This boat has been floating (well, pretending to float, at least) in the waters of what is now Disney Springs for almost 45 years! We’re back at Paddlefish in Disney Springs!
We’ve been making our way around Disney Springs for its re-opening today.
Disney-owned locations won’t be opening until May 27th, but third-party stores and restaurants opened today with new health and safety guidelines. So we’re heading to the dock for a bite to eat and a view of the lagoon!
Hello from the beautiful and colorful Art of Animation Resort! It’s been a minute since we dined here on something that wasn’t sweet… (Not that we’re complaining. I mean…have you seen THIS COOKIE!?)
…so we decided to swing by Landscape of Flavors to see if one of our old favorites still stood up to our taste test! It’s time to go “Unda da Sea” — and no, we aren’t talking about visiting The Little Mermaid section of the resort.
We’re coming at you from the brand new Sebastian’s Bistro in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!
Named and themed after Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, Sebastian’s Bistro has replaced Shutters as the table service restaurant in Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort. This new table service restaurant was created with “island hospitality” in mind in keeping with the theme of the refurbished Moderate Resort.
But for now, it’s time to turn our attention to Sebastian… because in our favorite crab’s own words, “Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there!”
Yep, we’re talking about “life under the sea” because nautical elements are key to the atmosphere at Sebastian’s Bistro. It starts with the waterfront position of the restaurant facing Barefoot Bay, the lake which the entirety of the Resort surrounds. You’ll find the Bistro right next door to the newly revamped Banana Cabana. [Read more…]
Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at Paddlefish, the latest restaurant to open in Disney Springs.
I say “latest,” but Paddlefish is simultaneously one of Disney Springs’ oldest and newest stops. That’s because Paddlefish is just the latest tenant in a restaurant that’s been in this area for quite some time. If you’ve been following along, then you know Paddlefish was most recently known as Fulton’s Crab House. And before that, you may have known it as the Empress Lilly, originally opened in 1977 and named for Walt Disney’s beloved wife.
With the revamping and major overhaul that Downtown Disney — now Disney Springs — has recently experienced, the old riverboat theming of Fulton’s wasn’t going to flow with the new vibe. And so, the restaurant’s owner, Levy Restaurants, signed to stay on in Disney Springs, and commenced to a stem to stern reimagining of the Old Girl.
We had a chance to take a look around at the new space, which opened to the public February 4th. Join us on a tour.
As with the rest of Disney Springs, Paddlefish somehow manages to channel past and future at the same time, all with an industrial vibe.
If you were familiar with Fulton’s, you’ll see the stark contrast between old and new right away. Gone is the old-timey riverboat look. In its place is a neutral palette of grey and white with touches of rich stained wood. [Read more…]
With an open kitchen and whimsical decor, Flying Fish Café boasts an impressive menu where diners enjoy a relaxing, “seaside” setting at the BoardWalk Resort in Walt Disney World.
The Epcot Resorts provide a very nice respite from the hustle and bustle of Future World and World Showcase, not to mention awesome restaurants and watering holes.
My travel agent’s favorite restaurant is Flying Fish Café. Every time they visit Walt Disney World they book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR). So, I figured, why not, let’s try it. This trip we decided to give it a whirl!
Using the My Disney Experience app I made a 4:30PM dinner reservation for two. Rather early, but given the temperature, humidity, and heat index, it turned out be a good move.
We decided to walk over rather than take the boat. Either way, both involved no air conditioning!
We reached the Boardwalk and stepped back in time. After a quick stop at the ESPN Club for a soft drink, to cool off, and to kill some time, we ventured on.
There it is! Nicely tucked away. The setback pulls the restaurant away from the hustle and bustle of the Boardwalk and provides a little quiet. Depending on your approach, the Café can be easily missed. After checking the posted menu we headed inside.
The flying fish theme begins right at the front door.
But, before we head inside, a question; why the name ‘Flying Fish’? It fits with the Boardwalk theme and evokes the roller coaster ride of yesteryear at Coney Island called Flying Turns.
While we waited to be seated I took in the décor.
It was at this point I started to think of the name ‘café’ and how it contrasted to the structure itself (I don’t want to call it a ‘restaurant’). Dictionary.com defines café as: 1) a restaurant, often with an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk (nope, didn’t see that), 2) a restaurant, usually small and unpretentious (not from my view), and 3) a barroom, cabaret, or nightclub (not really). Maybe more of an oxymoron? Or just a play on words? Something to ponder.
As we waited by the reception desk I scoped out the seating area and determined where I wanted to sit.
This spot looks good to me. Now, can I convince the Cast Member to seat us here?
I asked, and was granted, seating at the Chef’s Counter, the closest thing to the Chef’s Table you can get. (Editor’s Note: Flying Fish does do a “Chef’s Counter” meal, but outside of that seating, other guests are able to have their meals here at the Chef’s Counter.)
Disney does it up well. Granite counter top and linen napkin with the Flying Fish motif embroidered. Nice touch!
First off, we looked over the wine list.
We selected the Black Stallion Chardonnay.
We enjoyed it very much, noting a lovely nose of green apple, lemon zest, and vanilla followed by flavors of citrus, brown butter, pear, and flint. The 2012 Chardonnay is soft and round on the palate with bright fruit and creamy notes that lead into a long, elegant finish.
Now we get down to the business of the menu and what to order.
During my visits to Walt Disney World, I always check out Cast Member name tags. I want to know their name and am curious as to where they moved from. Tim, our server for the evening, grew up in the city next to where we live. In fact, he is familiar with our neighborhood. How cool is that!
Tim brought us Potato Bread to munch on while we perused the menu. A very interesting bread with a nice, airy texture with pieces of potato throughout. That’s the cool thing with many Disney restaurants. They do not serve just ‘bread’ or ‘rolls’; at least at the restaurants I have visited.
Choosing the appetizer was rather easy. I like to try different offerings where possible to enjoy the Chef’s take and development of the ingredients. So I selected the crab cake.
Wow! Look at the plating! We eat with our eyes as we ‘see’ the food before we taste it. If it is visually appealing it enhances the experience.
Almost too pretty to eat. Nah! Because of the extreme heat, humidity, and heat index I wanted to eat light tonight. This was not a heavy appetizer.
The slaw was made with cabbage, red and yellow peppers, carrots, and finely shredded cucumber and the light vinaigrette provided a nice amount of acidity to balance the crab cake. Mix that with the dots of roasted tomato coulis (adding a little sweetness) along with the slight hint of heat from the ancho chile remoulade (WOW!), that makes for a nice, balanced bite, with no single flavor overpowering the other — especially the crab cake — the star of the dish. Topped with micro basil, it brings the whole thing together. Nicely done! Oh, and there was more crab than filler in the cake — can’t beat that!
Now for the entrée. A tough choice. All offerings looked sooooo good. What they need to do is offer a ‘menu sampler’. Tiny bites of everything. Why not, they do it with beer! Where is the suggestion box?
Well, this is a first! This was supposed to be a picture of the daily quote. I neglected to take a full, clean shot of my menu item. But you can get the general idea of the entree. I settled on the steak over Panzanella Salad.
One of the advantages of sitting at the Chef’s Counter is [Read more…]
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.
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!
When you first arrive, you’ll most likely need to pick up your tickets at the Check-In Table.
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).
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.
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.
In addition to tables with chairs, guests can also take advantage of high tops if they prefer to stand.
It wasn’t too long before the crowd began to swell as guests looked forward to tasting a myriad of dishes.
On Crescent Terrace, guests could also take advantage of [Read more…]
at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has just announced a NEW 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Event. And it looks like they’ve saved the best for last!
Join the Flying Fish Cafe for an exciting afternoon of gastronomical wonders while you explore the art of food and wine pairing. This event features an Interactive Cooking Demonstration & Luncheon hosted by Chef de Cuisine Tim Keating; Flying Fish Café Maitre d ‘Table/Cellar Master, Stig Jacobsen; and Max Macalman (Author, The Cheese Monger, and aficionado of all things Fromage).
Look for Chef Tim in the front of the Flying Fish’s Dining Room where he will present the afternoon’s Creations in Cooking School-Style. Guests will be free to mingle, observe, and ask questions during the demonstration. Stig Jacobsen will be providing Wine Pairing Notes, David Abdy will be talking all things Heritage Pork from Florida, plus Max Macalman will be talking through: Cheese as Dessert.
When: Saturday, November 9th, 2013 from 1-4PM
Where: Front Dining Room of Flying Fish Café at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
Cost: $135/per person (includes gratuity) plus tax
Reservations: Contact Joanne Berube; 407-939-5102 (Tuesday-Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm ET) or the Flying Fish Cafe’s Special Events Line at 407-939-2398.
Seating is limited to just 36 guests! As it is the last weekend of the festival AND Wine & Dine Half-Marathon Weekend, we suggest reserving your space now!
Chef Tim’s Wine & Food Pairing Demonstration Menu
Amuse Bouches – Small Bites best-suited with the Crisp Flavor Profiles of Champagne & Sparkling Wines
“Crisp and Curious White”
Unveiling the Secrets of the Flying Fish Café Signature Crab Cake…and a TK Crab Cake with a Twist!
“Making Red Wine & Fish Work”
Yet another unveiling of the Flying Fish Café Signature [Read more…]
Guest blogger Shayne Newell shares a critical review and fabulous photos from the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Take it away, Shayne!
In January 2010, my husband and I ate our first meal at Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We had a fabulous meal that literally made me want to lick my plate, and the service was outstanding. We recently found ourselves with a last-minute opportunity for a 2-night stay at Disney World over Valentine’s Day. We would be eating only 3 meals at the parks on this trip, and we quickly agreed that Hollywood Brown Derby should be [Read more…]
Thanks to all who have contributed their photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Keep sending them along! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature one of my favorite foods — cake! But you’ll see that there are many different kinds of cake…
I’m so intrigued by this — I wish I could taste it. It looks so moist, and are those chocolate chips? Sweet Potato Cake from CakeLove’s Sweet Sundays demo at the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. [Read more…]