Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WDW: Signature Dining - California Grill @ Contemporary Hotel

When I was planning my Walt Disney World stay, there was ALOT of planning to do regarding restaurants and bookings. If you wish to dine at the resort/park restaurants, particularly the more popular ones it's advisable to make a reservation and to make it 180 days early! Yep you heard me correctly! 180 days, that's 6 months (which is when the reservations open for your stay) and believe me when I say that this DO IT...this particular meal was the only night I could get a reservation at California Grill for the whole 2 week stay!.

This was the meal that I have been waiting for. For over a year. I had drooled over reviews of California Grill and I had a good idea what the recommended dishes should be sampled. On arrival I was whisked up the private lift and seated at a window seat but not facing the castle....but that is okay...I still had a great view and the sunset was amazing.

As I browsed the menu (even though I thought I knew what I was ordering) all my choices went out the window and I ended up ordering something totally different. Obviously my mood and my taste buds were opting for something else. The menu sounded delicious and I couldn't help ordering a flatbread, even though I knew I was going to try and fit in 3 courses.

Flatbread - Slow Roasted Suckling Pig with Heirloom Apple butter, cheddar, caramelized onions and cracklins'

Wonderful crispy flatbread, tasty and the cracklins' were great!

Dungeness Crab with Heirloom Melon, Piquillo Pepper Coulis, Basil, Seasme and Thai Vinaigrette

The crab was very refreshing and full of flavour and the thai vinaigrette was zingy! I really enjoyed this entree (appetizer) and perfect for something lighter.

Veal Chop with Potato Rosti, Chanterelle Heirloom Carrots, Salsify, Pearl Oinions, Carrot Puree, Madeira Jus

This came out and I thought 'WOW what a huge portion, what have I done?'. Once i sliced into it and took a couple of bites it was so tender and tasty but raw in the middle, even though I had asked for medium I descretely requested it to be cooked a little more. The second plate (and a whole new chop) came out and it was cooked perfectly.

I had to have a break between all the dishes. I watched the sunset and people watched. It was a really relaxing dinner. The restaurant is quiet and plush and easy to relax in. The staff are super attentative and I felt looked after but no over crowded.

I finished the meal off with the cheese platter.

Revpenaer V.S.O.P; Nancys Hudson Valley Camembert; La Yebera; Petetie Agour and Fourme d'Ambert

The accompaniments paired with each cheese was perfect. It was a wonderful way to end a meal.

The entire experience at California Grill was perfect. I found the over use of the world'heirloom' to be a bit much (up there with the overuse of the word Artisian), but it was a meal that I will always remember. I highly recommend it for a magical meal.


  1. We did Cali Grill on our last trip. We liked it, don't know if it lived up to the hype. Seeing the fireworks from the balcony was amazing. It's going through renovations right now so I think we'll try it again in November when it reopens.

    1. I didn't do a night with the fireworks which I think would have made it more magical. Reviews of the Cali were generally fantastic but the occassional one came up where guests were disappointed. I'd be interested to see how the new restaurant/menu goes.x