By Nick

 

On Episode 23 of The Disney Exchange Podcast, we talk about our choices for a progressive dinner, which is a group meal where each course is served at a different venue, around the Walt Disney World Monorail Loop. 2 of my choices were at Narcoossee’s and Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

My wife Barbie and I had dinner at both of these venues in January of 2014, and enjoyed both meals, so I thought I’d share what we had as well as a look inside each.

Let’s start at Narcoosee’s.

Narcoossee’s is located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, at the end of the Grand Floridian transportation boat dock.
It has an open “show” kitchen and a wonderful staff. Be sure to say hello!

I was impressed with the beer menu, not overwhelming but a nice selection.

We asked the bartender for a food suggestion, and he said his favorite was the scallops.

As we were being brought to our table, Barbie spotted a man wearing a vest covered in Disney pins. She approached him, and they spoke at length. He came over to introduce himself and his wife. They were locals, and they also suggested the scallops, as well as the calamari.

If you time it right, and have a table facing Cinderella Castle, you can see Wishes at the Magic Kingdom. I made our advanced dining reservation at 180 days out for 8:00 pm, thinking the fireworks would be at either 8:00 or 9:00 pm. They were at 10:00 pm that evening, and while I could have changed our ADR, we both agreed that was rather late for dinner.

The menu is somewhat limited.

As our bread was being set on the table, we asked our server for an entree suggestion, and weren’t really surprised when she said the scallops.
The bread was very crunchy with a soft center, almost a sourdough. I love butter with course salt!
We shared the  Crispy Rhoade Island Calamari with pepperoncini-olive relish and tomato coulis appetizer. In fact, I enjoyed these so much, I chose these as my appetizer course for the progressive dinner on the Podcast episode.
The calamari was very light and crispy yet tender, not chewy. The relish was just the right kick, and the tomato coulis was the perfect acidic addition. Barbie thought they were the best Calamari she’d ever had! With a salad, this could easily be an economical choice for an entree.

For dinner, we both ordered the Pan-seared Georges Bank Day Boat Scallops with Trofie pasta with Sultana raisins, Marcona almonds, young string beans and herb creme with wild mushrooms, lemon-thyme-mustard au jus and arugula.
We both agreed these were the best scallops we’d ever had. They were perfectly prepared, and as good as they were, the pasta and mushrooms in the lemon-thyme-mustard au jus was even better.

We would have loved dessert, but were too full!

There is no doubt we will return to Narcoossee’s in the future, and we will try to choose different food selections, but it won’t be easy!

Let’s go inside Grand Floridian now, and head up to the second floor, which is where you’ll find Citricos.

A very nice bar is immediately to the left as you enter.

Like Narcoossees, the kitchen is open and lovely to behold.

 Hidden Mickey?
The beautiful dining room. While this is a large upscale space, it manages to feel warm and cozy.
We didn’t even realize we’d have a terrific view of Wishes, which was at 8pm on that evening!
On to dinner.For an appetizer, I had the Lamb Albondiga. a lamb meatball cooked in curry tomato sauce over herb polenta with crumble Feta.

Unlike some meatballs which can be very dense, this was a light, flavorful start.

For my entree, I had the Berkshire Pork Two Ways, which is Sumac rubbed tenderloin and slow braised belly accompanied by a shishito and and sunchoke hash with natural reduction.

I’m going to admit, I have no idea what shishito and and sunchoke hash is, but I love pork. But I’m sorry to say, I thought this dish was somewhat uneven. I felt the tenderloin was somewhat lacking in flavor, though Barbie thought it was juicy and tasty. As for the pork belly, one piece was a bit dry and chewy, while the other piece was much more tender and savory.

Barbie liked my meal more than mine, which is good, because I preferred her Madeira Braised Short Ribs, Strozzapreti pasta with hand harvested mushroom ragout and Piccante Gorgonzola. This was much more flavorful than my selection, the short ribs moist, and the pasta perfectly cooked, and I would absolutely order this on a future visit. So, we switched meals!

For dessert Barbie had the Lemon Scented Cheesecake. She would have preferred it to be more lemony, but she loved the overall combination of flavors.
I had the Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with vanilla ice cream and hancrafted Belgian couverture chocolate crown.
Was it as awesome as it looks? Yes!
I love bananas. And, well, love isn’t a strong enough word to describe how I feel about chocolate. I would return to Citricos JUST for this.
Have you eaten at either of these restaurants, and what was your experience?