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Old 03-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
Dis_Yoda
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Insanity Vol 4. - Brief sanity break in the middle of chaos - California Grill

Background
A few months ago, I found out I had a work conference from April 2nd to April 5th in Orlando, FL. I debated on which end of the conference to add a Disney trip. I ultimately chose to come in after work on Thursday March 29th and leave when I need to meet up with everyone else from my company on Sunday. Flash forward to a week and a half ago. I need to visit our customers and one of our vendors for work this week. I flew out a noon on Monday & flew back at 5:30am on Thursday.

Reviews

Thursday March 29th, 2012
Narcoossee's

Friday March 30th, 2012
Magic Kingdom Snack
Kona Cafe Lunch
Le Cellier Dinner

Saturday March 31st, 2012
Sunshine Seasons
Via Napoli
Jiko

Sunday April 1st, 2012
Captain's Grille

Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
California Grill
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
Dis_Yoda
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Narcoossee's
Thursday morning started early. 3:30am early. After two extremely long days of work, a 5:45am flight was not the best decision. Especially when its in a tiny 15 seat plane to my connection in Philly.



Those planes and I do not get along.

I make it to Atlanta by 10AM. Head home (Middle Georgia) for a very brief stop to see my husband & dogs since I won't see them again until the 5th then head into work. I get there by 12:30pm. I had originally hopped I could be out by 2pm - 3pm at the latest but I hadn't made dining reservations as you never know how the day is going to go.

Well, I'm really glad I didn't make reservations planning on that early leave. I didn't make it out of the plant until 4pm. Its about a 5 hour drive to Disney from there - shorter if I hadn't needed to get gas & an energy drink as I was almost on my own fumes at that time.

I finally figure out what I should be arriving to check into the hotel & call Disney Dining to see when I can get into. I wanted a signature place since my food for the past few days has been a lot of sandwiches, pizza and I wanted something good. I was able to get in at Narcoossee's for 9:30pm. That is really late for me but it works.

I check in at the hotel and then drive to the Grand Floridian.

After I check in, the electric water parade starts while I wait to be seated.


I'm sat at exactly my ADR time at a table on the lower level.

I think I confused my waiter when I could tell him exactly what I wanted including wine & didn't need the dining plan spiel after he made a joke. (For some reason when I planned this trip, I thought doing Deluxe Dining would be smart since it was solo & with Disney raising their prices as much as they have - it probably would save me money)

The Menu!



My waiter returned with my glass of La Crema but something distracted him and he left the bottle on the table. When he realized what he did after my appetizer was finished, I ended up getting some more pour for free since I didn't take it upon myself to get more.

I went with the Baby Red & Green Romaine Salad.


It was light even if slightly over dressed. The croutons were cooked to the point that they dissolved once placed in my mouth.

Wishes began & honestly, I was annoyed when the dimmed the lights. I was reading the end of Catching Fire during the meal & to me at that point, it was more important to finish the book than it was to watch Wishes.

I also think my entree was delayed being brought out because of Wishes but there was no way for the waiter/food runners to know I wouldn't care about fireworks.

As soon as Wishes was over, I received my entree.
Grilled Filet Mignon


It was really good - however, I couldn't eat much of it. The Gruyere with the onions in the risotto was a nice flavor combination that I think I will try again at home. The filet was a perfect medium rare and fork tender. I'm not sure if it was because it was 10:15pm at night on a day that started at 3:45am, but it very suddenly became too rich about half way through. My waiter was more than happy to package the rest of it up should I decide to have it a bit later in this trip.

He brought out the dessert menu:


I didn't really want dessert. I wanted to go to bed but I knew it was included because of the dining plan so I just ordered it because it wasn't going to be real money.

I went for the Baked Chocolate Mousse


It was served with a bourbon caramel sauce w/ vanilla bean whipped cream. The combination of bourbon-caramel sauce and the warmed mousse & the cold whipped cream was It was extremely rich though. I was only able to eat about a third & felt bad especially since it wasn't really a dish I could take back to the room with me. My waiter brought out 2 coconut macaroons wrapped and placed them in the bag with my steak left overs. He also mentioned - he can never get past half of it either even if its not 10:30 at night.

Overall it was a very good meal. I just wish I could have enjoyed more of it as I was tired & should have just skipped eating and got into my room. My waiter had a great sense of humor which is completely what I needed that night.

Apparently I got an upgrade at the Pop I noticed when I went to my room - I went from the cheapest standard room to a preferred pool view.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Wow! First of all, great review. Second of all, I'm impressed with the recent menu changes at Narcoossee's - lots of the new dishes and desserts sound great.

Narcoossee's really disappointed us last time, but you may have just convinced me to fit it in on our next trip (at a minimum, I want to go for appetizers and dessert).
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
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It looks good! I haven't been to Narcoossee's in years, but I may have to revisit it on my next trip.
Thanks for sharing you reviews - looking forward to more!
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Wow! First of all, great review. Second of all, I'm impressed with the recent menu changes at Narcoossee's - lots of the new dishes and desserts sound great.

Narcoossee's really disappointed us last time, but you may have just convinced me to fit it in on our next trip (at a minimum, I want to go for appetizers and dessert).
Thanks I was amazed about the amount of changes there too since the last time I saw a menu from there. To be honest, if I wasn't on the dining plan, I'm not sure I would eat a 3 course meal at Narcoossee's just because of how much their entrees have gotten. The appetizers and desserts though could easily make a reasonable meal though. I've always had decent service there but I seem to have a luck of Narcoossee's being the day I can never finish the meal. (On our honeymoon, our waitress ended up bringing me a drink made of seltzer and bitters when she noticed how little I was picking at my food)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krissalee View Post
It looks good! I haven't been to Narcoossee's in years, but I may have to revisit it on my next trip.
Thanks for sharing you reviews - looking forward to more!
What I had, it was very good! Hopefully it will make room into your next trip.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dis_Yoda View Post
Thanks I was amazed about the amount of changes there too since the last time I saw a menu from there. To be honest, if I wasn't on the dining plan, I'm not sure I would eat a 3 course meal at Narcoossee's just because of how much their entrees have gotten. The appetizers and desserts though could easily make a reasonable meal though. I've always had decent service there but I seem to have a luck of Narcoossee's being the day I can never finish the meal. (On our honeymoon, our waitress ended up bringing me a drink made of seltzer and bitters when she noticed how little I was picking at my food)
Yeah, I noticed that the prices of the entrees have increased dramatically (both there and at California Grill) - I'd rather just get a few nice appies and a dessert. The Florida peach salad sounds great, as does the oyster appetizer (I would hope that they're raw instead of cooked) or the Florida soft shell crab. I might not be able to fit Narcoossee's in when we return in May, but then I'll definitely try for August.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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Magic Kingdom Snack

I skipped breakfast Friday morning & headed towards the Magic Kingdom for their 8am opening.

At 10AM, I was hungry and needed something to get me to lunch. I debated on what I would want but I decided to stop by Cosmic Ray's to just get some cheese fries. I saw that they now have iced lattes too.



Iced French Vanilla Latte

Not the best latte - but for a Disney coffee drink it was more bareable than most other ones I have had. I don't think I'll get one of the latte's with flavoring again as the syrup was thick on the bottom and thus difficult to stir up to mix it throughout the drink.



Side of Fries that I got cheese dip for it.

The fries were a bit undercooked but when you get plastic cheese on them, I guess it doesn't matter much
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:59 AM   #8
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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Le Cellier

Somehow in my midst of planning a trip just a couple of weeks before it happened, I got a dinner reservation at Le Cellier.

I apologize for the really bad photos - I was using my cell phone which probably wasn't the best choice for this meal.

I was sat within 5 minutes of checking in at the podium and led to a two seat in the corner as you walk into the dining room. It was nice to finally have a meal there where I don't feel like I'm on top of other patrons.

Menu


I went with the cheese plate for my appetizer.


I asked for no blue cheese and was given extra cheddar.

For my entree I went with the 'signature' Mushroom Filet.


The steak was very tender and the risotto was not as salty as it can be on occasion.

For dessert, I had the Trio of Chocolate


The bar portion was really tasty with the light peanut flavor throughout. The sorbet was light but rich at the same time.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Just caught up with your wonderful reviews
I love the pizza at Via Napoli
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:09 PM   #11
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Wow that pizza looks so good!
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:31 PM   #12
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Great reviews!
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:56 PM   #13
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Great reviews (as usual)! A few comments:

1) Agree with pp about the Narcossee prices. A year and a half ago, the whole crispy snapper was something like $35 (I know cause I ordered it - it was delish). It's now $49. That's way more than inflation. And $49 for snapper is crazy. I love, love, love whole snapper, but that really is out of whack.

2) I'm not usually a big steak or filet or beef eater (I'll have it once during a 7 or 8 night stay), but the one from Narcoossee looks great. Love the little mushrooms. The dessert looks amazing too. I wish I could fit Narcoosee in our next trip, but we can't, so it will have to wait.

3) Is it me or is the Le Cellier dinner menu less 'daring' than when it first opened? It seems that when they first opened they had multiple very interesting dishes. Now it seems it's more of the usual Disney stuff: a chicken dish, a salmon dish, a short-rib dish, a steak dish, etc.

4) Kona - we also had lunch and our experience was very similar. Desserts were good, but the rest of the meal was of similar quality to 'insert-your-local-Pacific-restaurant-here.' I can't even remember what we ordered for apps (must have been quite forgettable). We thought about dinner here for our upcoming trip (on our MK day) and quickly decided against it, even though it would have been a convenient option.

All right, I'm looking forward to hearing where you ate on Sunday.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singinglizzie View Post
Thank you for taking the time to post your pictures and review. I enjoyed reading them!
Glad you are enjoying them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Just caught up with your wonderful reviews
I love the pizza at Via Napoli
I love Via Napoli - I really wish we had somewhere around where I lived that had decent pizza as everything is pretty much chains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vettegirl View Post
Wow that pizza looks so good!
It was great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksmom View Post
Great reviews!
Thanks for reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinotinto View Post
Great reviews (as usual)! A few comments:

1) Agree with pp about the Narcossee prices. A year and a half ago, the whole crispy snapper was something like $35 (I know cause I ordered it - it was delish). It's now $49. That's way more than inflation. And $49 for snapper is crazy. I love, love, love whole snapper, but that really is out of whack.

2) I'm not usually a big steak or filet or beef eater (I'll have it once during a 7 or 8 night stay), but the one from Narcoossee looks great. Love the little mushrooms. The dessert looks amazing too. I wish I could fit Narcoosee in our next trip, but we can't, so it will have to wait.

3) Is it me or is the Le Cellier dinner menu less 'daring' than when it first opened? It seems that when they first opened they had multiple very interesting dishes. Now it seems it's more of the usual Disney stuff: a chicken dish, a salmon dish, a short-rib dish, a steak dish, etc.

4) Kona - we also had lunch and our experience was very similar. Desserts were good, but the rest of the meal was of similar quality to 'insert-your-local-Pacific-restaurant-here.' I can't even remember what we ordered for apps (must have been quite forgettable). We thought about dinner here for our upcoming trip (on our MK day) and quickly decided against it, even though it would have been a convenient option.

All right, I'm looking forward to hearing where you ate on Sunday.
1. The prices are insane nowadays. Spending almost $50 on a filet that isn't anywhere near what I would get at Morton's or the Palm just doesn't sit right with me. But its Disney and thats why they get away with it.

2. The steak was really good. I tended to over eat on steak during this part of the trip as I had a lot of pasta and chicken when I was in PA and I knew I would be eating a lot of bar type food with my coworkers at the convention.

3. It is less daring. Most of the menus tend to have different versions of the same type of meals it seems.

4. I tend to keep it into rotation just because of the desserts. Luckily because of the Sushi Bar - I've been able to just go for desserts a lot easier than in the past.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #15
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Jiko

I originally had no plans for dinner on Saturday. I had originally planned on walking around Downtown Disney after the movies and getting something to eat somewhere around there; however, it was raining and walking around in the rain was not something that I felt like doing. I returned to the hotel, read some more of the Hunger Games trilogy, and debated on what I wanted to eat. Finally around 7:00pm, I decided to try to get into Jiko and if that didn't work, figure something else out.

I was able to get into Jiko quickly as I showed up. I had about a 20 minute wait in the bar while I waited to walk in. I enjoyed a glass of wine - Posthouse Virgins. I fully admit I ordered it because of the name. It was a dense blend that I knew would work for whatever I decided to order that evening whether it was spicy or meaty.

I was sat in the middle of the restaurant & quickly was greeted by my waiter.



I always love their bread with the tamarind butter.

Of the options for appetizers, I went with the Crispy Beef "Bobotie" Roll


I always have enjoyed these. There is a little kick to the meat but its quickly cooled with the sauce and slaw that accompanies the dish.

For my entree, I decided against a beef dish as I had beef with my appetizer.

I had the Grilled Wild Shrimp Curry.



I really love the spices on this dish! However, it was entirely too much. Luckily I knew I would have a hotel at my next location and was able to package it togo & it was great at the Rosen Centre the next day while I waited for my co-workers to show up.

For dessert,
One Last Cup - Tanzanian Chocolate and Kenya Coffee Mousse with cinnamon mascarpone, nutty chocolates and "hot chocolate"



The mousse was great! Eating it with the mascarpone complimented the coffee in the mousse really well. I didn't really like the "hot chocolate" as it just seemed as a bit too much to have with the mousse.
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