Antics of the Orange Banded Monkeys: Heartbreaking News June 2017

natebenma

Beach Club Dee
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Orange Banded Monkeys go to the Zoo. BlueZoo.

When we left off, the monkeys were headed off to dinner. We had reservations for Todd English’s Blue Zoo at Disney’s Dolphin Resort. Apparently, the signature restaurants don’t vet (get it) their prospective customers, so they let us in.





I have never dined there before, in fact, this would be my first signature restaurant.


The restaurant is gorgeous!











We were distracted by menu. Not the food, menu, however. The drink menu. In between our yapping, we fervently studied all of the amazing and unique drinks available. We all decided what we were ordering when our waiter came over with a bottle of wine. Nannette’s daughter had called the restaurant and ordered a bottle of wine for our table.

It was a sweet white wine, I believe it was Gewurztraminer. (Monkeys, correct me if I am wrong). I am not normally a wine drinker, but this was delicious and I enjoyed a glass or two.

Nannette called her daughter and we all said thanks for her thoughtfulness and generosity. We promised her we would do our best to make sure her mom had a great time on the trip.

Coincidentally, shortly after the wine arrived, I got this text

“Are you drinking?”

“Is this Ben? As a matter of fact, yes. Nannette’s daughter just sent a bottle of wine to our table. Everything go ok at the airport?”
The boys were at the gate, getting ready for their return home from Orlando.

I had let my family know that I thought there might be a fair amount of drinking during this portion of my vacation.

Mark and I don’t drink very much. Rarely at home, but sometimes when we are out if it is a special occasion.

The reason the text was funny to me and that I thought it was from my son is because several years ago Ben announced to his 2nd grade class and teacher that “My mom has a drinking problem!” This was during a time when my best friend was moving from our city to Florida. Her family is very popular and we had a number of going away parties for her. Ben was concerned with the frequency I was going out to bars and parties in a short period of time.

Although a comment like that is one that is subject to mandatory reporting, fortunately due to the huge amount of time I spent volunteering in the schools, the teachers and administrators all know me and realized that this was not very likely to be true. When I explained the reason behind the comment, they understood. PHEW!


The waiter told us about the dinner menu and checked back with us several times, but we were so busy chatting away, that it took us a while before we decided what we wanted to order.

Blue Zoo Menu


After ordering, we were given some bread and butter and they also offered to provide some fresh baked gluten free bread for one of our monkeys. This was a great touch, unfortunately, it took a really, really long time before it was ready.


Our appetizers arrived:

Rafiki and I both ordered the Beet Salad - walnut vinaigrette, goat cheese fondue, beets $15.00






This was delicious and helped to ease the pain of the removal of the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad from the menu at Sunshine Seasons (more on that in a later installment)


Bubbles had the Heirloom Tomato Salad - house ricotta, popcorn ice cream, pickled melon, savory tart $15.00




Unfortunately, the clam chowder ordered by Chim Chim did not live up to the description. At all!

bluezoo's New England Style Clam Chowder - light and brothy with salt cured bacon, house-made oyster crackers $11.00



The chowder was extremely thick and tasted “off”. We called over the waiter and a manager who looked at the soup and agreed that it was not what it was supposed to look like. They took away the bowl and in a few minutes brought out another. However, the chowder was still not what was expected, so it was again sent away and the item was taken off of our check.

Entrees:

Chim Chim went with one of the appetizer selections for her meal:

Low Country Jumbo Shrimp - white cheddar grits, okra, smoked bacon butter $16.00





I had the Simply Fishupload_2015-9-22_16-27-12.png- Daily selection of finest fresh fish selected from coastal waters around the world, simply grilled on our teppanyaki grill, served with choice of sauce: warm crabmeat, dijon mustard, chives sauce; sauce of the day. $35.00

The waiter described 3 local fish and I chose the corvina, which was described as resembling a white sea bass. I believe the sauce I chose was the sauce of the day which was artichoke based.




Rafiki selected the Dirty South Swordfish - barbecue rubbed, house smoked tasso risotto, rock shrimp, littleneck clams $36.00
(Rafiki- did you get the swordfish, or a different fish in this preparation?)





Bubbles ordered This Evening's Dancing Fish upload_2015-9-22_16-27-12.png- zucchini gratin, shaved asparagus, sauce Romensco, seared meyer lemon $39.00

Normally this fish is served whole at the table and will be deboned upon request. Bubbles preferred to have the fish removed from the bone prior to its arrival at the table:





Our entrées were all spectacular!


Although we were all pretty full we decided to splurge on the Truffles - signature truffles seasonally inspired $12.00







They were all different flavors. The ones I remember are coconut, coffee, passion fruit, lime, pistachio? What else monkeys? I believe that was candied popcorn in the shot glass in the middle of the plate.

Chim Chim cut each truffle into two pieces so we were able to try a variety.

When our check arrived, the truffles did not appear on the bill. We called over the waiter and he informed us that Nannette’s daughter had also covered our dessert.

Our final bill, including the Tables in Wonderland discount and the added 18% gratuity, was $176.48.

Here are a couple of pictures of 4 very full and satisfied monkeys.







Our plans for the evening were to watch (and photograph) the Frozen Fireworks from the Beach Club beach.

Unfortunately, when we were finishing our dinner, the skies opened, thunder boomed and lightning flashed. We were disappointed that our original plans would not work out, but we “Let it Go!”

No worries. The monkeys would find some other after dinner mischief over at the Yacht Club.










Next Up: Floor Model
 
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Wood Nymph

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
The entrees all look delicious. They will debone the fish at your table at La Trattoria, too. It looked like a messy operation.

We tried to watch the Frozen fireworks that night, too, but had to change plans when the thunder and lightening started. I was glad that we got back to our resort before the skies opened up. At least it was the only rain out of the trip.
 
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annie170

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
I'm not a big seafood lover, but your dinner looked delicious. My husband would love Blue Zoo. For a signature restaurant, the prices didn't seem that bad, either. Considering that many of the character buffets are $40-45 per person, a fine dining experience can be worth it.

That's a cute story about Ben. Teachers could write books about the hilarious things kids say to them.
 
  • Sue M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    I would have ordered the shrimp & grits too! Love the GF Cafe ones!! Very nice about Nannett's daughter treating to wine & dessert!
    Hilarious about your sons comments Dee! I'm enjoying a glass of wine as we speak :-) before we go out to dinner.
    Work has been crazy the past 2 weeks, I'm exhausted!
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Looks great! We have stayed at the dolphin but never went to Blue Zoo. That's hilarious about what your son said.
     

    JanetMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2006
    First off, sounds like a wonderful first meal. So nice of Nanette's daughter to fill it with surprises. And other than that chowder it all looks amazing!


    Rafiki and I both ordered the Beet Salad - walnut vinaigrette, goat cheese fondue, beets $15.00

    This was delicious and helped to ease the pain of the removal of the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad from the menu at Sunshine Seasons (more on that in a later installment)
    Secondly, WHATTT??!!!! I've got Sunshine Seasons on my planning spreadsheet just so I can try that salad. How can they remove it from the menu now - It's on my spreadsheet!!!

    Can't wait to hear what troubles you got up to over at the Yacht Club.
     

    HockeyMomR

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2006
    That was a delicious dinner, well except for that not so light soup! Great company, terrific atmosphere. The beet salad was unbelievably good. It was so very kind of Nannette's daughter to treat us, incredibly thoughtful.

    Yes, I believe I did get the swordfish. It was yummy. Oh my the truffle flavors. I think by that time I was feeling a little "woozy". What were the additional flavors!!? They were all delicious.

    -R
     


  • MickeyT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2006
    Orange Banded Monkeys go to the Zoo. BlueZoo.

    I have never dined there before, in fact, this would be my first signature restaurant.


    “Are you drinking?”

    “Is this Ben? As a matter of fact, yes. Nannette’s daughter just sent a bottle of wine to our table. Everything go ok at the airport?”



    Next Up: Floor Model
    Now we're getting to the "Meat" of a Dee trip report. Food porn and Ben quotes!

    Roll on Ladies..........
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    I'm glad you all enjoyed the story about Ben's announcement at school. I'm laughing with you all. Now.

    I didn't tell the whole story. I received a call that day from the adjustment counselor at the school, because it was a mandatory reporting event. She is a mutual friend of mine and the woman who was moving and was at one of the going-away parties. She was embarrassed to have to call me about this, but understood when I explained what Ben was thinking.

    I met Ben at the bus that afternoon. He had a big smile on his face. The first thing he said was "You are going to be so proud of me! I got a North Star award at school" This is a special award given to students at an assembly in front of the whole school when they have exhibited exemplary behavior or have performed special acts.

    Interesting timing!

    Love that kid!

    :hug:


    The entrees all look delicious. They will debone the fish at your table at La Trattoria, too. It looked like a messy operation.

    We tried to watch the Frozen fireworks that night, too, but had to change plans when the thunder and lightening started. I was glad that we got back to our resort before the skies opened up. At least it was the only rain out of the trip.
    We really enjoyed our meal.

    I think it was better for the fish to be prepared out of sight. :goodvibes

    You won't hear me complaining about the weather. To only really have to deal with that, and a bit of rain Monday night when they were initially calling for a hurricane was a welcome surprise.

    :umbrella:


    I'm not a big seafood lover, but your dinner looked delicious. My husband would love Blue Zoo. For a signature restaurant, the prices didn't seem that bad, either. Considering that many of the character buffets are $40-45 per person, a fine dining experience can be worth it.

    That's a cute story about Ben. Teachers could write books about the hilarious things kids say to them.
    The menu is definitely heavily weighted towards seafood. I just looked at the menu and they had one lamb, one beef tenderloin, a chicken and a pasta dish but the rest of the entrees were fish.

    It was a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience!

    :goodvibes:


    I would have ordered the shrimp & grits too! Love the GF Cafe ones!! Very nice about Nannett's daughter treating to wine & dessert!
    Hilarious about your sons comments Dee! I'm enjoying a glass of wine as we speak :-) before we go out to dinner.
    Work has been crazy the past 2 weeks, I'm exhausted!
    I was tempted. I have never had it but Shrimp and Grits always looks good to me. I have a recipe that I want to try to make at home. I hear the one at Olivia's is fantastic, too!

    It was truly a special (and sweet) treat from Nannette's daughter. We were all very touched by the thoughtfulness of her gifts!

    It is so tough to get back into the swing of things!

    :cat:


    Looks great! We have stayed at the dolphin but never went to Blue Zoo. That's hilarious about what your son said.
    That was my first time inside the Dolphin. Not that we got very far into the resort.

    Really great meal!

    ::yes::



    First off, sounds like a wonderful first meal. So nice of Nanette's daughter to fill it with surprises. And other than that chowder it all looks amazing!
    Everything I had was great. There were a lot of apologies from staff and management about the chowder.

    Our surprises were wonderful!

    ::yes::


    Secondly, WHATTT??!!!! I've got Sunshine Seasons on my planning spreadsheet just so I can try that salad. How can they remove it from the menu now - It's on my spreadsheet!!!

    Can't wait to hear what troubles you got up to over at the Yacht Club.
    I know, right!

    I discovered this tragedy during the 8th grade class trip in June. It just wasn't on the menu any longer. I dream about that salad. :headache:

    In an upcoming update, I will pay proper tribute to the loss of this special salad. I believe Rafiki has it on video.

    :rotfl:

    YC fun coming up soon.

    :eek:


    That was a delicious dinner, well except for that not so light soup! Great company, terrific atmosphere. The beet salad was unbelievably good. It was so very kind of Nannette's daughter to treat us, incredibly thoughtful.

    Yes, I believe I did get the swordfish. It was yummy. Oh my the truffle flavors. I think by that time I was feeling a little "woozy". What were the additional flavors!!? They were all delicious.

    -R
    Fantastic meal! It really was a great way to start off our time together on the trip.

    Trip Report fail! I didn't take notes at the meal, and apparently did not write it down at the end of the night when I typically do my "work" with my phone and notebook.

    :lmao:


    Now we're getting to the "Meat" of a Dee trip report. Food porn and Ben quotes!

    Roll on Ladies..........

    I do love my food porn!

    Thanks for chiming in!

    :goodvibes
     

    luvpoohandcompany

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    Looks like you all had an amazing time at the "zoo" and they even let you leave which was good :P
    While your food looks amazing I'm not a huge fan of fish-though I have been known to follow a seafood diet from time to time!
    I "see food" and I eat it!!:rotfl2::rotfl2:

    Love that in the photos you all seem like a bunch of girls who've known each other all your lives. You all seem so happy in each others company :goodvibes

    The story about Ben made me laugh and brought back memories from when my eldest aged 6yrs told her teacher I liked a "wee bottle of Baileys on Fridays" :eek: I did-it was a miniature (holds 1 35ml measure) and I'd have a Baileys after dinner on Fridays occasionally. The teacher however was thinking of 1 litre size bottle:scared1: Yup I too had some explaining to do :lmao:

    By the way Janet I'm with you on the daring of Disney to remove those food items we've been planning on eating at least 6 months before we get there! How could they:lmao::lmao:
     
  • pas130

    Always missing Florida....
    Joined
    Sep 24, 2010
    Yum Yum Yum! Such a fun night with lots of amazing memories!

    ~N
    How sweet is your daughter?? Not unlike her Mom and her mom's monkey friends :)

    Dee love all the food porn. My girls made a comment when we were out to lunch when a friend said she didn't drink a lot of soda. I replied, I drink more than I should but I don't drink a lot of water. On cue, my DD9 (who was 7 I think) said "You drink a lot of wine too Mama"....ahhhhh
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Yum Yum Yum! Such a fun night with lots of amazing memories!

    ~N
    I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and the company! Really fun night!

    :jumping1:


    Looks like you all had an amazing time at the "zoo" and they even let you leave which was good :P
    While your food looks amazing I'm not a huge fan of fish-though I have been known to follow a seafood diet from time to time!
    I "see food" and I eat it!!:rotfl2::rotfl2:

    Love that in the photos you all seem like a bunch of girls who've known each other all your lives. You all seem so happy in each others company :goodvibes

    The story about Ben made me laugh and brought back memories from when my eldest aged 6yrs told her teacher I liked a "wee bottle of Baileys on Fridays" :eek: I did-it was a miniature (holds 1 35ml measure) and I'd have a Baileys after dinner on Fridays occasionally. The teacher however was thinking of 1 litre size bottle:scared1: Yup I too had some explaining to do :lmao:

    By the way Janet I'm with you on the daring of Disney to remove those food items we've been planning on eating at least 6 months before we get there! How could they:lmao::lmao:
    We had a great meal! There are a few other options, but I'm not sure it is the best place for someone who doesn't appreciate fish.

    I am also a follower of the see-food diet, but I haven't really shed any pounds! :lmao:

    We truly were a group of friends together again. I had only met Nannette once before, for about 30 minutes on a previous trip, and Rebecca and Ninja on our previous meet trip, but we never ran out of things to talk about!

    We were texting each other all during the trip (even in the same car!) and after we returned home.

    Mmmmm! Bailey's! (It's not just for breakfast anymore) That is a great story! Kids do not have filters!

    Seriously, that salad from Sunshine Seasons is my 2nd favorite thing to eat at the World. They better not ever take away the Macadamia freaking Pineapple Pancakes at Kona, though!!!

    ::yes::


    How sweet is your daughter?? Not unlike her Mom and her mom's monkey friends :)

    Dee love all the food porn. My girls made a comment when we were out to lunch when a friend said she didn't drink a lot of soda. I replied, I drink more than I should but I don't drink a lot of water. On cue, my DD9 (who was 7 I think) said "You drink a lot of wine too Mama"....ahhhhh
    That was so very sweet of Nannette's daughter. She got a bottle of wine and truffles from her kid. I got a text accusing me of drinking!

    One of the great things about a large group trip... lots of food porn!!! With my family it is automatic, but I found I was asking "May I take a picture of your meal" quite a few times when I was dining with our friends.

    Again, funny stories from the kids, at mom's expense!

    :rotfl2:
     

    teekathepony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2009
    BlueZoo is so beautiful! Wow!
    Awww, so sweet of Nanette's daughter! And so thoughtful!
    AND dessert? What a sweetie!
    Your meal looks lovely, and sounds like you had a lot of fun.
    Loved the story about Ben being concerned with your drinking problem!! Oh my! And he got an award too! Hahaha so cute.
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Thank you :)
    ::yes::


    BlueZoo is so beautiful! Wow!
    Awww, so sweet of Nanette's daughter! And so thoughtful!
    AND dessert? What a sweetie!
    Your meal looks lovely, and sounds like you had a lot of fun.
    Loved the story about Ben being concerned with your drinking problem!! Oh my! And he got an award too! Hahaha so cute.
    The restaurant really is gorgeous! I didn't want to take a lot of pictures, but fortunately, it wasn't very crowded when we first arrived so I felt comfortable snapping a few shots. It did fill up later.

    Such a great meal- delicious food, wonderful company and special surprises!

    The best thing about the "incident" was the timing. He made the declaration on the same day he got the award.

    :rotfl:
     
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    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Antics at the Yacht Club: Floor Model

    To start, I am reposting the part of NinjaMom’s blog report from the first night of our trip

    Much yapping and clucking occurred when the 4 of us finally got together. After a quick shower to rinse off the remnants of Stormalong Bay we were off to Blue Zoo for dinner over at the Dolphin hotel. This was a lovely meal with Dee whipping out her camera to capture a full spread of food porn. Look for those pictures in her next trip report (hopefully).

    We had planned to watch the fireworks from the Beach Club beach but it was thunder storming when we left the restaurant so we explored* the Yacht club instead. Then it was back to the room for jammies and bed time stories before we hit the hay after a looong day. As I type this report I can hear the soft snoring of my 3 little monkeys. The monkey typing this report isn't far behind for that trip to the land of nod so I will end this report here.

    For those of you with trips coming up I am happy to say that all is well in here at the resort. The pool water was wet, the Air conditioning was cold and the decor in the refurbished rooms was lovely. You really get the feel of the room evoking a clean modern feel. No more tired Beach Club rooms! I am also happy to say that ALL of the CM's that we encountered at the resort were lovely and had helpful positive attitudes**. Special thanks go out to Bell services for being so accommodating and the concierge staff who checked us in.

    Until later....

    ~NM


    *terrorized
    ** Tomorrow is another day...

    *******************************************************

    After our amazing dinner at bluezoo, we slugged through the rain from the Dolphin to the Yacht Club.

    Once inside, I made my first visit, after 5 trips, to Fittings & Fairings, the Yacht Club gift shop.





    Of course, I had to snap lots of pictures for research purposes. For some reason, a lot of those are blurry. Wine at dinner???

    I did get some pictures of Yacht Club specific merchandise that are good enough for me to post in the Gift Shop post I have in the Beach and Yacht Club Info and Questions page, and on the last morning of my trip, I was able to snap these pictures of the closed shop.











    When my monkeys were done browsing, we were in the lobby and found this lamp, and knew we had to take a picture. I love this one of the 4 of us from the trip!




    We had heard that there was some work being done on a sample room at the Yacht Club for the upcoming refurb so when we saw a CM in the hallway, we asked if he could tell us where the room was and he did.

    Like we did last year, we went to check it out!

    Here is the current décor at the Yacht Club.










    Here is the sample they have put together.










    I have to say, “Meh!”

    And plead to the powers that be to seriously reconsider the light, bland rug in the hallways.

    Those who followed along with “What Happens at the Beach Club…” trip report from August 2014 may remember this photo, taken when we stumbled across the BC sample room:






    Apparently, they had this piece of decoration left over that did not make it into the Beach Club renovation, but here is the Floor Model in all its glory at the Yacht Club.





    Think this will be part of the new design scheme?



    “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”


    We took the elevator down a couple of flights and found this desk and chair unoccupied, but not for long!







    NinjaMom then declared it was time for chair races, but after one lap, we thought it wise to head back to our room and pack it in for the evening.



    (Chim Chim, part of the pit crew for Speed-Dee Racer)


    We walked by Stormalong Bay and tried to see if we could sneak our way into the Spa and Health Club








    We had a mission to perform once we were in our room- one of the posters to our FAQ board had asked if we knew the brand of daybed in the room. We found this label, snapped a picture and posted it. Another poster to our thread provided additional information about the FlexSteel company, proving once again that the Beach & Yacht Club Info thread truly does rock!





    We all slipped off to sleep, looking forward to our first full day at the resort, dreaming about tomorrow’s adventures.

    Next Up: Bus Stop Babe
     
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