My husband and I were in Orlando to visit family and as a little holiday gift to ourselves we reserved a table at one of Disney's high-end restaurant's, Victoria and Albert's. We had heard fantastic reviews from friends and coworkers for quite some time and were anxious to try it for ourselves.
Upon arriving (yes, there is a dress code), we were shown to our table, which happened to be in perfect view of the harpist. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed her music. We were quickly greeted by two servers, one of which was in training, which meant extra attention for us. They presented the seven course menu, going through each and every set of choices in delicious detail. After going through all of the dishes, it was pointed out that the additional vegetarian dishes on the right side of the menu book could be substituted at any time for any of the courses. While we didn't do this, a few of the dishes were tempting and I was glad to see that they provided the options. Another note worth mentioning, aside from the regular choices presented in each course, there were often additional 'add on' choices. For instance, if you were able to choose a particularly high end meat for an additional $110, if you so choose.
To get things started we were brought Amuse-Bouche, which looked like a very fancy crab salad sushi roll, paired with champagne from the Reims region of France. We've actually been to Reims and sampled French champagne and yes, this was a cut above. Although we wanted to do the wine pairing, 6 glasses of wine each was just too much, so we were happy to discover that you may split it-three glasses each. After the champagne, we each chose a glass of red and a glass of white, which they allowed us to pair with whichever courses we pleased. Unsurprisingly, we were happy with all of the wine pairings, though we both thought the reds were substantially better than the whites. I must apologize here, we were so excited about the first course, that we ate it before capturing a picture!
From there, we each ordered something different, which ended up maximize our tasting experience since we were constantly intrigued by each other's dishes. Suffices to say, our forks ended up in each other's courses a lot. This dinner was a full frontal assault on the taste buds! Next up were Poussin with Marble Potatoes and Balsamic Froth and Sumac Crusted Tuna with Black Radish Slaw. They were both delicious (and let's just get that out of the way now: the whole dinner was exquisitely good.) But between the two appetizers, we both felt the tuna was slightly better.
|Sumac Crusted Tuna with Black Radish Slaw|
|Sumac Crusted Tuna with Black Radish Slaw|
Moving on, we had Masago Crusted Maine Scallop with Coconut Curry Broth and Alaskan King Salmon with Charred Lettuce and Cauliflower. I continue to rave about the scallop, but my husband says the salmon, was better. You'll have to try both to be our tie-breaker.
|Masago Crusted Maine Scallop with Coconut Curry Broth|
|Alaskan King Salmon with Charred Lettuce and Cauliflower|
We had three choices for the next course, but neither of us really felt the Roasted Kabocha and Butternut Squash Soup was doing justice to the extreme dining experience we wanted, so we went with the other two choices: Palmetto Farms Quail with Asian Pears and Berkshire Pork with Cabbage Tart and Brussel Sprouts. These two were a tie for flavor and especially impressive in presentation. I'm still in awe of the different flavor profiles they were able to create in the quail dish--just amazing.
|Palmetto Farms Quail with Asian Pears|
|Berkshire Pork with Cabbage Tart and Brussel Sprouts|
We had another three choices for the main course, but neither of us wanted the Onion Ash Crusted Lamb Loin. Instead, the hubby went with Roasted Duck with Fennel and Leaks a l'Orange. I chose the Marcho Farms Veal with Peas, Carrots, and Black Trumpets. Again, tie for the win. I'm not typically a veal or steak person in general, but it is worth stating the cuts of both dishes were impressive.
|Marcho Farms Veal with Peas, Carrots, and Black Trumpet|
Now we come to the only minor misstep of the evening, the cheese plate. My husband ordered this mainly because it sounds impressive: Flagship Reserve, Comte St. Antoine, Wyngaard Chevre Affine, Colston Bassett Stilton. Those are all cheeses. And they were delicious cheeses, too. And the plating was impressive (we watch Chopped, so we feel like we know). But still, a plate of cheese samples? Compared to the slice of heaven I ordered, Roasted White Chocolate Gelato with Candied Fig, it was not even a contest! The white chocolate was hands down the winner. And...I told him so.
|Roasted White Chocolate Gelato with Candied Fig|
Now, dessert, the very best part of the evening. The Grand Marnier Souffle somehow achieved decadence and comfort food all at once. It would be a dangerous dessert for me to have access to on a daily basis, for sure. However, the Carmelized Banana Gateau just blew me away. I thank our waiter for this recommended because it was quite possibly one of the best desserts I've ever had. Ever. And I've had a great many desserts all around the world. Truthfully, all of the other desserts sounded impressive a well: Tanzanian Chocolate Timbale with Orange Scented Milk Chocolate Gelato, or Pear Quark Mousse, or Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, or the Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle. And I bet we would have been delightfully happy with any of those choices, too. But that's where the waiter stepped in to answer our request. "These all sound so good. What do you think are the best?"
|Carmelized Banana Gateau|
There were also several courses of different breads presented throughout the meal to cleanse the palette, four in total, and each better than the last.
And at the end of the meal, somewhere around the end of the second hour, we partook of the tea and coffee service. Both were very cool. The waiter brings a classy science experiment to your table and sets the water to boiling under one glass bulb, it steams up across the leaves or grinds to fill another bulb. Delicious, hot tea and coffee, just for you.
|Brewing the Coffee|
|After-dinner Dessert Platter|
At the very end we were presented with a personal loaf fruit and nut bread to take home, a red rose, and our personalized menus as keepsakes.
We dallied around the Grand Floridian for a while enjoying the carolers and huge gingerbread house and Christmas tree, which I recommend. The hotel is very nice and picturesque any time of year, but especially now at the holidays.