglan Road welcomes the following performers to its indoor and patio stages:
- Scythian, playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes and applauded by iHeartRadio for having “re-invented folk rock in America,” tops the lineup of talented bands to perform on stage during the Mighty Festival.
- Reel Ó Gránde, the newest Raglan Road house band playing traditional Irish ballads, jigs and reels and modern Irish and country music.
- The West Coast Triofrom Connemara, playing traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.
- 3 Dollar Band, three extraordinary musicians inspired by Irish and Appalachian music.
- The Brayzen Heads,a popular duo on guitar and banjo playing Raglan Road regularly.
- Drops of Green, an exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.
Guests of all ages can enjoy complimentary face painting as they are treated to daily performances by the award-winning Raglan Road Dancers.
Advance Dining Reservations are recommended during the 5-day festival, except on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17. On that day, seating will be first-come, first served, and there will be a $10 cover charge for all guests over the age of 18. Call 407/938-0300 to book your reservations.
What are you most looking forward to trying from the new menus? Leave a comment and share!
I attended this event as a guest of Raglan Road. However, I was not obligated to report on the event, or to give Raglan Road a favorable review. Read more about our Disclosure Policy here.