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Old 03-01-2013, 05:47 AM   #1
mmtravel
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Special meal recommendations for September

We're coming in early September for a weekend to celebrate my Great Big Birthday - a half century!

My original plan was to do my favorite California Grill one night, and Be Our Guest the second night. I'm now concerned CG may not be re-opened in time, and BOG seems like it's an issue - both because the reservations seem to be wonky for that timeframe, and the park is closing early both nights we're there for some Night of Joy concert nonsense that's going on. Super bummed out that we will be shut out of seeing Wishes for our whole trip, but hey, we'll be at Disney World -we'll get by. This was the only weekend that worked for us, just before school starts.

My new plan:
Dinner at Citrico's or Narcoosee's instead of CG the first night (no parks that day, just hanging at our resort)
Dinner somewhere at EPCOT and Illuminations the second night - we are staying at an EPCOT resort so we'll take advantage of that proximity.

To further complicate, I'm mostly vegetarian - I don't eat meat - just fish, and only once in a while. So, for semi-vegetarians and those who love them out there, what are your favorite "special" places? Which of the two GF restaurants are a better choice? Is there somewhere else "magical" you'd recommend? It's me plus DH and DS10 who both love all kinds of meat - so I'm the only complicated one.

Not having the search function is crippling me, man! Thanks for any help you can provide - my 180 day mark is next weekend!

PS - we have Tables in Wonderland, so want to stick with restaurants included there if possible.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:49 AM   #2
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Of the two GF ones, I'd say the better choice is Narcoossee's - which is strange for me to say, because they are not on my list of favorites by a long shot. That being said, I have had party members order vegetarian there and they were pleased. Not so much the option at Citricos.

I would recommend Artist Point, I am not vegetarian but I have had their vegetarian choice (pasta with porcini) and it was great. They also have the most amazing portobello soup, good salad options, and they do have a couple of strong pescadarian choices as well.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
mmtravel
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Thank you for the recommendation! We've been to a lot of the WDW restaurants, and love some of the signatures among some of our favorite restaurants anywhere: Jiko, Brown Derby, California Grill, Le Cellier (for my steak-lovin' boys). But we've never been to Artist Point.

I'm curious, though - why are neither of those GF restaurants among your favorites? We've never been to either - only done character dining at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. The appeal for me was the overall romanticism of the hotel and the proximity to Magic Kingdom, in case they do Wishes that weekend that we could see from afar.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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Citricos is okay, service is good but food is sometimes not as spectacular as one might expect, for the price, at least not for us. It's not bad, by any means, and sometimes it is wonderful, but I guess we just aren't as impressed by it on a consistent basis as others. I don't refuse to eat there, just isn't on the list of favorites.

Narcoosees has always been a bit disappointing in both service and quality, again for the expectation set by the menu prices. The service there always seems a bit nonchalant, disengaged somehow. The steaks are actually quite nice and the lobster and other seafood has been decent but again, not up to expectations. We've done it about once in two years for the last decade or so, and each time we wonder why we tried it yet again. There are some high points there - the view, if you get a window seat and are not blocked by people on the patio outside, for one. The desserts have always been good. But we don't rate desserts as highly important.

Artist Point on the other hand has always had very friendly and attentive but not pushy service, is quiet and dimly lit (but not dark), and set in the Wilderness Lodge which in itself is a gorgeous resort. The food has always been consistently strong, and the menu just appeals to us more. We don't mind the signature prices on this one at all.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Flying Fish at the BWI is a great restaurant. And close to Epcot.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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The vegetarian menu at Victoria & Albert's is outstanding and well worth the extra cost over the other Signature places, especially since you have TiW. Since you're not strictly vegetarian, you could select courses from the regular menu as well. I always ask to see both menus, since I eat everything.

I kicked off my Big 5-0 celebration at V&A (I stretched my celebration out for a couple months) and that particular meal is in my top 5 of all time; even better than some Michelin 3-star places I've been.

Since you do eat seafood, bluezoo or Flying Fish would be good choices. For such a special event, bluezoo would probably be the better choice.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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September is Magical Dining Month and last September, bluezoo had a three course meal: app, entree and dessert for $30. We enjoyed their Simply Fish entree and with the special Magical pricing, it was a great value! Their food is always delicious!
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:37 AM   #8
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So many great ideas, and I've learned a lot from all of you.

1. Didn't realize bluezoo took TiW - we've been to Todd English's Ca Va in New York for brunch and really enjoyed it. Staying near EPCOT, this could be a great choice for one of the nights.

2. V&A - didn't realize they had a vegetarian menu - I read some of the examples on allears and they look delicious.

One concern about both places, though, is taking my son there. He's definitely a foodie, a part of this celebration, and a fine restaurant veteran (heck, I'd even tote his jacket and tie with us for this occasion - he'd love it), but what do you think of those places with a tween? (Of course, at 10, nearly 11, he's considered an "adult" by Disney standards).

Flying Fish is definitely a great option that I hadn't considered (and have never tried) so thanks for reminding me of that one!

PS - Pygoplites, I'm celebrating all year long, pretty much, as most of my childhood friends are also crossing the AARP bridge - but this trip is the one that's really "mine."

Now I feel like I have some great choices - now, I have just a week to decide (though I don't think any of these are 180-day stampede type places...). Thanks all!
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:32 AM   #9
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Since your son is already a fine-dining veteran, he should be fine at V&A. It is a long meal, but it's paced well. A 3-hour dinner there feels shorter than a 2-hour meal at most other Signature places. My advice would be to eat a late and substantial breakfast/brunch, skip lunch and get a 5:30 reservation.

You might also consider the chef's wine dinner at Flying Fish Cafe, where you sit at the chef's counter and get to see all the action. I'm sure they would accommodate your dietary restrictions. They will also do a non-alcoholic drink pairing for your son. You can also sit at the counter and order a la carte if the space is available. The chef and team love to interact with guests, so it is a real treat for foodies. No TiW for the wine dinner, so it's actually about the same price as V&A.

Since bluezoo is such a short walk from Epcot, it's becoming my go-to place when I want to escape the crowds in the World Showcase restaurants. With TiW, it's actually a great value...certainly less than comparable restaurants in Chicago or NYC.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmtravel View Post
We're coming in early September for a weekend to celebrate my Great Big Birthday - a half century!

My original plan was to do my favorite California Grill one night, and Be Our Guest the second night. I'm now concerned CG may not be re-opened in time, and BOG seems like it's an issue - both because the reservations seem to be wonky for that timeframe, and the park is closing early both nights we're there for some Night of Joy concert nonsense that's going on. Super bummed out that we will be shut out of seeing Wishes for our whole trip, but hey, we'll be at Disney World -we'll get by. This was the only weekend that worked for us, just before school starts.

My new plan:
Dinner at Citrico's or Narcoosee's instead of CG the first night (no parks that day, just hanging at our resort)
Dinner somewhere at EPCOT and Illuminations the second night - we are staying at an EPCOT resort so we'll take advantage of that proximity.

To further complicate, I'm mostly vegetarian - I don't eat meat - just fish, and only once in a while. So, for semi-vegetarians and those who love them out there, what are your favorite "special" places? Which of the two GF restaurants are a better choice? Is there somewhere else "magical" you'd recommend? It's me plus DH and DS10 who both love all kinds of meat - so I'm the only complicated one.

Not having the search function is crippling me, man! Thanks for any help you can provide - my 180 day mark is next weekend!

PS - we have Tables in Wonderland, so want to stick with restaurants included there if possible.
A lot of the signatures have at least one dish that caters to vegetarians.

I have a few reviews from a fellow DISer who's dd was sticking to an almost vegetarian diet if you'd like to take a look.

Citricos - http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/citricos-review.htm

Naroossee's - http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/n...ees-review.htm

Il Mulino - http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/i...o-new-york.htm (they have delicious pasta dishes-I love the tortellini alla panna)

Another great signature is AP- they have a lasagna (veggie based) dish and their port. mushroom soup is amazing. I've not had the lasagna but if it's as good as the rest of their dishes you can't go wrong.

AP - http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/a...ner-review.htm

Any of the above are great choices on your MK night although I would suggest Il Mulino on your Epcot night since it's just a boat ride to Epcot from the Swan...or you can walk.

If you can't get BOG for dinner I urge you to do the lunch as it is a great experience and the quiche is very good. The only downside is that BOG doesn't take the TIW card at lunch. ...bummer for us too as we are TIW members, but the lunch prices are very reasonable so it was ok...all of the others I mentioned do accept TIW (even Il Mulino)

BOG lunch review - http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/b...-review-jw.htm
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:38 AM   #11
amberpi
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I think their is an age restriction at v&a, as I've never seen a kid there, but it is fantastic and would fit your requirements

That said, blue zoo is great and your son wouldn't be out of place at all and it sounds like he'd enjoy the food as much you and your husband would!

Love hearing about kids that are well behaved and used to finer dining, and enjoy it! 10 year old foodie =
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:21 AM   #12
mmtravel
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jwfla422, we are actually headed to WDW in 3 weeks for spring break. (Easter week - ugh - but we've done it before and going in with low expectations). We've definitely slotted in a BOG lunch since we planned the trip too late for a dinner reservation. I'll wait in line while they enjoy some rides. We even just dusted off my ancient VHS copy of the movie last night to prepare. Took a while to hook the old VCR back up. Also loved all of Jasmine's reviews and pix - how fun! Thanks.

Pygoplites - the wine dinner sounds cool and very special! And thanks amberpi. He's a good kid, thanks in part to his nature, and thanks in part to a parental zero tolerance policy for bad behavior in restaurants when he was younger.

We are lucky enough to get to come to WDW once or twice a year, so no matter what we do in Sept, I'm filing away all these recommendations - all restaurants we haven't tried!
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