Saturday, August 25, 2018

Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table Dinner: Walt Disney World May 2018

During our most recent Walt Disney World vacation we were able to enjoy dinner at Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table in the Grand Floridian Resort.  The last time we enjoyed this experience was in 2011 with just the two of us dining.   This year we invited long-time friends to join us.    There’s only one seating per night in the kitchen and to get that reservation you need to call six months in advance. For us, that meant remembering to make the phone call during our Bahamas vacation.

We were staying at Bay Lake Towers for this portion of the trip which made it convenient to navigate transportation in dress-up clothes.   Meeting our friends in the Grand Concourse we took the Monorail over to the Grand Floridian, leaving time for a pre-cocktail at Mizner’s Lounge.  We were greeted outside of the restaurant and were told it would be just a minute as they prepared for us.  It wasn’t too long before we were escorted through the dining area into the kitchen.  The dining table is off to one end of the kitchen to give diners a length-wise view to the action.  

One thing we observed in the beginnings their timing seemed off. The chef didn’t greet us right away, which was odd. Turns out a staff meeting was running late and Chef Amy was still at the meeting.  Our backup chef decided to start our toast.  Chef Amy joined us a few minutes later.  There were several times the ladies were not served first.  

Dinner at the Chef’s Table is a set ten-course meal that changes seasonally.  Offerings at the Chef’s Table are the same as in the main dining room.  Surprisingly it’s only a slight up-charge to eat in the kitchen, just requires luck to score the ressie.   We all chose to add the wine pairing which included three whites, three reds, and a dessert wine. We skipped the caviar, turbot, and Miyazaki upgrades.  At various points during dinner a different fresh bread is served along with your choice of salt and butter.

We were not fans of the duck pastrami.  We heard it is no longer on the menu - maybe a result of our dining companions sharing their opinion of the dish with the chef.

After dinner we were presented with a box of small candies to choose from.  Being full we asked for them to be boxed.   We were disappointed to find they did not box one of each for us.  Don’t know why - they had plenty.  

One of the more fun experiences we had in the kitchen was watching the chefs make stock.   Two large (20 gallon maybe) cook pots were close to our rooms doorway.  We watched the chefs stir the contents displaying whole garlic cloves, bones, other vegetables, etc.   this stock would be cooked down over 5 days.   

It was probably a little after 10 o’clock when we finished up our coffees and paying our bills.   We had a chance to get a photo with the staff, which was nice.  The quality of the food and knowledge of the staff still remains impressive.  On this night the attention to details slipped a little but it still did not detract from the experience.

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