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Old 10-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
LowesChevy
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The 2012 Incredible, Edible Dining Reviews-That's A Wrap!!

The Incredible, Edible dining reviews by Erika

Well mid year after having made all of my adrs, we get a surprise call that my brother, sister in law and nephew will be joining us during the later part of our trip. After a few crazy hours of rescheduling, I hammered out a great plan. My nephew is just a little guy at 2.5 years, so structured meal times are not always in his best interest, but it worked out well. So let’s get to the meat and potatoes shall we?

Ratings

Table Service Meals
5 Stars-excellent
4 Stars-good
3 Stars-average
2 Stars-poor
1 Stars-off the list

Counter Service Meals
Thumbs up-great experience
Thumb up-good, not bad, no major complaints
Thumb down-less than mediocre, poor
Double Thumb down-probably will not return ever!


Coming up: Citricos, Les Chefs de France, Narcoossee's & Mama Melrose's

Followed by: Tutto Italia, Raglan Road, Via Napoli, Wolfgang Puck Cafe, The Plaza, The Liberty Tree Tavern, California Grill, Kona Cafe, Le Cellier, Contempo Cafe, Captain Cooks, The Wave & Columbia Harbor House.

Last edited by LowesChevy; 10-26-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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Citricos

My absolute favorite restaurant on property! We have only had one lackluster experience here with service a couple of years ago in over a dozen visits, so it is tough to beat. The Mediterranean inspired menu always offers signature items like sautéed shrimp, arancini, braised veal shank and oak grilled filet of beef, while other menu items tend to change with the seasons.

They moved the check in booth to the outside of the hallway now. Presumably this makes it easier to find for guests and now they use the waiting area as a lounge. It makes them a few extra dollars serving cocktails and gives people something to do while waiting to be seated. We were given a beeper and were seated in about 15 minutes. The restaurant was busy, but it is one of the best so I understand why. Sara seated us near the open kitchen along the windows.

Not much of a view this year due to all of the construction on the courtyard pool, but plenty at the bar and kitchen to watch. The Grand Floridian has major refurbishments all of property as a matter of fact. With the construction of the DVC wing and the pool as major projects, Gasparillas has been closed and Mizners opened for quick service. They seem to be rehabbing to prepare for the GF DVC, from what I have read Gaspies needed some serious tlc, so good news there. We didnt explore much around the resort outside the main building, but the changes are very exciting. Shall we see sweeping changes at the Polynesian next? Looks like things are in the works for that property as well.

I opted for bottled water while my parents ordered a glass of wine. Cliff took our order and brought over the house bread and butter afterwards. Our appetizers arrived: cheese plate-with fourme dAmbert is one of the best blue cheeses not to mention the oldest French cheese, plus a Spanish cheese and another French style from the Basque region with all the accompaniments. Sorry I did not get a picture and the presentation was different this year, but it was nicely arranged.

The macerated heirloom tomatoes was a large portion of halved red and yellow baby tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, micro basil and fresh mozzarella slices. I am a sucker for cured meats so the charcuterie plate was a great option. The plate offered a variety of cured meats including Prosciutto di Parma, beef bresaola, duck prosciutto, chorizo, Percorno Romano, medjool dates, pickled fennel, olives and Marcona almonds. A great antipasti platter for one although I probably could have shared with another person. The appetizers were all very good and well received.

tomato salad


charcuterie plate


Cliff checked back frequently to fill our water glasses and see if we needed anything. He works at Victoria & Alberts as well so he is used to checking in with guests as often as he can. He made small talk and was very friendly, but not overbearing or awkward. Overall this was probably the best service we had on the trip.

Our appetites had hit their peak when the entrees arrived-it was perfect timing. I have tried a number of dishes, but one stood out this time for me the Berkshire pork 2 ways. Now I am not a huge pork fan with the exception of sausage and I must say the pork tenderloin dish at California Grill is lovely too. You cannot go wrong with rendered pork belly after all and alongside a huge piece of tenderloin with creamy cheesy polenta and corn, talk about heavenly! The cherry gastrique really rounds this dish out, a must try at Citricos. The salmon was mildly wonderful, we eat wild salmon weekly, but this was better than what we can get at the grocery store. My mother had the house oak grilled filet of beef with extra vegetables rather than the potato puree. She is not a big fan of mashed or gratin style potatoes, but most places are happy to substitute a reasonable side.

pork duo
Check out the

Epic Wines list!

Rare and odd wines available to order

Dinner was wonderful, the service was excellent. After the warm chocolate banana tart for desert-the evening was nearly perfect!

Another 5 star performance for Citricos, bravo

Last edited by LowesChevy; 10-16-2012 at 10:53 AM. Reason: sizes
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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Les Chefs De France

Chefs is definitely one of my favorites. Im a classically trained chef I so I love indulging on the many delicacies that French cuisine brings to the table. The menu features nouvelle style cuisine, a concept that focuses more on the freshness of ingredients, more simplistic methods of cooking and more appealing presentations. Whereas specialties like cassoulet, casseroles, coq au vin and dishes with heavy sauces like Hollandaise or Bechamel tend to be more like home style and heartier. It is has been an upcoming trend for restaurants to offer lighter, fresher food as peoples tastes have been changing over the years.

We arrived a few minutes early and were seated immediately. Our table was located in the front glass enclosed section. We have been seated in the side areas most often, but this was a new area for us. It offered a great view of Serveur Amusant for our dining entertainment as well.

Emeric arrived almost immediately to welcome us and offer us a cocktail. I had to go with my favorite St. Germaine Cocktail and to my surprise my mother ordered one as well. Shes not a big champagne fan, but she nearly drank the whole glass-lucky me got to finish. A Kronenbourg 1664 for my father and a bottle of Evian for the table. He took our order and returned with the fresh baguette served in a white paper bag. They used to serve a crusty roll, which they loved, but I prefer the newer baguette.

St Germaine Cocktail

Baguette


Wall of St. Germaine..nom nom


For starters, the warm goat cheese salad with grapes, walnuts and tomatoes; cheese plate for my dad; and onion soup as a part of the pre fixe menu for myself. I have had the salad and it is very good and there is plenty of cheese to share on the plate. I enjoyed the soup. I am a big fan of French onion, this one is flavorful, not too rich or salty. Often times restaurants will add a lot of Kitchen Bouquet or go heavy on beef base to enhance to the flavor, but the idea is to taste the caramelized onion not just beef.
Emeric checked on us frequently and was very knowledgeable. We asked him about his home town of Lyon, which is also the home city of Paul Bocuse interestingly. He talked about the differences between there and Paris. He said he was enjoying his time here, but definitely different than what he is used to normally.

In between courses, Armand and Remy made their way through the dining room. If you have been there for the experience you will know that Armand likes to poke fun at people and of course my
mother was targeted. It was very funny and a really cut idea to try to bring in the lunch crowd, while promoting Remy as a kid friendly attraction.

Remy & Armand


My parents both ordered the la flamme Alsacienne, a crispy flatbread with crème fraiche, bacon and caramelized onions. This I have made at home and it is luscious. Now my friends are always asking me to make this for parties! I had the Croque monsieur with mixed green salad and I really enjoyed it. The bread could have been a little less toasted throughout, but the cheese and tomato brings back those comforting grilled cheese and tomato soup memories.

Croque


We ended the meal with my profiteroles and a round of cappuccinos! It was a great experience overall and we will certainly be retuning next year, possibly lunch and dinner!

5 Stars-excellent.

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Narcoossee’s

This choice was a last minute rush one to make up for the change in schedule. I did not plan on returning here because of the two prior mediocre experiences we had in the previous years, but just maybe this time it would be great. It started off well, we were seated early with a nice view of the water and Conch Key building. Our server Zahira came over to greet us after a few minutes.

We placed our order and enjoyed the view of the small ferry boat and the monorail. It was relatively quiet, but it was early only about 60% full at the time. There was a table behind us that at least 3 parties declined to sit there. I started to wonder if people were afraid of us, it was kind of funny. The restaurant began to fill up with larger parties as the meal progressed.



Zahira brought out our appetizers after a while. Mother had the apple salad loaded with gouda, pomegranate seeds, pistachios and sunflower seeds, which was very good and appropriate for the fall season. My father and I both had the blue crab corn chowder. It was not overly thick, but had a lovely silky texture with a hint of sherry. The potatoes and corn were a perfect combination with the crab. The chowder also had a slow building spice, not overpowering and by the end of the bowl we broke a sweat. Our plates were cleared and we discussed the plans for that evening.

Salad


Crab chowder


Our entrees arrived in a reasonable amount of time-we didn’t wait too long and they weren’t rushed out of the kitchen either. Grandma Deb being the picky one opted for sweet potato ravioli with oyster mushrooms, figs in a light cream sauce with sautéed spinach. This dish was very good and thoughtful for a vegetarian dish.



Pop and I both ordered the wild caught halibut. Off the menu was the crab crusted halibut, so I was rather disappointed because he has had it in the past and it was great. Unfortunately we were both disappointed with this dish overall. First of all, it wasn’t as hot as it could have been. The fish was probably not fresh because it was mush in the middle-like watery and mushy. Then it was served with pickled vegetables and a strong mustard sauce-it wasn’t really balanced. We should have sent the meals back, but by that time after the soup and bread I was on the full side anyway.



This was the best service we have had here, but this time the food was a let-down. I guess I expect a lot more for these prices, but hey that’s me. Many other people have great reviews, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I can go to a restaurant and have a great experience, while the table next to me has a lousy one. Unfortunately it happens.

3-Stars Average

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Yummy reviews! I can't wait for more!
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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Yummy reviews! I can't wait for more!
Glad you are enjoying! More posts today
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LowesChevy
Via Napoli---dinner September 26th

By the same folks that operate Tutto Italia, Via Napoli opened in 2010 adding another large restaurant to the World Showcase. Again, like Tutto, it is a little more on the pricey side- it is a 3rd party restaurant group so I am not sure what the agreement is between them. Just be prepared to pay more than your favorite pizza shop charges for a pie or a plate of pasta. On the menu with their signature wood fired Napoletana pizzas are a number of appetizers, salads, parmignanas and pasta dishes which also baked in Vesuvio, Stromboli and Etna. Have not ventured too far into the menu because this was only our second visit, but there will be more in the future for sure.

It was crazy busy when we arrived at 7:00 PM. In fact a CM was going through the line checking to see if people had adrs, otherwise guests were being turned away because the place was booked solid. Only like the 3rd time I have heard this spiel on this supposedly less than crowded week! Finally made it to the check in and we were seated around our actual adr time, so not too bad-maybe a 15 minute wait. We were seated behind the communal table right the by kitchen and busy walk way. Plenty of entertainment watching the servers almost take each other out every few minutes or so. This place has a lot of energy and noise, so do not expect a quiet evening.

Light sculpture in foyer

Menu

Krizia soon came over to greet us and take our drink order. Just stuck with water to watch my carbs-especially with pizza and lots of it! Krizia was from Turin, in the northern part of Italy, where recently the 2006 Winter Olympics were held. She was a very pleasant young woman and checked back with us frequently. We ordered up a couple of pies and a pollo salad to share to start. A salad with romaine, chicken, cucumber, peppers, toasted almonds, fried wontons and a honey citrus vinaigrette. The dressing tasted a little different this year, but still very tasty and enough for 5 to share maybe!

The pizza arrived: a large pie with sausage and an individual size with cotto ham and mushrooms. The crust was slightly burned on the sausage pie-must have been a bit close to the fire, but we ate around it of course. The crust is chewy yet crusty from the wood fire oven. I love this type of pizza with a thinner crust and fresh ingredients on board. I like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, but when you want something different and made from the freshest ingredients, this is the way to go.

sausage pie

ham and 'shroom

Some zeppole di ricotta for dessert and we made the evening. They will wrap up your leftover pie too!

photo from last year-same item

Despite the noise, Via Napoli has become a new favorite. The food and service has been great. There was always someone filling water or taking plates as the table filled. A definite for next year!

5 Stars-excellent
Reading this makes me want to cry.

I miss Via.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Reading this makes me want to cry.

I miss Via.
OMG-it is so good! We love it too

We live in an area suffering from good pizza drought and this is my idea of good 'za.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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OMG-it is so good! We love it too

We live in an area suffering from good pizza drought and this is my idea of good 'za.
Sigh. Nothing like it here.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:45 PM   #11
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I'm loving your reviews. We were there Oct. 4-14 and ate at Via Napoli & Raglan Road too. Our new favorite was Kouzzina for breakfast. Keep up the reviews.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #12
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I'm loving your reviews. We were there Oct. 4-14 and ate at Via Napoli & Raglan Road too. Our new favorite was Kouzzina for breakfast. Keep up the reviews.
Thanks Ron! We are panning on staying at the Beach Club next year, so I may have to scope out Kouzzina-thanks for the suggestion. Hope you had a lovely trip too!
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #13
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Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Wolfgang Puck Café-dinner September 27th

Since my brother didn’t want to take Nick to the parks before my sister in law arrived, we decided to head to DTD for some fun and dining. It was pouring rain when we arrived, so I made a b-line for Wolfgang Puck Café. What I love about WPC is that the menu seems to offer something for everybody-pasta, pizza, awesome sushi, hearty entrees, appetizers etc. It would be difficult to leave here hungry! It is also a large restaurant and scoring a walk in was quite easy thankfully. Otherwise I suppose we could have dined at Bongos, but I wanted sushi most of all.



There were people waiting for the rain to subside and it only took a few minutes to ready a table for us 5. It was great we basically walked in and the place was busy at the time. Our server came right over to take our drink orders and get my nephew’s order taken. He didn’t eat much, but we boxed his leftovers up for later. He seemed to be more interested in sitting on Grandma’s lap during the meal, but he was just a little tired from traveling no doubt.

I had an order of spicy tuna roll to start and pizza because I love my pizza if you haven’t noticed! My brother and father both ordered the burger and were pleased. The pizza was good, simple and plain with fresh ingredients. I think I still like Via Napoli better though! Grandma had pasta with beef Bolognese and could barely finish it, very good.

Photos are a little grainy with the iPhone in the dark! Now I know
Bolognese


Pizza


The service was great, our waiter really loved interacting with my nephew. It was sweet, and it comes with the territory of being a server in DW haha. The food was delicious and overall a positive experience for all of us.

After dinner we walked down to Curl for find some new sandals for my brother. As we made our way back there was a gentleman playing a didgeridoo among other instruments. We dropped into Haagen Dazs for some dessert and enjoyed the music for a while. It was time to head back and put the little guy to bed and pick up my sister in law later that evening.

4 Stars-good
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #14
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Wave Breakfast-5 mornings

Wave Breakfast-5 mornings

This is a hidden gem and had we not become DVC members-we may have never tried it. Residing where the former Fiesta Food & Fun Center/Fun Center, the Wave opened up a few years ago as an all day restaurant. Eventually I would like to try lunch and dinner too. The Wave offers not only an a la carte menu with their signature sweet potato pancakes, multigrain French toast, omelets and eggs Benedict, but also a lovely buffet for breakfast. Along with some more health conscious entrée choices are some nutrient packed juices and organic coffees and teas.




Bar area


The buffet selections include Mickey waffles, hash browns, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese grits, bread pudding, fresh fruit, pastries, oatmeal bar with brown sugar and raisins , smoked salmon and fixings, and biscuits and sausage gravy. It is a great selection-here are some photographs from last year. The biscuits and sausage gravy is a big hit for us especially my nephew. You can also toast your own bagel and bread as well. The smoked salmon area has your cream cheese, capers, red onion, cottage cheese for lighter fare. It is a great selection without the character buffet price.




If you are looking to go with the a la carte menu, I highly recommend multigrain waffle or the simple ham and cheese omelet. The egg dishes are served with roasted red potatoes with finely diced bell peppers and onions. While the griddle or sweet dishes have choice of breakfast meat accompaniment. The one dish that I did not care for was the eggs Benedict, which I love, but they smother them in key lime hollandaise. It is a little too potent for my tastes.

Multigrain waffle


If you are looking for a big breakfast to start your day or change from the eggs and bacon routine consider the Wave!

4 Stars- good
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:10 PM   #15
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Tonga toast looks so yummy.
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