New dining experiences are popping up all around Disney World recently! We’ve conquered lunch and dinner at Space 220 in EPCOT, and now we’re conquering breakfast and dinner at Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
Steakhouse 71 is the new restaurant located in the former location of The Wave, which closed earlier this year to make way for a new dining experience for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Today, we’re sharing our thoughts on what dinner service is like!
If you frequented The Wave at the Contemporary, you may notice right away some of the changes that were made in its transformation to becoming Steakhouse 71. Let’s start with the entrance!
The entrance to the restaurant got a complete overhaul to match the vibes of the new restaurant. The hallway leading to the restaurant is covered in photos from the early days of Disney World — Disney history buffs will especially love this touch! Overall, it gives a very nostalgic feel as you enter the restaurant.
There is a check-in desk before you make it to the main dining room where Cast Members will greet you.
While you wait for your table to be called, there is a comfy lounge area with blue and orange furniture. It’s a lovely place to relax and get ready for a meal!
There is a full bar and lounge behind the check-in desk. The lounge accepts walkups throughout the day and has its own menu!
The main dining area has a completely different look! You can spot new artwork, carpet, tables, and chairs.
There are plenty of tables and booths around the restaurant — we’re really loving the new feel at this new restaurant! It feels more modern and sleek than before, which is very fitting for the resort.
The artwork around the restaurant features several Tomorrowland favorites including the PeopleMover…
…and Space Mountain!
We could talk about the new design all day, but let’s get into the food!
If you were wondering whether or not The Wave’s signature Bacon & Eggs made the cut, we’re pleased to share that they are indeed a part of Steakhouse 71’s Appetizer menu!
There’s also a selection of Steakhouse Cuts to choose from.
Along with that steak, you can order from a variety of Side Dishes as well as Sauces.
If steak isn’t your cup of tea, there are a few other Entrees to choose from. Oh, and don’t forget to order Dessert!
You can pair your dinner with a wide selection of Beer…
…as well as Wine.
Just like most Disney World restaurants nowadays, you’ll be given a QR code to scan that will pull up the menu on your phone. Our server also gave us the option of a paper menu, if that’s something you prefer.
Let’s find out what we chose for dinner, as well as what our thoughts were overall!
Eats & Drinks
Let’s talk about drinks! First, we tried the Citrus Grove Cocktail for $13. It was made with Campari, Green Chartreuse, Citrus Juices, Simple Syrup, and Orange Bitters. You have to like bitter drinks to like this one; there was a strong flavor from the Campari. It was bright and citrusy, though, and not super sweet. Overall, we liked this citrus-flavored drink, but if you prefer sweet drinks, you might want to try something else.
Next, we ordered the Pear French 75 for $14, which was made with Courvoisier VS Cognac, Pear Nectar, Agave Syrup, Lemon Juice, and Prosecco. This cocktail was sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. We tasted a light pear flavor, and we also tasted the Prosecco in there. It was nice but ended up being our least favorite of the night.
Finally, there was the $17 Cocoa Boulevardier cocktail. It’s made with Knob Creek Disney Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon, Campari, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, and Chocolate Bitters. Oh boy, this one was STRONG. We immediately tasted an aggressive bourbon flavor with a whisper of chocolate at the end. You better like bourbon if you order this — we loved it though!
When it comes to food, we started with an appetizer, and this warm French Onion Soup did not disappoint! (Dare we say: “good soup”😉 ) It’s made with Rich Beef Broth, Crouton, and Gratinée Cheese.
We already tried this dish earlier this week, but we’re happy to report it’s just as rich and cheesy as last time! The French Onion Soup is $10.
Continuing on with our appetizer indulgences, we tried the Lump Crab Cakes for $15. These crab cakes came with an Old Bay Rémoulade, Corn Hash, and House-made Saltine Crackers (a nice nod to Walt since he carried crackers in his jacket pocket).
The lump crab cakes were made with the same crab blend as the Crab Cake Sliders available for lunch, but we thought this dish was much better! The plate wasn’t too salty and we got lots of that sweet crab flavor. The old bay rémoulade gave us a little extra kick that paired nicely with the crab!
Now it’s entrée time! First up, we ordered the Florida Sustainable Fish en Papillote, which came with Shrimp, Fried Potatoes, Asparagus, Baby Carrots, and Lemon Beurre Blanc.
The fish was a little chewier than some other fish we’ve had in Disney World, but still had a great flavor. We thought the lemon sauce (normally poured tableside) was the real star here; it was the perfect addition to the fish. The potatoes and vegetables were perfectly cooked in their little parchment paper pouch, too!
If you were wondering, “Fish en Papillote” refers to the parchment paper cocoon used to cook the fish — it’s a fun little nod to the 70s! At $30, we thought this was a nice, light dish, but it wasn’t our favorite meal of the night. If you love seafood, though, we think you’ll enjoy the Florida Sustainable Fish en Papillot!
Next up, the Chicken Chasseur was the least expensive of the three entrées on the dinner menu at $24. Like the fish, this chicken was prepared like it would have been in the 70s. This meal consisted of a Pan-Seared Airline Chicken Breast, Parsnip Purée, and Roasted Mushrooms. It also had a Sauce Chasseur.
The chicken was moist and flavorful, and the parsnip purée was very light but creamy. Our favorite part was easily the mushroom sauce with the giant mushrooms. As you may have guessed, you have to like the earthy taste of mushrooms to really appreciate this dish. Normally, the mushroom sauce is poured tableside, but we got it to pour ourselves!
We couldn’t go to Steakhouse 71 and NOT get some steak! We decided to go big and order the 12-oz Roasted Prime Rib & Classic Yorkshire Pudding for $38. Look at that bad boy; it was amazing! Our prime rib was moist, juicy, and flavorful. Although prime rib can be chewy, we didn’t think our prime rib was hard to eat at all! If you thought that sounded good, wait until we tell you about the FUN upgrade we added to our meal… .
Do you see what we see? For $6, you can add a whole flight of sauces to your entrée. One sauce is included with each steak on the menu, but we had to try them allllll! To be more exact, we tried Béarnaise, Au Poivre, Wild Mushroom, Whipped Horseradish Cream, Chimichurri, and the Red Wine Signature Steakhouse 71 sauces.
Our favorites were the signature red wine and whipped horseradish sauces. The signature sauce was a good blend of tangy and sweet; it was quite zippy! The chimichurri tasted sweet and herby, while the bechamel was pretty standard but well-executed. As we mentioned, the mushroom sauce was excellent.
On the side, the Macaroni and Cheese was decent, but we wish it was a little creamier. The Panko topping was good but needed a little salt. Honestly, we were missing a nice, strong flavor here — we would go with the potatoes as our side over the mac & cheese next time!
On the other hand, the Au Gratin Potatoes were sooo good. If you were a fan of The Wave restaurant, the Garlic Cream sauce on top of these potatoes might taste familiar! We cannot say enough good things about these potatoes — they were perfection!
Dessert time! We went for the Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake for $11. Please, take a moment and admire those layers. You’ve got a whiskey (Jack Daniels) infused devil’s food layer, a chocolate mousse layer made with le monde chocolate (a Disney exclusive chocolate partnership), and a milk chocolate filling. This wasn’t too rich, and it wasn’t too sweet, which surprised us! We thought this cake was divine — it was so good!
Now that our bellies are full, what are the overall thoughts on dinner at Steakhouse 71?
Nosh or Not?
Have dinner at Steakhouse 71 if…
- You want to try a brand new Disney World restaurant. Along with the new creperie in EPCOT, this is a brand new dining experience! Even though Steakhouse 71 has taken over the old Wave space, but it feels completely new.
- You want a signature meal for lower prices. Although this is not a signature restaurant, it certainly feels like one! The food is upscale and incredible, and the atmosphere is sleek and modern.
- You are celebrating something. This is a great restaurant to celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, a date night, or really any sort of occasion!
Skip Steakhouse 71 dinner if…
- You want a stunning view. Unlike California Grill, Steakhouse 71 does not have incredible fireworks or rooftop views. However, you are still right by Magic Kingdom, so if you go outside you’ll probably be able to see fireworks!
- You want a quick meal. If you are hoping for a quick in-and-out table service meal, this isn’t the spot for you. Steakhouse 71 does have a lounge, however, that likely has quicker service than sitting at a table.
Overall, we were extremely impressed with our dinner at Steakhouse 71. We ended up preferring this restaurant to California Grill and Citricos. If Steakhouse 71 had the view of California Grill, we would love it even more! Although many were sad to wave The Wave goodbye, we were very pleased with our meal at the new replacement!
Steakhouse 71 really feels like a signature restaurant and after eating here, we’re a little shocked that it’s not! This is also a great place to go if you want a more upscale meal for less money. The steak and other entrees are not overly expensive for what you get, and the cocktails are strong for the amount that they cost. We’ve already tried breakfast and lunch here, and we’ve been pretty impressed!
Would you book a dinner reservation at Steakhouse 71? Let us know in the comments!