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Old 11-12-2007, 12:01 PM   #31
whogirl'smom
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Your RFC review was so funny! The Poseidon Adven. references were a hoot! Actually of our two trips to AK, I preferred the rainy day; at least it was cooler. Your writing is so entertaining you don't need pics!
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:41 AM   #32
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REVIEW: Il Mulino (located at the Swan)

SUMMARY: Palio who??

I’m jumping out of order for this one, because there seems to be more interest in a review of Il Mulino than anywhere else we tried this trip. But, this review gets the back-story as to how we ended up there.

Many years ago, in a land far far away, there was an expensive Italian restaurant located in the Swan hotel. It was called Palio. It took us several WDW visits before we finally tried it, because we thought that the menu looked terribly overpriced. Eventually, we caved in, ate there, and found that it was very good, and only somewhat overpriced. We liked it a lot. Then, as fate would have it, a wicked witch cast a spell over Palio, and it was closed. There was much sadness in the kingdom.
Fast forward to present day. There is again, an expensive Italian restaurant located in the Swan hotel. It is called Il Mulino New York Trattoria. But instead of sitting by and waiting many visits to try it, we decided a meal would be in order sooner, rather than later. But, there was no room on our calendar this trip. So, how did we end up there??

The morning of our last full day at WDW, we got an offer to go out for dinner, just my wife and I, while someone watched the girls. We had an existing ADR for all of us, but cancelled that, and started looking at our options for a ‘quiet and/or romantic’ dinner. That last day started at EPCOT in the a.m., and migrated to DTD for ice cream. From there, I brought the girls back to the hotel while everyone else did some shopping. On the way back from DTD, I detoured through the Swan hotel, so the girls could run around on the playground for a few minutes, and burn off some of the Ghirardelli infused energy they had just acquired. Boarded a WDW bus at Marketplace, and got off the bus at the temporary Swan entrance (main entrance being refurbed, ditto for the Dolphin, so we came in through what I would call the convention center entrance). Once I found my way through the maze of hallways, outwitted the Minotaur, and answered a riddle from the Cattatafish, I finally found the restaurant. The huge doors marking the entrance were closed, as expected for mid-afternoon, but the menu was posted in glass display cases outside the entrance. “SCORE !!”. But, to add to the mysteriousness of this new destination, the glass on the display cases had an ‘antique’ look to it, making it look like it had a light coat of early morning frost on it. Now, I’ve got 20/20 vision (maybe better), and I am standing beside these huge wooden doors, squinting like Mr. Magoo, trying to make out the selections. Every 2 or 3 words, I would cross vision paths with another frosty squiggle, and would have to shift to one side or another to find a clear spot, and continue reading. I wasted a good 5 minutes trying to re-focus my vision enough to determine that the prices listed for their pizza was indeed $16, as it appeared. Regardless, I figured this could be a possibility for our evening (but I wasn’t ordering a pizza, that’s for sure).
Obligatory Simpsons quote or paraphrase for this report “They make a pizza pie here, with the topping of your choice.”
Rob’s own quote “Holy Smokes! I am not paying $16 for no pizza”.

NOTE: I was beginning to wonder if this was a mafia run establishment, because they sure don’t seem to want you to find out anything about the place. Huge wooden doors keep you from seeing inside, frosted glass obscures the menu, and the display case bottom was elevated to almost 5 feet high off the floor. I was concerned that after dessert and coffee, I may have to deliver a package to New Jersey.

After a consultation with my wife via cell phone, we decided to try it. That evening, we handed off the girls for a few hours, and were at the podium at 6:30 p.m. sharp. With the large wooden doors now open, we could see that we really like the layout of this restaurant. The check-in podium is located inside the restaurant, just past the bar, which runs along the right side of the large entrance hallway. This layout we don’t often see, as at many restaurants you have to queue up at the podium, even if you just want to sit at the bar for drinks.
We walked up to the podium, and were seated immediately. No pager, no ‘stand over there’, just straight to the table. Excellent.

Our waiters were Daniel and his serving partner, whose name escapes me. It is sad that I didn’t make a note of his name, because the service was just plain excellent. I would rate the service we received here as the second best for this trip, just slightly behind Flying Fish. It was superb. Not intrusive at all, but perfectly attentive. After being seated and perusing the menu, we had almost decided to start with the Insaccati Misti – “A Platter of Italian Delights”, for two. But, when Daniel brought out a very small complimentary sampling of sliced meat and a bit of roasted eggplant, garlic, and parsley puree, we decided that a huge appetizer platter might be too much for us. FYI – the roasted eggplant spread was absolutely excellent, and perfect to start the meal. Instead of the platter for two, we backed off and split one appetizer, the Parmigiano Reggiano. This came with 5 sizeable chunks of a crisp parmigiano reggiano, and was wonderful (if you like aged parmesan). There was more cheese (quantity) here than on the cheese plate I had at the Yachtsman earlier in the week.
SIDE NOTE: For some crazy reason, possibly related to visiting ‘the mouse’, I went cheese crazy this trip. This was my third cheese plate this trip, and it did not disappoint.

For entrees, my wife decided on the Spaghetti Ai Frutti Di Mare – which was spaghetti with baby shrimp, clams, mussels, scungilli and calamari (rings and tentacles), in your choice of two sauces (she chose the garlic white wine sauce). The spaghetti was excellent, and the sauce pulled the various seafood flavors of the dish together, without overpowering them with garlic. It was light, and the seafood was cooked perfectly, not tough at all.

I opted for the Pollo Fra Diavolo, which was described as boneless chicken with sausage in a spicy red sauce. The chicken was lightly breaded, which helped it pick up the flavor of the sauce. The sausages were not greasy, had a good flavor by themselves, and were cooked in small sections. The spicy red sauce was nice, and I would wager that the spice was red cayenne pepper flakes, as the sauce had the typical ‘build up’ heat that I associate with cayenne pepper. That is, the more you eat, the hotter it gets, and it seems hottest when you stop eating for a bit. When I notice that pattern, it is usually some incarnation of cayenne pepper. The few remaining bits of parmesan from the appetizer, I broke them apart, and added them as chunks to the sauce. Overall, it was one of the best spicy red sauce dishes I have tried anywhere. Delicious, nicely balancing the heat and the flavor of the main ingredients.

Though totally stuffed, we were still thinking of dessert, and my wife asked about the Torta Di Formaggio – Italian Style Cheesecake. She was so glad she asked! Their Italian Style label means it’s based with ricotta, not cream cheese. I like ricotta, the wife doesn’t. So, we decided to not make total pigs of ourselves, and we split an order of tiramisu. This was a light and fluffy creation, and came with a touch of both marscapone cream and zabaglione. It was as good or better than the Bailey’s Irish Crème Pot (think of that as an Irish tiramisu) that used to be available at Raglan Road. As more traditional tiramisu goes, we agreed that this was the best one ever. An absolutely perfect dessert.

Now beyond stuffed, we had to decline any coffee, just to be able to waddle back to our room.
With a soda, water, and no wine (which in retrospect we probably should have had), the total bill was just under $82. The excellent service garnered a tip above 25%, and our total damage came out to just under $105. Not a cheap meal for two by any means, but not unreasonable for WDW prices. Totally delicious, and with top-notch service.

Summary: We missed the old Palio. We now adore Il Mulino. This meal, in essence, took the place of our BlueZoo annual visit for this year, and may hold that spot for next year as well. If the signature restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin offered any type of discount at all, eating here could become a habit. Extensive menu. Excellent food. Excellent service. Great atmosphere and layout. One of our best meals ever.


NEXT UP: Flying Fish
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Past Trips:
12/97 - CSR, CR: 12/99 - ASSP, WL 09/00 - POFQ:02/03 - BWV: 10/03 - BWV: 11/03 - BWV, AKL:
01/04 - CBR, AKL: 9/04 - POP, BCV, POR: 10/04 - BCV, (offsite-Radisson-yuck!):
11/05 - Dolphin, BCV, BWV: 10/06 - BCV: 11/06 - Dolphin, BCV:
07/07 - Dolphin, (offsite-Sheraton Safari- AOK!) 11/07 - BCV, Dolphin:
04/08 - Dolphin, BWV: 08/08 - POP, WL: 10/08 - BCV, Swan:
09/09 - Dolphin, (offsite-Sheraton Safari): 11/09 - Swan, BCV 10/10 - Dolphin, BCV

Robert P's April 2008 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1791298
Robert P's Fall 2007 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1630586

Last edited by Robert P; 11-13-2007 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:10 AM   #33
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Great review, I was thinking of adding Il Mulino to our next trip and I think you just pursuaded me LOL!
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:10 PM   #34
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Great review!
If we had anymore room for an ADR on this trip I would try this restaurant.
UMMMMM cheeeeeeese.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:50 PM   #35
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Great review! I can't even look at tentacles!
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:04 PM   #36
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Thanks for your great review! We'll have to try Il Mulino on our next trip.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:16 AM   #37
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REVIEW: Flying Fish

SUMMARY: Best service of the trip, going the extra mile

This also was a mid-week dinner ADR for a party of 5 (3 adults, 2 children) at the somewhat early hour of 6:00 p.m. Rainy weather had long been cleared out, and it was a nice day. Originally, on my first pass at our schedule for this trip, this was had been an ‘adults night out’, which required us to plan an early dinner with the girls. As they often do, plans changed in the weeks leading up to this trip (in Rob-speak, that means the Jellyrolls schedule finally came out, and we were going to go there Friday instead). I attempted to change our ADR to later in the evening, but there was nothing available for a party of 5 until after 8:10, which would throw off the bedtime schedule for the girls.

We walked over from the YC/BC area, and checked in at the podium at 5:55 p.m., and were told it would be just a few minutes. No pager this time (FINALLY), but then again, we were standing inside the front doors, so it would be hard to miss them calling for our party. We could see that the restaurant was less than a third full. My bewilderment continues, where I find it strange that even with an ADR, and a relatively empty restaurant, we usually wait to be seated. It seemed to be a pattern for this entire trip, though it was no big deal. So anyway, we dawdled around for maybe 5 minutes, and were seated by a hostess. We were placed at a large round table, near a column. It was the same table we had when we were all here last year. (Shameless plug here for round tables - I firmly believe that round tables are vastly superior to rectangular tables, when dining with a large group. In this case, even with our party size reduced to only the 5 of us, it was a noticeably nicer arrangement.)

Our server was Theresa, and we had the best service of the entire trip. A brief background aside to set the stage: On our visit here in 2006, the kid’s menu fish of the day was salmon, and our youngest daughter (the adventurous eater) had declared it the best fish ever! This year, when we talked about our plans for the week, she was very excited about going back to the ‘Flying Fishes place’ and getting the salmon again. We told her several times that they may not have the same things on the menu, but her enthusiasm could not be contained. So, we were hoping, against the odds, that the salmon would once again be offered on the kid’s menu.

Theresa went over the specials of the day, and sure enough, the kid’s menu fish of the day was snapper. Not a bad choice by any means, but it just wasn’t the salmon. There was no melt down or fit thrown, but the obvious disappointment permeated the table. When Theresa asked about it, we explained that the salmon from last year was all that she had talked about this trip (which food-wise was true), so it would take us few minutes to decide on something else. Theresa scurried off, giving us our time to cover the other items. Within a minute, she came back out with a big smile on her face. She had talked to the chef, and as he wasn’t too busy at the moment, he would make a kid’s menu portion for salmon for us. To see a 5 year old glowing with an astonished smile on her face, which moments before was a face of total disappointment, was just magical. First of all, Theresa didn’t have to even make the inquiry. And then, the chef certainly didn’t have to take the time to prepare a kids menu portion of salmon. But they did, and it really made our night. As silly as it may seem, of all the magical moments we had this trip, this was probably the best one of the bunch. Pixie dust all around.

That part of the order decided, we proceeded with our ordering. Our other daughter ordered the snapper from the kid’s menu. I ordered my pre-dinner drink here, one dirty martini, and I also was captivated by the Artisanal Cheese Plate, which I ordered for myself, but knowing the table would be sharing it to some extent. This was chronologically my second cheese motif appetizer of the trip, but it’s the third one in this series of reviews. I don’t know what has possessed me to suddenly try all of this cheese, but this trip may go down in family history as marking the emergence of Rob’s Cheese Period (sounds fancy, but it’s not to be confused with my admiration of Picasso’s Blue Period, which I feel was by far his most creative time). It (the cheese plate) was wonderful, and gets it’s own section below (don’t worry, I’ll paraphrase and contract the detailed and wonderfully descriptive cheese menu they provided):

Degustation of Flying Fish Artisanal Cheeses
Five Tasting Portions and Accompaniments:
Honey Comb, Raisins on the Vine, Mostarta Di Cremona
$15.00


Coulommiers – a Brie family cheese from the “land of Brie”, just east of Paris. Considered by some to be the predecessor of Brie. Buttery color, well-developed rind, it has soft mushroomy flavors and a hint of almonds.
My take: an excellent Brie-ish cheese, with a thicker-than-Brie texture, but I didn’t catch any of the mushroomy flavors mentioned in the description.
OBSERVATION: From a reader’s viewpoint, it may sound more appealing if you read it as ‘soft, mushroomy’ flavors rather than ‘soft mushroomy’ flavors. The use of the comma there could make a huge difference….

Robbiola Ciabot – Italian classic, name derived from the ripening of this cheese in little houses of stone called a Ciabot. A mixture of cow and sheep’s milk, with a short ripening period, on straw, for 30 days. When fresh, the cheese is white with a taste of milk and hay. When more ripened, the color is yellow, creamier, and has a more intense sheep’s milk flavor.
My take: Delicious. I must have had the more ripened option, because the sheep’s milk was the dominant taste. Still, very good, and I usually don’t care much for sheep’s milk cheeses. Maybe I like the taste of hay? What does hay taste like, anyway?

Shelburne Two-year Cheddar – From the former Vanderbilt Estate outside Burlington, Vermont. Made from fresh, raw milk of the Brown Swiss Cows. Sharp but not peppery, full of flavor, with a pleasant lingering finish.
My take: A white/yellow color, with perfect flavor, crisp taste, but not too sharp (as some cheddars can be, even though maybe not listed as such). I love this cheese!! I am looking for this locally now, but having very little luck finding it.
Mea Culpa: In my previous Yachtsman Steakhouse review, I thought this Shelburne Farms Cheddar was served there. Note: Yelling begins here - SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE DINER ISN’T INFORMED, OR PROVIDED THE MENU FOR REFERENCE, AFTER DELIVERING A MULTI-ITEM ARTISANAL CHEESE PLATE!!! Yelling stops now. “Urge to kill……..fading……….”
Lesson learned here: If you don’t give the diner (that’s me) back the cheese menu, or give any description at all upon cheese plate delivery, and said diner (that’s still me) has had drinks before, during, and after dinner (which I did)….said diner may not have the best recollection of various detailed items.

Mad Props Again - Our server here at Flying Fish, Theresa, went back and got the cheese menu for my reference, without my asking, just before bringing out the plate. Then, she positioned the plate, upon delivery, to match the order of the cheese listing. Perfect service, and excellent anticipation of the diner’s needs.

Back to the cheese:


Clochette – Soft, smooth raw goat’s milk cheese. Aged 3 weeks, and the flavor intensifies with age. Young Clochette has a white rind and a semi-firm center with a mild flavor.
My take: A nice cheese, the least memorable of the plate, but very still good.

Echo Mountain Blue Cheese – from Oregon, this cheese is only released on a limited basis. Gets its unique flavor from blending raw goat and cow’s milk. Aged at least 18 months, this cheese is smooth, crisp, and has a subtle goat’s milk flavor on the finish.
My take: I am usually scared of any blue cheeses, just because they look so strange. This one was excellent, especially when eaten with some of the raw honeycomb. A little strong on the initial bite, it mellowed out quickly, and was almost addictive when eaten with the honeycomb.
OBSERVATION: I briefly contemplated the intended meaning of ‘from blending raw goat and cow’s milk’ stated above. I hope they meant to say ‘raw goat milk and cow’s milk’. I think option B would be a lot better than option A.

END CHEESE SECTION HERE:

A truly exceptional cheese plate, best of the entire trip. Ordering it will be added to my list for future visits to Flying Fish, despite the fact that the items change frequently.


Now, on to the entrees, which were consumed along with a surprisingly decent Greg Norman Shiraz. (Note: I say ‘surprisingly’ because I am not a Shiraz fan at all. This one was not my choice for the meal, but it turns out it wasn’t bad. All but 2 (this makes 3) of the shiraz wines I have tried in the past have elicited from me the same Ralph Wiggum response, “It tastes like burning”.)

The adults ordered three different items:

Salmon – a fair sized potion of salmon, cooked perfectly. Not the most adventurous thing offered on the menu, but very good nonetheless.

Scallops – the only disappointment of the entire meal. The taste and preparation were excellent as usual, but what the menu described as two very large scallops came out as 3 scallops (2 medium, and 1 small). Taste was great, but value was not. Price was $36 for 3 scallops, average size of which was about the same as a round McNugget. Just not worth the price, for the volume of scallops on the plate.

Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper – This was my selection, and I must say I am somewhat biased, as I adore this dish. The creamy leak fondue, that part I can take it or leave it, and this time the leaks seemed to be more noticeable (in size and taste) than I remember. But the red wine butter sauce is to die for. And those aren’t even the main components of this dish. The potato wrapped snapper was crispy potato on the outside, perfectly flaky snapper on the inside. When I was done, there were no food particles left in the bowl. I still haven’t figured out exactly how they keep the red wine butter sauce from ‘breaking’. If anyone has the recipe, or anything very close, please PM me.

The remaining magic for this meal came when, and again it was a surprise, the chef came walking out of the kitchen with Theresa, to personally check on how the salmon was for our youngest daughter. He was cordial, and inquired about how the food was for all of us, but spoke directly to her about her salmon. He said he wanted to make sure that she liked her salmon, and seemed very pleased that she had requested it. Her eyes lit up when he was talking to her about how she liked her meal. For the chef of one of the best restaurants on property to take time to come out of the kitchen, and specifically check on the meal for a 5 year old child, was the magical icing on the cake for this trip. Our daughter is still talking about the visit from the chef, just as much she does about the other major events of the trip.

We skipped dessert because a visit was already planned to the candy store next door, for some take-back-to-the-room candy for the girls. The total bill for this meal came to just under $160, after the DDE discount. As the service was exceptional, a much-warranted tip of more than 25% brought the entire bill to just over the $200 range.

Summary: We have only been trying the Flying Fish a few years now, really only since we started buying the DDE card. The prices aren’t cheap, but the discount makes it much less painful on the pocketbook. Service and atmosphere are great, and especially the service this visit. Right now, the Flying Fish has notched itself a firm spot on our ‘must do’ places to eat each trip.

NEXT UP: Wolfgang Puck Cafe
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Past Trips:
12/97 - CSR, CR: 12/99 - ASSP, WL 09/00 - POFQ:02/03 - BWV: 10/03 - BWV: 11/03 - BWV, AKL:
01/04 - CBR, AKL: 9/04 - POP, BCV, POR: 10/04 - BCV, (offsite-Radisson-yuck!):
11/05 - Dolphin, BCV, BWV: 10/06 - BCV: 11/06 - Dolphin, BCV:
07/07 - Dolphin, (offsite-Sheraton Safari- AOK!) 11/07 - BCV, Dolphin:
04/08 - Dolphin, BWV: 08/08 - POP, WL: 10/08 - BCV, Swan:
09/09 - Dolphin, (offsite-Sheraton Safari): 11/09 - Swan, BCV 10/10 - Dolphin, BCV

Robert P's April 2008 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1791298
Robert P's Fall 2007 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1630586

Last edited by Robert P; 11-16-2007 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:32 AM   #38
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We've only been to FF once and LOVED it!! We'll be making our second trip back in a few weeks and I can't wait for the potato wrapped snapper again.

The chef and waitress truly went out of their way to make your DD a very happy little girl. That would have been a very memorable moment for me as well.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:12 PM   #39
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That was a very touching story. I agree that it was very kind of the chef to come out and make your daughter's evening that way. We've been to FF only once, but now I'll think of your experience the next time we return.

My husband and I also loved the snapper. I wasn't crazy about the leek fondue, but I agree with your review, the red wine butter sauce was amazing.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:28 PM   #40
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Thanks for the review of Il Mulino, we are eating there in December.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:23 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
REVIEW: Flying Fish
Theresa went over the specials of the day, and sure enough, the kid’s menu fish of the day was snapper. Not a bad choice by any means, but it just wasn’t the salmon. There was no melt down or fit thrown, but the obvious disappointment permeated the table. When Theresa asked about it, we explained that the salmon from last year was all that she had talked about this trip (which food-wise was true), so it would take us few minutes to decide on something else. Theresa scurried off, giving us our time to cover the other items. Within a minute, she came back out with a big smile on her face. She had talked to the chef, and as he wasn’t too busy at the moment, he would make a kid’s menu portion for salmon for us. To see a 5 year old glowing with an astonished smile on her face, which moments before was a face of total disappointment, was just magical. First of all, Theresa didn’t have to even make the inquiry. And then, the chef certainly didn’t have to take the time to prepare a kids menu portion of salmon. But they did, and it really made our night. As silly as it may seem, of all the magical moments we had this trip, this was probably the best one of the bunch. Pixie dust all around.
What a wonderful server, for her to even notice or care that there was obvious disappointment is a credit to her. She sounds like a woman who really cares about taking care of her customers. You should write a letter about the server and chef, I'm sure your little one would love to help, since this experience really made her trip.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:07 AM   #42
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REVIEW: Wolfgang Puck Cafe

SUMMARY: Loud, loud, loud, and more loud. Decent enough food though.

This was a mid-week dinner ADR for a party of 5 (3 adults, 2 children) at the somewhat early hour of 6:00 p.m. On my first attempt at a schedule for this trip, this was a night ‘in’. As always, plans changed in the weeks leading up to this trip, so we were now going to try to go out tonight, after dinner. I tried to talk the group out of eating here, opting for something closer to the hotel, and ideally avoiding the WDW bus system (DISCLAIMER: I think the bus system works fine, but we have the worst luck when using it for getting to/from DTD. If we’re ridiculously early going somewhere, a bus is waiting right there, and we arrive way too early. If we are right on time getting to the bus stop, another DTD bus won’t come along for 30 minutes or more, guaranteed.)
Nope, our group wanted to eat at WPC, wanting to try Wolfgang’s food. Are you sure?? Yes, we’re sure!! Failing to persuade them to change locations, I attempted to change the ADR time, to anything earlier in the evening, but there was nothing available. I decided to just show up a little early, to see if we could get started sooner than our 6:00 p.m. ADR.

We hopped a DTD bus from our resort just after 4:00 p.m. (as we were early which of course triggers the bus to be right there waiting for us to walk on). We browsed our way from Marketplace to the WPC locale, arriving at the ‘energetic’ podium at 5:40 p.m. Gave them our name, and one person checked us off the list, and after a brief group confab, they dispatched another host to see if a certain table was ready. A little confusing, as 2 of the 3 hosts working there immediately scattered doing other things, and the remaining ‘lead’ host didn’t address us anymore, or the 2 groups of people coming in behind us. We stood right there, blocking the podium like morons, because nobody told us to move anywhere else. But hey, at least we didn't get a pager this time. The dispatched scout host soon came back, and took us to our table, in the middle of the restaurant, where it opens out toward the lake. We were seated at one of the smallest possible tables (for 5 or 6) that I have seen. It was a push together of a small-ish two and a ridiculously small-ish four-person table, and they didn’t quite line up evenly. Odd, but not worth going back to the podium over. We were early, but we were seated, so we just went with it. This table ended up being rectangular, but due to the noise level, I don’t think any table shape could have helped with conversation. See note below:

Note: Upon arrival here, opening the door to the restaurant, we were overcome by a rush of noise so loud that it made league night at a bowling alley seem like a moment of silence. Seriously, this may have been the loudest restaurant ever, even eclipsing the great Bongos disaster meal of 2003. It was deafening. I really thought at first they had a band playing inside, but apparently it was just part of the ambiance of this packed and busy restaurant. Still, it was an overwhelming amount of noise. More on that later.

Our server was a polite young man, whose name eludes me. I didn’t get the receipt on this meal, so I apologize for not having his name. It may be a good thing though, because while he was very polite, he wasn’t overly versed with the menu items, and his service style was leaning much towards ‘hovering’. Once he understood what we were asking, 'repeated as needed' due to the high noise level, our menu questions sent him scurrying away for answers at least 3 times, and that was before we ordered. I do give him an A- for effort though. (In fairness, part of the communication issues and many menu questions might be attributed to the incredibly loud noise level in the place, and more so around our table. Children old enough to know better, observed at a large table 10-12 feet away, were busily banging silverware together, while 2 sets of parents just looked around. Their parents didn’t even try to control the banging, or wrangle the other child crawling on the floor (ewww!!) under the table, even when the adults were not engaging in conversation amongst themselves.)

As I was sitting at our table, myself looking around cluelessly, my mind wandered into the land of Examples of bad noise related miscommunication (warning: may not have happened):

‘Does the root beer have caffeine in it’ becomes ‘does your good ear have Visine in it’

‘No onion rings’ is heard as ‘No undone things’

My request for ‘diet soda’ sends the server across the street to Magnetronz, looking for a ‘light-up Yoda’. (“Mmmmm, thirsty you are”.)


Folks, it was that crazy loud!! Back to the review.

The breadbasket delivered to our table was white and orange. Or should I say, the bread was white and orange. A standard white focaccia bread was deliciously slick and oily, but the orange bread was the real mystery. After our girls devoured the known bread (white), I was coerced into sampling the mystery bread (the orange). It wasn’t bad, but paled in comparison to the white focaccia bread. Later, our server told us it was focaccia too, but a new sun-dried tomato flavor. It was okay, but not a big hit with our group. Funny note: On our way out, I happened to look around at some of the other tables, and almost every bread basket I saw looked like it was full of pumpkins, which I believe was the orange focaccia not being eaten by other diners as well.

We all split an appetizer of Barbecue Chicken Quesadilla. While I don’t like the swirled sauce presentation (sauce being already applied to most items is my definition of food dictatorship), the flavor of the quesadilla itself was excellent. Nice size chunks of chicken, plenty of cheese. A nice appetizer for the table to share, or even as a meal (for one) all by itself.

For meals, the girls ordered a cheese pizza and a tic tac toe pizza (that’s pepperoni to you and me) from the child’s menu. Safe enough, and decent little pizzas for the price.

These child menu meals arrived first, and their plates, the breadbasket, and appetizer plates took up almost the entire table. This was going to be an interesting meal, logistically speaking, when the rest of the food arrived. Our server did not attempt to clear the now empty appetizer platter, or smaller plates. If he were going to hover over us like Arnie Pie in the Channel 6 News Copter, I would expect him to clear some plates in the process.

As expected, when the runners brought the entrees out, there was no place to put them. Our server was hovering nearby (monitoring a traffic jam on I-4 maybe), and finally cleared the appetizer related plates, but made just enough room for the 3 adult entrees, though mine was dangerously close to the end of the table, even hanging over a bit.

The adult entrée choices were:

A salad of some sort, Chicken Caesar maybe. It was fine, but this menu was too extensive to be ordering a salad. It was nicely presented, with fresh lettuce. It was okay, but still, I didn’t understand the choice, with such a variety of items on the menu.

Pepperoni pizza. Yes, another adventurous order of ….. pepperoni pizza. Geez people, order something we can’t get at Little Caesar’s or Dominos. Anyway, this pizza was disappointing, not for the flavor, but for the size. Even after asking our server beforehand about the size of the pizza, which he said was plenty large, it was barely bigger than the child’s menu pizzas that came out. Not a great value, especially in comparison to the child’s menu pizza size.

Roasted Whole Chicken – This was a lot of food for the money. A nice roasted chicken, slightly dry from standing for so long after cooking, but with a good flavor, especially the outside. The garlic mashed potatoes weren’t overpoweringly so, and quite nice, though the texture reminded me of an instant potato mix. If they were real potatoes cooked on site, they were whipped by a team of Roman chariot drivers, until they were just paste. The chicken was good, but the legs were tough, and some other parts were just dry. This is somewhat expected when you have to cook things ahead, and let them stand for unknown periods of time before serving. I ate maybe 1/2 of this, and was completely full. For the price, it was a good value on this menu.

We skipped dessert, in an effort to save time. I don’t have a total on this meal, because I didn’t pick this one up. But, I did learn that WPC does NOT take the DDE card, as of our visit. And the AP discount for dinner was only 10%.

Summary: Tough call. Loud restaurant, from start to finish. Could be the acoustics. Dinner conversation very difficult, as was server communication. Some food good (child’s menu pizzas), some weird (orange focaccia bread). Nothing really bad, but nothing mind blowing either. This was our third time eating here. First trip, I thought it was crowded, loud, and hectic. Second trip it was less busy, and a great experience. This third trip more resembled the first one. In fairness to WPC, I was also disappointed in our group, and their menu choices. They just ‘had’ to eat at WPC, and we had a menu in the room to review beforehand. But when we got there, they played it safe with pizza and salad, which we could have gotten cheaper, and with less bus traveling. Sigh.
I am not writing WPC off the list (like I have done with Bongos and both WPE (express) locations). But, it definitely won’t be on the list for the next few trips. If I want loud atmosphere and small crowded tables, I’ll go to Planet Hollywood, where I can watch the cheesy movie clips while we eat.

And, Gentle Readers, that is a bad sign, when I mention Planet Hollywood …….

This recent WPC experience also makes me ask: If the Café is this loud, do I really want to risk a more upscale (and expensive) meal at Wolfgang Puck “Dining Room” Upstairs??


NEXT UP: Bonus coverage, House of Blues
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Past Trips:
12/97 - CSR, CR: 12/99 - ASSP, WL 09/00 - POFQ:02/03 - BWV: 10/03 - BWV: 11/03 - BWV, AKL:
01/04 - CBR, AKL: 9/04 - POP, BCV, POR: 10/04 - BCV, (offsite-Radisson-yuck!):
11/05 - Dolphin, BCV, BWV: 10/06 - BCV: 11/06 - Dolphin, BCV:
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04/08 - Dolphin, BWV: 08/08 - POP, WL: 10/08 - BCV, Swan:
09/09 - Dolphin, (offsite-Sheraton Safari): 11/09 - Swan, BCV 10/10 - Dolphin, BCV

Robert P's April 2008 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1791298
Robert P's Fall 2007 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1630586

Last edited by Robert P; 11-21-2007 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:47 AM   #43
Sorsha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
My request for ‘diet soda’ sends the server across the street to Magnetronz, looking for a ‘light-up Yoda’. (“Mmmmm, thirsty you are”.)
HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!
I can just hear that, in a little Yoda-voice! Goodness, tooo funny!

Great reviews, I am enjoying them. And for the record, I have the same problems with buses to DTD. If I was waiting for a bus to go ANYWHERE else, about 6 DTD buses would show up before the bus I was waiting for. If, however, I actually wanted to go to DTD, it would take an insanely long wait time to see even 1 bus.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:16 PM   #44
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Oh no! we have an ADR at Planet Hollywood in April - how bad is it

I totally get what you are saying about the noise level at WPC. As it happens, when we ate there in August we had a table outside but when I went in to use the rest room, the noise damn near deafened me

I did really enjoy my meal, though, and thought it was very reasonable.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:25 PM   #45
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We didn't even attempt taking a bus to DTD, but drove ourselves. We did enjoy WPC Express--I had the 1/2 chicken and mashed potatoes, but they were very yummy, juicy chicken and homemade tasting potatoes! I didn't care for the creme brulee, but what do you expect at CS? Loving your reviews so keep them coming!
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