Now that we’ve been home for a week, I can think back on our food without being overwhelmed by how much we ate. During our last vacation, we indulged in the Deluxe Dining Plan. For our 4 night stay, we enjoyed 3 signature restaurants, 4 table service restaurants and 1 dinner show. Dining, Moonlight Magic and relaxing were the only things on our itinerary and the dining certainly took the cake. We had so many amazing meals, in such a short period of time. I’ve gotten comments from readers wanting to know how the food was so I thought today would be a good time to share which meals made the top 5 for me. Now Jeff would have a totally different list but these are the places I enjoyed the most. This is the whole meal experience: service, all of the food, and how much I enjoyed my time there. So without further ado here’s my list.
Olivia’s was the only place we went for breakfast, so I’d say this is a biased opinion. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, everything on a breakfast menu appeals to me. Any place we’ve ever dined on property for breakfast has always left me satisfied, and made the list to return to again someday. On the Deluxe Dining Plan you receive an appetizer and a dessert with your meal but of course that doesn’t apply for breakfast, so I was able to order more liberally knowing I didn’t have other courses to contend with. Out of the eight delicious options on the menu, I chose the Crab-Cake Eggs Benedict.
Oh my friends! I ate the whole thing it was so delicious. It came with some potatoes, that looked like a potato salad but it was warm. Everything had the right amount of flavour, nothing was too over powering. When I ate the crab cake I could taste the crab cake, when I dipped things in the hollandaise sauce, I tasted hollandaise sauce. It was everything I could want in a breakfast. Our server was also fantastic. He was cheerful and chatty. I would definitely return here for any of the three meals they serve. Olivia’s is located at the Old Key West resort, it’s tough to get to if your staying elsewhere and the resort is so big you could get lost. But I think it’s worth it.
This meal was a big build up for me, I have been curious for years what this place is like. Monsieur Paul is located in the France Pavilion at Epcot, the park with the most diverse dining options. It’s on the second floor, with windows overlooking the World Showcase lagoon. It’s small and quaint, exactly what you’d picture for a french restaurant. There were quite a few things I loved about this meal: the service, the food and the atmosphere. During this meal, I didn’t feel rushed. We were encouraged to take our time deciding on what we wanted for each course, getting help from our server when needed. The food. My appetizer and my dessert were both unlike anything I’d ever had before.
My appetizer was a Compressed Cantaloupe Melon, it was so fresh, I felt like I was eating the most amazing fruit salad. My dessert was a meringue, with raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream. The dessert was light, the whipped cream and ice creams were both so flavourful.
For my main, I had the Grilled Beef Tenderloin which was on a very interesting potato dish. It was almost like a hash brown but filled with potatoes and a cheese sauce. I almost missed it, being consumed with the delicious beef.
The atmosphere. Since Monsieur Paul is so small, there are not many tables and therefore not many guests. It was generally a quiet meal, in Walt Disney World many meals can be loud and chaotic, this was not. It was also bright. So many fancy restaurants have dim lighting, making it hard to see your dining companion and to even read the menu. It wasn’t like that here, I was able to see and chat with Jeff, read and understand everything on the menu. It was a true delight.
Sanna is found at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village on the ground floor. Which gives you Savanna views of the animals that roam the property. From a window seat you can see giraffes, zebras, gazelles and ostriches. It’s such a fantastic way to enjoy what this DVC resort has to offer. We dined here for lunch: they are also open for dinner and a quick-service breakfast. Our service here was impeccable. At Sanaa you have the opportunity to enjoy Indian inspired dishes. This is not something we get to do at home because of kids are terribly fussy. So I really wasn’t familiar with what my choices were. Our server guided us through the menu, suggesting things he liked and items they were known for. He spoke so highly of the restaurant and the food, you could tell he loved his job.
With his direction we chose the Bread Service with all Nine accompaniments and the Salad Sampler for our appetizers. When he arrived with our food, he gave a tutorial on what accompaniments pair well together to enhance our experience.
For our entree we both chose Potjet, I had mine with Braised Beef and Jeff had the Butter chicken. This came with rice and another side, I chose the Chickpea Wat and the Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables and Jeff had the Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables as well. Our server encouraged us to combine all of the items to make a full dish. It was flavourful and bountiful.
For dessert, I indulged in the Kenyan Coffee Petit Entremet, which had so many layers I was constantly discovering new flavours. Jeff had the Caramel N’dizi. Sanaa is the whole package. Incredible food, amazing views, and impressive service.
It’s worth the trouble it takes to get all the way to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is a popular spot. When we dined here the place was full. I can understand why. It’s not a signature restaurant so you can dine here without using a ton of dining plan meal credits.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Everyone has to go to this restaurant! We had so much fun here. Homecomin’ is found at Disney Springs, so easily accessible no matter where you are staying on Disney property. It serves southern favourites: macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and cakes galore. The music here is upbeat and the staff is so friendly. The drinks are made with moonshine and the orders are written out on retro order pads. This restaurant was on Jeff’s list and I’m sure glad it was.
For appetizers we ordered Hush Puppies and the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits. These could have and should have been my entree. My Biscuits were full of honey covered fried chicken and of course the biscuits were ridiculously delicious. For entrees we had the Famous Fried Chicken with Mac and Cheese and the Florida Grouper. I’d never had Grouper before and thought this was a good opportunity to try it. I definitely could have skipped it but the carrots that came with it I am still dreaming of. They were so sweet I thought I was eating sweet potatoes. But they must have been blended so smooth with some honey and cream. I would go back just for these carrots.
For dessert, Jeff had the Key Lime Pie, which was topped with amazing meringue and I had the Hummingbird Cake. The ice cream that came with the cake must have been homemade because the vanilla bean taste was strong and unique. Paired with the cake brought out a whole new flavour.
Be sure to order something fried on this menu if you dine here. There’s a reason Chef Art Smith has won so many awards. It’s not greasy and it’s full of flavour. It’s a must do for anyones dining plans.
*Now Storybook Dining at Artist Point*
Found off the main lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, Artist Point is a resort signature dining experience. This is definitely a hidden gem. The restaurant was only half full, and our server said most of the patrons are typically locals. The design of the restaurant is a beautiful contrast to the dark decor of the resort. All the wood in the restaurant is light and there are plenty of windows to give you a beautiful view of Copper Creek Falls. Here we by far had the most impressive service. Our server was incredibly knowledgable in the chef’s vision for each of the items on the menu. For each course she would talk about what the restaurant was known for and what her personal favourites were.
For our appetizer we opted for the Artisanal Cheeses and the Handcrafted Charcuterie which were both pieces of art to look at and to eat. Our server explained what each of the items on the board were, and why they were on the plate, and what the chef’s purpose was for each. Without her direction our enjoyment of these appetizers would not have been the same.
I chose for my entree the Cedar Plank Salmon which had this incredible salad with it, it even had flowers in it. The crowning jewel on it was this whipped balsamic vinegar, which was so light and flavourful it changed the entire dish.
For dessert I had the amazing Creme Brulee and Jeff had a trio sorbet it was the perfect way to end of our meal. Every part of this meal was unique and truly crafted for the eye and the mouth. If you’re looking for a Signature restaurant that’s hidden gem this is it! You will not be disappointed.
All of the meals we had were amazing but these really stick out as memorable for the service we had, the food we enjoyed and the restaurant itself. I imagine over the course of our lifelong DVC membership we will return to these wonderful places, but there’s nothing like the first experience somewhere. And all of these set the bar very high. Happy Planning, Friends.