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Old 07-05-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
DonaldDoleWhip
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Yet Another Trip - Just Can't Get Enough! Complete: Wolfgang Puck Express!

Last time in mid-June, we had an amazing time at the Polynesian Resort. All three of its restaurants (Ohana, Kona, and Captain Cook's) were great experiences, and we had our first dinner at Yachtsman in several years. Yachtsman had quite a few ups, but also some downs (the entrees and spicy desserts). Still, it was good enough that we were tempted to return for more.

For the first time, we stayed at a non-Disney resort for the entirety of our stay - the Dolphin. It was a very interesting experience. For me, the Dolphin felt like a fusion of an ordinary hotel, a Disney resort, and a Las Vegas megaresort. Between the selection of fine dining restaurants, upscale spa, convention facilities, and really nice pool area, part of me felt like I was at the Mandalay Bay or Bellagio or somewhere like that (just without the enormous gambling rooms). Still, the hotel room felt rather ordinary, and I really missed that Disney feeling (so I walked over to Yacht/Beach and Boardwalk quite a few times just to sit). The location was definitely the best part of being at the Dolphin - it's a 10-15 minute walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

We're willing to stay at Swan/Dolphin again (in fact, we have it booked for a few nights in August, and we're looking forward to trying bluezoo while there). But I think we'll be at Swan next time. The Dolphin is huge and we actually got lost in it a few times, while the Swan feels much smaller (and it has queen beds!).

Here are some pics of the room and grounds:













We had booked a limited view, but we were upgraded to a resort view room. It was really nice being able to see the boats coming and going. Here's our view:









I can't wait to share this round of food experiences, and I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July weekend!

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:10 AM   #2
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Table of Contents

Here are the included reviews:

Yachtsman Steakhouse Dinner: Parts One, Two, Three
Kona Cafe Breakfast
Flying Fish Dinner (solo)
Sunshine Seasons
Jiko Dinner
Le Cellier Lunch x2
Citricos Dinner (solo)
Beach Club Marketplace
Wolfgang Puck Express

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:47 AM   #3
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Yachtsman Steakhouse Dinner - Part One

I can't describe how much I was looking forward to this meal. Our last dinner at Yachtsman showed so much potential, and despite the disappointments, I was convinced that our experience would be better with some different entrees and desserts. This was the first dinner of our trip, so it was basically setting the tone for the rest of our stay.

We arrived a few minutes early and requested a window table. Our request was granted, and we were seated in the circular room very close to the entrance. We had a lovely view of the pool area.



The ceiling in that section of Yachtsman is really beautiful.



The restaurant was quite empty when we arrived. This was nice, since it allowed our meal to be unexpectedly peaceful. Once the restaurant fills up, it becomes quite chaotic and noisy.



The menu hadn't changed much since our last meal here. It still included the beef wellington (to our surprise), and the soft shell crab had been replaced with scallops (so I'm happy that I was able to try the crab). Still, I love scallops and was upset to see them gone last time, so I knew what appetizer I planned on ordering.





The bread was delicious once again. Those onion rolls with butter, Hawaiian sea salt and roasted garlic are absolutely wonderful!



When it was time to order appetizers, our server John told us that we were receiving a complimentary order of scallops from the chef! Someone recognized us from the last time we were here, and that was a really nice surprise. It also led to my decision to try another appetizer.

Here are the pan seared diver scallops with roasted red pepper hummus, olive chermoula, panisse, and summer radish. This was so good! The scallops were perfectly cooked - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and overall plump and sweet. The Mediterranean flavors were a great addition, with the creamy hummus, spicy/salty olive, and cool radish. Fresh cilantro added a nice freshness, and the panisse also provided a unique flavor and texture. This was a perfect appetizer.



My mom chose the summer beet salad, with assorted baby greens, prosciutto, avocados, beet powder, and sherry whole grain vinaigrette. This was a really good salad - the prosciutto is hidden but there was plenty of it, and it tasted delightfully salty. The sweet beet, crunchy pine nut, cheese, prosciutto, and vinaigrette were all great together. The beet powder didn't have a strong flavor when combined with the other ingredients, but it was a subtle and harmless addition (and pretty cool to look at). This beet salad was way better than the beet salad she had in May at Narcoossee's.



My extra appetizer choice was the lobster bisque with Maine lobster, herbs de provence biscuit, and roe chantilly. I took my first bite, and the soup tasted like alcohol (I believe brandy is part of the recipe). It was basically all I tasted, and I joked that I must have been brought a warm cocktail instead of the bisque. In addition, while I liked the taste and texture of both the biscuit and chantilly cream, I thought it was odd to lump all that cream on the biscuit. Finally, it hit me - scoop the cream off the biscuit and mix it into the soup! This really cut some of the alcohol flavor and made the soup even creamier. There were some nice little chunks of lobster in the soup. I'm happy I tried it, but I think this was my least favorite appetizer of the three (and humorously enough, I later saw someone at another table react the exact same way to the soup).



Our meal was off to a good start. I loved the scallop appetizer, thought the salad was extremely impressive, and even enjoyed the soup once I decided to mix in the cream. Still, the meal had just begun, and last time the entrees and desserts were the weak part of our Yachtsman meal.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:06 AM   #4
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Yachtsman Steakhouse Dinner - Part Two

Finally, the entree round. We knew this time that we were going to get either the cod, filet, or chicken. Well, the cod had been replaced with Copper River salmon (ugh, I thought that was supposed to be Artist Point's special thing!), and I didn't feel like ordering salmon, so I went with the filet mignon. The filet is 8 ounces and served with mashed potatoes and red wine sauce.



I really enjoyed this entree. I ordered it medium-well so it wasn't bloody, and the meat tasted nice with the red wine sauce. The mashed potatoes were creamy and had a hint of garlic. Plus, the skins were mixed in, which I like. While it was very good, I would also say Le Cellier's mushroom filet is very good. I don't think this is any better, and if anything I'd say Le Cellier's is more interesting because of the addition of truffle oil to the sauce.

Here's the pan-roasted free range chicken breast with duck confit, rösti potatoes, soft-cooked quail egg, truffle crème fraîche, and poultry jus.



This was incredible. My mom made an excellent choice here, and she declared it one of the best dishes she's had in Disney World. The chicken was perfectly moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. The onions on top added a nice tangy flavor, the potatoes were crunchy, the egg was perfectly cooked, and the truffle crème fraîche was perfect. It was creamy and had a very noticeable truffle flavor (and those little black specks added a lot to the experience - they make the truffle seem that much more tangible, since it's not just truffle essence). The duck confit was hidden underneath the chicken (visible in the next two pictures), but it was deliciously salty. This dish reminded us both of the upscale restaurants we've sampled in Las Vegas or Manhattan. It was just so wonderful.





We also ordered a side of creamed spinach with parmigiano-reggiano and gruyère. It was a delicious bowl of creamed spinach.



The entree round was a success. The filet was very good (I can't say steak anywhere has truly wowed me - not at Ruth's Chris, Morton's, Smith and Wollensky, Peter Luger, not anywhere), but the chicken really stole the show. We were in a good mood heading into dessert, and we knew we wouldn't make the mistakes of last time.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:29 AM   #5
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Yachtsman Steakhouse Dinner - Part Three

Our dinner at Yachtsman was going really well, and it was coming to an end. We knew we weren't getting any of the spicy desserts, but would there be anything on the menu that was an absolute must-order?



Yes.

I had to try the lemon pudding cake and tasting of nutella, and my mom wanted the Yachtsman sundae. So we got all of them.

The sundae was good, but the gelato had an icy texture which detracted from the creaminess. It was still nice - chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, whipped cream, and delicious cherries.





Here's the lemon pudding cake with a blueberry shake, fruit leather, and Mt. Tam cheese.



The lemon pudding cake was spongy, soft, lemony, and delicious. I actually dipped it in the blueberry shake, which was creamy and tasted like fresh blueberry. The fruit leather added a chewy contrast - it could be a delicious snack on its own. Finally, the cheese. I really don't like strong cheese, but this was really good. It was savory and salty but not overwhelming - to me, it tasted like sharp cheddar cheese. The dried fruit underneath was a perfect counterpoint.

Here are some close-ups. First, the lemon pudding cake with fruit leather:



Blueberry shake:



Mt. Tam cheese and dried fruit:



Finally, the Nutella tasting: marshmallow cone, candied bacon shooter, banana crêpe, and strawberry gelato.



Another amazing dish. The marshmallow cone had a creamy filling and crunchy layer of chocolate and nut.





The bacon was sticky and had a nice sugary glaze. It was delicious with the liquid chocolate (chocolate and bacon is becoming increasingly common, and I love it). Like with the blueberry shake, the shooter was both a nice dip and tasty drink.





The crêpe was also wonderful. I've had crêpes with strawberry, banana, and nutella. Adding the strawberry in the form of gelato was a really nice touch - it created that hot/cold contrast that I enjoy in dessert. Delicious.



So dessert at Yachtsman was the cherry on top of a fantastic meal. Yachtsman has become one of our favorites now - just one month ago, I felt it was the most underwhelming signature, but I'm so happy we've returned to it. Our server John paced the meal very well - it was relaxing but we never had to wait too long for anything. Overall, we feel that Yachtsman is extremely deserving of its signature status. It has to function as a steakhouse (since that's its name, obviously), but the bread, appetizers, desserts, chicken, and service were all standouts even compared to many of the other signatures. This was one of the best meals we've had at Disney in a while.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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First of, YAY for going back to WDW! I love the Dolphin and would be happy to stay there all the time but DH isnt into it as much because he misses the Disney vibe....for a short weekend trip he is all for it but nothing longer than that.

Your meal at YM is amazing, why cant they have that kind of stuff when we go? They finally seem to up the ante on the desserts and go more outside the box..I like that!

I really really really want to cancel LC for YM but it has been so long since we have dined at LC and now that it is a signature I want to check it out....what to do what to do
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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What an amazing meal! I am soooo looking forward to trying the Yachtman at the end of August! I would love to have your exact meal! I really hope they keep the scallops on the menu!

As always, love your pictures and reviews! Can't wait for the rest!
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Great review! I love all the close ups of the food. We just switched our ADR on our final night at Disney to Yachtsman, and I was a bit apprehensive because of the mixed reviews on this site, but your review gives me hope that we'll have a nice meal.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:27 AM   #9
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Resort looks beautiful! We always stay at a non disney resort on site the night before we check into our WDW resort and I think this may be our next stay!

Yachtman is defanitely on my to do list! Everything looks incredible and Im dying to try that nutella tasting dessert! cant wait to read more!
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #10
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Wonderful Yachtsman review

I think must have sat at the same table as you when we visited in May

We loved our meal here but I also had ice crystals in my gelato

Other than that it was pretty much perfect
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #11
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I loved your picture and review of the YM! Their food is soooo good. The hotel you stayed at looks very nice
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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Donald!

You had me at nutella, which I don't even like for the most part, but I want that dessert.

And how nice that the chefs remembered you guys and sent over those heavenly looking scallops. One of the reasons I love Disney is because of stories just like that.

Also, the pictures from the Swolphin area look nice. We've never stayed there, but I think your pics may make us consider it if we need a night or two at sometime.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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I love,love, love your dimimg reports. The pictures are fabulous and your observations are so insightful. Looking forward to more.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:44 PM   #14
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Wonderful photos!

It was lovely to see some photos of the Yachtsman restaurant too - it looks beautiful.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:48 PM   #15
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Okay, my good friend Nicki (MickeyNickey here on the DIS) told me I MUST read your dining reviews. So here I am...now back to read.
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