Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinner at Victoria & Albert's

This is a posting for all those foodies out there!

I will admit, I love a meal at a very good restaurant - I love the unusual food combinations, the ingredients I'd never think to put together, the presentation, the service, all of it. Some people complain that the portions are too small at high-end restaurants, but I love it because I get to try more things!!

A few weeks ago I got to take a family trip to Walt Disney World, and they have a restaurant there in the Grand Floridian Hotel called Victoria and Albert's. We've actually been there several times, it is an excellent restaurant you wouldn't expect at a family-oriented resort and yes, it's expensive, but worth the special trip when you are at Disney if you are a foodie of any sort. They only have 2 seatings a night because the dinners are several courses, and they offer wine pairings if you like with each course. There is also a chef's table in the kitchen which offers a tasting menu which we've done in the past. All of it is AWESOME!

New for our visit though, was the Queen Victoria's Room, which is a separate room within the restaurant, behind closed doors, that only contains 4 tables and provides French gueridon service. That means table-side finishings for courses by highly trained waiters. So naturally I said, WANT!!! And signed us up for a reservation!

This is a picture from the website of the Queen Victoria room at the restaurant. The two tables you see there were pushed together for our reservation. That little side table next to the tables is where the waiters do the finishing touches for the French gueridon service. We had a lovely couple serving us - they were married and foodies themselves - they told us they plan their vacations around what kinds of meals they can get! We knew at that point we were in good hands for the evening. And yes, it was all evening - our reservation was for 5:30pm and we didn't stumble out of there until after 10pm that night.

That night I took pictures of every course, so here goes - a picture with the description of what it is (and you can double-click the pic to see a larger view)!

(starting bottom left and going clock-wise)

Soft-poached Quail Egg with Galilee Caviar
Ahi Tuna with Pickeled Ginger
Jamón-wrapped Shrimp with Athena Melon
Butternut Squash Soup

Paired with Pommery Royal Brut NV

(Yeah, uh, sorry about the picture, I accidentally ate it first....)

Heirloom Tomatoes, Octopus, Iberico Ham Croutons, and Burrata Cheese with Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

Paired with Michel Redde Sancerre "Les Tuileries", Loire 2009

Although it's not a course, I thought I should mention they brought out 3 different breads throughout the evening, each paired with a specially made flavored butter. Wow!

Cold “Smoked” Niman Ranch Lamb with Fuji Apple and Curry Dressing

Paired with Grans-Fassian Piesporter Kabinett Riesling 2007

I should mention, the "steam" you see in the picture was dry ice under the top dish.

This lamb paired with this wine was by FAR my favorite of the evening. These flavors together were stunning!!

Alaskan King Salmon Cooked Tableside on a Heated Himalayan Salt Rock

Paired with Kanbara “Bride of the Fox” Gohyakumangoku Junmai Ginjo, Nigata

I learned here the difference between "real" wasabi and what we get normally. Wow - the real stuff is delicate and wonderful!!!

Roasted Quail with Asian Pears and Serrano Ham Jus

Paired with Ceretto Rossana Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2006

Roasted Veal Tenderloin with Tomato Jam and Garlic Caramel

Paired with Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf du Pape 2007

Australian Kobe-style Beef with Garlic-Potato Purée

Paired with: Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2007

Selection of Cheese from the Spaulted Maple Tray

Paired with Quinta do Crasto Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2005

All were fantastic, the goat Gouda was especially wonderful!! At the time, being on my 8th glass of alchohol, I uttered these timeless words: "Goat Gouda good!!"

Thankfully, at this point they made some coffee, both regular and decaf, in these wonderful contraptions.

Orange Panna Cotta with Chartreuse-Pineapple Sorbet

Mocha-scented Tanzanie Chocolate Mousse Timbale and Chocolate Cocktail

That's a "spun sugar" bow encircling it.

And finally, some gourmet chocolates which they kindly boxed up for us since at this point we were perilously close to the Monty Python sketch about the diner who eats a disgustingly huge meal, but then actually explodes after the waiter convinces him to finish it off with a "wafer-thin mint".

And since we had some birthdays, they also gave us a little date-nut bread as a treat as well to take home!

One of the best things about the night was drinking a different wine/alcohol pairing with each course and knowing that all we had to do was stumble back to our rooms in the same hotel! Yay for that!!!!

Every bite was delicious, I'd do it again in a second!!

Overall, I'd have to say it's one of the most wonderful dining experiences I've had!! What really makes a place like this though is the service and they do a great job of that at Victoria and Albert's. I will go again in a second the next time I have a Disney trip!!!


  1. Yes, it was beyond amazing!!! Ten courses with the most exquisite food and wine parings. They also gave each of us elegant personalized printed menus of what we dined on. Our third set now, I believe. You really need to book this restaurant exactly 6 months to the day before going or the tables will be gone!!

  2. This is an excellent recap of a spectacular meal!! The only thing missing was having five waiters following you in a line perfectly in step (like the Marx Brothers) as you went to the bathroom. Seriously, it doesn't get any better than this!

  3. What a great experience. I've walked through the hotel, but never ate there. Loved how you showed your entire meal and it made for an enjoyable post reading, thanks.