Kingdom Magic Vacations

Call Toll-Free
866-972-6244

Tag Archives: Disney’s BoardWalk

Flying Fish

At Flying Fish, you’re welcomed with a stylish and sophisticated ambiance that makes you feel like you’re dining on a classic Atlantic boardwalk. From all over the restaurant, you have a view of the open kitchen where chefs use the freshest and premium sustainable seafood.

Dinner is the only meal served at Flying Fish – taking reservations from 5:00pm – 9:30pm

The chefs at Flying Fish create specialties nightly that you’ll be sure to enjoy. Blue crab bisque, plancha-seared Hokkaido scallops, and wagyu filet mignon are just a few options you’ll have a tough time choosing between. Peruse the handpicked wine and cocktail list designed to complement every meal. Be sure to save room for dessert to end your meal with a seasonal sweet treat!

Chef’s Tasting Wine Dinner
A flavorful and exciting 5-course prix fixe menu is available with this dining option. Sit right at the chef’s counter with a front row view of the open kitchen. Your dishes are prepared in front of you with a perfectly paired wine to complement each course. While enjoying your dinner, you have an exclusive chance to talk to – and learn from – the chef!

Flying Fish is located on Disney’s BoardWalk and you can get there by bus or boat. After your dinner, head to Atlantic Dance Hall where you can dance the night away at this nightclub that plays songs from the ’80s, ’90s, and today. If dancing all night isn’t your thing, maybe a dueling piano bar is! Head to Jellyrolls to enjoy sing-alongs and give the two piano maestros your requests! To enjoy Atlantic Dance Hall and Jellyrolls, guests have to be 21 and older.

New Character Dining Experience, Bon Voyage Breakfast to Debut April 2 at Trattoria al Forno

bvt0209384fi

Recently, I shared that an all-new character dining experience will be coming to Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk. Today, we’re excited to share guests who choose to enjoy the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno will have the opportunity to meet beloved Disney characters including Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric.

Breakfast will begin with your choice of a mixed berry parfait or fresh fruit salad and a frying pan of pastries featuring braided breakfast bread and clam shell pastries.

tratorria


“Shipwreck al Forno”
Calzone with scrambled Eggs, Soppressata, Bacon, Sausage,
Blend of Cheeses and Sunday Gravy“Golden Frittata”
Prosciutto di Parma, Piquillo Peppers, Green Onion,
Pecorino Romano and Roasted Potatoes

“Tangled Eggs”
Tomato & Basil Scrambled Eggs,
Fresh Mozzarella, Sunday Gravy and Roasted Potatoes

“Two Eggs Poached Under Water”
House-made Fennel sausage, Parmesan, and Sunday Gravy
over Golden Polenta and Toasted Ciabatta

“Tower of Pancakes”
Seasonal Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon or Sausage

“Royal Breakfast”
Oak-Grilled Steak, Cheesy Egg Torte, Asparagus,
Crispy Onions and Roasted Potatoes

“Swimmers di ‘light’”
Smoked Salmon Egg White Omelet with Spinach, Mushrooms,
Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Roasted potatoes

Kids will enjoy their choice of a Mickey Pancake, Mickey Waffle or a “Little Royal Breakfast,” which will feature an egg, bacon and toast. Breakfast will also include your choice of non-alcoholic beverage such as coffee, tea juice, milk and soft drinks. Mimosas, a Peach Bellini, cappuccino, press pot coffee and more will be available as an additional charge.

The character dining experience will cost $34 for adults, $20 for children. Please note: Disney Characters join guests for breakfast only. Character appearances are subject to change.

Reservations are now open for dates beginning April 2, and can be made by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner.

Catch Your First Look Inside AbracadaBar at Disney’s BoardWalk

We’re happy to share with you the first look inside AbracadaBar, a new cocktail lounge that will soon open for business at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort.

IMG_9013

When it comes to describing this new location, “magic” is key. As the story goes, this little lounge was a former stomping ground for the famous magicians, boardwalk illusionists, and lovely magician’s assistants of the Golden Age. After a show, prestidigitators would gather to “conjure” up new cocktails, swap magic tips and tricks, and stay up all night attempting to “out-charm” each other with their extraordinary illusions. According to BoardWalk lore, it was on just such an evening that every single magician in the lounge vanished into thin air, and was never seen again …

abraca-bar1

Now, after sitting vacant for nearly seventy years, the secret magician’s lounge is now back in the spotlight and making its world debut as “AbracadaBar.”

Once inside, guests will get a special peek at the sophisticated social club of some of the most famous illusionists of the 20th century. While it’s rumored that the magicians who frequented the lounge vanished without a trace decades ago, their magic still remains strongly intact, and can be seen, heard, and savored in the bar’s signature cocktails. From its enchanted magic show posters and mystifying mirrors, to vintage props and tricks left behind years ago, AbracadaBar promises to be just as surprising and magical as its name suggests.

Flying Fish: New Name, New Chef, New Cocktail Lounge Next Door

Opening is set for late summer for Flying Fish restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk – yes, “Cafe” goes away as part of the name, and diners will be welcomed to a sophisticated, interior that still pays homage to the golden era of seaside boardwalks.

CTD295308

Chef Tim Majoras, who was has been on the Flying Fish team since 2011, takes the helm in the kitchen, and we met with him and some of his team at Disney’s Flavor Lab to see what’s cooking for the new menu. It’s still in the works, but we got a taste of his take on a starter of seared yellow fin tuna served with compressed watermelon (with a hint of Tahitian lime oil and fresh limes), paper-thin avocado slices, crisp radishes, pickled daikon and a small edible viola flower on top. A drizzle of blood orange oil is all it needs.

YTW207451

Sustainable fish will be the star of the new menu, and Majoras’ new Fruits of the Sea appetizer features rock shrimp and clams from Florida, grouper cheek, mussels, a splash of Brandy and a rich lobster stock. The seafood is served over a generous dollop of velvety celery root puree with adds a depth of flavor to the dish. Simple flavors, a deft touch in the kitchen.

Stig Jacobsen, general manager and sommelier at Flying Fish, says he is happy with expanded space for wine storage and is “finding gems” for a more in-depth wine list.

FFR483609

The interior features an all-new kitchen and dining room (with expanded space for private dining events), sparkling architectural accents, like golden-winged room panels and an impressive chandelier that mimics a school of flying fish swimming overhead. Next door, the new AbracadaBar lounge opens, taking the spot formerly occupied by the candy and ice-cream shop.

The new “curious cocktail lounge” combines the Golden Age of Magic with the magic of Disneystorytelling, so look for whimsy in the design from the Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) team, who create stories in true Disney fashion. According to WDI, the lounge was once a secret stomping ground for famous touring magicians, local boardwalk illusionists and the loveliest magician’s assistants of the day. After every magic show, these prestidigitators would gather at the bar, where they’d conjure up new cocktails, swap magic tips and tricks, and often stay up all night attempting to “out-charm” each other with their extraordinary illusions.

According to BoardWalk lore, it was on just such an evening that every single magician in the lounge vanished into thin air, never seen again… And after sitting vacant for nearly 70 years, the secret magician’s lounge is now back in the spotlight.

ABL309824

AbracadaBar guests will get a special peek into the sophisticated social club, and while it’s rumored that the magicians who frequented the lounge vanished without a trace decades ago, their magic still remains strongly intact, and can be seen, heard, and even savored in the bar’s signature cocktails. From its enchanted magic show posters and mystifying mirrors to vintage props and tricks left behind years ago, AbracadaBar promises to be just as surprising and magical as its name suggests.

We’ll let you know opening dates and share menus soon.


Ample Hills Creamery Opening at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas This Spring

A re-imagined take on the turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor is set to open this spring at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas. Ample Hills Creamery, a Brooklyn-based company known for their creative approach to all things ice cream, will open its first location outside of New York City.

BDADW4895786

The new creamery will be located on Disney’s BoardWalk, overlooking Crescent Lake—a short walk from Epcot and a relaxing boat ride from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests will be able to peek into the promenade-facing kitchen windows, where ice cream and mix-ins will be handcrafted the old-fashioned way.

Inside, guests can sample as many flavors as they’d like, including signature creations like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Coffee Toffee Coffee, Malty Salty Pretzel Punch, Cotton Candy, and more. They’re even working on a special one-of-a-kind flavor developed exclusively for Walt Disney World Resort.


What’s New in Walt Disney World Resort Dining: 16 for 2016

2015 was full of culinary news for Walt Disney World Resort, and 2016 promises to be equally exciting, especially at Disney Springs. From new restaurants to more fun with Disney characters, here’s a look ahead at 2016.

1. Sunday brunches are the hot weekend ticket. Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a new one, and Brunch at the Top debuts February 7 at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

WDDTY580680-613x408

2. Get over to the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom Park and try a rice noodle bowl, sustainable local farm-raised shrimp in chili-garlic sauce, or the Kungaloosh!, an African-inspired chocolate cake with caramelized bananas with cashew-caramel ice cream. This is an all-new menu for the Disney chefs.

3. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival expands to 90 days, March 2 to May 30 (from 75 days last year). Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings.

WDDTY580684-613x363

4. Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring foods from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner. (“Tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling).

5. Adjacent to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge will feature hand-crafted cocktails using the art of mixology with African, Asian and South American flavors, beers and wines from those regions, and a selection of specialty non-alcoholic beverages in addition to small bites.

6. Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk will temporarily close the end of January, then reopen in the fall with a whole new look – and while the kitchen is working on new menu items, Chef Tim Keating promises that potato-wrapped snapper and the popular New York strip steak will be back. Stay tuned for details.

WDDTY580682-613x408

7. Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’’s Hollywood Studios debuted in 2015, but guests can look forward to new themes coming in 2016, including Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine and Minnie’s Halloween Dine.

WDDTY580681-613x409

8. Let’s start 2016 with a taste of the chocolate at The Ganachery at Disney Springs – the proprietary blend of chocolate and cream made right in the shop is not to be missed. The lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.

9. Coming to Disney Springs in early 2016 is STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building, including a main level and a rooftop-dining area with incredible views of Disney Springs.

10. Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, will serve up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies at Disney Springs in 2016. Their innovative Cupcake ATM will satisfy sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.

11. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza also comes to Disney Springs in 2016, a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant will feature an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh toppings.

WDDTY580683-613x934

12. Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Art Smith at Disney Springs when it opens in Summer 2016. Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, will feature farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s.

RBayless_Chef_HiRes-613x677

13. Also opening in Summer 2016 at Disney Springs, Frontera Fresco by Chef Rick Bayless will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend. The restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.

14. Look for a re-imagined Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs as the flagship venue is transformed into a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.

15. Also at Disney Springs, new Disney quick-service locations and kiosks will be blooming this spring. Perfect for a quick bite.

16. Two new Disney cookbooks for 2016: a new Delicious Disney: Sweet Treats book due out in the fall, and one celebrating both the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (dates still TBD for the food & wine fest when the book will debut).


Trattoria al Forno Opens At Walt Disney World

It’s opening day for the newest Walt Disney World Resort restaurant, Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s BoardWalk.

TFG707023-600x380

With four distinct dining areas, authentic Italian cuisine and top-notch Italian wines, the Trattoria al Forno story was inspired by the authentic Italian menu and the rich storytelling of the turn-of-the-century boardwalk setting.

TFG707019-600x391
TFG707018-600x399
TFG707021-600x402
TFL707048-613x393

Trattoria al Forno will be open 7:30 – 11 a.m. for breakfast, 5 – 10 p.m. for dinner.

TFG707022-600x408
TFG707011-600x408
TFG707017-600x399
TFG707013-600x399
TFG707012-600x399

Trattoria al Forno accepts the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner.


Disney Shares A Sneek Peak at Trattoria al Forno, New Restaurant for Disney’s BoardWalk

With the grand opening planned for December, Disney has shared the first details for Trattoria al Forno, the new restaurant for Disney’s BoardWalk located at Walt Disney World Resort.

1000_BoardWalk_Exterior_Magic_Hour_1-1000x563

A “trattoria” is an Italian restaurant serving simple food, and “al forno” is Italian for “food baked in an oven,” and this new spot will showcase Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, cavatelli (small dumpling-shaped pasta) and a variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens. Neopolitan pizzas, by the way, are pizzas in the classic style of Naples, Italy, with simple tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.

A beautiful Italian flywheel slicer slices paper-thin Italian meats, served with a variety of olives and caponata. Satisfying pastas, velvety seasonal risottos and fresh seafood and vegetables will celebrate the delectable diversity of Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and recipes from Italy’s various regions.

Italy is just half the size of Texas but has wonderfully diverse cuisine, and Trattoria al Forno will showcase dishes from Italy’s various regions – for instance, braised beef Bolognese with house-made cavatelli from Bologna, semolina tagliatelli carbonara from Latium (more specifically Rome), pork chop alla Milanese named after the city of Milano. And you’ll find classic Italian favorites: chicken breast alla Parmagiana with tagliatelle pasta; shrimp with garlic, capers and anchovy butter with polenta; whole roasted fish with roasted vegetables; baked lasagna; grilled steak; slow-cooked lamb shank with polenta; and eggplant rollatini.

fpataf071514-613x362 (1)

A seasonal risotto will always be on the menu, and vegetarians will appreciate the ruffled campanelle pasta with green beans, roasted potatoes and Genovese pesto.

Add a classic Italian dessert with an after-dinner cappuccino for a perfect ending. Look for tiramisù, lemon panna cotta with almond crunch and berries, gelatos, and the signature bomboloni (Italian donut holes) with dark chocolate and vanilla gelato.

Wines will be 100 percent Italian from historic wine regions including Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont, with over 60 offerings by the bottle and more than 25 wines by the glass – Chiantis, Super Tuscans and fine Italian white wines such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. Signature cocktails and Italian beers and sodas round out the drink menu, with a signature-blend Italian coffee roasted just for Trattoria al forno.

We can’t wait to share more information and photos, stay tuned. Reservations will be accepted in several weeks – we’ll be sure to let you know the date


Duffy the Disney Bear Adds International Flavor to His Wardrobe at Disney Parks

Duffy the Disney Bear

The story of Duffy the Disney Bear has him exploring the world with Mickey Mouse. On July 1, Duffy adds a new shirt to his international wardrobe with the release of a tee-shirt for a 17-inch bear that salutes Brazil. I’ve been a fan of Brazilian music for years (especially the jazz and bossa nova greats from the mid 1960s); and the photographer-side of me would love to visit one day. I asked Denise Edelmaier, product developer for Duffy, why Brazil was selected for Duffy’s newest shirt.

“We saw success with the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day shirts, so we decided to introduce a shirt for a country not represented in World Showcase at Epcot,” explained Denise. “We selected Brazil as we hope our Brazilian guests who are visiting Walt Disney World Resort this summer will discover the happiness that Duffy brings.”

Monty Maldovan, long time artist and designer for Duffy’s outfits, created the artwork for the shirt. There are limited quantities of the shirt being added to existing 17-inch bears. Retail for this item will be $30.00 (plus tax), and it will be released in the following locations – Disney’s Traders at Epcot; World of Disney and Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney MarketplaceDisneyQuest at Downtown Disney West Side; and the Emporium in Magic Kingdom Park.

Duffy dressed for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

In keeping with the international theme, I’m happy to share a first look at the upcoming 12-inch bear for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, the event returns to Florida from September 28 through November 12. Interestingly, the 2011 festival bear was the second most popular item sold last year (with the cookbook taking first place). This year’s bear has a feature I love – a bow tie!

Chef Duffy Limited Edition Pin

Guests attending the festival this year will also find Chef Duffy on a limited edition pin. The pin has an edition size of 4,000 and will be released at Epcot at the start of the festival. Jeanne Lewis, developer for Event Pins, also shared with me a look at two holiday pins coming this year. One pin will be released at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party while the other is coming to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko ‘Olina, Hawai’i in late 2012.

 

First Look at 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

I’m counting down the days until the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival arrives. This festival has become one of my favorite things to do in the fall at Walt Disney World Resort. I recently gave you a look at Duffy The Disney Bear’s new chef outfit for this year, so I thought you may enjoy seeing other new merchandise we are “cooking.” I visited with Lindsay Voigt, Product Developer for Event Merchandise, who shared some of her favorite items.

At first glance, I thought the image above was a photograph. It’s not – it’s a painting created by the talented artist Noah, and it will serve as the main “Signature” artwork for merchandise at this year’s festival. You may recall Noah’s artwork from the recent “Storytellers” collection at Disney California Adventure park (which I enjoy even more now after recently visiting Buena Vista Street). Lindsay said she will be using this artwork on items such as a coffee mug, cutting board, trivet, spoon rest, coasters and more.

drinkware items

Lindsay also shared with me two drinkware items – a wine glass with the festival logo and a fun light-up tumbler.

Food & Wine Festival oven mitt and pot holder

In addition to Noah’s “Signature” artwork, there will be a new program called “Sketch” that uses colors found on the oven mitt and pot holder shown above. That program will have an apron, drinkware, towels and dishes.

This year we will also have a limited edition Vinylmation figure featuring Tony from Disney’s animated classic“Lady and the Tramp.” This 3-inch figure has an edition size of 2,500 and was designed by artist Billy Davis.

Food & Wine Festival  limited edition pins

A selection of limited edition pins will return this year to the festival. The adorable Chip and Dale pin will serve as the main logo pin found at locations throughout Epcot. We are also releasing a Minnie Mouse pin for Disney Vacation Club members, while Annual Passholders will find the Figment pin shown above. I’m thinking my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Gary Buchanan will love the limited edition pin with Mickey Mouse in the cranberry bog.

Look for these items and more at the Festival Center and at select locations in Epcot when this annual event returns on September 28.

Blues Traveler, Smash Mouth and More Set for ‘Eat to the Beat’ Concert Series This Fall at Epcot

Even though summer is rapidly approaching us in Florida, we are already starting to plan for fall.

Eat to the Beat Concert series at Epcot

We are excited to announce this year’s lineup for the “Eat to the Beat” Concert Series at the 17th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (talent/dates subject to change):

  • 9/28-9/30: Night Ranger
  • 10/1-10/3: Sugar Ray
  • 10/4- 10/7: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • 10/8-10/10: Boyz II Men
  • 10/11-10/12: Smash Mouth
  • 10/13-10/14: Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice”
  • 10/15-10/17: Air Supply
  • 10/18-10/19: Gin Blossoms
  • 10/20-10/21: Survivor
  • 10/22-10/23: Hanson
  • 10/24-10/25: The Pointer Sisters
  • 10/26-10/28: Sister Hazel
  • 10/29-10/31: Billy Ocean
  • 11/1-11/2: 38 Special
  • 11/3-11/4: Howard Jones LIVE
  • 11/5-11/6: Blues Traveler
  • 11/7-11/8: Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX
  • 11/9-11/12: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will run from Sept. 28-Nov. 12, 2012.

What’s New for the 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

This just in: the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival was named by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s top food and wine festivals. Chefs are cooking up fantastic new experiences for this year’s fest, which open September 28 and runs for a record 46 days through November 12.

There’s no better setting for noshing, sipping and wandering than Epcot’s World Showcase, with a one-of-a-kind backdrop of architectural icons from around the globe.

Fresh for 2012:

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

  • Two new festival marketplaces: TERRA Marketplace offers vegan menu items, including Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese. The FLORIDA Marketplace introduces fresh twists on regional flavors. There are more than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces in all.
  • Feel like a VIP with Marketplace Chef Tours. Each Wednesday, festival chefs host a walking-and-tasting tour around World Showcase with stops at several international marketplaces. You get to taste five marketplace dishes and five beverage items, like beer, wine and cocktails – and learn a few culinary secrets.Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

 

  • More kid-friendly tastes. Kids of all ages can try inventive new sips during the family’s marketplace dine-around. Pair with yummy bites like beef empanadas and cheese fondue (new this year).
  • Don’t miss (free) Eat to the Beat! Check out pop acts like Smash Mouth (October 11-12) and Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice” (October 13-14). With 18 different bands, look for Blues Traveler (November 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX (November 7-8). Night Ranger kicks off the concert series September 28-30, and other returning fan favorites include Boyz II Men, The Pointer Sisters, Sister Hazel and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
  • Back for an encore: look for HGTV designers, celeb chefs, culinary demos and wine seminars, and special culinary programs – more than 270 chefs are showing off for the festival. And, yes, the fab Party for the Senses returns October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3.

 

 


A Taste of the Chef’s Menu at CoraNation Room at Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Walt Disney World Resort

What a treat to slip into the private back room at Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney’s BoardWalk and spend a few hours sampling delectable bites from Chef Dee Foundoukis and her team, who run the restaurant when Chef Cat Cora can’t be there.

Kouzzina by Cat Cora

The Chef’s Menu at CoraNation Room is relatively new, with five courses of Greek-inspired tastes, which you can pair with wines from Cat’s own label for an extra-special treat. “This kind of evening lets us stretch our culinary muscles,” says Chef Dee. “We create dishes from what is freshest at the market each week.”

Chef Dee is a first-generation American, with parents from Greece – her 106-year-old grandfather still tends to his bees in Greece. “My mother taught me how to cook,” says Dee. “Her influences are in all my dishes.”

Up to 24 guests can dine in the CoraNation Room for just one seating on Friday or Saturday nights – and you can choose a table for two, or join a group. “We find that guests enjoy meeting new friends over the meal,” says Chef Dee. “It’s a communal experience.”

appetizers at Kouzzina

With a well-trained staff and passionate chefs, we started our evening with a single, crisp English pea with a bite of poached lobster, served with an espresso cup of chilled pea soup – perfect for sipping. On the same plate, cherry-glazed slices of duck were fanned over leek stifado, the Greek word for stew. Flat-out superb for a starter.

Salad course at Kouzzina

The salad was a work of art – baby lettuce from The Land Pavilion at Epcot with paper-thin slices of radish, smoked baby beets and a bite-size sphere of fennel-dusted goat cheese. The delicate bowl was crisp and edible, light-as-air shredded wheat wrapping the tender lettuce, with a bracing Banyuls-chive vinaigrette. Don’t fill up on the bread – it’s tempting, with the rich Greek olive oils and rich green and black olives.

chilled watermelon mavrodaphne, a popular Greek red wine

The “palate refresher,” a shot of chilled watermelon mavrodaphne, a popular Greek red wine, topped with a goat cheese-yogurt foam, prepared us for the generous main course of oak-grilled peppered lavender lamb loin and pan-fried red grouper from Florida with a decadent, golden Kalamata olive oil hollandaise.

dessert at Kouzzina

The finale was a quartet of sweets: crispy phyllo with fig honey and farmer’s cheese; phoenika (a Greek honey-dipped spice cookie) with chocolate tahini; Greek yogurt panna cotta with berries, and our favorite, a grapefruit ice with slices of zatar-spiced grapefruit and a delicious sprig of sugary, oven-roasted thyme.

If your preference is vegetarian, or if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, just let the staff know, says manager Vincent Tai. “We’re happy to accommodate,” he says.

Cost is $65 (plus tax and gratuity), $35 for wine pairing.

Have you tried the Chef’s Menu? Share your favorite tastes!

MENU