Eating on Prime of the World: A Evaluation of the California Grill

The Walt Disney World (WDW) expertise not solely consists of well-known points of interest, but additionally beautiful eating alternatives. Whether or not the hungry visitor seeks out both the normal theme park meals or a extra elegant eating expertise, WDW gladly supplies a number of alternatives for each. Disney makes use of world class cooks in a lot of their signature eating places and I typically discover myself extra excited for a culinary expertise than for a theme park attraction.

One among our favourite locations to dine up to now resides outdoors of the expansive property generally known as Walt Disney World; the restaurant we take pleasure in most truly sits on the aft facet of their cruise line fleet. They name it Palo. For years, my household and I stay up for our sailings with the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) ships due to all they’ve to supply the sailors, together with tantalizing meals supplied at their premium eating expertise, Palo. Palo affords a very wonderful and distinctive meal full of all of the delectable flavors of Venice, Italy. For a really very long time, we felt that Palo supplied us with what many search — particularly, “essentially the most unforgettable meal at Disney.”

That’s, till a couple of months in the past.

In celebration of his faculty commencement, we provided my son the selection of his celebratory meal. A number of institutions on Disney property circled round his thought course of, together with Jiko, Il Mulino, and The Boathouse. He lastly settled upon eating on the highest ground of the Up to date Resort at their signature eating location, the California Grill. We frequently heard from pals and our favourite vloggers concerning the elegant expertise and the scrumptious meals, each supplied by the California Grill. Some described it as a “should do” when it got here to eating at Disney.


Sitting excessive atop the Up to date Resort, the California Grill supplies traditional delicacies with a California affect and a panoramic view from the 15th ground of the resort. The Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and, in fact, the Magic Kingdom are all seen from this location. On a transparent Florida day, one could even spot Spaceship Earth at Epcot, Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and even Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

When the Up to date Resort opened in 1971, the designers and Imagineers on the time constructed a restaurant on the 15th ground generally known as the Prime of the World Restaurant. This served because the premiere eating and leisure spot in the entire younger WDW Resort, particularly upon contemplating that Magic Kingdom often closed at 6 pm. In spite of everything, what else have been vacationers to try this early within the night when the theme park closed for the night time? Within the 1980s, dinner at Prime of the World Restaurant even included a Broadway-like present.

I typically think about what it will be like eating on prime of the Up to date within the 1970s, picturing brown leisure fits and platform heels. I then assume ahead to the 1980s and picture eating there within the occasions of daring colours and kinds. I think about the tendencies spanning from ripped denims and leather-based to polished outsized blazers. The Prime of the World restaurant ultimately closed in 1993 and re-opened because the California Grill in 1995.


The environment and expertise of the California Grill begins as you step out of the elevator onto the 15th ground. Residents of California acknowledge the significance of wine as a significant agricultural affect, and the surroundings of the California Grill parallels this. One instantly faces the restaurant’s wine cooler as they exit the elevator, a wine cooler that extends a majority of the wall, ground to almost ceiling. Wine is vital to California and the California Grill — our host knowledgeable us that the restaurant boasts practically 1,600 bottles of wine of their show. The wine menu turns into fairly overwhelming; nonetheless, the California Grill makes use of many sommeliers on workers to help in wine selections and pairings.

The texture as one enters the lounge and foremost eating room is trendy, but on the identical time, considerably retro. The view from the home windows borders on breathtaking as you expertise unobstructed views of one of the vital magical locations on Earth. The place settings at every desk remind the diner that they’re about to have a culinary expertise fairly than a easy meal. Diners could view areas of the kitchen which exhibit a flurry of exercise, as virtually to offer a present with their meal. Sushi ready recent begins to tempt the visitor.


The servers began our meal by offering a heat loaf of freshly ready sourdough bread as we chosen our appetizers. Our bread was served with a dish of olive oil seasoned with garlic and sundried tomatoes.

My spouse ordered the Hearts of Romaine Salad which was dressed with an avocado dressing. The salad additionally contained Level Reyes bleu cheese, miso-honey bacon, and Yuzu Kosho-sourdough croutons. Level Reyes is a farmstead cheese firm in Northern California, specializing in hand-made cheeses by artisan craftspeople. The croutons apparently contained a Japanese seasoning paste created from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt which was allowed to ferment. She merely described her salad as recent, crisp and “wonderful” because the flavors blended collectively completely.

The particular spotlight of the appetizer course got here within the type of the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, which sat in a tomato-fennel broth with crispy mushrooms, tiny basil, and Arbequina natural olive oil. The workers prepares the ravioli recent day by day. The Arbequina olive hails initially from Catalonia, Spain and the tree produces a extra delicate, fruity oil than the extra strong forms of olive. Clearly, the olive additionally hails from California as properly. Whereas my household ordered their very own appetizers, they typically requested me to go round my appetizer, the ravioli. We always speak concerning the California Grill goat cheese ravioli each time we talk about not solely our favourite meals at Disney, but additionally as we stroll by means of our native grocer and see both recent or frozen ravioli.

As we accomplished our appetizer course, disappointment stuffed our feelings as we realized our pal, the ravioli, left us and we sat sadly watching an empty bowl wishing somewhat “Disney Magic” would happen and some extra ravioli would seem.


We gathered our feelings and anxiously awaited our entrees. My spouse ordered one of many chef’s well-known flatbreads which frequently function an appetizer for some. Her flatbread included house-made pepperoni, tomato conserva, in addition to a mix of fontina, asiago, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses. The workers topped her flatbread with a basil-oregano pistou, which is a Provencal chilly sauce created from garlic and olive oil. Whereas she really loved her flatbread, her thoughts typically drifted again to the ravioli that graced our desk a couple of moments earlier.


My son and I typically order the tenderloin on the aforementioned Palo, so we each appeared ahead to our entrée, the Oak-fired Filet of Beef, which was served topped with a tamarind barbecue sauce. Tamarind is a leguminous tree indigenous to tropical Africa. It additionally grows in India, Pakistan and plenty of different tropical areas. The tamarind tree produces a pod-like fruit that comprises an edible pulp utilized in varied dishes all over the world. The candy and bitter style of tamarind added a depth of taste to our sauce.

For the steak connoisseur, the highest quality steak requires no sauce. We frequently child inside our household that if we go to a neighborhood steakhouse and ask for some type of bottled sauce, the restaurant could have supplied us with a low high quality reduce of beef. However, upon making an attempt a portion of our filet with out sauce, we did discover a surprisingly good high quality of steak. The undressed steak alone stood sturdy, however upon including the tasty tamarind sauce the flavors intensified. The sauce augmented an already scrumptious entrée. The chef served beef fats potatoes, romano beans, grilled candy onion and tomatoes because the facet and garnish to our delectable dinner.

The query arises, “Which restaurant serves the higher steak, Palo or California Grill?” This turns into a really tough query to reply as each eating places served a scrumptious entrée. I liken it unto the query, “Which resort is healthier, Walt Disney World or Disneyland?” Each areas include a uniqueness about them that makes them totally different, but each equally as magical. I stay up for persevering with to order the steaks from each to try to tease out a definite winner. I’ll simply name it “analysis” for my readers.


Thankfully and sadly on the identical time, the cooks on the California Grill and different varied eating areas round property typically replace their menus based mostly upon the standard and value of the gadgets made out there unto them. Which means that, at occasions, one could expertise an unforgettable meal merchandise that disappears from the menu throughout a future go to.

Whereas my spouse loved her Heat Valrhona Chocolate Cake and I loved my crème brulee, the true winner of the dessert service appeared when our service crew sat a wonderful, candy deal with in entrance of my son. Some reviewers describe dishes as “too stunning to eat,” and this dish did qualify for that. I reviewed the present California Grill menu and, sadly, the merchandise now not resides on their dessert menu. I communicate of the Yuzu Matcha Cake.

This sophisticated concoction consisted of a number of components and layers of taste. The muse of the dessert was a crescent-shaped slice of matcha cake positioned artistically upon a layer of graham crumble. My son described the matcha cake as gentle, not very candy, and containing virtually a inexperienced tea perfume and style. The culinary workers topped the dessert with a number of meringues, recent raspberries and wonderful white chocolate feathers. Yuzu is a fruit which originated and grows wild in central China and Tibet, though the usage of the fruit flourished as soon as it was shared with Japanese and Korean cultures. The flavour of yuzu is usually described as tart, resembling flavors in keeping with grapefruit with overtones of mandarin orange. The workers prepares the yuzu portion of the dessert into virtually a curd after which coats it with a white chocolate shell. Our server instructed us on one of the best ways to benefit from the dessert: cracking open the white chocolate shell and mixing the entire parts into one conglomerate to benefit from the sophisticated combination of flavors. Actually a memorable dessert, the Yuzu Matcha Cake introduced us a tart and scrumptious ending to our meal.


In fact, one of many premium occasions to dine on the California Grill coincides with the fireworks present at Magic Kingdom, Fortunately Ever After. The restaurant supplies a singular expertise to diners as they watch the magic from both the restaurant itself or outdoors on one of many viewing decks. The soundtrack for the present performs on the audio system within the background as you dine.


The service crew made positive that none of our wants or wishes went unaddressed. We frequently dine all through WDW on every of our holidays and sometimes expertise very prime quality with regards to the service groups; nonetheless, I really feel that Disney could place the “best-of-the-best” servers at this location. Their suggestions for appetizers and entrees made sense and their information of the intricacies of every dish astounded me. They added to the eating expertise tremendously.


In conclusion, I can’t suggest the California Grill sufficient. Though they do cost a premium value in your eating expertise, they do present a number of delectable choices on their appetizer menu which may be giant sufficient to function an entrée. Our subsequent journey might also embody an journey into their sushi menu, which can additionally present a extra acceptable value level for some. Regardless, if the traveler is celebrating a particular occasion, the California Grill supplies an incredible expertise to honor it. One typically wonders if the California Grill is really well worth the value paid. May this restaurant survive with out the premium location? Does the environment make the restaurant value it?

Permit me to say that a reservation at California Grill is, at occasions, tough to acquire for a cause. Whether or not searching for out a chunk of Walt Disney World nostalgia or an incredible eating expertise, the restaurant fulfills each wishes. California Grill continues to offer wonderful service, wonderful meals, stunning environment, and tasteful décor.



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