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Old 03-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #271
schoen
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Originally Posted by princessallegra View Post
I don't know how it was before, but when we dined there in 2005 we had to pay extra for the Kobe as well. I also chose Foie Gras as one of my appetizer courses which was an additional cost as well. It's generally understood that these items are super premium and come at an additional cost. We were able to sample the Waygu during our Chef's Table meal as part of it, and it was AMAZING. It's very rare and expensive and that's why there's an even higher cost for that item. There are still very delicious entrees that are included in the price, they just don't happen to be beef.

Right. I understand charging extra for premium kobe or waygu, my problem is that there are no beef options that don't come at a premium anymore. When I ate there in 2005 and 2006 we had a kobe option that required a supplement, but there was also a normal prime filet that wasn't an additional fee.

I like beef, and it used to be an affordable(ish) option. Now, that we are looking at going back this summer the price has increased from 95$ in 2005 to 125$ (and I see reports on this board that it could be as high as 145$) for dinner. The wine pairing was 50$ in 2005 and now it is 60$. These are price increases well above the rate of inflation.

Now, I don't mind paying a premium for an entertaining and delicious dining experience. I am just a little annoyed that they are charging me A LOT more, and have taken away the option of an included beef entree.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:11 PM   #272
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I don't really mind no beef. Beef is pretty ubiquitous. I like the Niman Ranch lamb/Kurobuta pork choice (the pork belly with sherry bacon vinaigrette is amazing) with the optional upcharge for Kobe/Wagyu.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:26 PM   #273
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The posting of the recent menu by TinkerBelle_325 reminds us that we may skip V&A when we return in a few months. The repetitive menu selections need to be replaced. But where do we go for that special dinner and first-rate service?
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:23 AM   #274
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The posting of the recent menu by TinkerBelle_325 reminds us that we may skip V&A when we return in a few months. The repetitive menu selections need to be replaced. But where do we go for that special dinner and first-rate service?
Offsite. Maybe Norman's at the Ritz Carlton?
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:46 AM   #275
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Uncle R is absolutely right. It's silly that for $125 one can't get a steak. The wagyu beef is amazing and we enjoy it when we dine at the Chef's Table. But, sometimes we eat in the dining room and would like beef without paying a huge supplement for an astounding grade of beef that, frankly, we don't need every time we dine there. A serving of American prime dry aged beef would be a most welcome menu choice!
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:54 AM   #276
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It's especially silly since that not too terribly long ago, you COULD get the steak.
And again, a LOT of people LIKE beef!! It's a bit much forcing them to pay $35or $80 EXTRA just to get steak.
IF you wanted BETTER steak, then that's fine if you want to pay $80 over and above the $125 you already paid.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:23 AM   #277
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Offsite. Maybe Norman's at the Ritz Carlton?
Thanks for the suggestion, but we prefer to remain onsite.
Now then, in no special order, what three WDW restuarants would you suggest as alternatives to V&A? (We have probably dined there already, but we would enjoy seeing your recommendations)

Thanks in advance.

All the best.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:50 AM   #278
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Yep, Uncle R. I, too, remember when beef was an entree option -- regular prime U.S. beef. In fact, it may be the only top-notch restaurant of its type in America that does not have a beef option, except with a tremendous supplement! I haven't done a formal survey, but wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. Most restaurants wouldn't dare to not have a beef entree, as that is probably the most popular choice for most people -- and possibly the only choice when one is dining on an expense account! I mean, really, who picks chicken if you're eating on the company's nickel!!

As for other on-site suggestions that could substitute for V&A, I'm at a loss. The ambience, of course, can't be duplicated anywhere else on site, or perhaps in all of Central Florida, although we hear very good things about The Venetian and dh and I may try it next time we're in town.

As far as on-site, you're going to run into noisy kids everywhere -- even pretty late in the evening -- which does nothing for the ambience and romance of a restaurant. Except for one or two places, Jiko is one, that somehow seem to have retained a semblance of quality and ambience in the face of the overwhelming drive of the DDP to cut costs, portions and pleasantries, we're now pretty much committed to dining only in those restaurants that do not accept DDP. The ones that do are simply too crowded, too rushed and have fallen too far down the quality ladder to bother with.

So, that leaves a few non-Disney on-site restaurants such as Il Mulino (excellent, but noisy and not at all romantic) and Shula's -- not too bad on the romance factor if you ask for their quiet back room and if the place isn't packed with conventioneers. We haven't tried Blue Zoo, but it's on our list to try.

Some might suggest Bistro de Paris as the closest on-site substitute for V&A. But, the night we were there, there were a number of noisy families. We were there late and they wouldn't seat us at a 4-top, even though the 4-tops remained empty for the remainder of the evening. Moreover, while pricey, it was simply not in the same league as V&A. End of story. My lamb was seriously overcooked -- not a mistake that Scott, Amy and company would make!

Plus, V&A offers what may be one of the most exceptional wine pairing experiences in the nation. Don't just rely on my opinion, the wine writers for the Wall Street Journal have declared the same thing. For $70, V&A brings out an amazing and particularly creative and well-chosen set of wines and pours them generously (although someone on this thread mentioned they were recently serving Fess Parker wines in tribute to old Fess -- which would seriously have displeased dh!). Barring that, the wine pairings are usually quite remarkable. And, since it is now hard to get a decent glass of wine for under $15 or so, the $70 still seems like a bargain to us!

So, despite the lack of a beef choice without a supplement, V&A still stands alone!
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:21 AM   #279
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As for other on-site suggestions that could substitute for V&A, I'm at a loss. The ambience, of course, can't be duplicated anywhere else on site, or perhaps in all of Central Florida, although we hear very good things about The Venetian and dh and I may try it next time we're in town.

As far as on-site, you're going to run into noisy kids everywhere -- even pretty late in the evening -- which does nothing for the ambience and romance of a restaurant. Except for one or two places, Jiko is one, that somehow seem to have retained a semblance of quality and ambience in the face of the overwhelming drive of the DDP to cut costs, portions and pleasantries, we're now pretty much committed to dining only in those restaurants that do not accept DDP. The ones that do are simply too crowded, too rushed and have fallen too far down the quality ladder to bother with.

So, that leaves a few non-Disney on-site restaurants such as Il Mulino (excellent, but noisy and not at all romantic) and Shula's -- not too bad on the romance factor if you ask for their quiet back room and if the place isn't packed with conventioneers. We haven't tried Blue Zoo, but it's on our list to try.

Some might suggest Bistro de Paris as the closest on-site substitute for V&A. But, the night we were there, there were a number of noisy families. We were there late and they wouldn't seat us at a 4-top, even though the 4-tops remained empty for the remainder of the evening. Moreover, while pricey, it was simply not in the same league as V&A. End of story. My lamb was seriously overcooked -- not a mistake that Scott, Amy and company would make!

Plus, V&A offers what may be one of the most exceptional wine pairing experiences in the nation. Don't just rely on my opinion, the wine writers for the Wall Street Journal have declared the same thing. For $70, V&A brings out an amazing and particularly creative and well-chosen set of wines and pours them generously (although someone on this thread mentioned they were recently serving Fess Parker wines in tribute to old Fess -- which would seriously have displeased dh!). Barring that, the wine pairings are usually quite remarkable. And, since it is now hard to get a decent glass of wine for under $15 or so, the $70 still seems like a bargain to us!

So, despite the lack of a beef choice without a supplement, V&A still stands alone!
Thank you for your suggestions to other on-site restaurant choices. Indeed, we agree that are no real alternatives to V&A. But V&A must change that menu before we go back (we were there in June, Dec. and this month).

Jiko is one of our favorites and we assumed that you might make that suggestion.

I made an advance personal request to V&A to have Fess Parker wines integrated among our wine pairings. Fess was a friend of mine since 1987 and wrote the Foreword to one of my most recent books, last year's Music of the Alamo: From 19th Century Ballads to Big-Screen Soundtracks. It was all together fitting and proper that we should do that. The Fess Parker Riesling and Viognier worked well with our selections.

All the best.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:29 AM   #280
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Jiko towards the later times is very nice. In fact, I'm on my 3rd late night visit on my trip in 4 days. Each time I have enjoyed it. V&A? No - but of the Signature Restuarants, it seems to be the most 'adult'
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:32 AM   #281
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BC1836: Interesting that when we originally began going to V&A in 1988, we never did the wine pairings (in fact, not sure they even did that way back then) but ordered a bottle off the extensive wine list. Even in those days Fess Parker was on the list and that's what we usually got.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:38 AM   #282
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I have to agree about Fess Parker. The wines are quite good (and I don't even like rieslings). When we went on the 17th, it was the regular wine pairings, although if the Fess Parker option was available, we probably would have taken it.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #283
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V&A is one of a kind onsite, you probably wont' find anything that approximates it. You could try Shula's (beef aplenty) or Bluezoo at the Dolphin. They don't take the dining plan and may not be as family oriented.

I guess Bistro de Paris, but once everybody found out you can get a children's menu from Chefs de France it's kind of become a family place.

I am a fan of Jiko but I have local friends who won't go back there and they used to go all the time. I can't confirm their reports that it's slid because I haven't been there in awhile.

I like Fess Parker riesling, I'd drink it anywhere.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:22 PM   #284
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Perhaps I should expound on the Fess Parker wines. We like them fine. We just expect something more unique and surprising when we dine at the Chef's Table.

We go back to the time when they first started doing the Chef's Table. There was no dining nook. And, our table was right next to the large sink (now moved) where the chef's would rinse their saute pans. In other words -- we really were in the kitchen.

At that time, they offered two different wine pairings -- one consisted of domestic wines. The other was termed the "Royal Wine Pairing" and was higher grade imported, generally Old World, wines.

One evening, dh and I each ordered the wine pairings. So that we could have what we thought would be more variety, DH ordered the "Royal Wine Pairing", which was more expensive, and I went with the domestic wines.

The waiter looked shocked and asked, "Why would you ever pick the domestic wine pairing?" I said I didn't know, took his advice and changed to the Royal Wine Pairing as well. We both received different wines and they were all imports, no domestics.

I guess that set a preference for us when dining at the Chef's Table. Putting aside an Opus One, we generally prefer Old World imports.

Just us and our preference. Nothing against Fess Parker wines per se.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:33 PM   #285
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Perhaps I should expound on the Fess Parker wines. We like them fine. We just expect something more unique and surprising when we dine at the Chef's Table.

We go back to the time when they first started doing the Chef's Table. There was no dining nook. And, our table was right next to the large sink (now moved) where the chef's would rinse their saute pans. In other words -- we really were in the kitchen.

At that time, they offered two different wine pairings -- one consisted of domestic wines. The other was termed the "Royal Wine Pairing" and was higher grade imported, generally Old World, wines.

One evening, dh and I each ordered the wine pairings. So that we could have what we thought would be more variety, DH ordered the "Royal Wine Pairing", which was more expensive, and I went with the domestic wines.

The waiter looked shocked and asked, "Why would you ever pick the domestic wine pairing?" I said I didn't know, took his advice and changed to the Royal Wine Pairing as well. We both received different wines and they were all imports, no domestics.

I guess that set a preference for us when dining at the Chef's Table. Putting aside an Opus One, we generally prefer Old World imports.

Just us and our preference. Nothing against Fess Parker wines per se.
I very much disagree. Fess Parker isn't a typical wine, at least (ironically) in Florida. In order to find the Reisling for my Mom, we had to search 7 different wine shops in Tampa, including some gigantic warehouse shops.
While I normally prefer the "old world" wines, my current favorite wine is Matchbook Tinto Rey, an very hard wine to find and certainly not typical and definitely a domestic wine. The beautiful thing about places like V&A is they take typical or common and make it extraordinary.
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