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View Full Version : Kouzzina was Kou-rappy


DISNEYDEVOTEE
04-12-2010, 11:46 AM
First time visit to Kouzzina on Saturday night. (non-dining plan) What a disappointment (for the most part). Bring back the old Spoodles or at least parts of it's menu.

We had an excellent seat, two top next to a pole with one seat having an over the shoulder view of kitchen wood fired ovens, the other was obstructed - but good none the less. Our server, a female from Chile ( I forget her name) was a soft talker - after several excuse me's and what's that you say - I gave up and resorted to head nodding. Our drinks were a mess - a simple Grey Goose on the rocks confounded her. She asked - "You want just vodka and ice?" When it came I almost sent it back - the glass was filled to the top with ice and hardly any vodka - I don't want anything for free - at $12 I expect the ice to be covered - put less ice - put more vodka, use the proper glass..... bad start.

Prior to ordering dinner we ordered a decent bottle of wine. As our drinks sat empty in front of us there was no bottle of wine to be found. We had to remind her - it arrived after our second course. We were seated at 6:45 - our server had one other table of 4 that was waiting for two of it's dining companions. This girl was not in the weeds.

Another off putting experience - they do a lot of chair moving around the floor. On one occasion my chair was bumped so hard I almost made a scene. I didn't as the hostess had an obvious physical disability - However, with no apology or "excuse me" I was turned off. We openly moved our table our selves after that bump, which was one of several.

Appetizer sampler was a very good choice - everything thing was good - if I had to be picky the Lamb meatballs were dry. The chicken skewer was excellent. The dips were good, pita was fresh, olives were tart, spicy cashews were splendid.

Greek Salad was excellent - tomatoes were fresh, feta was delicious, dressing,greens,and onions all complimented each other.

Entree selections were very Greek oriented with more reasonable then I expected pricing. I know this is a "Greek" establishment - however, being a Disney restaurant I think you should also dumb it down a little for the less sophisticated palate (i.e. - teenagers, me!). I ordered the Trio Sampler of Pastitsio, Stewed Chicken, and Lamb Burger Slider. The Patstisio was the winner only because the other two were not to my liking. Pastitsio is like a Greek Lasagna made with tubular noodles, tomatoes, some ground lamb/beef, and bechamel sauce served in a ramekin. Tasty but no better then any NJ diner. The chicken was stewed past being dry. The Orzo were a nice addition. My wife found this dish to have a fishy after taste - I did not. The use of cinnamon ( & nutmeg?) over powered every dish it touched. The lamb Slider was a beautiful presentation being all show. The meat was horribly dry and the whole concoction just didn't work.

The other entree was the Flank Steak. In a word -rubber. With out extending this to much longer - my wife inquired how the potatoes were prepared - it was described as lightly smashed by our server. The potatoes were served whole! Flank steak is what it is - but if you want steak this is your only choice - I don't eat Flank at home - I don't want to eat it out - especially not bad flank steak. Amp up the price for a better cut of meat.

The server cleared my wife's plate before I was finished - another serving faux-pa. This girl was getting bad marks and just adding to themall night long.

We went with the donuts and hot tea for desert. Our server said we were lucky because they were removing hot tea from the menu options as it is to time consuming to prepare. As opposed to the not so time consuming task of preparing a press pot of coffee?? The doughnuts were only ok - 5 for $8 seems high for fried dough balls but the dipping sauces of vanilla creme and raspberry helped ease the pain. Tea arrived with no sweetener as well.

As a former sever in Philadelphia during and after college I am extremely critical of poor service. I may have been spoiled from my dinner the night before at California Grill that was handled by an excellent server, accompanying staff and management. That dinner was flawless from start to finish that included complimentary leek soup appetizers, complimentary champagne and a complimentary slice of cake for a birthday celebration.

The Kouzzina atmosphere was highlighted by some people trying to have fun with the "Oupa" cheer. The chant was also mimicked by server's who shouted it out when ever a server or cook dropped a plate, pan, or glass. - It felt forced and uninspired.

Ouzo is not a mainstream liquor. It's inclusion in several cocktails is far fetched for the general population. Cat Cora is relying way to much on the public's previous fascination with "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". And $9.00 for a shot of her signature drink is high.

This restaurant will not be around much longer in it's current form if some changes do not take place. It will attract the one timers and the captive audiences, but I will not go again unless some major changes are seen in menu choices. The restaurant is not that old,so they can still enjoy the uninitiated diners. However, repeat business from DVC owners like me who attend 2-3 times a re are in jeopardy.

The Disney dining plan killed Spoodles, which was an original and unique restaurant with a menu that kept itself true to being a Mediterranean restaurant while still retaining mass appeal with a well prepared, diversified menu. This one should commit Hari-Cori (lol).

Bellmawr Bob

Linda67
04-12-2010, 03:17 PM
Very intetesting review. I have never had a meal here as the menu didn't really appeal to me (not sure I ever will now :()

catne
04-12-2010, 04:48 PM
Well, thanks for the review, but sorry to hear Kouzzina has not improved...we were there shortly after it opened last September and my review cited many of the exact same issues: we had atrocious service (very much like what you're detailing, missing beverages, mis-served courses...some at the table getting food while others wait as much as 10 minutes to get their's...and the silliness of the contrived "oupa" shouting going on all the time. We have been in several "genuine" Greek restaurants, the "oupa" is reserved for special things like when they flame a dish, or pop the cork on bottle of bubbly, not every time someone brings a dish out of the kitchen, and definitely not when a server drops something.)

And we had same opinion on foods...over-use of cinnamon & salt; rotten steak choice, and we saw the same issue with so many specialty cocktails based on ouzo. What are they thinking with that menu?

We were hoping that our experience was just all related to working out all the bugs on a new concept/new menu/new servers, etc. but sounds like it's just turned into "that's the way they do it there". Too bad. We're always interested in new Disney restaurants, and some have become favorites (The Wave, for one.) We had really looked forward to Kouzzina (love Greek food) but were disappointed then & sounds like we'd be disappointed now too.

jdisnut
04-12-2010, 05:14 PM
I know this is a "Greek" establishment - however, being a Disney restaurant I think you should also dumb it down a little for the less sophisticated palate (i.e. - teenagers, me!).
Why should they do that? Isn't that what everybody complains about? I have read hundreds of posts from people vilifying the dining plan because it has sucked the creativity and diversity from Disney's menus.

Then Kouzzina comes along. It has not yet been corrupted by the realities of catering to the basic American palate. Sure, the food does not appeal to everybody. But there are plenty of restaurants around Disney that do. Why can't there be a few restaurants for people like me and my family, who adore the things about Kouzzina you despise?

I have seen dozens of negative reviews of Kouzzina, so I recognize that my feelings put me in the minority. But it bothers me a bit that one of the major criticism is that the food is too exotic. I love Kouzzina for that reason.

Pugmalion1
04-12-2010, 06:05 PM
I'm with you jdisnut. Our service was average, which is fine by me. Make sure my drink is filled, bring me my check on time, and don't bother me. That's all I ask and that's what I got. I can take care of the rest.

That aside, I was very happy with the whole fish, and my girlfriend loved the pastitsio. We had breakfast there, as well, on the same trip, and also enjoyed that a great deal. I love that the place has a strong Greek influence, and I love the flavors that they feature. I'd be supremely disappointed if Cat or Disney decided to bland up the menu to cater to less adventurous palettes. It would be a big loss.

The food and original drinks are both excellent. I hope that whatever changes the menus sees, they are in line with the original idea on which the restaurant was founded.

TigerKat
04-12-2010, 06:57 PM
We are thinking of trying it because it is a unique menu. If they "dumb it down" it would be just like every other WDW non-signature restaurant.:confused3

ChefMickey123
04-12-2010, 07:23 PM
First time visit to Kouzzina on Saturday night. (non-dining plan) What a disappointment (for the most part). Bring back the old Spoodles or at least parts of it's menu.

We had an excellent seat, two top next to a pole with one seat having an over the shoulder view of kitchen wood fired ovens, the other was obstructed - but good none the less. Our server, a female from Chile ( I forget her name) was a soft talker - after several excuse me's and what's that you say - I gave up and resorted to head nodding. Our drinks were a mess - a simple Grey Goose on the rocks confounded her. She asked - "You want just vodka and ice?" When it came I almost sent it back - the glass was filled to the top with ice and hardly any vodka - I don't want anything for free - at $12 I expect the ice to be covered - put less ice - put more vodka, use the proper glass..... bad start.



Another off putting experience - they do a lot of chair moving around the floor. On one occasion my chair was bumped so hard I almost made a scene. I didn't as the hostess had an obvious physical disability - However, with no apology or "excuse me" I was turned off. We openly moved our table our selves after that bump, which was one of several.

Appetizer sampler was a very good choice - everything thing was good - if I had to be picky the Lamb meatballs were dry. The chicken skewer was excellent. The dips were good, pita was fresh, olives were tart, spicy cashews were splendid.

Greek Salad was excellent - tomatoes were fresh, feta was delicious, dressing,greens,and onions all complimented each other.

Entree selections were very Greek oriented with more reasonable then I expected pricing. I know this is a "Greek" establishment - however, being a Disney restaurant I think you should also dumb it down a little for the less sophisticated palate (i.e. - teenagers, me!). I ordered the Trio Sampler of Pastitsio, Stewed Chicken, and Lamb Burger Slider. The Patstisio was the winner only because the other two were not to my liking. Pastitsio is like a Greek Lasagna made with tubular noodles, tomatoes, some ground lamb/beef, and bechamel sauce served in a ramekin. Tasty but no better then any NJ diner. The chicken was stewed past being dry. The Orzo were a nice addition. My wife found this dish to have a fishy after taste - I did not. The use of cinnamon ( & nutmeg?) over powered every dish it touched. The lamb Slider was a beautiful presentation being all show. The meat was horribly dry and the whole concoction just didn't work.

The other entree was the Flank Steak. In a word -rubber. With out extending this to much longer - my wife inquired how the potatoes were prepared - it was described as lightly smashed by our server. The potatoes were served whole! Flank steak is what it is - but if you want steak this is your only choice - I don't eat Flank at home - I don't want to eat it out - especially not bad flank steak. Amp up the price for a better cut of meat.

The server cleared my wife's plate before I was finished - another serving faux-pa. This girl was getting bad marks and just adding to themall night long.


Ouzo is not a mainstream liquor. It's inclusion in several cocktails is far fetched for the general population. Cat Cora is relying way to much on the public's previous fascination with "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". And $9.00 for a shot of her signature drink is high.

This restaurant will not be around much longer in it's current form if some changes do not take place. It will attract the one timers and the captive audiences, but I will not go again unless some major changes are seen in menu choices. The restaurant is not that old,so they can still enjoy the uninitiated diners. However, repeat business from DVC owners like me who attend 2-3 times a re are in jeopardy.

The Disney dining plan killed Spoodles, which was an original and unique restaurant with a menu that kept itself true to being a Mediterranean restaurant while still retaining mass appeal with a well prepared, diversified menu. This one should commit Hari-Cori (lol).

Bellmawr Bob

As a former classmate of Cat's at CIA a long time ago in a galaxy far away, I am sorry to hear of your bad trip. Too often the lure of money and collaboration stretch kitchen talent too thin. E.G.-I can get Wolfgang Puck from a freezer at the grocery store. Sometimes a little more "CHEF" and a little less "Celebrity" is what is in order.

DISNEYDEVOTEE
04-13-2010, 10:52 AM
Dumb it down was a poor choice of words. Perhaps more menu selections would be suffice. However, whatever, it was terrible. I am on the road 12-20 weeks a year and eat out almost every night. I have seen better food in a Holiday Inn.

Dis_Yoda
04-13-2010, 12:22 PM
Sorry to hear about your meal. I know in October when we had breakfast there, we weren't overly impressed. I mean we would go there if staying at the Boardwalk again but thats about the only reason we would return.

prttynpnk
04-13-2010, 12:42 PM
This is disapointing- our experience was bad and we chalked it up to the new restaurant learning curve and wanted to try again this trip. To hear that we might have to go thru the bad waiter torture just to eat that dvine fishermans stew seems too much to take! Our waiter didn't bring the sides, mocked my drink order and we had to send 3 other passing waiters to find him to get the check. We were starting to wonder if we were being filmed!

lovemickeyshouse
04-13-2010, 01:36 PM
I am goin to try the place for breakfast hope its better then.

maureenann
04-14-2010, 01:08 PM
On the other hand, we were there the Thursday before Easter and had a wonderful meal. Son, 21, had the sampler, son, 14 had the "Greek Lasagna", husband the Lamb Shank and I had the Flank steak. Everyone was quite happy with their meals, mine not so much, but I ordered the meat med well, my own fault. No cocktails, but our waiter kept our glasses full. Dessert was awesome, all had something different. Our waiter (I'm going to edit to add his name) was great, actually sat down to explain to us. Son, 14, wants to be a chef and the waiter was great with him. "translations" are on the side of the menu. What we couldn't find, we asked.
What boggles my mind is why the reviews are so hot/cold, no regularity. :confused3
We would go back.

chocolateMinnie
04-14-2010, 01:42 PM
Shame to read so many bad reviews, it was most probably the best meal we have ever had anywhere last October - great food, excellent service and good wine. We have travelled in Europe and Forida and had some good meals but it was one of our most outstanding ever.

We will definitely be going again in October.

(By the way I agree with the fact that the entrees weren't varied in choice but to be honest this is part of the reason we chose to go there and not yet another burger/steak bar.)

amshowers
04-14-2010, 01:55 PM
We were there late sept. and we thought it was wonderful. We had the fishermans stew,whole fish which were both delicious. My kids liked the steak and I was actually surprised it was so good being that it was flank steak. We did have an excellent server, and sometimes bad service can really ruin a dining experience.

Gr8t Fan
04-14-2010, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the review. We were there last September as well and had many of the same criticisms you did. In fact, it's the only place we're not eager to try ever again.

Schmoodle
04-15-2010, 04:58 PM
We had dinner there in September and breakfast in January. Both meals were really good, and we had decent service - anyway no big faux pas like you experienced! I've eaten at lots of Disney World restaurants and my dinner there was the best meal I've had. I had the whole roasted fish - yellow tail snapper, and it was incredible.

I'm sorry your experience wasn't good, and I hope they can work on the issues. You are not the first I've read here that didn't have a good meal.

lvanleer
04-15-2010, 08:53 PM
Well my DH and I just ate at Kouzzina this evening and we had great service, my DH loved his lamb shank and I really enjoyed the Kouzzina trio which allowed me to try several of their specialties and we also shared a spinach pie appetizer which we both enjoyed.....we are definitely going back for breakfast our last morning here....JMO....and I wouldn't change the menu at all....Disney needs authentic style restaurants not cookie cutter restaurants.

disneyfav4ever
04-15-2010, 10:21 PM
Why should they do that? Isn't that what everybody complains about? I have read hundreds of posts from people vilifying the dining plan because it has sucked the creativity and diversity from Disney's menus.

Then Kouzzina comes along. It has not yet been corrupted by the realities of catering to the basic American palate. Sure, the food does not appeal to everybody. But there are plenty of restaurants around Disney that do. Why can't there be a few restaurants for people like me and my family, who adore the things about Kouzzina you despise?

I have seen dozens of negative reviews of Kouzzina, so I recognize that my feelings put me in the minority. But it bothers me a bit that one of the major criticism is that the food is too exotic. I love Kouzzina for that reason.:thumbsup2

Cookie Princess
04-17-2010, 07:25 AM
OK, I have just read too many sour reviews of this place. I am going to cancel and select a new dining spot. We LOVED Spoodles and will miss it.:sad2:

wide awake
04-17-2010, 10:15 AM
We ate there last September and loved it. Service was exceptionally good, and the food, apps through desserts, wonderful. I just made an ADR yesterday for our trip this September. I loved the menu, the last thing I want is for them to Americanize it. Also...what is the problem w/ flank steak ? A flavorful cut of meat, and excellent if prepared rare to med rare.

stepdisney
04-17-2010, 10:57 AM
We liked it. We had excellent service, perhaps the best of our trip. The waiter and staff went out of their way to come and speak with us and, as it was raining horribly, they showed up with warm towels so we would not freeze in the air conditioning. The chef came to our table to explain personally how things were prepared because of my son's food allergies. Remember, you compare this to CG which is a signature establishment. I had the fish stew and my husband had the whole fish. We loved it because it wasn't the same old, same old, the same reason we like Boma. Much of the casual dining TS food served at WDW is "regular" food found anywhere. We personally enjoy places like Kouzzina and Boma because they offer unique menu options. I am sorry you had such a poor experience and hope that they do not remove Kouzzina, instead, that those who do not like it dine elsewhere.