First a Little Pomp & Circumstance,then a Whole Lot of Disney Dining! COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by jabead, May 12, 2012.

  1. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2000
    :wave: Hello everyone! On May 13th (which also happens to be Mother's Day) my oldest child will be graduating from college. :cool1: To celebrate this milestone, I am taking her on a "girls only" trip to one of our favorite places...Disney World, of course. ;) Joining our celebration trip will be her younger sister, who just successfully completed her first year of college. Our party of 3 will be spending 10 nights at my favorite Disney resort, the Boardwalk (but on the villa side this time, which we haven't done for several years). But more importantly, here is where we will be dining...

    MAY 15

    An Explanation of our Ratings System

    Dinner at Il Mulino - COMPLETE

    MAY 16

    Breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery - COMPLETE

    Lunch at Le Cellier - Part I - COMPLETE

    Lunch at Le Cellier - Part II - COMPLETE

    Late Afternoon at the Rose & Crown Pub - COMPLETE

    Dinner at bluezoo -COMPLETE

    MAY 17

    Breakfast at Wolfgang Puck Express - COMPLETE

    Lunch at Downtown Disney AMC Theatre (Fork & Screen) - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Raglan Road

    MAY 18

    Breakfast at Sleepy Hollow - COMPLETE

    Tea for Two (+1) at the Garden View Lounge - COMPLETE

    Dinner at California Grill - Part I - COMPLETE

    Dinner at California Grill - Part II - COMPLETE

    MAY 19

    Breakfast from Main Street Bakery - COMPLETE

    Lunch at Tutto Italia - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Bistro de Paris - COMPLETE

    MAY 20

    Skipped Breakfast

    Lunch at Yak & Yeti - COMPLETE

    DD's Dinner at Kouzzina - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse Part I - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse Part II - COMPLETE

    MAY 21

    Breakfast Snack at Sunshine Seasons - COMPLETE

    San Angel Inn: A Retrospective - COMPLETE

    Lunch at San Angel Inn - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Jiko: The Cooking Place - Part I - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Jiko: The Cooking Place - Part II - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Jiko: The Never-Ending Saga - Part III - COMPLETE

    MAY 22

    Skipped Breakfast

    Lunch at Beaches & Cream - COMPLETE

    Pool Time with Frozen Drinks - COMPLETE

    Dinner on the Boardwalk - Part I (My Expectations)- COMPLETE

    Dinner from the Boardwalk - Part II (The Reality)- COMPLETE

    MAY 23

    Breakfast at Kona Cafe - COMPLETE

    Skipped Lunch :sad1:

    Dinner at Artist Point - Part I - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Artist Point - Part II- COMPLETE

    Dinner at Artist Point - Part III (The Finale) - COMPLETE

    MAY 24

    Skipped Breakfast

    Lunch #1 at Tutto Gusto - COMPLETE

    Via Napoli - The Pre-Dining Review - COMPLETE

    Lunch #2 at Via Napoli - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Narcoossee's - Part I - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Narcoossee's - Part II - COMPLETE

    Dinner at Narcoossee's - The Sweet & Magical Finale - COMPLETE

    MAY 25

    Breakfast at Kouzzina - Part I - COMPLETE

    Breakfast at Kouzzina - Part II (plus Goodbye pics from the Boardwalk) - COMPLETE


    Our Misc. Favorites - Part I

    Our Misc. Favorites - Part II

    Our Favorite Appetizers

    Our Favorite Entrees

    Our Favorite Desserts

    Our 2nd Favorite Lunch

    Our Favorite Lunch

    Our 2nd Favorite Dinner

    Our Favorite Dinner & Meal of the Trip! :thumbsup2

    MY GRAND FINALE - Final Chapter of My Dining Report

    :eek: Wow, I think I gained 5 lbs. just thinking about all the food we are going to be eating! :lmao:
    So anyway.....please check back here later this month and join our graduation celebration. :thumbsup2
  2. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 2008
    Yay! I'm so excited for your reviews. All I can say about your restaurant list is :worship:

    You're hitting several of our favorite places - Le Cellier lunch, Raglan Road, WPE, Yak & Yeti, Yachtsman, Jiko, Beaches and Cream, Flying Fish, Kona breakfast, Artist Point, Tutto Gusto, Via Napoli, and Kouzzina breakfast.

    I'm also particularly interested in your comments about Il Mulino, bluezoo, California Grill, Tutto Italia, Bistro de Paris, San Angel Inn, and Narcoossee's. I haven't tried San Angel Inn (or Tutto Italia since it was refurbished), and the other restaurants are all places I'm interested in returning to.

    Have fun on your girls trip! :)
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  4. auntfrannie

    auntfrannie DIS Veteran

    Aug 30, 2001
    I always enjoy your reviews! Looking forward to reading all about your fabulous experiences!
  5. ljsinct

    ljsinct Earning My Ears

    May 1, 2012
    Looking forward to reading your reviews!
  6. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2010
    I wanna hear all about it!! So excited for you for a girls trip! Enjoy your 10 days! :goodvibes

    And I want to hear about the BWV - we'll be there in less than 3 months. :thumbsup2
  7. MickeyNicki

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

    Sep 22, 2005
    Count me in!
  8. vettegirl

    vettegirl Dole Whip Queen Moderator

    Oct 16, 2007
    Looking forward to hearing all about it! Enjoy :)
  9. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

    Aug 12, 2003
    So excited for you! Congrats on your DD's graduation, what better way to celebrate than a trip to WDW. My DD is graduating from HS next month and heading off to her university of choice in late August, and my DS is successfully completing his first year of HS. I know the time flies by in the blink of an eye, and I will be in your shoes in a short 4 years!

    I can't wait to read your reviews! So jealous about Bistro. We had it on our lineup, but our ADR got cancelled by Disney because of the upcoming rehab. Oh, well, next time for us!

    Have fun and safe travels!
  10. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice A Disboards original...

    Aug 20, 1999
    That sounds like a wonderful plan and I can't wait to read your reviews. :)

    Hope you and your girls have a ball! pixiedust:
  11. deenbrad

    deenbrad DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2008
    Sounds great!
  12. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2009
    Have great trip and what a wonderful Mother's Day present- a trip to Disney and your daughter's graduation!
  13. gardengirl628

    gardengirl628 Help, help, a Herrible Hoffalump!

    Jan 25, 2009
    Count me in....and congrats to your DD!
  14. Krissalee

    Krissalee DIS Veteran

    Feb 3, 2001
    Yum! Lots of great choices!

    Have a fantastic trip and I can't wait to read all your fabulous reviews.:hippie:
  15. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2000

    :welcome: and thank you to all of you for the warm wishes and kind words! We got through Graduation Day (on Mother's Day) with only a few minor DD forgetting to bring our tickets to the graduation ceremony. :scared1: Luckily DS runs long distance on the high school track team and was able to run to her apartment and back rather quickly to save the day. :thumbsup2 Then just two days later, we were on an Air Tran direct flight from the Central Illinois Regional Airport to Orlando. I mention this only because we were on one of their last flights (their last day of service to/from our local airport was yesterday, June 2). I was so, so very sad when Southwest decided to pull Air Tran out of the smaller markets, like our beloved CIRA. :sad2:

    But I digress, so now moving on to what you are all here for...our 10 days of delicious Disney dining! We had a wonderful trip, filled with great food and lots of mother-daughter(s) bonding moments. :hug: And I'm happy to report that we only had one fight in the 11 days we were together...that has to be a record! :lmao: Also to my surprise, and in case you were wondering, the girls only made one change (see my first post for the change) to my dining plans. Oh, and the best part was that the girls actually helped me with taking notes after our meals, rating our food, and taking pictures. I guess Disney World truly is a magical place! :wizard:

    So, anyway, we returned home on Friday evening, May 25th and on the 27th we hosted a graduation party/cookout for 40+ family and friends. After which, I was ready for another vacation! :rotfl: But instead it was back to the office last week to catch up on the two weeks of work that had piled up on my desk. :eek: I finally had time this weekend to go through the more than 1400 pictures that we took, between the three of us. Yep, you read that right...1400!!! :scared1: But fear not, I plan to only use about 200 - 300 in my dining reviews. :laughing: I just finished downloading these chosen few (or many???) to Photobucket, so I should be starting my reviews very soon. Thank you for your patience and thanks for joining in! :)
  16. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 2008
    Glad to hear it was a good trip! And I'm very impressed that the ADRs practically all remained intact.

    Can't wait for the reviews! :)
  17. gabzee

    gabzee DIS Veteran

    Oct 12, 2008
    I'm in! Your ADR list looks great and I can't wait to hear all about it! :goodvibes Congrats on your daughter's graduation!
  18. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2000

    I know this is the Disney Dining and not the Disney Resort board, but I wanted to address your question and tell you a little about the Boardwalk Villas.

    We had a wonderful 10 night stay in a one-bedroom villa at the Boardwalk. I had debated about whether to again stay in a regular room on the Inn side at the Boardwalk (currently my favorite Disney resort) or spend a little more money for a villa. I can now honestly say that the extra space we had at the villa was worth every penny. Ten nights was the longest we had ever stayed at one hotel, and I'm certain that there would have been many more fights had we been limited to the space of a regular hotel room. I had been concerned about the common complaint that the walking distance from the lobby to the rooms at the Boardwalk Villas could be quite far. When I did the online check-in the only request regarding our room location that could be made was that it was close to transportation. So I check marked this request and hoped for the best. When we arrived we were told our room was #2026 and on the 2nd level, which is the same floor as the lobby. Encouraged by this, we happily began our walk down the hallway to locate our room...but then we walked and walked (with the hallway splitting off in different directions a few times) until we finally found our room at the very end of one of the hallways. Since I had no idea where we were at this point, I decided to reserve judgement until we figured out the lay of the land. Upon entering the room, the first thing we did of course was to check out the view from our balcony...


    The View from the Boardwalk Villas Room# 2026


    Now, I'm sure there are some here that would be less than thrilled to have a room with a direct view of the clown slide at the Boardwalk pool. :lmao: But for me it was actually quite a nice view, much better than the parking lot views I've had at many hotels. After unpacking, our next task was trying to find a shorter route to the Boardwalk. We took the EXIT door right next to our room, walked down one flight of stairs and out the door, where we found ourselves on the walkway to Disney Studios, right next to the pool area...just a short walk away from just about everything. We could walk through the pool area for a short cut to the bus stop or the bakery/walkway to Epcot. We could make the walk over the bridge to the Swan & Dolphin in about 5 minutes, which we did twice for dinners at their restaurants, as well as a couple of times when riding the bus. When returning on the bus from Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney too (I believe), the Boardwalk was the last bus stop but the Swan was the first. So getting off at the Swan was a much faster way back to our room. And of course, being right next to the walkway...walking to Hollywood Studios was a breeze. I would therefore say that in terms of room location and view, we SCORED with this one! So here's to standard view Room# 2026...YOU ROCK! :cool1:

    Ok, now I'm ready to bring on the food...lots of food! :thumbsup2

    NEXT UP: Dinner at Il Mulino
  19. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2000
    Dinner at Il Mulino New York Trattoria

    NOTE: See my Post# 26 for the explanation of our ratings system

    Background: When deciding on our first night dinner, I considered eating at the Flying Fish Cafe right there at our hotel, the Boardwalk. However, with a 6:15 p.m. flight arrival time and the new reservation cancellation policy, I thought it wise not to take a chance on missing our ADR and being charged the $10/pp fee. The good news though is that there are many other dining options available in the area of the Boardwalk/Epcot Resorts which do not follow the new policy. Some of these are the restaurants at the Swan & Dolphin hotels. After discussing these options, we decided to try Il Mulino at the Swan for dinner on our first night. Not only was I looking forward to trying a new restaurant, but I thought it would be a safe bet for us food-wise since we all like Italian food...I am half Italian so I think it's in our blood. ;) An added bonus was that I learned that Il Mulino specializes in food from Italy's Abruzzi region, the area of Italy where my grandparents were from. Three years ago the three of us plus my sister and niece did a Food & Wine Tour in this area and absolutely loved the food.

    Our ADR at Il Mulino was not until 9:15 on a Tuesday night. There weren't many people in the lounge, which you walk through to get to the restaurant. And there were even less people dining in the restaurant, so we were seated immediately upon check-in. A common complaint in the reviews I'd read about Il Mulino was that it was very loud, but this was not an issue since there were only a few other diners and none were seated near our table.

    Here are a few of our pictures of the nearly empty restaurant:



    As you can maybe tell from the pictures, Il Mulino has a pretty, but casual atmosphere with light-colored wood floors and dark colored tables and chairs. A long wall (shown in the picture) with frosted glass windows is the only barrier between the dining room and the kitchen.

    And here are a couple of snapshots showing parts of their current menu:



    Our server soon brought us these...


    Bread Basket and Complimentary Antipasti Dish

    The bread basket contained slices of ordinary Italian bread, but also had focaccia bread with red pepper flakes (which gave it some spiciness). The antipasti was a tasty mixture of roasted eggplant and I think I remember tomatoes and parmesan cheese (my notes just say eggplant). Also on the plate with the eggplant appetizer were a few slices of Italian salami.

    DD1 and I looked over the wine list but couldn't decide which to order so took the easy way out and both had one of these...


    [​IMG] Bellinis

    The Il Mulino Bellinis were a mixture of fresh Peach Puree, Prosecco, Peach schnapps and Bacardi rum and were quite good.

    For an additional appetizer, DD1 and I shared an order of calamari.


    [​IMG] Calamari Fritti - Lightly Fried Calamari with a Spicy Marinara Sauce

    This contained both rings and tentacles, which were lighted breaded and fried. DD2 will not touch any kind of seafood and thought this was especially disgusting when we told her what it was, however DD1 and I enjoyed it very much.

    So far so good...but now for the entrees.

    For her main course, DD1 had one of their pizzas.


    [​IMG] Margherita Pizza with Tomato Sauce, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella

    This was good, however would have been better with a little less garlic. It seemed to overpower all the other ingredients of the pizza.

    I chose a pasta dish, and following the advice of several reviews I've read I just got a 1/2 order.


    [​IMG] 1/2 Order of Manicotti - Baked Pasta stuffed with Ricotta and spinach with a tomato sauce

    Unfortunately this did not taste nearly as good as it looked. Although the cheese and spinach filling was very good, most of the pasta shell was hard and chewy. Very disappointing! And in case you were wondering, a full order of manicotti was $24, while the 1/2 order was $14. For me, this was definitely not even worth $14.

    NOTE: Initially I would have given this a Mr. Smee rating, but after looking at my receipt and seeing that I paid $14 for it I downgraded it to the evil Captain. ARGH!!!

    DD2 also chose to have pasta for her entree, and followed my lead and got a 1/2 order.


    [​IMG] 1/2 Order of Gnocchi Bolognese - Potato Dumplings with Meat Sauce

    This was probably the best of the three entrees, however we would only give it a GOOD rating. The gnocchi were well-cooked (not mushy) and the meat sauce was fine. So yes this dish was good, but we have had better. Oh and this was $15.00 for a 1/2 order, or $24 for a full order.

    So at this point of our meal, our entrees had been rather underwhelming and we were all feeling a little disappointed by our first meal of the trip. I thought we would just cut our losses and call it a night but when our server offered dessert, DD2 asked what kind of gelato they had. DD2 is a big, big fan of gelato ever since she tried it for the first time during our trip to Italy. Not being able to pass up a chance to have gelato, she ordered this...


    [​IMG] Gianduja Gelato (aka Hazelnut and Chocolate)

    This got a solid GOOD rating from DD2.

    So of course, DD1 and I couldn't just sit there and watch her eat her gelato, so we decided to share this dessert...


    [​IMG] Tiramisu - Layered Espresso and Coffee Liqueur infused Lady Fingers coated with Marscapone Cream

    And I'm so glad that we did because it was delicious...the highlight of our meal! So thankfully our meal ended on a high note.

    Oh, I almost forgot this one last thing...


    DD1 with her Complimentary Glass of Limoncello

    We had tried limoncello during our Italy trip and had not liked it. Which brings to mind a funny story. We were all served a small shot-size glass of limoncello at the conclusion of our first dinner in Italy. Being unfamiliar with limoncello, we each picked up our glass and took a small taste-testing sip. Well, except for DD1 that is (she had just finished her first year at college so was familiar with drinking shots :lmao:), who picked up her glass of limoncello and downed it in one gulp! The looks on all our faces (both hers and ours) was priceless...something we will always remember. But anyway, since this was a freebie we decided to give it another to speak. ;) Well, I can now confirm that we are not fans of limoncello, too sweet for DD and too lemony for me. But it was fun to try it again and it brought back a wonderful memory of our first taste of limoncello. :rotfl:

    So our overall rating for this meal was: [​IMG] GOOD, BUT NOTHING SPECIAL

    Though we are glad that we tried it, we probably won't be returning any time soon. There are just too many other options in the Epcot Resort area that we like better.

    NEXT UP: Breakfast from Boardwalk Bakery
  20. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2010
    Thank You, thank you, thank you for sharing that for me!!! I'm so glad that you had a great time!! Excited to read more about your trip. :yay:
  21. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2010
    That was weird.. I must have posted when you were doing your dining review because I didn't see it! Anyway..... the food at Il Mulino looks really tasty. Too bad it wasn't as good as it looks because you had me kinda excited about perhaps ditching my plan to have a casual meal the first night and try a sit down. You do have a few more ADRs that I am looking forward to reading but you are off to a wonderful start.

    How wonderful that you got to celebrate your DD's college grad with a girl trip!! :love: Thanks again for the BW Villas info.

    One question... Are the villas closer to the DHS side of the property or the Epcot side or am I confused and they are somewhere else? :confused3

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