Please join me in celebrating my 50th Birthday...Deluxe Style! FINALLY COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by jabead, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    What an excellent update :goodvibes

    I love the sound of the drinking and eating around the World game - well done to you both on your superb scores, I think I need to get in training :laughing:
     
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  3. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    You pose some very good questions...ones which I asked myself many times before this trip when trying to decide whether or not to do the Dining Plan and whether we should do it for the entire trip or just for part. For us, it came down to the appetizers. Since we both really wanted to try many of the appetizers offered at our chosen restaurants and these appetizers were not inexpensive (most were $10 or more), the Deluxe Dining Plan was the most cost effective way to do this. The only thing we might have done differently had we been paying OOP for all of our meals, was to always share dessert. I think there were five meals where we ordered two desserts while on the Dining Plan, so even with eliminating these five extra desserts we still would have come out ahead.

    So I guess my answer to your question is that in my case, it all depends on who is going on the trip. On this trip with DD and on my anniversary trip with DH, being on the Deluxe Dining Plan was a great success. However, on a trip where my other two children are involved (both picky eaters, who would seldom be able to find an appetizer they would eat), I'm pretty sure the OOP route would be the best way to go. :thumbsup2

    Hope this helps and thanks for reading my reviews! :)
     
  4. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    With only a month until your trip, you should definitely begin your training! :lmao: I had the advantage of doing this with a college student. She'd had plenty of training since turning 21 last November. :thumbsup2
     
  5. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Soon it was time to hop on the Resort Monorail at our resort (Polynesian) to go to the Grand Floridian for our last meal of the trip …


    Dinner at CITRICOS


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    SHORT VERSION

    Highlights – Food (especially the Chocolate-Banana Torte)

    Disappointments – Service…AGAIN :sad2:

    Would we return? – Yes


    LONG VERSION

    First some background regarding our previous experience with Citricos. DH and I dined at Citricos for the first time on our 25th Anniversary Trip last November. After reading so many great reviews, I went into this dinner with rather high expectations. Thinking I was saving the best for last, this was our last Signature dinner (of 6) of our trip. Sadly it wasn’t the best; in fact it was probably our least favorite Signature meal. The food was nothing special and the attitude of our server really “ticked me off”. :mad: However, when planning for this trip I continued to read rave reviews for Citricos and decided that I should give it another chance. I hoped that with a different server and ordering different food, this time our experience could be much more enjoyable. And so I went into our dinner this time with high hopes rather than high expectations. Were my hopes fulfilled? Read on to find out. ;)



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    Our experience began with a few uncomfortable moments on my part, when we were seated in the same area of the restaurant as last time. I quickly scanned the area for the server from my previous visit, but he was nowhere in sight. However it wasn’t until our server finally arrived at our table several minutes later, that I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Anyway, he took our drink orders, which was just iced tea for me but DD ordered this cocktail…


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    Bellini


    This was a tasty combination of peaches and raspberries blended with sparkling wine for $8.50. I really liked this and wished I'd ordered one. :thumbsup2



    We were served a bread basket which had two kinds of bread, Kalamata olive (which I really like) and a multigrain.


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    In looking at the menu, I quickly noticed that the appetizer I had planned to order, the Gateau of Crab, had been replaced by a different crab dish, the Blue Crab Pave. I almost went ahead and ordered the new crab appetizer anyway, but decided to skip the appetizer so that we would for sure have room for dessert.

    So we went straight to ordering our entrees. Since we had ordered the filet and short rib at Jiko the previous night, we decided to do the same at Citricos so that we could do a comparison. However, this time we switched and DD ordered the filet.


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    Oak-grilled Filet of Beef


    Citricos’ version of the filet has a veal glace and is topped with spanish onions and peppadew and banana peppers. DD loves banana peppers so she really enjoyed this. She also liked the Quattro Formaggi Crushed Potatoes (4 cheese mashed potatoes) that accompanied her filet. These were much tastier than the mac ‘n cheese that I had with my filet at Jiko. So we both agreed that Citricos won the challenge of the filets against Jiko. How about the short ribs??? :confused3



    [​IMG]

    Braised Short Ribs


    My entrée, the Braised Short Ribs, had a blood-orange demi-glace and was served with creamy polenta and mustard greens. On this dish, we had a slight difference of opinion. I enjoyed the flavor of the blood-orange sauce served on Citricos' short ribs a little more than the Cabernet-Tamarind Sauce of the Jiko short ribs that she preferred. Otherwise the two ribs were equally good, both tender and delicious. As far as the sides served with them, we both agreed that the Truffled Potato Puree, Pearl Onions and Baby Carrots served with the Jiko short ribs beat out the polenta and mustard greens served here at Citricos. Although the polenta was fine (I liked it better than the polenta served with the pork dish at California Grill), I didn’t care for the mustard greens at all. So all in all, I guess I would have to give this one to Jiko.




    Now I will interrupt the food portion of our meal, to discuss the service. After taking our entrée orders, our server seemed to totally forget about us. He didn’t deliver our entrees to our table (done by another server), he didn’t check with us after they were delivered to see if everything was okay (no one did), and he never offered to refill my glass of iced tea (which sat empty throughout most of my meal). In fact he did not return to our table until I finally was able to flag him down to let him know that we were done and wanted to order dessert, and also that I really wanted another glass of iced tea. :guilty:


    Okay, now back to the positive side of this review…the food. You may recall (if you have read my last review of Citricos) that I had had my heart set on having the Signature dessert, Chocolate-Banana Torte, only to be told by our server (with a big, old smirk on his face I might add :headache:) that they were out of the torte. Well, this time I finally got to have the dessert that I’d seen and heard so much about, and it did not disappoint. We both loved it! :love:


    [​IMG]

    Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream and Handcrafted Belgium Couverture Chocolate Crown


    So I’m happy to report that the final meal of our trip ended on a very high note with this delicious dessert. And this time around I would have to agree with the many Citricos fans that their food is quite good (you just need to order the right things I guess ;)). However, we have yet to experience the excellent service that so many others have received at this restaurant. Perhaps the third time will be the charm and we will have both good food and service. :)



    And so I can calculate my total savings with Tables in Wonderland…

    20% TIW Discount - $20.24



    NEXT UP: Our Favorites and Final Thoughts
     
  6. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    I'm so glad you gave Citrico's another shot, we love it!:thumbsup2
     
  7. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I had terrible service at Citrico's on my last trip in May. I'm taking a break from there for awhile which is too bad...I love the short ribs.

    Jill in CO
     
  8. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    I am so sorry you had poor service at Citrico's again! It's one of my favorite Disney restaurants. I hope this was just an off night and not a sign of things to come. On the plus side, it sounds like you enjoyed your meal there this time!
     
  9. cbg1027

    cbg1027 Florida Girl

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    I'm sorry your service at Citricos was so poor. I'm one of the people who rave about it. Next time you go, ask for Kiera or Nancy and hopefully that will do the trick!

    That Chocolate Banana Torte is one my favorites!

    Your reviews are lovely, I enjoyed reading them!
     
  10. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    That's too bad about the service at Citricos. I used to love this restaurant :confused3 Last December we had dinner there and our service was VERY slow. We waited with empty plates on our table for at least 20 minutes after we finished our appetizers and entrees and to top it all off by the time our server got around to asking us for our dessert order they were all out of my beloved chocolate banana tart :sad2: We don't have plans to go back anytime soon.
     
  11. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    I'm very glad I gave Citricos another try, as this time around the food was quite good. It looks like I'm not the only one though that has experienced poor service here. I'll probably give Citricos one more chance to see if I can get the superior quality of service here that I have experienced at most of the other Signature restaurants. So either it will be "third time's a charm" or it will be "three strikes and you're out." :laughing:

    Anyway, thank you to all of you for reading and posting comments. I'm working now on my final post so should have this review all wrapped up soon. :thumbsup2
     
  12. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    First I wanted to pass along on to you our final results regarding the limited use of the Tables in Wonderland membership discount. Since we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan for 5 out of the 7 days which we dined at WDW, we only took advantage of the TIW 20% discount for 7 meals (including two relatively inexpensive breakfasts). This savings along with the discount on our alcoholic beverages resulted in a total savings of $112.53. Deducting from this the $75 TIW annual membership fee, I came out ahead only $37.53. So not a big savings, but still worth the short amount of time that it took me to get my membership card at the Guest Services booth at Epcot (WSC entrance). This is proof that even with limited use (mostly as a supplement to the Dining Plan) by only two people; the TIW membership can be beneficial.


    Ok now on to the more fun part of this final post&#8230;


    A REVIEW OF OUR FAVORITES

    Category 1 &#8211; BEST APPETIZERS


    DD&#8217;s Top Picks


    Coming in at #3 is...



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    Narcoossee&#8217;s Rhode Island Calamari



    Scoring the #2 spot is&#8230;



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    Teppan Edo&#8217;s Wafu Ribs



    And earning the TOP SPOT on her list is&#8230;



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    Le Cellier&#8217;s Cheddar Cheese Soup


    I&#8217;d like to add here that this came as a total surprise to me. I knew she liked this soup, but I had no idea how much. :laughing:




    Now for my Top Picks in the Appetizer Category


    Coming in at a very respectable #3 is&#8230;




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    California Grill&#8217;s Triple-Cheese Flatbread

    NOTE: This was my favorite appetizer from my last trip, but wasn&#8217;t quite as good this time (a little bit greasy) so consequently slipped down to the #3 spot this time.



    Making a surprise appearance in the #2 spot is&#8230;



    [​IMG]

    Yachtsman&#8217;s Assortment of Artisanal Cheeses

    I never realized how good a simple cheese plate could be&#8230;very tasty!



    Garnering my Top Spot is&#8230;



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    Flying Fish&#8217;s Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake





    Category 2 &#8211; BEST ENTREES


    DD&#8217;s Picks


    Making a great premiere showing at #3 is&#8230;



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    La Hacienda&#8217;s Pescado a la Talla (aka Delicious Tilapia)



    Coming in at #2 is&#8230;



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    Narcoossee&#8217;s Whole Maine Lobster



    Receiving the honor of being her #1 is&#8230;



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    Jiko&#8217;s Beef Short Rib




    And now for my Top Picks for Best Entrees.



    Starting my list at #3 is my entrée from our first meal&#8230;



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    Flying Fish&#8217;s Potato-wrapped Red Snapper



    Coming in at the solid #2 position is&#8230;



    [​IMG]

    Citrico&#8217;s Braised Short Ribs



    And my #1 Star Entrée of this trip is&#8230;



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    Yachtsman&#8217;s Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes
    (Just plain and simply delicious!)




    We would like to give an HONORABLE MENTION AWARD to&#8230;


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    Le Cellier&#8217;s Walnut Crusted Salmon


    This would have made both of our top three Entrée lists, but sadly it has since been replaced on Le Cellier&#8217;s menu with a less appealing salmon dish. Therefore, out of protest, we decided not to give it Top 3 honors.




    Category 3 &#8211; DESSERTS


    DD's Top Picks


    For her #3 Spot DD chose&#8230;




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    Sanaa&#8217;s Chai Cream (dessert shown in the middle)




    Her #2 Favorite Dessert was&#8230;



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    Citrico&#8217;s Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream



    And in her #1 Sweet Spot goes to&#8230;



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    Flying Fish&#8217;s Caramelized Banana Napoleon




    Now for my Top Picks for Best Dessert.



    Last trip a slightly different version of this was my #1, but this time it drops to #3...



    [​IMG]

    California Grill&#8217;s Valrhona Chocolate Cake




    Coming in at #2 again is&#8230;



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    Narcoossee&#8217;s Almond-crusted Cheesecake



    And that just leaves my #1 Sweet Treat&#8230;



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    Citrico&#8217;s Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream



    Category 4 &#8211; Best Service


    Finally making an appearance on our Best Lists is #3&#8230;



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    Tracy at Coral Reef




    Providing us with Very Good Service and receiving our #2 award is&#8230;



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    Kathy at Yachtsman Steakhouse



    And the Best Service was provided to us by #1&#8230;



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    Darrin of Hollywood Brown Derby



    Now to compile our scores for our combined list of Top 3 Meals of our trip.


    TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...


     
  13. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Before doling out our praise and accolades to those restaurants we felt were most deserving, we must first express our disappoint with those which failed to meet our expectations. :sad2:


    Here are our Top 3 Disappointments:


    Sadly, coming in at #3 is&#8230;



    [​IMG]



    On my last trip, California Grill was our absolute favorite meal, and by a wide margin. Everything about that meal was perfect&#8230;the food, the service, the atmosphere. So you can imagine my disappointment when this time around our meal was far from perfect. In fact it was our least favorite of our 7 Signature meals. Hopefully we will have better luck here next time.




    #2 on our Big Disappointment list is&#8230;



    [​IMG]


    Believe it or not, Coral Reef was our favorite meal on our last family trip (March &#8217;10) and it was mostly due to the food. This time around though, the food just wasn&#8217;t all that good (with the exception of my Mahi Mahi). However, we did have very good service and got to sit right next to the aquarium so the meal had a few redeeming qualities. Therefore, I&#8217;m not ready to write this one off yet.




    And that leaves are #1 Biggest Disappointment&#8230;



    [​IMG]


    I had read several great reviews of Sanaa and really expected to like it more than we did. With an ADR at opening time of the restaurant and requesting a table by the window, we were sat at a table in which the view was nearly completely obstructed by an outside wall. We would have been okay with this if the food had been really good, but sadly we just didn&#8217;t feel our food was anything special. Well, except for the Chai Cream dessert, which my DD loved. Oh, and I should also mention that they have some pretty good cocktails here. So anyway, I&#8217;m glad we gave it a try, but Sanaa is just not for us.



    That&#8217;s it for the bad, so now on to the good. :thumbsup2




    Beginning with our #3 Favorite Meal at&#8230;


    [​IMG]

    CITRICOS


    I&#8217;m happy to say that this time around my experience with Citricos was much improved. Last time neither the food nor service was very good and it came in dead last of our 6 Signature meals of that trip. This time however, the food was quite good and if we had received good service, Citricos would have been a strong contender for our #1 Favorite Meal.




    Coming in at #2 on our list of Favorite Meals is&#8230;



    [​IMG]

    FLYING FISH CAFE

    Last time at Flying Fish we had great service but the food was lackluster, with the exception of the crab cake. This time around we had the opposite experience, with very good food but an odd situation with our server (see review for details). So I&#8217;m hoping next time around we will be lucky enough to have both good food and service.




    Which brings us to our #1 Favorite Meal of this trip&#8230;



    May I have a drumroll please? :lmao:





    [​IMG]

    :worship::worship::worship: :worship: :worship: YACHTSMAN STEAKHOUSE


    Our dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse was very good, with both great food (for the most part) and service. Coming in a distant 2nd on our last trip (very good, yet far behind our fantastic meal at California Grill), this time around it was the only Signature meal in which we were both happy with a majority of our food and also received great service. Due to its consistency, I would have to say that YSH is currently my favorite Signature restaurant. But that could soon change because I&#8217;ve decided to take another trip to the World during the upcoming Epcot Food & Wine Festival. I&#8217;ve been to the F & W Festival three times in the last five years and have decided that it&#8217;s my favorite time of year at Disney World. So with my Annual Pass and TIW card collecting dust in the drawer, I couldn&#8217;t resist the urge to take a short trip to my Happy Place. DS (age 15) has a four day weekend in November which just so happens to coincide with the end of the Food & Wine Festival. So on November 9th, he and I will be off to see the World! Our dining plans are still being changed way too often to think about starting a pre-trip report, but look for my next Dining Review to start around the end of October/beginning of November. Of course, until then I will be avidly checking the disboards for reviews to help us make our dining decisions. So for any of you visiting in the next month or so, I am very eager to hear your thoughts about the Festival, dining experiences, etc.


    Well, thanks again to all of you for joining me in my 50th Birthday Celebration. It was my best birthday celebration ever! :cool1:
     
  14. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    So... guess what?? We're at WDW together AGAIN!!!!!:goodvibes We get there Nov 9th (having dinner that night at Yachtsman- thanks for scoring it so highly!!:thumbsup2) and leave the 14th- staying at BCV. How about you?

    Loved all your posts- and all the awesome food porn- THANK-YOU!!!:worship:
     
  15. mmforme2009

    mmforme2009 Mouseketeer

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    Excited about your YSH feedback as we'll be dining there this trip. Can't wait!!!
     
  16. cbg1027

    cbg1027 Florida Girl

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    Loved the wrap up with the rankings, great idea!

    Thanks for sharing. :goodvibes
     
  17. sandyj55

    sandyj55 Earning My Ears

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    I enjoyed your review and the way you listed your favorite top 3 for each category. I'm glad you had such a great time and thanks again for taking the time to report to us.
     
  18. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for sharing, I love your rankings and the fun little lists at the end!
     
  19. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

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    Loved your reviews! Do you have your next trip planned yet??
     
  20. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Wow...that's awesome!!! :thumbsup2 A mere coincidence, maybe...but I think it's a case of "great minds think alike". ;) 'Cause not only are we there at the same time but have chosen the exact same dates...we also arrive on the 9th and leave on the 14th. :laughing: We are staying at the BWI again, so just right across the pond from you. And YSH will definitely be included in our dining plans, but probably not on our first night.





    Your trip is really soon! :woohoo: I hope you enjoy YSH. Will you be doing a dining review? I hope so. :)





    Thanks Abby! I'm excited to see you have some trips coming up very soon too. I love reading your dining reviews! :thumbsup2






    Thanks for reading, Sandy! :)





    Thanks Becky! I'm following your dining review also. Looking forward to more! :thumbsup2





    Yep! :woohoo: Got the dates set (Nov. 9 - 14), the plane tickets, and the resort reservation (Boardwalk Inn). Now I just need to make some decisions regarding our dining plans... which for me is always the hardest part of planning a trip to WDW. :lmao: So many great restaurants, never enough time. :sad2:
     

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