Adventures in Dining

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Yachtsman Steakhouse January 14, 2007 June 9, 2007

Filed under: Disney Restaurants — hpandaw @ 8:23 pm

For dinner that night, we went to the Yachtsman Steakhouse, a table service restaurant located inside the Yacht Club Resort, one of Disney’s Epcot resorts. We do mystery shopping, so there are a few things we look for in a well-run restaurant. The staff here was not doing most of these things. We arrived, checked in, and waited almost 25 minutes to be seated. This would not be a big issue, except for the fact that the restaurant was maybe at 70% occupancy. There were many vacant tables, and the delay seemed to be caused by the host staff themselves, not by any shortage of wait staff or tables. We watched as the host staff, very, very slowly looked over their cards, chose a family, picked up the menus, called the family, then walked to the table. It took them on average 6 minutes per family just to seat the diners. They were moving so slowly as to almost be comatose. Unreal…

We both started off with the Seared Maine Diver Scallops with Frisee and Shiitake Mushroom Salad, tossed with warm Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette. For mine, they held the bacon vinaigrette & served tomato vinaigrette on the side.

These were a huge disappointment, only because of the poor quality of the scallops themselves. They were beautifully done: warm on the outside, seared to perfection, rare on the inside. But the scallops were gritty and, even worse, tasted strongly like ammonia. The taste was overwhelmingly pungent, in all four scallops, both of my husband’s and both of mine. My DH said that he enjoyed the bacon vinaigrette very much.

My next dish was the lobster bisque. Again, this was disappointing. It seemed they went overboard on the sherry, because it tasted too much like alcohol. Usually, bisques are creamy, with the sherry adding a slight flavor. In this case, though, the sherry was too strong, so the burning of the alcohol impaired my enjoyment of what should have been a delicious, creamy soup.

My husband’s next dish was the USDA “Prime” New York Strip Steak served with Peppercorn Brandy Sauce and Potato Gratin. It was cooked to his liking: very, very rare. The outside was crisp, while the inside was soft and rare. The peppercorn sauce was very flavorful, though the flavor of the peppercorns got a bit overpowering as he continued to eat. The butter and brandy cream sauce were both very, very good and he enjoyed this dish very much. It was too much for him, though, so he wasn’t able to even try the potato gratin.

For dessert, we opted for the assortment of artisan cheese. The first cheese was a Saint Andre. It was my favorite, very creamy, with a nice flavor. This was paired with an apple and raisin compote that worked amazingly well with the cheese. They complemented each other beautifully – we enjoyed this pairing very much.

Our next cheese was a Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese. This was very mild for a goat cheese, and we also enjoyed it. It was paired with raisins on the vine. I don’t like raisins, so didn’t eat these, but my DH tried a few.

Next was the Manchego, paired with a honeycomb. The honeycomb was a bit overpowering for the mild flavor of the Manchego, so we ate this cheese plain and saved the honeycomb for the blue cheese.

Our final cheese was the Bel Gioioso Dolce Gorganzola, paired with Amarena cherries. Again, this cheese was quite mild, especially for a blue. It didn’t have that pungent, ammonia flavor that some blues have, and I enjoyed this one more than most. The cherries were awesome! They were just delicious, and the sweetness of the cherry sauce went well with this cheese.


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