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Old 06-29-2011, 07:41 AM   #706
glennbo123
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I'm like you Mary Ellen (or like you were)....I've never set foot in the Dolphin. Dinner looked like a fun, and tasty, time.

I'm the only one in my family that likes beets. Judy will sometimes plant a couple in the garden for me, but she won't even harvest them. She'd let 'em rot in the ground.

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Old 06-29-2011, 11:17 AM   #707
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Blue Zoo always looks so nice - someday I'll have to try it. However, everytime I look, there isn't one thing on the menu I would eat! Sometimes it really stinks being a picky eater! Looks like you ladies had a lovely dinner! Those drinks looked tasty! I love picture of you all having a toast!
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:13 PM   #708
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Don't touch those beets!

I have a little to add to Mary Ellen’s update but not much as I chose NOT to bring the camera with me to dinner.

After being embarrassed by the ladies at the pool we headed up to get ready. Mary Ellen was kind enough to go first so I could unpack. Even though I didn’t have to iron this night, it somehow all took longer than we’d hoped and the others were ready before we (I) were so we told them to go ahead. We didn’t end up being late to dinner itself I don’t think, but definitely missed the hoped for pre-function in the bar.

After speed walking over, we did decide to cut through and got incredibly lucky; it really didn’t look like an entry or door to anything but a back hallway. I would have liked to hung out in the bar for a drink first, it looked really cool but they definitely wanted to seat us the second the rest of the party arrived.

Our server was…interesting. I find as a general rule that servers “judge” a table of all females and jump to conclusions. Those conclusions usually are:

1. They will want separate checks
2. They won’t tip well
3. They will be demanding, and have all kinds of special instructions
4. They won’t spend. Meaning they’ll eat a salad, or split entrees, or not drink.

Having managed restaurants and waited tables a fair amount in my life I can’t say those assumptions are without basis. However it’s a dangerous game for a server to play and will almost always backfire. This guy had the “OMG it’s all women” chip on his shoulder as the evening started.

We did order our drinks and I think Mary Ellen and I both chose the Serenity drink based on Tracy’s recommendation. It was really really good! Had that spa vibe to it, instantly relaxing. I think that Melissa ordered the first bottle of wine though and I ordered the second. Yep. We had two. Or at least I’m pretty sure we did. I could be confused though, it happens a lot. Whatever Melissa picked was yummy too! At the point that we ordered wine, and appetizers, salads and entrees our slightly arrogant server decided that maybe a table of all women weren’t so bad and warmed up considerably.

I admit, I felt robbed with the number of beets. I adore beets and have a thing for beet salad. If it’s on the menu, I get it. I had another one later in the week that had far more beets. I had deliberately saved them till the end and I swear I wanted to stab the guys hand with my fork (might have even pantomimed it at the time) if he’d have grabbed that plate. I had the swordfish but I know I helped myself, a LOT to Jen’s grits. I think she’d gotten some on the side. YUM. I think Mary Ellen might have captured all of the entrees as I know Melissa and I had the same thing, and think Christine and Tracy may have as well (the simply fish?). No one was brave enough to try the "dancing fish". As you walk through the bar area and past the grill, there are several fish that look as if they are standing on their tails and dancing over the coals. In reality, they are on an unusual rotisserie system, but it's easy to see where the name comes from. Overall everything was outstanding and is high/top on my list for a date night, if such a thing ever really happens on a future trip.

I do recall us chatting about fish quite a bit though. Jen’s not a fan and this led, somehow, into a cooking conversation and I know I owe some of the girls some recipes but for the life of me can’t recall who and what. We eat a LOT of fish at my house. So if anyone recalls, shout out and I’ll post it.
At some point, and I can’t recall if it was during dinner or dessert, Illuminations started and you could kind of see it from inside. Not much and not well but enough to know it was happening and that added to the ambiance. Which doesn’t need adding to. It is a stunning restaurant. It is definitely more “adult”. While there were some children there, the ones that were, were beautifully behaved and dressed appropriately for a signature restaurant. An oasis of calm. So calm that a few of our group decided it had been spa like enough that they wanted to cancel their spa appointments for the next morning and either sleep in, hit the pool, or the parks. Actually I think they all went for parks but I’m not positive. It was funny, one by one, people would leave the table, go up and cancel their appointment and come back. Mandara does have a cancellation policy but was pretty cool about not enforcing it.

I, however, was not one of those. I had absolutely no intention of missing my spa appointment; I’d been looking forward to it for months. Melissa felt the same.

At dessert time, if memory serves, I had a glass of port as my dessert. I adore port but never seem to get it and don't keep it around the house. On the rare occasions I order it, it just feels so decadent! Tracy and Christine had absinthe. There is a very funny picture, I think on Tracy's phone, of her trying it. Hopefully she will share it. I had never tried absinthe. So Christine generously offered a taste. I have to admit. I rather liked it. Of course I like black licorice and beverly (campari and soda is a favorite cocktail) though so that tells you something. She kept sliding it over, feeding it to me. I didn’t say no. When they brought the non liquid desserts we were all stunned at the birthday golden nest, it was SO pretty!

Our bill came and well…it wasn’t pretty. Which we’d expected lol. What was very very pretty was the impact the TIW card had on our bill! That was the bomb. Almost as cool was that the bill came with a $20 off coupon for the spa and our now very attentive server made sure that both Melissa and I got one, to use the next morning.

Afterwards, while Jen and Melissa were getting hit on, we saw the rings. The very ring we’d scoured England for the day before. Jen wanted one too and I think we’d texted her that they were there. However I believe when she went to go find them later in the week, they’d been put away! At the time it was funny as there was nary a one in the UK and there was a huge bowl of them at the Dolphin. Other than that, it was odd to see Disney merchandise in such an obviously non Disney shop…kind of out of context to me. It was also interesting to walk through the lobby. It screamed convention hotel to me, reminding me of far too many years of business travel staying in very similar hotels. I could spend a night there mind you, heavenly bed and all and am positive I’ll be back, between BlueZoo and Mandara but I can’t say outside of the killer location, it’s where I’d want to be for a full Disney trip.

I did walk around with everyone and it was a lovely evening stroll, the “long” way around. Like Mary Ellen, I headed straight to bed. We had ambitious plans for the morning. A run and park for her, a workout and spa for me. The question was, could I get myself moving in time to work out before the spa?
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:37 PM   #709
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Again, Bluezoo sounds amazing, but very adult (more so than the Disney signatures? Am I correct?), so probably won't get there for a long while. Anyone who manages to exercise while on vacation is admirable and to do so before a spa appointment..even more so. Never had port or absinthe, but now I'm curious, too!
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:32 PM   #710
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I've never been in the Dolphin either, I'd really like to stay there one day! I'm kind of annoyed that I could have stayed there my first night in October instead of Pop for just a little more, but it's not a big deal, I'm psyched for Pop!

Bluezoo looks amazing! I'd really like to go there someday, that and Shula's look fantastic! I love the birthday dessert, so pretty!
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:35 PM   #711
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Bluezoo was definitely a winner and I suspect that it has made it's way into the top contenders for future trips for all of us. I wonder if it "suffers" from being in the Swan/Dolphin (I still can't remember which!). It was practically empty at first and while it did fill up, I wouldn't say it was "booming."

As Tracy and I came up from the pool, we had one priority. Yup. Pre-dinner cocktails. We had heard a lot about the drinks menu at BZ. I can't speak for T but will freely admit my "pre-dinner primping" took a back seat to getting ready quickly.

We walked on over. Gosh, I the Boardwalk area!!



So what did we order???

I am a sucker for tequila. So I tried the burnt orange cocktail. I can't find the description... sorry! The picture below doesn't do it justice. The drink gets its name because it is delivered to you WITH THE ORANGE ON FIRE! It burns out quickly and other than the rim of the glass being pretty darn hot at first (hello, fire!) it is yummy.



Miss Tracy had the serenity cocktail, which she raved about (and I think may dream about )



Dinner Mary Ellen and Cynthia have covered. I think you are right, Cynthia, that both Tracy and I had the simply fish - today's sustainable fish with a dijon/crab sauce. Very, very yummy!

Dessert... not sure how Tracy and I ended up with absinthe. It's a blur. I am not a big licorice fan but it wasn't too bad.

A fun surprise was that we had a partially obstructed (with no sound) view of Illuminations out the side window of Bluezoo.

I am looking forward to returning here in October!
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:08 PM   #712
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Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
Oh Bluezoo looks wonderful!!
All the food looks so yummy! Good thing I just had dinner.
I like the walk around that area too. It is a nice way to wind down and digest after a big dinner. What a cool dessert Mary Ellen! I would have eaten it all too!
It really was one of our better dinners. Really lived up to the signature status. I am so glad we decided to eat there and I was so excited to get that fabulous dessert!

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Originally Posted by wigdoutdismom View Post
So glad you loved Blue Zoo! It led us there and we loved it too!
We really did all enjoy it. It was a great meal. So glad we tried it. I will be back!

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Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
Bluezoo looks great. I'm going to have to try it some of these days.

Jill in CO
I really think you should, especially if you like fish and seafood. Everything was wonderful!!!!

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Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
That sounded like a fantastic evening....cocktails, wine, good food...oh and that dessert....wow!!
Fantastic is a great description of the evening! It really couldn't have been any better. And that dessert - it literally stopped me in my tracts. I was actually overwhelmed by how fabulous it was.

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Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
BlueZoo looks simply fabulous!! Scrumptuous for sure!! From drinks to dessert... YUM!

That is hilarious about the bikini comment. Very funny! Those one liners can be so memorable!
It was simply fabulous! Really a great meal and such a fun time. It was wonderful to share that experience with the ladies. I know we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

The bikini comment was so funny because the way it was delivered was so dead pan that you had to think for a minute. "Did she just say that?"

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Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Bluezoo looks like so much fun! Did you eat the little gold spinny stuff at the top of your dessert? It looks like a little birds nest hahaha.
I sure did. I was a little skeptical at first, but Cynthia assured me it was edlible. It actually tasted really interesting because it was so firm and crunchy. Definitely a different taste experience.

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Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Good work picking the right door at the Dolphin! Had it been up to me, I probably would have chosen a door leading to the loading dock or something equally incorrect!
You sound like me! that's my usual m. o. If there is a wrong door or a wrong direction, I will take it. Perhaps Cynthia was a good luck charm and we just had good charma!

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Originally Posted by SoonerGirl View Post
Cocktails with friends and a great meal, can't get much better than that!
You are so right - it really doesn't get much better. Well, perhaps winning the lottery would be better..........sorry, I couldn't resist.

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Originally Posted by jenjolt View Post
Mary Ellen, your first instinct was right...I had the pork and it was amazing!!! I loved it so much I had it again just a few short weeks later!!!! That night I had so much fun, it was a great meal and but Blue Zoo right atop my must do list!!!!! I enjoyed being able to take Anita, Marc, and Baylor there.
It looked amazing. I just didn't see the pork on the menu and I got all confused. That's awesome that you had the same marvelous dish again. I am so glad you got to go with Anita, Marc, and Baylor. I am glad they all enjoyed it as well.

I'm putting it back on my list for F&W 2012.

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Awww the absinthe....those were two brave ladies LOL
I seriously could not think of the name of that liquor. I was wracking my brains and googling it - so thank you. I actually did see it in a liquor store after I got home and had a good chuckle to myself.

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Originally Posted by jenjolt View Post
Yes as Melissa and I were walking back two gentlemen walked by and hit on us. Melissa and I tried not to make contact and kept right on walking!! We had a good laugh over it once we were back over by the Yacht club LOL!!!!

Great review Mary Ellen!!! That was a meal to remember always!
I can just see the two of you ducking behind that corner and busting out laughing. sorry I missed that entertainment.

So glad you liked the update!!!!!


OK _ I got the replies a little out of order. I am using Denny's computer and its a little finicky. I promise - I will get to the replies I missed. I am just really tired now so I am going to finish my chores and go to sleep. Back in the morning with more replies!
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:44 AM   #713
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Lol at what could have been a 4th possible title!!

Love the Blue Zoo review and the birthday treat looks great! thumbsup2
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:19 AM   #714
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I LOVED our dinner at Blue Zoo. Can't wait to eat there again
C and I stayed in the pool until the last possible minute and I will confirm that no, we did not take much time getting ready. If at all We had heard such good things about the cocktails (Happydog ) that we were anxious to get a seat at the bar!
C posted the pictures of our (first ) drinks. I am still dreaming about mine...she is right!!! I even typed in my phone what was in this delicious concoction as to not forget it later It is: cucumber vodka, rosemary, elderflower, basil, lime juice, strawberry & pineapple and rock candy syrup. It was fabulous!! I really liked the glass C's came in but I know she wasn't gushing over the taste like I was
Upon sitting down after the rest of the ladies arrived I ordered the zooberry....It was okay...too sweet for me though
For starters Melissa and I thought we both ordered the low country shrimp and grits but our waiter....I guess Cynthia was right about him being a bit interesting only ordered one so we split it. Delicious! For the main I had the simply fish....can't remember exactly what kind of fish I chose...their were about 3 choices. I also added on another sauce with a lobster claw. So glad I did as this turned into one of my favorite meals of the trip. After some more wine I think we had Cakebread but am not sure....Melissa C and I decided to share some absinthe. If you want a detailed and amusing description including the history check out wikipedia I was happy to have finally tried it although I am not a licorice fan AT ALL.
I am not a fan of the Swalphin hotels but I will continue to visit their restaurants. I was happy to finally have an engagement ring albeit fake and not really engaged at all It is cute to wear and reminds me of a fun night!!


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Old 06-30-2011, 02:41 PM   #715
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Blue Zoo looks interesting, but nothing on the menu apealed to me. I'm a pretty picky eater which I don't like to be, but it can't be helped. I was looking at Blue Zoo on Restaurant.Com, but decided to go with a coupon for House of Blues on our last day.

Maybe I should look again at Blue Zoo.

I know that I could drink a lot at Blue Zoo!
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #716
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BLUE ZOOOOOO.... I cannot wait!!! I am SO ready!!! I am SO ready especially after seeing you post those drink glasses!! That burnt Orange Margarita KICKED Matt on his BUTT in February, COMPLETELY!!!! I cannot wait to have a zooberry but listening to your SERENITY raves, and in honor or my recent trip to Serenity Bay, on Castaway Cay, you might find me trying that one on for size!!! Okay, so I of course adored these posts!!! Glad it didn't disappoint! Cynthia I agree about the Dolphin resort, Matt says they are good business class hotels, b/c of Starwood, but certainly not "disney" specific... we stayed one night the night before our christmas trip, and it was totally worth the night (great sleep and a great view) but not for a few nights no, I agree... ANYhow, A fabulous post ladies!!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:34 PM   #717
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Originally Posted by cdotla View Post
Rat, pig, dog....I am apparently an Ox. The Chinese zodiac really comes up with some beloved animals, doesn't it?

:
Sorry I skipped your post yesterday. I knew I did, but I was so darn tired I just couldn't bring myself to fix it.

An Ox.....oh brother......the animals do keep getting better. I am surprised I am not one, because I am certainly stubborn like one. Or is that a mule?????

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Too funny that line about Cynthia and the bikini!
We all got a good chuckle out of that one. Everyone, that is, except Cynthia.

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Originally Posted by cdotla View Post

Sounds like an awesome meal at Blue Zoo. That photo of your toast at the start of the meal looks so fun!
It really was a fun evening. I know there are a lot of details I have forgotten, probably thanks to my lack of sleep, rum therapy, and wine therapy.

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And what a great way to celebrate a Birthday Mary Ellen!
I'll tell you what - it was like having one big week long birthday party! Just wait till you see the surprise they had in store for me the next day.

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Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Bluezoo looks absolutely delicious, from start to finish.
It really was. I hope it goes on the F&W 2012 dinning itinerary. I highly recommend it.

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I'm like you Mary Ellen (or like you were)....I've never set foot in the Dolphin. Dinner looked like a fun, and tasty, time.
It really was. Put that on your list for date night. It's really perfect for an adult meal!

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post

I'm the only one in my family that likes beets. Judy will sometimes plant a couple in the garden for me, but she won't even harvest them. She'd let 'em rot in the ground.
Oh No!!!!! But, aren't they great right from the garden. Denny grows them and that's how I grew to really like them. A fresh beet salad is sooooooo yummy. I love them with feta cheese. YUM!

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Originally Posted by sunny_stace View Post
Blue Zoo always looks so nice - someday I'll have to try it. However, everytime I look, there isn't one thing on the menu I would eat! Sometimes it really stinks being a picky eater! Looks like you ladies had a lovely dinner! Those drinks looked tasty! I love picture of you all having a toast!
It was such a great all over experience. We were definitely much more in the festive mood because it was our second dinner. Everyone had settled into the vacation mode.

It must stink to be a picky eater because I think I could eat everything on the menu and that would be quite a few meals!

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post


Our server was…interesting. I find as a general rule that servers “judge” a table of all females and jump to conclusions. Those conclusions usually are:

1. They will want separate checks
2. They won’t tip well
3. They will be demanding, and have all kinds of special instructions
4. They won’t spend. Meaning they’ll eat a salad, or split entrees, or not drink.

Having managed restaurants and waited tables a fair amount in my life I can’t say those assumptions are without basis. However it’s a dangerous game for a server to play and will almost always backfire. This guy had the “OMG it’s all women” chip on his shoulder as the evening started.

I do remember you making that observation. I really didn't notice it, but when I am with a big group the waiter really becomes secondary. Now if I am out to dinner with Denny, I notice the waiter/waitress a lot more. But after I have a few glasses of wine, I really don't care.

I guess this particular waiter did not read us well at all, did he????

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Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Again, Bluezoo sounds amazing, but very adult (more so than the Disney signatures? Am I correct?), so probably won't get there for a long while. Anyone who manages to exercise while on vacation is admirable and to do so before a spa appointment..even more so. Never had port or absinthe, but now I'm curious, too!
You can see that Cynthia noticed a heck of a lot more than I did. I was seriously chill from the first moment I had that Serenity. I guess it did its job!

I do think it was more "adult" then some of the other places I've been (like the Cali Grill, AP, Narcoossee's, and the Flying Fish). Not because those places are similar in price, waitstaff, and ambiance, but more because I think kids are just accepted everywhere in Disney. Once you pass through the gates, kids are no longer welcome in high end restaurants.

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Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
I've never been in the Dolphin either, I'd really like to stay there one day! I'm kind of annoyed that I could have stayed there my first night in October instead of Pop for just a little more, but it's not a big deal, I'm psyched for Pop!
Well, I still think the Swalphin has a lot of hidden costs. Stupid resort fees, parking fees, ect. Those things add up and that's probably one of the reasons I have not stayed there. Yeah - the room cost is similar BEFORE you add up all the extras. I almost stayed there once before, but because I needed two rooms for two nights I just refused to pay all those extra fees.

I think Pop is perfect for one night. Just enjoy it for what it is and make the most fun out of it! After all - one must keep adding to their resort lists, right?

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Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Bluezoo looks amazing! I'd really like to go there someday, that and Shula's look fantastic! I love the birthday dessert, so pretty!
It was wonderful. I would like to try Shula's next. It looks awesome, too.

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Bluezoo was definitely a winner and I suspect that it has made it's way into the top contenders for future trips for all of us. I wonder if it "suffers" from being in the Swan/Dolphin (I still can't remember which!).

I vote for F&W 2012. I think we should have a reunion dinner there or at Shula's!!!!

Your cocktail certainly looked interesting. Sorry I missed that. I would have loved to see its arrival.

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Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Lol at what could have been a 4th possible title!!

Love the Blue Zoo review and the birthday treat looks great! thumbsup2
You can thank C again for that perfect one-liner. She definitely knows how to get us to laugh!

Blue Zoo was fab and my birthday treat was completely over the top. Seriously amazing in presentation and taste!

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Originally Posted by manntra View Post
I LOVED our dinner at Blue Zoo. Can't wait to eat there again
F&W 2012??? Reunion?????

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Originally Posted by manntra View Post
I even typed in my phone what was in this delicious concoction as to not forget it later It is: cucumber vodka, rosemary, elderflower, basil, lime juice, strawberry & pineapple and rock candy syrup.

Tracy
It really was good. I forgot it had all those crazy ingredients. In fact, I didn't even know they made cucumber vodka. It was pretty yummy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicket's Mom View Post
Blue Zoo looks interesting, but nothing on the menu apealed to me. I'm a pretty picky eater which I don't like to be, but it can't be helped. I was looking at Blue Zoo on Restaurant.Com, but decided to go with a coupon for House of Blues on our last day.

Maybe I should look again at Blue Zoo.

I know that I could drink a lot at Blue Zoo!
Are you sure there isn't something on the menu you would like? Like I said, I could probably eat everything on that menu, even the flying fish that Cynthia described. I am NOT a picky eater, obviously.

House of Blues sounds found. I should really check out Restaurant.com for our December trip. I still need one more meal!!!! It's all about the food!

to multiple drinks!!! Nothing wrong with that on vacation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydog View Post
BLUE ZOOOOOO.... I cannot wait!!! I am SO ready!!! I am SO ready especially after seeing you post those drink glasses!! That burnt Orange Margarita KICKED Matt on his BUTT in February, COMPLETELY!!!! I cannot wait to have a zooberry but listening to your SERENITY raves, and in honor or my recent trip to Serenity Bay, on Castaway Cay, you might find me trying that one on for size!!! Okay, so I of course adored these posts!!! Glad it didn't disappoint! Cynthia I agree about the Dolphin resort, Matt says they are good business class hotels, b/c of Starwood, but certainly not "disney" specific... we stayed one night the night before our christmas trip, and it was totally worth the night (great sleep and a great view) but not for a few nights no, I agree... ANYhow, A fabulous post ladies!!!
Did you have a fabulous trip?????? I can't wait to read all about it!

I REMEMBER you talking about some drink at the Blue Zoo. Now I am even more curious about that burnt Orange rita. The fire alone would amuse me.

The serenity was quite good. Very, very mellow and very tasty.

We did have one very enjoyable girls night out!
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:54 PM   #718
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Okay, obviously we are not Chinese. Jim is a Tiger, and I am a Pig by dates, but our personalities are almost exact opposites!
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:23 PM   #719
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I just finished reading the Blue Zoo accounts. May I just say WOW! I may have seen a couple of mentions, but none were memorable. That place looks amazing, and such a respite from the chaos of the parks! I am going to try to remember that one for a future signature dinner, too!

Love the Bikini statement!

I'm enjoying this report from so many perspectives! Looking forward to more!
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:06 PM   #720
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I hope when Melissa updates she (or someone) has pictures of the super crafty cups she gave us.....mine is in my OL I suppose I could always go and get it

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