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Old 01-04-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
t4w
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To Palo or not to Palo

Okay DISers,

What makes Palo so great? Is it a must do? Love the idea of date night, but I can do that a "regular" restaurant. What makes Palo worth the jacket?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
lorimay
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DO IT!

You will not be disappointed.
My husband did not wear a jacket, just a dress shirt and tie.

We have done both Palo brunch and dinner at least once on every cruise. We love it.
We leave on our 5th cruise in a few weeks.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Palo does not require a jacket. (Remy does)

What makes Palo worth it? Lovely service. Good food, not mass prepared. QUIET. It is the one place on the ship that the "adults only" rule is 100% enforced. Time alone with your special someone without interruptions--priceless (?)

Even the spa offers mother/daughter specials and allows kids in the salon. Not a kid hater, but like some enforcement of adult only.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=kcashner;47080977]Palo does not require a jacket. (Remy does)

What makes Palo worth it? Lovely service. Good food, not mass prepared. QUIET. It is the one place on the ship that the "adults only" rule is 100% enforced. Time alone with your special someone without interruptions--priceless (?)


So True........
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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Always Palo.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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I apologize for the length of this, but Palo is worth a full "review."

I consider myself a foodie (or an aspiring foodie, at least) and studied the menu for Palo pretty closely, along with the menus of the MDRs. However, after dining at Palo for the first time last month, I can assure you that studying menus is not particularly helpful. Why? Because the MDR menus make everything sound every bit as nice as Palo, but alas, there is no comparison when it comes to the actual food. To be fair, the MDRs are good...but I realized after several nights that very few things were truly great. In seven nights, the MDRs gave me one memorable entree (sea bass with risotto and sweet chile glaze) and one memorable dessert (Grand Marnier souffle). Again, everything was good, so I'm not complaining at all, but for a family that generally plans our trips to WDW around restaurant choices, having an extra choice or two on the ship was worth investigating.

First, the price -- At a $20 upcharge, it's very reasonable. I have since learned that the $20 theoretically covers gratuity, but you'll instinctively want to add more when you're done.

Second, the atmosphere -- No kids. We have DD10 and DD8 and adore them and treasure the time we spend with them, especially on a Disney trip. But it was nice to have a meal as adults, not only without our own kids, but also without any others around us. (For the record, they didn't miss us either!) Oh, and the restaurant is beautiful, too. I gave myself a self-guided tour early one morning so I would know what to expect.

Third, the servers -- Our waiter immediately asked us about what we usually like to eat, as well as an allergies, etc. DW is a meat eater (translate: steak), while I am a seafood lover, but told him I had studied the menu and was interested in the Osso Buco, too. He took our comments and gave us recommendations, some of which I was ready to accept, but some of which I questioned based on what I thought my personal tastes would prefer. I thanked him for his recommendation and then said, "but I've been looking at ___________ on the menu and would really like to try it," to which he basically replied, "you don't really want that" and proceeded to explain to me why it was not on his short list of recommendations. His description of this item's preparation was not appealing at all, so I changed my mind and went with his recommendation (the ciopinno, or fish stew) for appetizer, which was something that really had not appealed to me when reviewing the menu. I stepped out of my safe box and relied on a waiter who I assumed knew the menu...and I could not have been happier. In short, the waiters at Palo know what they're talking about...and he didn't come across as a jerk when suggesting I make a different choice (which can sometimes happen).

Fourth, the wine -- The Fantasy's head sommelier who conducted our wine tasting earlier that day was wandering from table to table, chatting it up with the guests and discussing our wine choices with us. This, alone, was a lot of fun. For what it's worth, our waiter was given big props for the wine he suggested pairing with our meal (and we were also allowed to send the rest of the bottle back to our table in the MDR the following night). You're not going to have a personal conversation with the ship's head sommelier in the MDR.

Finally, the food -- As already noted, the food is so much better than in the MDRs. The bread service and the antipasti cart are awesome in their own right. You're also allowed (as in the MDRs) to order whatever you want, even if multiple items from one area of the menu. Our version of that was that DW and I each got a half-order of a pasta-focused dish to accompany our entree. Here's what we got:

Me: Ciopinno (fish stew) for appetizer (maybe the best thing I ate all week, after not even being that interested until the waiter recommended it); Osso Buco as entree (fall-off-the-shank tender), with a half order of the Pappardelle con Aragosta (the menu basically described it as lobster, pasta and tomato sauce, but it was anything but basic...more of a cream sauce, and the lobster wasn't even the best part...again don't rely on what the menu says if you're even half-interested...ask the waiter); and the chocolate souffle for dessert (which you have to order when you sit down). The souffle was good, but I was so pleased with everything before it that there was no way it could top the rest.

DW: Mozzarella and plum tomatoes (basically a caprese salad, but heads and tails above, both in presentation and taste); beef tenderloin; a half serving of the gorgonzola gnocchi (huge gnocchi fan!); and tiramisu (also a huge tiramisu fan!). Because the tenderloin also had a gorgonzola sauce, our waiter was very helpful in recommending how to approach the sauces between the tenderloin and the pasta to ensure that everything went well together. To be honest, neither of us (I had to taste!) was as thrilled with the gnocchi as we had hoped. Looked awesome, but a little mushy. I suspect she'd try it again, however. Everything else was wonderful.

As one final note, I had heard great things about Palo's pizzas, but seeing none on the menu, I asked about them as an appetizer option. Our waiter, in a nice way, let me know that while they made pizzas at the Palo brunch, the dinner version of Palo was "fine dining," and you're not going to find pizza on a fine dining menu. Ha! Touche! I still wanted my pizza, but decided not to push my luck and got over it really quickly when everything else started arriving.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimosabe View Post
I apologize for the length of this, but Palo is worth a full "review."

I consider myself a foodie (or an aspiring foodie, at least) and studied the menu for Palo pretty closely, along with the menus of the MDRs. However, after dining at Palo for the first time last month, I can assure you that studying menus is not particularly helpful. Why? Because the MDR menus make everything sound every bit as nice as Palo, but alas, there is no comparison when it comes to the actual food. To be fair, the MDRs are good...but I realized after several nights that very few things were truly great. In seven nights, the MDRs gave me one memorable entree (sea bass with risotto and sweet chile glaze) and one memorable dessert (Grand Marnier souffle). Again, everything was good, so I'm not complaining at all, but for a family that generally plans our trips to WDW around restaurant choices, having an extra choice or two on the ship was worth investigating.



First, the price -- At a $20 upcharge, it's very reasonable. I have since learned that the $20 theoretically covers gratuity, but you'll instinctively want to add more when you're done.

Second, the atmosphere -- No kids. We have DD10 and DD8 and adore them and treasure the time we spend with them, especially on a Disney trip. But it was nice to have a meal as adults, not only without our own kids, but also without any others around us. (For the record, they didn't miss us either!) Oh, and the restaurant is beautiful, too. I gave myself a self-guided tour early one morning so I would know what to expect.

Third, the servers -- Our waiter immediately asked us about what we usually like to eat, as well as an allergies, etc. DW is a meat eater (translate: steak), while I am a seafood lover, but told him I had studied the menu and was interested in the Osso Buco, too. He took our comments and gave us recommendations, some of which I was ready to accept, but some of which I questioned based on what I thought my personal tastes would prefer. I thanked him for his recommendation and then said, "but I've been looking at ___________ on the menu and would really like to try it," to which he basically replied, "you don't really want that" and proceeded to explain to me why it was not on his short list of recommendations. His description of this item's preparation was not appealing at all, so I changed my mind and went with his recommendation (the ciopinno, or fish stew) for appetizer, which was something that really had not appealed to me when reviewing the menu. I stepped out of my safe box and relied on a waiter who I assumed knew the menu...and I could not have been happier. In short, the waiters at Palo know what they're talking about...and he didn't come across as a jerk when suggesting I make a different choice (which can sometimes happen).

Fourth, the wine -- The Fantasy's head sommelier who conducted our wine tasting earlier that day was wandering from table to table, chatting it up with the guests and discussing our wine choices with us. This, alone, was a lot of fun. For what it's worth, our waiter was given big props for the wine he suggested pairing with our meal (and we were also allowed to send the rest of the bottle back to our table in the MDR the following night). You're not going to have a personal conversation with the ship's head sommelier in the MDR.

Finally, the food -- As already noted, the food is so much better than in the MDRs. The bread service and the antipasti cart are awesome in their own right. You're also allowed (as in the MDRs) to order whatever you want, even if multiple items from one area of the menu. Our version of that was that DW and I each got a half-order of a pasta-focused dish to accompany our entree. Here's what we got:

Me: Ciopinno (fish stew) for appetizer (maybe the best thing I ate all week, after not even being that interested until the waiter recommended it); Osso Buco as entree (fall-off-the-shank tender), with a half order of the Pappardelle con Aragosta (the menu basically described it as lobster, pasta and tomato sauce, but it was anything but basic...more of a cream sauce, and the lobster wasn't even the best part...again don't rely on what the menu says if you're even half-interested...ask the waiter); and the chocolate souffle for dessert (which you have to order when you sit down). The souffle was good, but I was so pleased with everything before it that there was no way it could top the rest.

DW: Mozzarella and plum tomatoes (basically a caprese salad, but heads and tails above, both in presentation and taste); beef tenderloin; a half serving of the gorgonzola gnocchi (huge gnocchi fan!); and tiramisu (also a huge tiramisu fan!). Because the tenderloin also had a gorgonzola sauce, our waiter was very helpful in recommending how to approach the sauces between the tenderloin and the pasta to ensure that everything went well together. To be honest, neither of us (I had to taste!) was as thrilled with the gnocchi as we had hoped. Looked awesome, but a little mushy. I suspect she'd try it again, however. Everything else was wonderful.

As one final note, I had heard great things about Palo's pizzas, but seeing none on the menu, I asked about them as an appetizer option. Our waiter, in a nice way, let me know that while they made pizzas at the Palo brunch, the dinner version of Palo was "fine dining," and you're not going to find pizza on a fine dining menu. Ha! Touche! I still wanted my pizza, but decided not to push my luck and got over it really quickly when everything else started arriving.

Great review! Just made me that much more excited to go!
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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We missed it on our 1st cruise, and didn't think anything of it. Ate there on cruise number 2 and WOW! Did we miss out!! If you can get a table eat there! I hear brunch is even better, hoping to experience that soon!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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LOVE Palo

Like everyone here has already stated: the ambiance, service, food, and wine are all wonderful. It's such a nice change of pace. I wouldn't want to miss out on Palo - it's probably our favorite of all the restaurants.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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We are booked on the Western itinerary, so what night would y'all recommend us trying to book Palo? I was thinking semi-formal night maybe?
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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GO!!!! Dinner and Brunch if possible.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #12
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We are booked on the Western itinerary, so what night would y'all recommend us trying to book Palo? I was thinking semi-formal night maybe?
I would book either semi-formal night or pirate night. Depends if you have children that want to do pirate! Have fun!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:20 PM   #13
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I would book either semi-formal night or pirate night. Depends if you have children that want to do pirate! Have fun!
I agree!
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #14
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Is this the type of experience that is worth it if you're a solo adult? Or will it feel out of place?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #15
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If I could dine in palo every night, I would. Everything I have eaten on the menu has been amazing. And I have no words to describe the chocolate souffle!

My BF orders pizza for dinner every time we go, and has never had a problem getting it when he has asked.
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