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It was May 15, 1995. Walt Disney World culinears opened California Grill at the top of the Contemporary Resort in the space that had been home to a Broadway-style revue. So it has now been 15 years that California Grill has been at the top of the World, figuratively and literally, on the 15th floor of the hotel. Since that first day, it has been one of the area's best restauants.
It was first under the direction of chef Clifford Pleau and manager George Miliotes, who were both lured away by Darden to start up Seasons 52. Other chefs have included John State (also now with Seasons 52) and Jens Dahlmann (now heading culinary at Epcot). Brian Piasecki is the current chef; Bridget Sherren has been manager the past six years.
Some of the staff, including Yoshie Cabral, sushi chef, have been at the restaurant since day 1.
I'll have more on the restaurant soon, but I wanted to share the recipe for the Grill's special anniversary drink, the Golden Gate. It's a little sweet for my taste, but it sure looks good.
This drink was created especially for the 15th anniversary of California Grill at Walt Disney World Resort. The award-winning restaurant at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort opened on May 15, 1995.
1 1/4 ounces Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
3/4 ounce Amaretto Disaronno
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
Orange slice, for garnish
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Squeeze the slice or orange into the drink.