When we get back I’ll write more about our travels (FYI to the lady sitting behind me on the plane: Maam, speaking louder and slower to people who don’t speak english will not help them understand you and will seriously annoy those who can understand you), the weather (you don’t want to know about the awesomeness if you are sitting in northern or rainy climes), and the parking challenges (Jake didn’t even insult the parking attendant: sir, I believe we are at am impasse, how would you like to proceed?).
On this trip we’ll blog about food while here and fill in the details when we get home. We find that the food details all blend together when there is so much…
Artist Point, Wilderness Lodge, Saturday, 7:50 reservation.
We arrived at Wilderness Lodge a few minutes early and waited at the podium to check in. Of course Jake noticed that while no one was wearing a gi (have I told that story? we were at another Disney signature restaurant last year and Jake wore a fedora in the door, the door had not even shut behind him when he was very sharply asked to remove his hat due to the dress code. He was a little insulted that the manager assumed he wasn’t planning to remove his hat, really, we hadn’t even stepped fully into the building yet, anyway, he took it off, and we were seated. At the next table was a man wearing track pants bottoms and a karate gi for a top; Jake wanted to know why the dress code didn’t apply to that guy, he gets yelled at for a fedora at the front door but a man in gym gear was seated without a problem…now when I don’t know what to wear he suggests a gi). Disney has a dress code but it’s very minimal and while we get dressed up, many people wear their theme park/vacation clothes and it irritates Jake more than me.
Fortunately, we were asked to sit at the bar for a few minutes while our table was being cleared. Once Jake had a Red Hook in his hands all other customers, gi’d or not, were forgotten. I had water.
Before he could finish we were called to our table and seated at a table for two with a window overlooking the walkway and the pool. The menu was mouth watering and we had trouble even reading it, our eyes bouncing from item to item with lots of ‘i want this’ and “i want that.” After debating between Portabello Soup, Tomatoes and Moz (like I haven’t had enough of that) and Crab Cakes, I settled on the Crab Cakes with a Red Pepper Coulis. Jake ordered Short Ribs with Asian Slaw paired with a gewurztraminer. I had water.
Both were outstanding, but the pairing of the gewurztraminer and short ribs was perfect. I really love it when a wine and food make a whole new combination. I don’t care for gewurztraminers in general, although Jake likes them, but I tasted this after he said it was really well matched and I agreed. If you’ve never had the experience of enjoying food and wine separately and then pairing them to make them even better, you’ll understand its like an epiphany about wine and food. Its the thing we are constantly looking for when we order the suggested pairs.
For entrees I went straight to Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans with no stops at pork, fish, or chicken. Jake took longer to decide, but settled on Halibut with Dungeness Crab Risotto. We also ordered a side of Sweet Potato Hazelnut Gratin (cause the baby wants potatoes!!). While it was all excellent, the sweet potatoes stole the show: heavy cream, butter, maple syrup and ton of crushed hazelnuts…I have no words, really one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
Dessert actually paled a bit compared to the meal. We ordered the berry cobbler and two decaf cappuccino (I’m such an exciting date!). I’ve had the cobbler before, but I don’t remember it being just crust with berries on top. Jake says it’s because usually I’ve had enough wine that dessert is a little fuzzy. Either way, its was just meh.
Overall the meal was a great and we would go back. Our waiter was good, not great; pouring Jake’s white wine pairings so long before the food came that the wine was warm, taking extra long to refill my water and sometimes being gone for a while, but he knew the menu well, was very nice, and kept our table clean. Our table also allowed Jake to see every person entering the restaurant for seating and giving him the ability to play fashion police for the evening (really, he hates the casual signature diner, so judgemental!!).
Tomorrow we spend the afternoon at the Food and Wine (and Food) Festival, we’ll have lots of pics!