Never Eat More than You Can Lift, Miss Piggy's Jan 2010 edition!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by catne, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    MAYA GRILL REVIEW DONE - PAGE 3, POST 33-35

    Well, have to mention that I haven’t been on the boards much since my September Free Dining report. We returned to Florida in late October to shop for condos, and we put in an offer:banana:. Then came the usual hubbub with the holidays, with a real estate closing in early December…busy, busy, busy so just been popping in on here every now & then. Our condo is in the Tampa area, near the beach, and our eventual plan is to become true snowbirds. But that’s a few years off, so for now it will be shorter vacations (Though I did get to spend all of January in Florida this year, yippee! I was setting up the condo for the first two weeks, then DH joined me for the rest of the month.) We missed Mickey in October, but we were too busy looking at properties, so in January we decided that we had to go to WDW for an overnight trip…we just couldn’t be in the “neighborhood” again and not visit Mickey.

    Now last year, on a 2 night stay at the Contemporary in January, we had the DxDP, and we swore we’d “nevah” do the deluxe plan again - just way too much food. But after looking over the restaurants we still wanted to do on our Disney list, and then reviewing menus & prices…well we added the DxDP to our room package. So, to paraphrase another celeb, as Britney would say: “Oops, we did it again.”

    We left Tampa around 9 a.m., and were checking into the Beach Club shortly after 11 a.m. That was really fun - arriving at WDW and not being exhausted from a long trip. We’re loving this condo location!

    Anyway, the plan was 2 days/1 night at the Beach Club (love the major discounts they offer during off-seasons…we‘d never have considered a Beach Club Villa, but our deal was 45% off on the studio, so we took it. Great hotel, loved it.) We had park hoppers for 2 days (which we promptly upgraded to annual passes, cuz, to misquote Ahnold…”we‘ll be back.” YAY!) We planned Epcot rides all afternoon Tuesday, then meeting friends for drinks in Mexico followed by dinner at Tutto Italia. Wednesday morning we'd be doing favorites at DHS, with an early lunch at Sci Fi. We’d spend the afternoon at Magic Kingdom, then head to the Maya Grill at Coronado Springs for dinner before driving back to Tampa condo. We got the refillable mugs with the DxDP - wish they’d change them - we now have 6 of the same pattern. Boring! But we figured we’d get coffee in our mugs Wednesday morning at the Beach Club Marketplaces, and use 2 of our snack credits for breakfast pastries - we did not want a big breakfast that day since we had an 11:15 lunch scheduled.

    So, here’s what I’ll review:

    Sunshine Seasons, The Land/Epcot, for Tuesday lunch DONE Post 3, page 1
    Le Cava del Tequila, Mexico/Epcot for Tuesday afternoon drinks DONE Post 13, page 1
    Tutto Italia, Italy/Epcot for Tuesday evening dinner DONE Post 20, page 2
    Boulangerie Patisserie, France/Epcot for Wednesday breakfast DONE Post 25, page 2
    Sci Fi Dine-in Theater, DHS for Wednesday lunch DONE Post 28, page 2
    Maya Grill, Coronado Springs Resort for Wednesday evening dinner, DONE Post 33-35 , page 3
    Main Street Bakery, Magic Kingdom for Thursday breakfast
     
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  3. kxs401

    kxs401 Mouseketeer

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    Yay, I can't wait to read!
     
  4. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday lunch

    Checking in at Beach Club, we picked up our “magic cards” and headed for Epcot. In an effort to avoid massive over-eating (and save plenty of room for dinner, lol) we decided to start out sensibly and split a favorite meal at Sunshine Seasons. We were on the Deluxe plan, so we had had 3 meal credits available, but we planned three table service restaurants. So we were going to use Disney Visa rewards dollars for this meal.

    Being a Tuesday in the last week of January, Sunshine Seasons was not all that crowded. They were busy, since it was prime lunch time, but only a couple of people in line at each counter, and tables were available with very little hunting. We headed to the Asian station, and chose sweet & sour chicken, veggies and rice ($9.99):
    [​IMG]
    It looks like mostly rice in this pictures, but that’s deceiving…by the time we mixed it all up, this was a very substantial meal for the two of us to split. We also split a regular fountain coke ($2.39) , and bought a small bottled water ($1.25) for our park-hike. And for dessert, this beauty ($3.99):
    [​IMG]

    This is by far the best strawberry shortcake dessert we’ve had anywhere. It’s stacked sky-high and full of fruit. Love it! Total cash cost, including tax, at Sunshine Season was $18.69. This was a great way to enjoy a decent lunch … we both were full, without feeling stuffed to the gills. This will be the way to go in the future for us, I think…splitting most meals instead of throwing out so much food we can’t possibly finish. The food was good, service was good & everything was clean. I’d give Sunshine Seasons a 9...the only thing I mark them down on is the noise level in that building…even when it’s not full, it’s a major echo chamber.
     
  5. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    Oh, I am so in here!

    That Strawberry Cake - heaven on earth! :cloud9: Yum, so good! Can I have one now please? :goodvibes
     
  6. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

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    Ditto what Karin said!
     
  7. Symans3honeybees

    Symans3honeybees DIS Veteran

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    I have read all your TR's. Love them all and this one is no exception!!:banana:
     
  8. tinkerbell48

    tinkerbell48 Mouseketeer

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    I'm in:cool1: More!
     
  9. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    Oh yeah, if you're a strawberry shortcake fan, that is the BEST! Last time we had it, we had kind of a smaller piece, so I was afraid they'd downsized the servings...but I guess it must have just been a quality-control issue before, because this time looked like all the slices were uniformly generous:love:

    Hello, Nicki...did you have a winter dining review I missed?

    Thanks...even though that was a short WDW visit, doing the review is getting me through yet another snowstorm here in Nebraska (we are so staying in Florida Jan-Mar next year...or at least I am. DH can come back if he needs to:rotfl:)

    It's coming...
     
  10. disneyfav4ever

    disneyfav4ever No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep

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    Reading along! I've been looking for reviews of the Maya Grill, so it'll be interesting to read what you think about that.
     
  11. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    coming soon...but I can tell you the quick version is, we loved it:thumbsup2.
     
  12. weswife

    weswife DIS Veteran

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    Hi, great review so far!!!

    Yummy, strawberry shortcake!!!!! I will try that for sure!:thumbsup2
     
  13. disneyfav4ever

    disneyfav4ever No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep

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    Glad to hear that!
     
  14. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    No pictures :eek: for Tuesday night, so sorry. We were meeting friends we had not seen in many, many years, so I wasn’t going to interrupt the flow by stopping to take pictures throughout.

    We met our friends at Le Cava del Tequila in the Mexico pavillion . What an awesome little bar, tucked away to the side of the marketplace in Mexico. So quiet! Seems like a lot of bars we've been in at Disney are too closely attached to restaurants...and full of families with kids :scared1: Don’t get me wrong…I fully understand the urge to have an adult beverage while waiting for a table at Disney, especially if it's a long wait. But from an adult, non-parental point of view, I really wish there was a no-kids-in-bars rule at Disney. I know, I know, "Disney is all about kids"...but... in the bars? I feel I could make a pretty good argument that bars, even at Disney, are not meant to be all about kids, doncha think? C’mon, it’s not like Cindy & her Prince will be waltzing into the bar for character happy hour.pirate:

    Le Cava was a totally refreshing place for a party of 4 adults...very quiet; small, cozy & relaxing. Maybe we were just lucky that day, but it sure was nice to be able to carry on adult conversations at normal speaking voice levels and not have to filter out cutesyness and/or tantrums from the next table.:rolleyes1 (OK, before anyone gets horribly upset with me, or wants to lecture me with "you don't understand -you're not a parent, blah blah blah": I'm a mom of 4 grown kids, age 21-31. And took them all to Disney more than once as well as other vacations. And I owned and ran a licensed home child care/preschool for 20 years... so I know kids/parenting, and I love kids. LOVE KIDS! Just think it's good to have adult places to go sometimes. Especially since I've paid my parenting "dues":thumbsup2)

    Alright, I'm done with the soapbox, back to Le Cava. The drinks are pricey, of course (but typical Disney alcohol prices - margaritas were $9.25.) There were a lot of great looking tequila choices on the menu there, including some very interesting tequila flights. But none of us were feeling adventurous enough to do tequila shots. So we all went for margaritas: our friends chose frozen lime margaritas, DH had frozen strawberry and I had pineapple margarita on the rocks. Good-sized servings (10-12 oz. I'd guess) We all thought the Le Cava margaritas were far better than those travesties offered at the outside stand (and Le Cava's definitely have real booze in them - something I not so sure about with the outside drinks.) They did have a food menu in there, but we didn't look at it since we were going elsewhere for dinner. We'd give the place a 10, good drinks, great ambiance, wonderful respite - we would return for sure.
     
  15. airhead

    airhead DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the review! We will DEFINITELY be trying this bar out in July!
     
  16. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    it'd be outstanding place to cool off in July...you know how "dark" it is in the Mexico pavillion. Le Cava is like evening, after the sun goes down...:thumbsup2
     
  17. disneyfav4ever

    disneyfav4ever No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep

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    I agree with you about kids in bars. Especially kids sitting at bars. I see why they'd be hanging out in the open lounges like Tambu, since it's really that whole lobby area, but they have no reason to wander into say Mizner's, which is very adult, or like you said, the tequila bar. It's just not really the right atmosphere for kids.
     
  18. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    glad to know I'm not the only one...but we might both end up in the stocks at the Magic Kingdom for our anti-kids-at-Disney-bars stance:dance3:
     
  19. handinpocket

    handinpocket DIS Veteran

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    There were plenty of kids in the tequila bar when we were there.:confused3
     
  20. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    well, dang! Guess we were just lucky, then. Can't imagine that tiny place with a bunch of kids in there...
     
  21. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, no photos again...have to substitute with the silly little smilies:scared1: (Sorry again. I promise, after Tuesday night, I had my camera out again:woohoo:) So, on with the review:

    After finishing our excellent margaritas, we did a leisurely stroll over to Tutto Italia for a 6:45 reservation. We were seated almost immediately - the place was not half-full. We informed our waitress that we needed two checks because DH & I were on the deluxe dining plan, and our friends would pay cash. For drinks, DH ordered a Moretti beer ($5.50). <insert photo, oh darn, sub silly smilie> :drinking1 What can I say, it was a beer. He's had Moretti before - at Mama Melrose's - so he liked it of course. I ordered the espresso martini ($12) --WAHOO, this was one fine martini! :banana: If you like coffee, and you like booze, you will lurve this martini. Our friends ordered ice tea since they had to drive home to Ocala later that evening, and also work the next day, poor things.

    (BTW, since this is so obviously a teaching moment :rolleyes1 ...did you all realize that "Wahoo" is not just an exclamation, it's also a small town in Nebraska...about 50 miles away from me? End of geography lesson :dance3:)

    DH & I were on the deluxe dining plan so were entitled to two appetizers. Since we figured the whole table would share, we chose one app, and had our friends choose the other. Our waitress did not bat an eye at that order, and brought 4 small plates when the apps were delivered. We ordered the calamari ($14), and the bufala mozarella/tomato ($15). The calamari was lightly breaded and served with a marinara dipping sauce which was quite spicy hot (well, OK, it was only "hot" for wimp-mouth me…DH & friends thought it was actually just nicely flavored, go figure.) We enjoyed Tutto's version of calamari, but DH & I decided we actually prefer the version at Mama Melrose, which has different breading & also has peppers & onions. The mozarella/tomato stack was very tasty…the mozarella slices were warm (just shy of gooey) and the light dressing on the tomato gave it just the right amount of delicate flavor without overwhelming the taste of fresh tomato. We also were served with bread & dipping oil, as well as the small dish of marinated olives, peppers & mushrooms…all very tasty.

    For entrees, our lady friend ordered the “Casareci - cavatelli pasta, sweet sausage ragu, tomatoes, Pecorino Romano $25.” She liked this dish, but it was really just fancy curled pasta with a sausage sauce. I ordered the “Cannelloni al Forno - baked with spinach, ricotta, bechamel and parmesan cheese $25.” This dish looked for all the world like a slab of thin lasagna - a one-layer lasagna. But my, oh, my was it ever rich. And DELICIOUS. The spinach flavor was very subtle…the cheeses really provided the main taste…but those three cheeses blended wonderfully in this dish.:worship: I would definitely recommend the Cannelloni al Fornoto to any Italian-cheese lovers out there.

    DH and friend both ordered an item I don’t see on any of the on-line menus: lobster ravioli. This dish arrived looking for all the world just like a bowl-full of the frozen ravioli you can buy, with a dab of sauce on top (as it turned out, more sauce was under the raviolis) but it really was a very plain looking bowl of pasta. Plain enough that you'd give it a WTH?, considering the fancy menu description & hefty price. Happily, looks were deceiving. The filling was very rich: full of cheese and flaky, buttery tasting lobster. They both finished every bit, and all but licked the bowls.:thumbsup2

    DH & I had dessert coming with the deluxe dining plan…and there was no way we’d have room to each finish a full dessert. Our friends were debating whether or not to get dessert & reaching the same conclusion as us - there’ no way either wanted a full dessert . So I suggested DH & I split one of the desserts, and our friends choose one to split. After much discussion, our waitress showed up to ask for our dessert order and I gave the two choices. Now people seem to post all the time that you can’t share dining plan meals with non-dining plan guests, but we sure did not see that. I really think the intent is that you can’t buy a full meal for someone else, but if the other people are buying separate meals, they don’t care if you share the extras. Our waitress had no issues with that whatsoever--the two desserts were delivered with 4 spoons, so there was no doubt they expected that we would be sharing the desserts. DH & I ordered the “Gianduja - Chocolate Torta - chocolate and hazelnut torte with whipped cream and raspberry sauce $11.00”….outstanding dessert…definitely one of my favorite-ever chocolate desserts at Disney. Our friends ordered a cheesecake dessert…sorry, I’m not sure if the one on the Tutto menu matches the description of the cheesecake listed on the on-line menu. On the receipt, it’s listed as “torta ricotta” for $11.00. Whatever it was, it looked like cheesecake, and they enjoyed it. Both desserts were very pretty to look at -- Disney restaurants surely have the art of the elegant food presentation mastered.

    All in all, we enjoyed Tutto…and splitting the 2 apps and 2 desserts among 4 people is definitely a great way to enjoy the deluxe dining. We ended the meal full, but not stuffed...we actually felt we could rise from the table unaided without need of forklifts or any machinery equipped with winches:lmao:. Seriously, split 4 ways, those apps & dessert were just pleasant little extras to the meal. The meal seemed a lot more enjoyable that way - usually I'm torn between over-eating to the point of discomfort, or walking away from half-finished plates while guiltily dodging the specter of Sister Mary Finish-that-food-there's-starving-children-somewhere. Sharing provided the perfect balance - we finished the food without feeling like total gluttons.

    We thought the service at Tutto was excellent. I have seen references that people often are rushed through meals here. Luckily, that was not our experience at all. We were in there for just over 1.5 hours, and never felt we were being rushed. Maybe because the place was half-empty when we arrived, and almost totally empty by the time we left? Anyway, our waitress was attentive without hovering, and our food was delivered & dishes cleared at reasonable intervals. We all enjoyed our food very much. But I’m just not quite sure it was worth the cash cost…this is a very pricey place. The food is very good, a step up from say, Olive Garden, but the prices are a lot of steps up from Olive Garden (like a flight of stairs, lol.)

    However, at those prices, Tutto is a seriously good deal if you’re craving Italian food and you’re using the deluxe Disney Dining Plan. I did the math, :teacher:, and the total we paid for the Deluxe Dining plan was $144...which amount gave us credits to cover 3 meals, 2 snacks & a refillable mug for each of us…Tutto alone added up to $115 (excluding alcohol & tip.) So basically, with the cost of our meal at Tutto & the cost of our 2 refillable mugs, we’d actually spent the full value of what we paid for the one night on the DxDP…and we still had credits for 2 snacks & 2 more meals each. Score!

    Based on service & food being excellent, I could almost give Tutto a 10...but I’m going to pull it back to a 9, because I do think the place is overpriced for pasta dishes, even for Disney:goodvibes
     

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