Saturday, November 26, 2022
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An Evening at Victoria and Albert’s Inside the Grand Floridian at Disney World

 

The crown jewel of Walt Disney World dining reopened last week, and I was lucky enough to snag a reservation to dine there just a few days after its reopening.

Located in the Grand Floridian Resort inside Walt Disney World, the restaurant is tucked behind frosted glass doors near Citricos.  It’s known for tasting menu dining in the main dining room, Queen Victoria room with just four tables for four or fewer guests, and the Chef’s Table near the kitchen, which has yet to reopen.

Having been honored with the prestigious AAA five diamond award as well as the Forbes five star award, it is virtually assured a Michelin star, or perhaps even two, when the Guide makes another trip to the Sunshine State.

I was part of a party of five, and we were escorted to a spacious round table in the corner of the main dining room where we had a great view of everything going on in the room and could hear the phenomenal harpist perfectly.  Though I would consider visiting the Chef’s Table in the future, I’d pass on the Queen Victoria room as it lacks the ambiance of the main dining room.

Lazar and Sharon were our servers until one member of our party recognized an old friend in Christina, who joined our service team at that time.  While the downfall of some restaurants is having more than one server per table, it works incredibly well here.  We connected with each of them and they made the evening much more special and enjoyable than it would have otherwise been.

Beverage options are plentiful, as you choose from the water menu, peruse the hefty wine list, glance over the limited cocktail menu, and later in the meal (or early at our request) enjoy siphon brewed coffee, always a personal favorite of mine.  We splurged on the Svalbardi Polar Iceberg Water.  At $132.00 a bottle, it is worth a try as part of this dining adventure as it tastes so pristine, like you imagine water should taste but it never does.  If it’s too much to add to the already pricey dinner, the Ty Nant was my second favorite of the six waters we tried.

Speaking of pricey, the dining room menu is $295.00 per person, with the optional wine pairing at $150.00.  Currently they are also offering the Queen Victoria room menu in the dining room.  It is $375.00, with a wine pairing at $200.00.  The only difference between the menus is the addition of a turbot with baby leek and fennel dish as well as a Japanese Wagyu, potato rosti, and romesco dish, along with their wines.  While these dishes were tasty, personally, my favorites were all included on the dinner menu.

The evening began with three bites – pink pineapple, langoustine, and Iberico ham.  They were pleasant and set the stage for the progression, as it continued with delicate cauliflower panna cotta, topped with caviar and a briny squid ink and potato tuile.  The Danish Hiramasa tiradito was presented third with the real star of the dish being the chili sauce surrounding the thinly sliced fish.  Luckily, it was served with a spoon.  This was followed by the turbot for the three of five of us who ordered the extended menu.

Probably my favorite dish of the evening followed: Glacier 51 Toothfish (you probably know it as Chilean Sea Bass) with mushrooms and sambal.  It actually didn’t sound that great to me on paper, but the symphony of flavors between the three main components was a delight and set the stage for the meat courses that followed.  The dish ate very meaty and was uniquely paired with a red wine for the two that ordered the wine pairing.

Chicken with truffle and corn followed.  It was a hit at the table, but since chicken is so widely consumed it would have been more interesting for the common bird to be swapped with something like quail or pheasant.  Another favorite dish of the night was the progression of lamb.  Collar, saddle, and a mincemeat of sorts were paired with blueberry and mustard.  Not one of us left a bite behind.  The A-5 Japanese Wagyu rounded out the savory courses.

From a cheese and plum course to a honey and elderflower ice cream to a warm cookie to a show stopping plated dessert that is typically a showcase of chocolate but was a presentation of meringue, praline, and banana for me since I am allergic to chocolate, dessert was beautiful and flavorful.  One thing to know about Victoria and Albert’s is that they take allergies (and dietary preferences) seriously.  I wasn’t sure how they would pivot when their main and stunning dessert could not be served to me, and my dessert was just as, if not more beautiful than the chocolate one.

A series of small dessert bites were served as well.  I fought through the tiniest bit of dessert overload to fall in love with the brightness of the berry pavlova and passion fruit caramels with edible wrappers.  Tahini mousse, banana gateau, pistachio petit four, and truffles also made their way to the table.

After a quick kitchen tour (a completely clean and empty kitchen), the evening was over.  It was memorable and enjoyable at every turn.  After wanting to dine at Victoria and Albert’s for so long, I almost can’t believe it is over.  It was practically perfect at every turn, but there are a couple cons.  The price is known, so while it is expensive, it is an experience that is ultimately worth it and this isn’t a con.  However, we were there six hours, about twice the amount of time we anticipated.  The meal was unevenly paced, and it was a very long time to sit there.

The guests that ordered the wine pairing were sometimes waiting for their wine when their food was served, meaning we were finished eating and they hadn’t so they could taste the food and wine together.  Speaking of beverages, the cocktail menu is quite limited, though they mentioned they have a full bar.  This isn’t entirely true as the cocktails were made at either Citricos or the Enchanted Rose, and once they closed for the evening cocktails could no longer be made.

These are relatively minor things that I have no doubt will be worked out with just a little more time.  It is most definitely worth investing the time and money in this dinner if you love fine food, fancy nights out, and Disney World, of course.

Victoria and Albert’s is located inside the Grand Floridian.  You can try to snag a reservation online or by calling 407-939-3862.


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