I’m delighted to inform you that Raglan Road, the Disney Springs Irish pub and restaurant, is in excellent hands with its executive chef, Mark O’Neill. Raglan Road was the setting for our recent meeting of Scott Joseph’s Supper Club and O’Neill put together a Harvest Dinner menu that had us all over the moon.
Following a welcome cocktail, we began our dinner with O’Neill’s version of Shepherd’s Pie. That classic dish has always been stylized at Raglan but this version elevated it to something wonderful. It had the usual beer and lamb along with root vegetables in a red wine based gravy. But the mashed potatoes that were piped on top had been smoked in Irish peat. That gave it a moody grace note. It was paired with King of Shoals IPA from Crooked Can Brewing. I could have been happy with that as the only dish of the evening.
But that was just the beginning.
Parsnip Soup was next, though it really should have been called Braised Oxtail. That shredded meat was served in a bowl with the vegetable, then a thick chestnut broth was poured over. Rich and delicious. Blagger Organic Blonde Lager from Orlando Brewing Company accompanied.
The Pan-seared Sea Trout – the Irish variety of sea trout, which resembles steelhead – sat atop potato gnocchi flavored with parmesan and dill, with radishes, cherry tomatoes and rolled ribbons of zucchini, or courgettes, as they’re called in Ireland. The flesh of the fish was moist and flavorful, but what really made it special was the crispiness of the skin.Orange Blossom Brewing’s Bloomsday Pale Ale was the pairing.
A 12-hour Braised Pork Shoulder followed. The meat, impossibly tender, sat atop roast garlic mash and was accompanied by creamed savoy and cabbage. Devil’s Foot Blackberry Golden Ale, another offering from Crooked Can, stood up to the hardiness of the pork.
A sorbet of apples and pistachios cleared our palettes for dessert, Rocky Road to Dublin, featuring chocolate and smoked almond brownies, marshmallows and a caramel crunch. Even the sorbet had a pairing: De Cider Orange & Coriander Cider, from Vermont Hard Cider. The dessert was paired with Miriam’s Irish Coffee Stout from Coppertail Brewing
Then actual Irish coffee and petit fours to finish.
We were seated in a side room off the main dining hall, so we could enjoy the music. At one point, some of the musicians and dancers came in and gave us a private performance. The room and our tables were gaily decorated for the theme, with colorful leaves, pumpkins, gourds, candles and lanterns.
And, of course, we were treated to RR’s legendary service from the staff of mostly Irish nationals. I don’t think there’s a restaurant in town with a friendlier crew, and anyone who has ever visited Ireland will attest that that warmth is genuine.
It was a terrific dinner from start to finish, and I was glad to know that chef O’Neill is continuing Raglan Road’s reputation for excellent Irish cuisine.
Raglan Road is at Disney Springs. It is open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch on weekends. The phone number is 407-938-0300.