As promised the happiest place on earth, Walt Disney Resort dazzles yet again, by forging a one-of-a-kind Disney experience with Disney Springs. Not only children but accompanying adults can savor their downtime with upscale dining and waterfront bars with live music.
Bask in southern sunshine while noshing on soul food staples at Celebrity Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen. Transcend into umami-land with sushi maestro Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s striking space – Morimoto Asia including an intimate 14 seat sushi bar and forbidden lounge. Indulge in Food Network’s triple D Chef Guy Fieri’s larger than life dishes while tapping to Hollywood tunes at Planet Hollywood’s Observatory.
Need a break from parental duty? Make reservations at Orlando’s hottest lounge and steakhouse – STK, boasts a stunning space including an indoor/outdoor wraparound roof-top bar.
For all you dauntless epicureans aching to dabble their nimble fingers into an interactive culinary experience, Disney Springs Italian restaurant Portobello has just the fix for you. Aside from serving tantalizing Tuscan delights and wine-paired dinners, James Beard Award winner Chef Tony Mantuano hosts cooking classes including how to make his signature finger-licking Ravioli. Joining the ravioli expert panel were Chefs Steven Richard and Justin Plank and we had front row seats.
Not only was an elaborate cooking set-up orchestrated for our Ravioli class. In keeping with the infamous Italian spirit, our cooking class (a mere $55) included a decadent three-course meal paired with free flowing wine. First Course: Antipasti Platter with prosciutto, sopressata, parmigiano, pecorino, bocconcini, house made pickled vegetables & olives; Fresh Baked Bread with roasted garlic & private label Olive Oil; White Pie with cheese and herbs. Entree: Pasta Bolognese with slow cooked beef and pork sauce. Dessert: Cannoli with mascarpone & ricotta filled pastry shells.
We skipped away with our bellies satiated, inspired to tackle our newly acquired fresh pasta making skills at home. An article that merit’s its own space. Stay tuned…
Paddlefish – a sophisticated seafood-centered restaurant with an ambiance and culinary creations to match by the brilliant Executive Chef Boor (A+ graduate of the hard knocks school and ex-navy). In its former life, known as Fulton’s Crab House, today Paddlefish has successfully reinvented itself into a swanky and luxurious steamboat swaggering three decks, including a rooftop deck, featuring ingenious cocktails, craft beers and over 175 Old and New World wines.
Welcome aboard! I present our sublime voyage through the skillful lenses of The Bokeh Studio.
Little prepared us for the aesthetically striking cocktails with a winning combination of bold flavors to match. Not Everyone’s Margarita, an eye candy for our parched souls, showcased both smoky and sweet flavors, stimulating the appetite while qunching our thirst. Nuestra Soledad Mezcal, El Destilador Blanco, jalapeño, Creme de Mure, house sour.
A meal in itself, this cocktail deserves its own moniker. Until then order up “The Bloody Mary” Orlando. King crab, jumbo shrimp, candied Neuske bacon.
Dipped in sweet chili aioli, splashed with freshly charred lemon juice, Chef Boor’s Lobster Corn Dog is our version of an epicurean-centric fair grounds delicacy, we would gladly stand hours in line for, even in Florida’s blistering heat. I am even willing to put up a fight over these decadent lobster corn dogs with my children.
A Hawaiian transplant that has found its way in mainstream America with a plethora of versions. Chef Boor’s revitalizing rendition of Ahi Poke with Sweet black soy, yuzu, avocado, radish, Asian pickle would even have President Barack Obama (Hawaii born) proudly serve this quintessential Hawaiian dish at his state dinners.
Are you drooling yet?
Handsome hunks of sweet Maine lobster meat, dressed ever-so-lightly, nestled in a buttered roll, where the first and last bite reminds you of cool, salty ocean breeze whispering through your hair with a glass of effervescent Chenin from Loire or 007’s Bollinger – that’s Lobster Roll the Paddlefish way! Did I mention a whooping whole 1 1/4 pound Maine lobster?
Elevating the humble Catfish to new heights – with blue cornmeal, edamame-smoked bacon succotash, creole mustard, pickled watermelon, Chef Boor’s sophisticated version deserves the title of the finest Catfish in Florida. Period!
Non-seafood eaters or vegetarians have reasons to rejoice too. Both the non-seafood dishes we tried were meticulously prepared with paramount attention to flavors – Fried Green Tomatoes and “The Burger”. Drum roll!
With only one belly to spare, we can’t wait to return with our family and friends to share Paddlefish’s specialty made-to-order Seafood Boils. Heck if we are feeling frisky, we might even build our own seafood boil.
A mountain of flavors– Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart – Bourbon ganache, candied bacon, sea salt, one we are happy to tackle 24/7 any day of the week.
Whether you are a pescatarin, omnivorous, or vegetarian; tourist or local Orlando resident; there are plentiful delicious reasons to explore and expand your horizon in Disney Springs – where every day is a party!
Don’t take our word for it – Call (407) 934-2628 – your next drool-worthy adventure is only a phone call away.
Until next time, have a delicious day!!