Kona Café
AddressDisney’s Polynesian Resort
Walt Disney World
CityOrlando
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$
Scott's Review

I’ve always thought of Kona Café as a sort of miniature California Grill, except without a view. The food has the same sort of creative bent, though. Seared ahi tuna and Asian-inspired dinner soups are some high points. Desserts are served with especial panache, and a press pot of coffee – Kona, of course – is a must.

... Read more
La Luce by Donna Scala
AddressHilton Bonnet Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
CityOrlando
Phone407-597-3600
Price$$$
Napa Valley chef Donna Scala oversees this Italian restaurant in the new Hilton next to the Waldorf Astoria. The decor is white with splashes of color in the art work (some of which is done in chalk and changes from time to time). The menu features pizzas from a brick oven, pastas and secondi -- the lamb shank is a standout. Scala is often on hand to oversee her restaurant, and she proves to be a gracious host.... Read more
Le Cellier
AddressCanada Pavilion, Epcot
Walt Disney World
CityOrlando
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Canada was always one of the odd-countries-out among the World Showcase’s pavilions of nations in terms of its restaurant. The problem was that Canada doesn’t really have a national cuisine. Meat is the forte. “Well then, there you go,” someone finally concluded, “make the restaurant a steakhouse.” And with that, Le Cellier became one of the more sought-after restaurants at Epcot. Steaks are good; appetizers are minimal. Nothing here really warrants the sort of rabid fandom the restaurant enjoys. It's food is mostly modest, which is probably why it is so loved by average diners.

Update: Le Cellier was recently designated one of Disney's "Signature" dining restaurants, which supposedly puts it in the top tier. It doesn't quite make it in my book.

The atmosphere is dark and secluded – hello, it’s called The Cellar – and was designed to have no views of the outside. Disney officials thought park-goers might appreciate getting away from it all.

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Les Chefs De France
AddressFrance Pavilion, Epcot
Walt Disney World
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$$

Most of the visitors to the signature restaurant in Epcot's France pavilion (Bistro de Paris, a smaller eatery, is upstairs) are oblivious to the fact that one of its owners is not only one of the most famous chefs in the world but is arguably its first celebrity chef.

Ironically, his name is not on the restaurant, Les Chefs de France. Even more ironic is that Paul Bocuse became famous because, in 1965, he was the first chef to put his name on his restaurant outside Lyons.

Before that, chefs were no more than hired kitchen help. Restaurants were owned by the maitre ‘d or the hotels where they were located.

So it could be said there would be no celebrity chefs, no show kitchens, no such thing as “Top Chef” and no one would give a flip what Gordon Ramsay had to say if Paul Bocuse hadn’t done what he did 44 years ago.

On a recent visit my guest and I started with two classics: cassoulette d’escargots de Bourgogne au beurre persille (translation: snails) and assiette campagnarde, an assortment of pates and charcuteries. The half-dozen snails were baked in a small casserole, each in its own impression, with garlic butter and parsely. They were firm but... Read more

Morimoto Asia
Address1600 Buena Vista Drive
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-6686
Price$$$
Scott's Review
For the uninitiated — or those who don’t follow challenge cooking shows — Masaharu Morimoto is a star of the programs Iron Chef in Japan and its spinoff Iron Chef America. He has several restaurants that bear his name around the world, including in Mumbai, New Delhi, Philadelphia, New York and Mexico City. Those restaurants are named simply Morimoto and feature the chef’s signature Japanese cuisine. (The nearest Morimoto is in Boca Raton.) The Disney Springs restaurant is Morimoto Asia to distinguish it from the other restaurants. Technically, the restaurant is operated by the Patina Restaurant Group, which also has the two restaurants at Epcot’s Italy pavilion as well as others throughout the country, including Lincoln at New York’s Lincoln Center. My sources told me that the Disney restaurant started out to be a genuine Morimoto but that the chef became disenchanted with the bureaucracy and chose to continue under a licensing agreement. ... Read more
Narcoossee's
Address4401 Grand Floridian Lane
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

Narcoossee's has always been something of a disappointment to me. I always left it wishing it had been better than it was, which was mostly so-so.

But now the restaurant is on a new path. The chef has refreshed the menu, and it seems the kitchen has a renewed interest in turning out more exciting dishes. If you're really adventurous, try the crispy whole snapper, presented as though swimming on your plate. If that's too graphic, have the togarashi-spiced tuna and jumbo prawn. If the roasted beet salad is available, grab it.

Now serving a very pleasant waterfront brunch. Read about that here: http://goo.gl/ZVqxjb... Read more
Nine Dragons
AddressChina pavilion at Epcot
Walt Disney World
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-939-3463
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Recently remodeled, Nine Dragons is probably the easiest restaurant at Epcot to get in to without a reservation. That's because to so many people Chinese food is not equated with fine dining -- it's something that comes in a cardboard container and you get it for takeout. This is different, more of an upscale Chinese dining experience.

I popped in for a lunch and started with a bowl of chicken consomme with pork dumplings, a golden broth with a rich mouthfeel. It had two big dumplings of chewy dough filled with well-spiced ground pork.

For my entree I had the shrimp with spinach noodles, which looked very much like something you'd find served in the Italy pavilion. (But remember that Marco Polo is said to have introduced Italians to pasta after a voyage to China.) The noodles were fettuccinelike and were mixed with red and green sauteed bell peppers and dotted with flecks of hot pepper flakes and topped with cool, fesh coriander.

The shrimp had a thin film of crispiness and peppery spice.

For dessert there was a sponge cake with fruit filling that was slightly dry.

... Read more
Planet Hollywood
AddressDisney Springs
Walt Disney World
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-827-7827
Price$$$
Scott's Review
After a year-long renovation, Planet Hollywood has been refurbished to resemble a large observatory to better fit in with the Disney Springs backstory. (Never mind that it's really a planetarium.) Inside, it's a little like dining in an IMAX theater, with massive projections of music videos that stretch the three-story auditorium/dining room. Food Network star Guy Fieri contributed to the new menu. Food is impressive mostly in the size of the portion.... Read more