Downtown Disney

We’ve all heard and seen Planet Hollywood as it was the iconic building at the old Downtown Disney. Well, along with Disney’s revamping to Disney Springs, Planet Hollywood is also new and improved. Planet Hollywood Observatory offers a new dining experience altogether with a fun and spunky environment to match their menu creations from Guy Fiery.

We began with this impressive ferris wheel of appetizers. The High Roller Platter (34.99)  is meant to be shareable for four people offering a varieties of bites that includes the Famous Chicken Crunch, Texas Tostadas,  Buffalo Wings, Five Cheese Dip, and Peri-Peri Shrimp. 

The entrees came rolling in soon after starting with the L.A Lasagna (19.99) which was definitely a twist to the traditional lasagna dish. A tube of pasta stuffed with ricotta and bolognese meat sauce then lightly fried to a golden brown and then topped with roasted garlic cream & tomato basil sauce.

BBQ Ribs (29.99) was next. Plated on the cutest miniature picnic table with a baby bucket of fries. The ribs are slow cooked St.Louis Style smothered in BBQ sauce.

The Turkey Pic-A-Nic (16.99) reminded me of thanksgivings in a sandwich with the roasted turkey breast and cranberry relish. The kettle chips in the middle provided a nice texture separations between the layers of flavors all inside a garlic-buttered pretzel bun.

Guy’s award wining burger Bacon Mac-N-Cheese (18.99)  also winner of NYC Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash! Was a monster of a burger containing Applewood smoked bacon, 6 cheese mac-n-cheese, onion straws, Donkey Sauce all in between buttered brioche buns.

Next would probably be the kid’s favorite items on the menu

Chocolate Comet (14)  Classic chocolate milkshake that’s overtopped with chocolate goodies like double chocolate brownies, frosting, candies, and a cookie straw. A chocolate Coma all in one.

This unicorn milkshake is The Strawberry Big Bang (14). There’s an entire slice of a birthday cake that’s hanging on top of a the classic hand spun strawberry milkshake! Then it’s doused in magical sprinkles and chocolate chips.

Planet Hollywood Observatory offers a fun and exciting way to dine with the whole family involved and both nostalgic and current.

Planet Hollywood Observatory

Address: 1506 East Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32836

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An event inspired by Jammet Restaurant, one of Ireland’s most famous culinary destinations of the 20th Century.

Raglan Road has been Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) premiere Irish pub and restaurant since 2005.

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Birth of a Nation: A Centenary Dinner was a journey through some of the most refined Irish cuisine.
Chef Kevin drew inspiration from not only Jammet but also his childhood, which was displayed by incorporating some of his favorite ice cream Teddy’s 99 from when he was a young lad.
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The Raglan Road signature spring season event has become one of the most sought after culinary experiences in Central Florida. Do not miss it in 2017.
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Chef Kevin Dundon is a famous Irish celebrity chef, television personalty and acclaimed author. He is the owner of the famous Dunbrody Country House Hotel, in County Wexford, Ireland. Right next door is the Dunbrody Cookery School.
He started his training at The Oldschoolhouse in Dublin and at the age of twenty two made a name for himself as the youngest executive head chef at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in Canada. After an extenstive time at the Fairmont, Chef Kevin decided to return to his Irish roots at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.
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1st Course
St Stephens Greens Smoked Chicken and Vegetable Terrine
capers, gherkins, grain mustard and aspic.
Moet & Chandon, Champagne, France
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2nd course
Dublin Docks Cockles and Mussels Soup
Lemon butter brother with potato and sapphire
Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
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3rd Course
Dublin Bay Bull Island Monkfish
Pan roasted monkfish served with marrow and mushy peas froth
Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay, Napa Valley
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4th Course
Smithfield Dublin Coddle
Sausage stuff loin of pork, potato mousseline, cabbage and a bacon broth
Numanthia Termes, Spain
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5th Course
Ginger Gerk Care with custard and Teddy’s 99
Veuve Clicqout, Demi Sec, France
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After Dinner:
Petit Fours

Morimoto Asia, the highly anticipated collaboration between Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group, officially opens for dinner this Wednesday September 30th, 2015 as part of The Landing, one of four neighborhoods in the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

It is the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience and showcases flavors from across the Asian continent with an emphasis on China, Korea, Japan and Thailand.

Chef Morinoto and Peking duck

The menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, moo shu pork, Morimoto Peking duck, lobster chow fun, sweet and sour crispy whole fish, pho ga, pad Thai, sticky ribs and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such as dumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.

In addition, the 14-seat sushi bar offers pristine sushi and sashimi options from around the world. Items include toro, kanpachi, Japanese red snapper, uni, sea eel, hamachi, fluke, and salmon, as well as more ocean delicacies. A variety of specialty sushi rolls and selections from the raw bar are also offered to the guests not seated at the sushi counter.

Assorted Sushi

Chef Masaharu Morimoto, most known for his role as Iron Chef Japan, originally began his life as a baseball catcher in Japan before a shoulder injury ended that career and he began his second life by studying sushi in his hometown of Hiroshima.

He quickly grasped the technique of this exacting food art and, at age 24, opened his first restaurant. Five years later, he moved to America to expand his culinary repertoire and explore the opportunities and possibilities he saw for a cuisine that would combine the best of both continents.

In 1994, Morimoto was recruited to join the team at the original Nobu restaurant, and in 2001, he opened his first eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia. He debuted Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai in 2004, followed by a second Wasabi at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi in 2008.

Morimoto has received numerous accolades for his cuisine and aesthetic, including several appearances on San Pellegrino’s “Top 100 Restaurants in the World” list, a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” for Morimoto New York, and in 2010, Morimoto Napa was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best U.S. Restaurant Openings.”

Today, there are additional Morimoto restaurants in Honolulu, Mexico City, and Maui, a Morimoto Sushi Bar in Boca Raton, Japonais by Morimoto in Chicago and Morimoto South Beach in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel in Miami. In 2015 and 2016 a few more restaurants will be open in Bangkok, Las Vegas and Toronto.

Morimoto Asia Forbidden Lounge

Patina Restaurant Group (www.patinagroup.com) has a portfolio of restaurants including Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase, as well as Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda Del Sol at Grand Central, and The Rink at Rockefeller Center.

On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.

Morimoto Asia Private Dining Room

Morimoto Asia’s 36-foot tall, two-story layout has been designed by STUDIO V Architecture, including an exhibition kitchen that allows guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the culinary action. The second-level sushi bar and lounge have a separate entrance and is known as the Hidden Lounge.

“This has been a project of passion for our team and Chef Morimoto. We can’t wait to open our doors to everyone visiting Disney Springs this fall and beyond,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

The beers will feature mostly Asian varieties in both bottle and on draft, including the Morimoto signature beer by Rogue Ales. In addition to the collector’s edition Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Soba Ale and the highly coveted Black Obi Soba will also be available by the bottle.

The restaurant will also offer an assortment of sake, including the Morimoto signature line, plus a wine list showcasing wines of the world, signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

Chef Morimoto - Vertical

“I am excited to create a menu that allows so many of my favorite Asian flavors to come alive all in one place,” said Chef Masaharu Morimoto. “I hope the guests at Morimoto Asia have as much fun eating this food as I have creating it.”

We had the opportunity to interview Chef Morimoto via e-mail this week ahead of the opening.

TastyChomps: Chef Morimoto, what are you most excited about for the new Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs?

Chef Morimoto: This restaurant has a completely new culinary theme; for the first time I created the menu of Asian cuisine, not just Japanese. As a Japanese, I grew up with eating many different types of Asian cuisine. So I always had all kinds of ideas about Asian cuisine. I am very excited about the new challenge.

TastyChomps: What is your favorite dish so far for the new Morimoto Asia?

Chef Morimoto: I cannot pick a dish, just like you cannot pick your favorite child among your children. All these new dishes are my favorite!

TastyChomps: How did the vision for Morimoto Asia come to be?

Chef Morimoto: It is in Disney, so the target guests are different from those of other Morimoto restaurants. There will be a lot of kids. People will come from all of the world, expecting first-class entertainment. People love Asian food because it’s approachable, delicious, and fun, so I thought the theme would be perfect for the location.

TastyChomps: What is your favorite dish to cook at home?

Chef Morimoto: I never cook at home because my wife does. She cooks mostly vegetables thinking about my health.

TastyChomps: What was your most challenging experience in your cooking career and how did you overcome it?

Chef Morimoto: I enjoy cooking for the guests at the restaurant. However, when I cooked at the Kitchen Stadium for the judges in the original Iron Chef, I was extremely stressed out and nervous. But of course, becoming an Iron Chef changed my career completely.

TastyChomps: Where are your favorite places to visit in Asia and why?

Chef Morimoto: I would like to visit Southeast Asia because there are a lot of interesting and delicious street food. Those dishes inspire me in many ways.

TastyChomps: What do you eat when you are traveling and working?

Chef Morimoto: I try to eat the local food wherever I visit because that’s the best food. If I don’t have the time to eat out, I eat simple food, such as onigiri (rice balls) and miso soup, at my restaurant.

Morimoto Asia will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with dim sum. www.morimotoasia.com

Menu and Photos – Courtesy of Morimoto Asia

Sticky Ribs Half Rack
Sticky Ribs Half Rack
Singapore Laska Noodle
Singapore Laska Noodle
Peking Duck
Peking Duck
Orange Chicken
Orange Chicken
LA BBQ Kalbi Ribs
LA BBQ Kalbi Ribs
BowWow Kids Meal
BowWow Kids Meal
MochiMochi Annin Tofu
MochiMochi Annin Tofu

Morimoto Asia Sushi Menu Morimoto Asia Forbidden Lounge Menu Morimoto Asia DINNER Menu

 

click to zoom: http://tastychomps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Morimoto-Asia-DINNER-Menu.jpgMorimoto Asia Kids Menu Morimoto Asia Dessert Menu

Morimoto Lunch - OCT 2015
Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs – Orlando – Lunch Menu – OCT 2015

Scenes from the Grand Opening event at Morimoto Asia

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Morimoto Asia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I had an amazing opportunity to come back to Raglan Road  to meet celebrity chef Kevin Dundon– famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series.

As seen from the picture above he showcased his cooking and charm as he walk us through the dishes we were going to sample that evening.

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Starting off with: Coquille St. Jaques
Seared scallops with creamy mornay sauce and steamed mashed potatoes.

The scallops are dry packed, allowing the scallops to be fresher and withhold an intense flavor versus the frozen ones where all the flavor is released with the water when thawed. It’s then simply seasoned with a little oil, a little salt, and then left to sit to caramelize in the pan.

The scallops had incredible texture, as it was not too mushy or tough, but rather soft. Since it was only enhanced with salt, the true flavors of seafood really came through.

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paired with: Sterling Napa Sauvignon Blanc

This crisp and dry wine had a thicker viscosity that goes along very well with seafood, especially scallops.

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Next we have: Duet of Tomato Soup and Champagne Splashed Oyster

 

Ripe Roma/ Plum tomatoes were used in combination with onions, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and then deglazed with Gin. Then chef Dundon upped the decadence of the soup with a generous amount go heavy cream and butter. The super smooth shot of soup was then accompanied by fresh raw oyster.

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paired with: Chandon Brut Champagne
It delivers complex flavors of apples and pears, and accented with citrus spices. The win had a refreshing and dry finish.

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Moving onto the dish that according to Chef Dundon- truly represent his cooking: Roast Rack of Spring Lamb

Scrag end of neck of lamb with leeks, baby potatoes and carrots in Irish stew consommé. 

Tender lamb that’s roasted to a perfect medium (the recommended state for lamb, otherwise it would be too chewy or tough. I’m usually not a fan of lamb due to it’s pungent grassy flavor, however this particular dish made the lamb flavor quite mellow . Also, I preferred eating each bite of lamb with the leek julienne, it really helps when you’re not used to eating lamb.

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it was complimented with a glass of : B.V Rutherford Cabernet

A smooth, smokey red with deep flavors that brings out the savoriness of the broth and the roasted lamb.

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We ended things sweetly with: Pimms Knickerbocker Glory

An interesting concoction of fruit filled gelatin topped with refreshing vanilla mouse and cucumber and melon foam.  With a super addicting petite french pastry- the pistachio macaron.

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Chef Dundon’s dishes all have a common theme, simplicity.  They’re beautifully crafted, without the intentions of being complicated to bring out the true flavors of the ingredients.

*Also, don’t plan on counting calories when tasting these dishes – as a lot of delicious butter are used.

I was even lucky enough to be gifted with one of Chef’s cook book: Chef Dundon’s “Back to Basics” and got it signed!

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A little something extra:

For those interested in the Gin Tomato soup here’s how to make it!
2.0 oz   Olive oil
2.0 oz   Butter
1 each  Yellow Onion (diced)
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
2.25 lb Roma/Plum tomatoes, ripe, cut in 0.5
0.5 cup Gin
1.0 qt Vegetable Stock
1.0 cup Heavy cream
To taste Salt
To taste pepper

1. Heat the oil lightly
2. Add in the onions and cook over medium heat until translucent
3. Add in the garlic and sweat for about 2 minutes
4. Add in the tomatoes and pinch of salt and pepper
5. Cook for 6 minutes stirring
6. Deglaze with Gin: Cook stirring for about 7 minutes
7. Add in Stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until tomatoes are very tender and broken up
8. Add in the heavy cream, bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes
9. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
10. Remove from the fire and puree with a hand blender until smooth and then strain
11. Serve hot, garnish with creme fruit, crostini, and snipped chives.

1640 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 938-0300

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Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney Announces 10TH Anniversary ‘Master Chef’ Cooking Contest
Finalists Win Ireland Trip to Cook with Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 11, 2015) – Ladies and gentlemen, start your cook stoves! To kick off its 10th anniversary celebration, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney challenges home chefs to get creative and vie for the honorary title of Raglan Road Master Chef.

Now through April 21, amateur cooks are invited to submit a video featuring an original three-course menu of appetizer, entrée and dessert worthy of the restaurant’s 10th anniversary celebration in October. Raglan Road Master Chef Kevin Dundon, a James Beard award-winning chef whose PBS/Create TV series “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food,” begins its second season March 13, will judge entries and choose five finalists on April 28.

The finalists will fly to Ireland May 21, all expenses paid, where they’ll stay at Dundon’s popular resort and cooking school, Dunbrody Country House Hotel in Southwest Ireland, and work with Dundon to perfect their cooking technique. Each of the finalists will cook a dish chosen by Dundon on Oct. 20 at a private 10th anniversary celebratory dinner at Raglan Road, an award-winning restaurant owned and operated by Irish partners that features several dining rooms of aged walnut and mahogany wood furnishings from old Irish bars and churches that were shipped to Orlando to build the restaurant.

Guests who enter the competition must be able to travel from Orlando International Airport on May 21 and have a valid, up-to-date passport for travel to Ireland and return to Orlando on May 26. While in Dunbrody, finalists also will experience the local farms and fishing locations where Dundon sources his food and will enjoy a Dublin excursion. For information about entering the competition, visit http://www.raglanroad.com/raglan-road-master-chef-competition.

The site will be live with all contest rules and details on Monday, March 16, 2015.
Raglan Road features inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.” The second season of Dundon’s TV series, “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics,” will premiere nationally March 13 on public television’s Create TV. The network also will air a Kevin Dundon marathon of select episodes of “Back to Basics” and Dundon’s first season episodes of “Modern Irish Food” March 14 and 15 leading into St. Patrick’s Day.
During any visit to Raglan Road, guests can belly up to one of the restaurant’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare. The restaurant, winner of numerous national and local awards and honors, is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, as well as its Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist and other popular entrees. Raglan Road offers gluten-free items including scallops, fish and chips, onion rings and pasta dishes.

Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Guests can enjoy live Irish bands and performances by The Raglan Road Dancers nightly and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch. Live music is also scheduled nightly on the pub patio. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Weekend Brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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DSC00591St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney, is somewhere you want to be for all the festivities.

Award-winning Irish and American bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their Irish roots during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney March 13-17.

The most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.”

Ragland Road believes in keeping their dishes simple, yet creative. They like to play off of authentic and traditional dishes and modernize it without compromising the quality.

DSC00511I began the experience with Harry’s Beef Carpaccio. Seared aged beef tenderloin with sharp parmesan and a creamy anchovy vinaigrette.  It was paired with a Grape fruit tonic that was slightly sweet and incredibly refreshing.
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Next, was a trio rendition of their brunch items. From left to right:
Eggs & Hash: Poached, battered, and then fried. The 3 process egg had layers of texture from an outer crispy shell, soft middle, and a creamy yolk center. A fried pork belly and potato hash made the dish hearty and filling.
Steak & Herbs: Grilled tender steak that’s paired with a roasted shallot puree. Probably one of the best puree I’ve ever had.
Salmon & Pancake: A lighter side of brunch, a smoke salmon with a dollop of cream cheese on top of a potato pancake.

These were served with cocktails that were made especially for lunch. It has high acidity to cut through the fat yet still light and bouncy to keep you awake.
DSC00515A Bitta Hop On: Bombay Sapphire gin Terrapin Hopsecutioner American IPA, West Indian Falernum, orange bitters and house made Guinness glaze
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Strawberry Field:  Strawberry puree with grapes Ciroc (Gluten Free)

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One of my favorite dish during this brunch, Pan Seared Cod. A statement fish that’s light with a crispy skin. Then a warm bed of Russian mashed potato with shallots, mustard seed and fresh herbs in a spicy  sun dried tomatoes vinaigrette.

This is paired with lighter drinks such as:
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Blueberry Mint lemonade: A super easy to drink cocktail that’s fresh for the lighter drinkers

DSC00533Our Whiskey Sour : Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey with shaken egg whites with a organic cold pressed lemon sour

Now to the more serious dishes Ragland Road, we have

Double Joint: Bone in Ribeye with bearnaise sauce & red wine jus sauce
Proud Pork: Grilled Pork chops with cider Port jus and apple sauce.

Sides: included a Colcannon potatoes, mashed potatoes with potato chip fried in duck fat, roasted veggies, and a salad of greens.

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Next two drinks are probably my favorites, probably because I’m a huge fan of ginger beer.

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Ginger Mojito: Captain Morgan white rum, lime, sour and ginger beer with freshly muddled mint.

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Teelings Whiskey Punch: Teelings small batch Irish whiskey, apple cider, ginger beer, angostura bitters, fresh lime sour and candied ginger.

We ended lunch with a more savory note

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Cooleeney Farm – Daru Irish Cheese: Baked to a melty perfection 

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Carrigaline Farmhouse – Irish Smoked cheese & Brandonvale Vintage Cheddar Cheese. Paired with an Apricot chutney.
and of course, it had to be paired with a drink.
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Raspy Old Fashioned: Dikel 12 Tennessee Whisky, house made Guinness glaze, fresh lemon sour and homemade raspberry puree.
So follow the traditions of Ireland for St. Patrick’s day and gather your friends and family and experience the Irish culture at Raglan Road to not only enjoy great food and drinks but also live entertainment. Featuring Scythian, playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes and applauded by iHeartRadio for having “re-invented folk rock in America,”
On Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling
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Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort,
1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

Press Release – Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney Celebrates ‘Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival’ March 13-17

Featured Bands Include Scythian, Reel Ó Gránde, 3 Dollar Band and More

Award-winning Irish and American bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their Irish roots during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney March 13-17. The most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.”

Scythian, playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes and applauded by iHeartRadio for having “re-invented folk rock in America,” tops the lineup of talented bands to perform on stage during the Mighty Festival. Reel Ó Gránde, 3 Dollar Band, Drops of Green, The Brayzen Heads, The West Coast Trio and the award-winning Raglan Road Irish Dancers will entertain on indoor and patio stages throughout the five-day festival.

Raglan Road guests ready to “get their green on” can participate in festivities that run from 4 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 13 and from noon until 1:30 a.m. March 14-17.

The diverse band lineup headed by Scythian offers something for everyone:

· Reel Ó Gránde, the newest Raglan Road house band playing traditional Irish ballads, jigs and reels and modern Irish and country music.

· The West Coast Trio from Connemara, playing traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.

· 3 Dollar Band, an exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.

· The Brayzen Heads, a popular duo on guitar and banjo playing Raglan Road regularly.

· Drops of Green, an exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.

· The Raglan Road Dancers, seven full-time champion dancers, performing daily

The entertainment schedule will be posted at raglanroad.com. Festivities at Raglan Road will include complimentary face painting for guests. Guests can order from Raglan Road’s popular lunch, dinner and bar menus featuring new dishes just introduced by Chef Kevin Dundon. The dinner menu features loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day. Throughout the event, the restaurant’s Cooke’s of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer Irish favorites like fish and chips, battered sausages and deep-fried candy bars.

On Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling 407/938-0300.

Pubs in Ireland have long been considered a place for families to gather. Following that tradition, Raglan Road is a place to meet friends and family and experience the Irish culture on St Patrick’s Day and everyday. Guests are encouraged to proudly wear a sprig of Shamrock as is the tradition in Ireland and participate in “the wearin’ of the green.”
During any visit to Raglan Road, be it brunch, lunch or dinner, guests can belly up to one of the restaurant’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare. The restaurant, winner of numerous national and local awards and honors, is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, as well as its Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist and other popular entrees. Raglan Road offers gluten-free items including scallops, fish and chips, calamari, onion rings and pasta dishes.
Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Guests can enjoy live Irish bands and performances by The Raglan Road Dancers nightly and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch. Live music is also scheduled nightly on the pub patio.

Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Weekend Brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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American Q is a new restaurant located just outside of Downtown Disney, spawned as a collaboration between the new B Hotels & Resorts and the acclaimed New York City restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill Management, bringing a “Brazilian rodizio” take to traditional American barbecue.

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With an industrial, farmhouse-chic vibe,  the flatbed of a 1950s cherry-red, Ford F1 pickup truck houses an all-you-can-eat appetizer and salad buffet with homemade soups and chili, a baked potato bar, peel-and-eat shrimp, a selection of hot and cold seasonal vegetables, and a variety of salads.

A delectable selection of smoked meats and poultry, from the Carolinas and Kansas City to Latin America, are carved tableside by “cowboy/cowgirl” servers.

We were recently invited to check out the new place and found some great barbecue, and lovely sauces, but also some areas that greatly needed improvement, particularly overall service and improving on the buffet bar.

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Upon arrival, we were greeted by our server, but were never explained the directions regarding the buffet vs. a la carte option. So we were a bit at lost what to do after sitting down and getting our drink orders in –  do we go to the buffet bar or do we wait to get our orders in so that the server knows what we are each getting?

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Our server was very nice, though, and was very cordial throughout the evening, and I am guessing it is more of a management or procedural issue. Hopefully they will improve on this soon.

Another area for improvement – the flat bed truck was impressive but the salads and even the mac and cheese were rather pedestrian and uninteresting, especially when compared to other rodizio buffet style salad bars in the area.

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The strongest aspect of dining at American Q: the smoked meats from the beef brisket to the turkey, all had great flavor, accentuated by the variety of barbecue sauces available at the table.

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DEVILED CRAB STUFFED EGGS – blue crab & rémoulade – the yolk was a bit runny for what I was accustomed to for deviled eggs

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JERK CHICKEN WINGS – mango chow and ALLIGATOR BOUDIN – roasted tomatoes, peppers & okra

The highlight of the meal
The highlight of the meal

TABLE SIDE CARVINGS
SLOW SMOKED TOM TURKEY DRUM WITH MAHOGANY GLAZE
BACON WRAPPED BONELESS CHICKEN THIGHS
HOUSE MADE SAUSAGES
SMOKED PORK SHOULDER WITH SPICED ONIONS
COLD SMOKED & GRILLED TURKEY THIGH WITH TURKEY CHORIZO STUFFING
CAROLINA STYLE FLANK STEAK
BRISKET OF BEEF WITH TEXAS BARK
PICANHA OF BEEF
VEGETABLE BROCHETTE

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JAPANESE OLD FASHIONED
Hibiki whisky, chai simple syrup & Angostura bitters

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HOUSE BAKED CORNBREAD – served at the end of the meal, apparently here at American Q it takes a while for cornbread to get to the table.

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CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING – warm apple compote, another highlight of the meal – dessert

American Q on Urbanspoon

Raglan Road Irish Pub Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon Stars In PBS Cooking Show Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food

Show Airs on WUCF-TV in Central Florida and on Stations Across the Country

Kevin Dundon jacket RTE front

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. – Award-winning Chef Kevin Dundon of Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney goes fishing in Ireland for the trout he prepares in the new PBS television series Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food. The beloved Irish “chef of the people” also scours his garden for fresh herbs and veggies and shows viewers how to prepare the perfect holiday dinner with little fuss.

Based on his new cookbook of the same name, Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food series airs at 2 p.m. Saturdays on WUCF-TV in Central Florida. Show episodes will air through December 21 in the Orlando area, culminating with a “Christmas Made Easy” cooking segment. The series also airs on PBS stations across the country and has been picked up by Create TV, part of the PBS family, for a February 2014 run.

Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food puts a modern spin on the celebrated dishes of Irish culture. With his quick wit and love for locally sourced produce, Dundon takes viewers of the half-hour show on a historic tour of Irish cuisine, demonstrating traditional elements of Irish country house cooking and the gourmet modernization of recipes.

Dundon is known in Central Florida for his Irish dishes with contemporary flair at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World Resort. The celebrity chef also owns and runs Ireland’s four-star Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Cookery School and Spa, where the show was filmed.

“I’ve always been inspired by great traditional recipes handed down by my mother and grandmother . . . . It’s now my turn to put a modern twist on it,” says Dundon, whose cookbook has been shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Cookbook of the Year. “The food that I cook is very accessible. My philosophy for food is simple — use the freshest ingredients, treat them with respect, and you get the best flavor and results,” Dundon says.

The series’ companion website, www.kevindundon.com, hosts full recipes featured in the episodes. Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food is a production of RTE and is a presentation of WLIW21 in association with WNET, distributed nationally by American Public Television. Episodes began airing Oct. 26 in the Orlando area (check local listings). Upcoming episodes include:

Nov. 16 – Fish, Hunt and Harvest: Kevin prepares smoked mackerel with a black currant Jus. Also: Skeaghanore duck breast with black cherries, pickled wild mushrooms, sautéed garlic potatoes and to finish, a spiced apple with Killowen yogurt.

Nov. 23 – Birds, Bass and Berries: Kevin creates a woodpigeon salad; whole roasted sea bass in a sea salt crust; crushed baby potatoes; and a sea vegetable salad. Finally, a fresh and tasty elderflower and gooseberry layered “fool” dessert.

Nov. 30 – Comfort Foods: Kevin’s presents his take on Arthurstown fish chowder; slow roasted lemon-cured pork belly; pancetta and cheese mash; braised sweet & sour cabbage; and an indulgent Irish cream bread and butter pudding.

Dec. 7 – Simple Delights: Kevin prepares a caramelized Dunmore East scallop tart served with a simple rocket (arugula) salad; warm roasted garlic cottage pie; orzo pasta risotto and sourdough bread; and heather-infused buttermilk panna cotta with honey.

Dec. 14 – Savory to Sweet: Kevin serves up a warming courgette and almond soup followed by a rack of Wexford lamb with an Asian twist served with a potato rosti. Also featured: caramelized apple chutney; dandelion salad with bacon and poached eggs; and orange marmalade pudding.

Dec. 21 – Christmas Made Easy: Kevin shows his audience how to prepare the perfect Christmas dinner: smoked salmon gateau, twice-stuffed turkey, marmalade-glazed ham, pork rack with apple compote, cranberry and chestnut sprouts, and very cherry tiramisu.

Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke, Paul Nolan and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. Live entertainment nightly includes Irish house band Creel, Irish duo Johnny and Justin plus the Raglan Road Irish Dancers. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300 for information.

Kevin Dundon Modern Irish Food Pesto

Interview with Chef Kevin Dundon:

Ricky Ly of TastyChomps: How did your journey to becoming a chef begin?

Chef Kevin Dundon: My passion for cooking began at the age of 7. I was out fishing with my father and caught some mackerel. I took them home and cooked them for my grandparents for breakfast. This ignited my passion for cooking and also for using fresh ingredients.

TC: What are some key things to know about Irish cuisine? How do you make it “modern” in your own way?

KD: The key to Irish cuisine is using indigenous ingredients. I take traditional dishes such as colcannon, which is a dish of potatoes and kale mash. By adding eggs and flour, you can make colcannon potato cakes which can be used to create a very different dish.
I started my training in Ireland but I’ve since worked all over the world, and it’s the various influences through these experiences that I incorporate into my take on modern Irish cuisine

TC: What are some of your favorite recipes from the book/show? Why?

KD: Orange Pudding. In Ireland, we are famous for steamed puddings and orange marmalade, so I put the two of these together and came up with the orange marmalade pudding, which is delightful.
Also the Pulled Corned Beef broth, traditionally eaten with sauerkraut — here I’ve transformed the corned beef into a broth by cooking the brisket slowly, which is then pulled apart, and I add carrots and potatoes and infuse with Asian flavors.

TC: What or who influences you in your cooking life?

KD: My grandmother and mother have been my main influence, but chefs who are all about fresh ingredients and the natural cooking process like Thomas Keller from The French Laundry also are influences.

TC: What do you usually make for lunch today?

KD: I usually like to do a heavy lunch and a light dinner; for example, today I’m having the Kevin’s Heavenly Ham with colcannon potatoes with a parsley sauce — a dish we serve here at Raglan Road.

TC: What are some of the things you love about Ireland that you would like to share with Central Floridians?

KD: Its rugged natural beauty and the four seasons are just two of the things I love about Ireland . I would love to bring the four seasons to Florida (but that is even above my ability), so I overcome this by using seasonal ingredients that come close to those found in Ireland; for example, seafood from Boston, loin of bacon from Kansas City, organic greens and tomatoes grown locally in Lakeland.

In my new PBS series on WUCF-TV, I travel all over Ireland and talk about my love of Ireland and the ingredients found there, and I get to share my passion for Irish food with Central Florida and the rest of America.

I would love nothing more than to see Floridians’ cooking my dishes in their own homes and enjoying quality time with their families while eating great wholesome food.

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Formerly the home of the Virgin Mega Store at Downtown Disney, Splitsville recently took over the 50,000 square foot two-story building – converted into a beautifully new, yet also vintage-feeling “luxury” bowling and dining complex.

The place is huge, with a separate dining room and bar area for those who don’t wish to bowl but just eat and people watch I guess, or maybe wait for their turn in one of the 30 bowling lanes.

Upstairs, there are billiard tables and more bowling lanes and a decidedly more adult, sophisticated feeling during the late hours on the weekend my friends and I visited. I would definitely request an upstairs lane the next time I decide to come for a few rounds of bowling with friends.

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Here the bowling games are paid for by the hour, pretty much $20 an hour for each player.

The menu at Splitsville, created by Chef Tim Cushman, one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2008, offers atypical bowling alley fare that not only includes pizzas, but also sushi rolls and gourmet filet sliders.

The sushi was surprisingly not too bad, but I would skip their calamari which was one of the few items that is not made fresh in house.

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3 PEPPER CALAMARI $13 – Fried calamari sautéed with cherry, jalapeño and banana peppers.
This dish was too salty and too sweet at the same time. The dipping sauce was just confusing and quite unpleasantly salty.

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NINJA CRUNCH Sushi Roll $13 – Fried salmon, Kani Kama crab, tempura crunch, salmon and spicy mayo.
A very nice, fresh roll with a lot of great fish flavors.

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Beauty and the Beast roll – two rolls together on one plate

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Salmon roll wrapped with rice wrapped with tuna and shrimp

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VEGGIE Pizza $14 – made with Mozzarella, mushrooms, red and green peppers, onions, black olives, broccoli and tomato sauce. 

 

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Overall, a fun place to go in Downtown Disney for bowling and a few dishes (pizza and sushi are your best bets).

 

Splitsville Luxury Lanes & Dinner Lounge on Urbanspoon

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