The Disney Fantasy, like the Disney Dream, has two premium restaurants on board, Palo, an Italian fine dining venue, and Remy, a collaboration between chefs Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian at Disney World and Arnaud Lallement of l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant near Reims, France. These restaurants are strictly by reservation and require a supplemental fee: $20 for Palo and $75 for Remy with wine-pairing options additional. If $20 for an upscale dinner seems ridiculously low, keep in mind that the fee is based on what the passengers have already paid for in regards to the on-board meal plan. Even so, an extra 20 bucks for the Palo experience is well worth it. I reviewed Remy last year, so I was anxious to try Palo, the elegantly appointed Italian dining room.
To begin, my companions and I were treated to an array of antipasti served tableside from a cart. It was a lovely sampling of prosciutto, bresaola, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and wonderful Parmesan-Reggiano. We were also served freshly baked breads -- focaccia and slender breadsticks -- in an overproduced and unwieldy bread basket. (At least that’s the excuse I’m giving for knocking over my full flute of Taittinger with it.)
For my appetizer I chose the Tuscan white bean soup with prosciutto and Parmesan. It had a wonderful flavor, but I was disappointed it had nothing resembling a bean in it -- they had all been pureed. The fritto di calamari that one of my companions ordered was lovely -- tender rings of squid with light jackets of breading.
For the pasta course I selected the pappardelle con aragosta, thin wide noodles with lobster, parsely and fennel with a touch of chili-dotted tomato sauce. I could have had that as an entree.
I should have had that as an entree. The osso buco I selected was a bit dry. Again, my companion out ordered me with the grilled sea scallops, which were just about perfect.
This time the panna cotta beat out the chocolate souffle, which was also pretty darned good. But the smoothness of the cooked cream with fresh strawberries was just the right way to end such a meal.
Palo and Remy occupy the top deck aft. They both have wonderful views of the ocean, which are rendered moot once the sun goes down. They have dress codes -- no jeans, sneakers, flip-flops or t-shirts; gentlemen should wear a jacket.
In between the two restaurants is a quiet lounge. I very much enjoyed sitting on its outside deck space at sunset sipping what I found to be the best cocktail on the ship: limone basilica, which I hope to recreate (I’ll let you know what the recipe is when I try it).
Children are not allowed in the premium restaurants -- they’ll have more fun at one of the kids-only zones, and be well taken care of. If you choose to dine in Palo or Remy, make your reservation as early as possible; the limited number of seats are taken quickly.