Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Victoria & Alberts

I promised long ago to post about our experience at Central Florida's only four-diamond restaurant... and so now I deliver.

Victoria & Alberts is in the Grand Floridian, a deluxe resort on the monorail. It is small, adults only, and is prix fixe, with a few exceptions. Your seven-course meal is expertly prepared and served formally by up to as many waitstaff as you have guests at the table. I felt VERY pampered and at times I felt like we were the only ones in the restaurant.

When we arrived, we approached the closed doors to the restaurant and before we knew it, they burst open and a maitre d' asked, "You must be the Smith party?" I supposed they study the names of the guests and sizes of the party and they make a guess. We were a party of six, which is unusual... many parties were two or four... so I guess we did stand out a bit.

Anyway, we are seated and presented with personalized, keep-sake menus. Of course, you would expect to keep them as they had your name on them, and what good would that do THEM? Anyhoo... keeping the menu means I can tell you not only what we ate, but what we DIDN'T eat as well. Pretty nifty, eh?

I also ordered a flight of wine to accompany the meal. Disney employs several world-class sommaliers, so why not let them pick the wines. I'll share those with you as well.

So... we begin.

Amuse Bouche
We were presented a taste of a lobster pastry, and with it, a small cup of lobster bisque. Both were delicious, but I had to call forth all my super mind control powers to keep myself from licking the bottom of my cup. This was accompanied by the Heidsieck Monopole "Blue Top" Brut Champagne NV. I'm not a fan of the bubbly, but this was fine.

First Course
Seared Colorado Buffalo Tenderloin, Braised Fennel, Radishes and Satsuma Tangerine Vinaigrette
Dungeness and King Crab with Spring Asparagus and Calvisius Caviar
Iranian Osetra Caviar with Traditional Garnish ($125 for a half oz. or $250 for one oz.)
Okay... first I need to clarify... the price of the whole meal is $115 per person. Each course offered one choice with a surcharge, should you wish to "take advantage" of it. So the prices above for the caviar... they are IN ADDITION to the cost of the meal.
Needless to say, this was not our night to enjoy caviar. I had the Buffalo. Chris can post about his choices, if he wishes to... I can't remember them all. (Oh, and if you find yourself reaching for a food dictionary while reading this menu, you are not alone... we consider ourselves foodies, and we don't know what several of these items are...)
So, the Buffalo... medium rare, tender, and delicious. I have only had buffalo once before, and it was overcooked and tough, tough, TOUGH. This was tender, easy to chew, and lovely. It was paired with a Cantina Del Taburno Falanghina, Campania 2005.
Second Course
Long Island Duck with Roasted Chiogga Beets and Turnip Kraut
New Zealand Elk with Elephant Garlic Spaetzle and Veal Sweetbreads
Pan Roasted Foie Gras and Fuji Apple Tart with Mostarda di Cremona $15 (with an optional wine offering that was $140 for a 3 oz. pour. It was French.)
Now, when I ordered, I had not yet tried the Buffalo, so if I had known how lovely it would be, I might have tried the Elk. Again, I was thinking "game = tough." Plus, I generally Just Say No to sweetbreads. And since the meal was expensive enough (thank you very much), I stayed away from surcharges. Duck it is.
Again, I am not normally a fan of the water fowl. But this was fabulous. Very steak-y... tasty. Served with Dr. Zenzen Apollo-Falter Spatburgunder, Rheinhessen 2005. I also tried Derek's Elk, and would have been equally happy had I selected it instead.
Third Course
Ivory King Salmon with Mustard Greens, Sauce Soubise and Ramp Pesto
Yellow Fin Tuna Tempura with Hijiki Salad and Carrot-Ginger Coulis
Seared Wild Turbot with Toasted Capers and Meyer Lemon $25
Me no likey Tuna. Me LOVEY Salmon. Easy choice. Exquisite, this. Love when I can get me the real thing when it comes to salmon. Served with Pere & Fils Christian Moreau Chablis 2004.
Fourth Course (Main)
Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin and Belly with Florida Corn and Cherry Jus
Poulet Rouge with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Truffled Egg
Prosciutto-Wrapped Lamb with Potato Gnocchi and Sherry Vinaigrette
Australian "Kobe" Beef Tenderloin with Cauliflower Puree $30
Japaneses "Kobe" Strip Loin with Oxtail Jus $80
Now, this was tougher. I don't mix meat and fruit, so the first choice was out. I love chicken and wild mushrooms, but in the end, the lamb won. (Lamb usually always wins with me, but when you toss gnocchi into the deal, how can I say no?). Jeff did stray into the "surcharge" territory on this and got the Australian Kobe Beef. Most people at the table tried it... and it was described as "melts in your mouth." I stuck with my lamb though. I figured if I had his, he would get to have some of mine. And I wasn't sharing.
The lamb was served with Cesari "Mara" Vino Di Ripasso Valpolicella 2004. (My Italian is good enough that I think this roughly translates as "table wine" but it was good, so I'm not going to gripe about it.)
The fifth course was a port or a gelato. No contest... ice cream always gets the nod.
Finally, the desserts:
Pyramid of Tanzanie Dark Chocolate Mousse
Berry Gateau with Mango Yogurt Pannacotta
Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle
Caramelized Banana Gateau
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Grand Marnier Souffle
So... let's see how well you know me! What did I pick!? (Sophie can't guess... I told her already!)


Sophie said...

Sadly, for $115, that menu does not really make my mouth water. Knowing me, I probably would have said forget the duck, elk, buffalo....and bring me one dessert of each kind. THEY totally made me drool :)

Jessica said...

You picked everything I would have picked, natch.

So let's see...
I would have had the Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee for dessert...
Did you?

Anonymous said...

I go with the chocolate. And I'm not a fan of lamb, but when I saw gnocchi I thought, "oh, you HAVE to go with the gnocchi!"

Jessica said...

So true. Gnocchi is required.

Bern said...

Ok, I'm gonna take a wild guess. The Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee ??
My first guess was the banana.. then I thought.. nah, why get the banana when you're already paying $115 for a meal?

eaf said...

I'll post the answer tonight.

Amy: I'm curious (this is NOT a hint... well, maybe)... WHICH chocolate would I pick?

Jason said...

If it were me it'd be:
Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle
(and a glass of milk)

eaf said...


Although I seriously considered the souffle

Jason said...

I had to make some iced coffee tonight - swiss chocolate almond flavor, to be exact, to get the idea of the Kona Choc Souffle out of my mind.

zee said...

That seems like an awful lot of food. How much food did you get with each course?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I was thinking the mousse.

Chris said...

The serving size was perfect - we always felt that we have enough and were never stuffed.

eaf said...

Chris is right. They were tiny portions (or seemed to be on sight) but they were just right. I actually left that meal feeling less stuffed than after any other meal on the trip... including the ones I cooked myself!

Jessica said...

The twinsy magic is dissolving!!!
Ha ha ha.
I'm still drooling BTW.

eaf said...

Never fear, Jessey! The creme brulee was in my top three (after the two chocolates). :-)

Jessica said...


Cathy said...

Yum! I figured it was one of the chocolate desserts. The whole meal sounds divine. Thank you for sharing the menu. I almost feel like I ate it with you.