The Boathouse

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Boathouse exterior

I don’t think I’d fully appreciated what a beautiful and elaborate space the Boathouse of Disney Springs is. From its expansive bar, the multiple dining rooms and the satellite open-air lounge that sits over the lagoon, it is a well-polished collection of woods, brass and early-nautical decor – even a full-size vintage Chris Craft boat – with the white tableclothed elegance of a yacht club.

I wish the food rose to the same level.

Boathouse bar

Boathouse boat

It’s intended to, I have no doubt. Or at least it started out that way. Even some who were early fans (I wasn’t one) concede that the quality has, you should pardon the expression, sunk a bit. In any event, the quality not only doesn’t match the decor, it also doesn’t warrant the price.

Boathouse shrimp

A recent lunch began promising enough. It started with an appetizer of Firecracker Shrimp, crisply fried and dotted with black and white sesame seeds, tossed with sweet and spicy peppers and served with a mayonnaise laced with fiery sriracha. A nice poppable treat. Worth $16? No.

Boathouse crab

After both my lunch companion and our server raved about the ‘almost all crab” Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, I couldn’t resist. But the only thing I found remarkable about the singed and flattened disk I was served was how someone managed to make crabmeat taste like filler. A dish of coleslaw is probably what caused the price point to rise to $25.

Boathouse tuna

My friend’s Coriander Seared Ahi Tuna ($33) was more enjoyable. The thick, sushi-grade fillets were nicely cooked and had a pleasant herby crust. They sat atop blistered shishito peppers that lifted them out of the soy lime vinaigrette. Yin-yang dollops of wasabi mayo and sriracha dotted the plate.

Our server was a bit too mechanical and rote and seemed to be going through the paces. I suppose that’s preferable to being detached.

The Boathouse fits well into the overall mien of Disney Springs, especially with its flotilla of amphibious cars that ferry people around the lake. And the atmosphere is worth, um, soaking in. But how much better it would be to also have good food, or at least food that was worth what they’re asking for it.

The Boathouse is at Disney Springs. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-939-2628.