Albert and Victoria's in Disney's Grand Floridian

Discussion in 'Restaurant Reviews' started by dear abby, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. dear abby

    dear abby

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    Dear Abby is ready now to share her memories of another magical restaurant experience in Disney World -- the award-winning Albert and Victoria's in the magnificent Grand Floridian Resort Hotel.

    Many scoff at Disney restaurants, but make no mistake, my pets; this is world-class dining! Albert and Victoria's has earned 4 stars from Mobil, 5 diamonds from AAA, Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, and Zagat's Triple Crown for food, decor and service. The menu is described as "American Regional".

    If you go -- and you must -- keep in mind that Albert and Victoria's is the only restaurant on Disney property where one is truly required to dress for dinner, meaning coat and tie for gentlemen, dressy attire for ladies. Of course, Abby was well prepared -- George had made sure of that by encouraging her to make reservations at Palio (The Swan), Bistro de France, and Citrico's .

    Albert and Victoria's is an intimate, formal restaurant located upstairs inside the Grand Floridian. Abby and George were seated near a huge floral display in the center of the dining room beneath the domed ceiling painted to resemble a Victorian lace parasol. The columns surrounding the dome were decorated with lavish holiday garlands of greenery with pink poinsettias, shiny gold and pink ball ornaments, bows of gold silk organza and crystal teardrop pendants. Very pretty!

    Cherubs adorned the chandeliers of "old gold" with creamy parchment lampshades. Italian Provincial armchairs were upholstered in pale butterscotch leather. Tables were dressed in floor-length cloths of ivory/white-striped brocade. Each table was set with gold-rimmed ivory Royal Doulton china, shell-patterned Sambonet Italian silver flatware and Schott-Zweisel crystal. Flickering candles in silver hurricane lamps set a romantic mood. In a corner of the lovely dining room was a beautiful lady softly playing Christmas carols on her harp. The entire effect was simply enchanting!

    Two servers were assigned to your Dear Abby for the evening. Albert, our butler, was dressed in brown tuxedo with pale gold vest and bow tie, and Victoria, our maid, in long brown skirt and white ruffled Victorian blouse. It was unnecessary for Dear Abby to take notes because Albert and Victoria presented us with beautiful, personalized keepsake menus! (For this reason, you will be asked to spell the names of each person in your party when making reservations.)

    An amuse bouche before the first course was a nice little surprise -- miniature crab cake with mustard aioli. Hot rolls were delivered with butter in one of those ornate silver Victorian butter-keepers with ice in the bottom. Butter was molded into a round cake with a raised "V&A" monogram.

    Abby's first course was Warm Duck Confit with Fuji Apple and Warm Sherry Vinaigrette. Dear George chose the In-House Cured Canadian Salmon with Shaved Fennel and Chipolte-Lime Vinaigrette. With this course, a light, floral Champagne, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Premier Cru, Epernay. Dear Abby had not planned to imbibe, but then George quoted John Maynard Keynes to her: "My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." Well, Abby has no desire to add to her list of regrets!

    For the second course, both Dear Abby and George chose the Seared Scallop with Baby Bok Choy and Coconut-Thai Curry Broth. The large perfectly browned scallop was garnished with micro greens and enoki mushrooms. This dish was paired with a slightly sweet German wine, Ayler Kupp, Spätlese, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 1999.

    Abby's soup course was a classic Chicken Consommé. Her beloved had the Potato-Leek Cream. The soup was presented elegantly -- on gold-rimmed plate lined with a lace doily, upon which sat a saucer, which in turn held the footed soup bowls. Nice.

    For the main entrée, Abby chose the Poached Maine Lobster with Salsify Gratin and Buddah Lemon Beurre Blanc (Abby still wonders why the sauce was named "Buddah"). The lobster was more moist and tender than any she has ever tasted. It was topped with a garnish of crispy fried carrot "threads". The lobster was paired with Louis Jadot, Saint-Véran "Chappelle aux Loups" 1999. This was a white burgundy with a distinct hazelnut flavor. She made a note to remember this wine when George and Chef Henri restocked the wine cellar (our Pouilly-Fuissé at home is also from Maison Louis Jadot).

    Dear George's main course was Colorado lamb with Goat Cheese Gnocchi and Rosemary Jus. He had a glass of Suso, Gran Reserva, Unica, Léon, 1985, a Spanish red wine which he enjoyed immensely with the lamb.

    The cheese course was a total delight, served with Dow's 1995 Vintage Port. Abby must admit that she enjoyed this one. Most Ports are too sweet for Abby. This was rich and fruity, yet noticeably drier than others she had tried. Abby's favorite of the cheeses was the Passendale (a cow's milk cheese from Belgium). The Royal Stilton was delicious as well, served with three thin slices of Burgundy Poached Pear fanned out prettily on the plate. A nice multi-grain bread was served with the cheese course as well.

    Finally, dessert and coffee! Abby usually prefers citrus-flavored desserts, but mention Valrhona and her head snaps around! She chose the Pyramid of Valrhona Chocolate Mousse with Glazed Strawberries. The perfect little pyramid of mousse was constructed atop a square of chocolate genoise. This dessert was very, very delicious.

    George had the Caramelized Banana Gateau. Of course, Abby was so absorbed in conquering her pyramid that she did not pay very much attention to George's dessert, which he described as "banana heaven".

    At the end of Christmas Eve dinner, just as the long-stem roses were being presented to the ladies, one of the guests noticed that it was past midnight -- therefore, Christmas! At this announcement, the harpist began to play "Joy To the World", and there was much happy socializing and "Merry Christmas" wishes exchanged among our little group of strangers in Disney World.

    Another magical moment!


    Abby!
     
  2. dear abby

    dear abby

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    Dear Abby did not make the photograph attach properly, so she is trying once again!

    It does not work! Abby has no idea why.

    Abby
     
  3. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Dea Abby,

    I must admit that this meal sounds truely lovely.

    Someday I hope to take my family to disney world, it's great to know there sre some wonderful restaurants. I think the wines you had with your meal must have been perfect!

    Thanks for sharing this very tasty dinner expereaince with us
    cc:chef:
     
  4. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree Dear Abby, I think the food at Disney gets a bad wrap. Sure there is a lot of junky fast food there, but if you just search a little you can find some really good food there also. Almost every country around the lagoon at Epcot has a couple of restaurants and most of them are really good, considering.... There are fun restaurants all over the resort, in hotels and in the parks. While we were there we had numerous good meals, though we didn't get a chance to dine at Victoria and Albert's. Just remember that most of these places are serving 100s if not 1000s of meals every day. Sure there were only 1 or 2 meals that I thought was really, really good, but by the same token, only 1 or 2 meals that I was sorry that I paid money for.
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Technically, it's Victoria and Albert's at the Grand Floridian. Went there last year, make sure you make your reservations early, and arrive on time, and for around $35, I'd suggest the flight of wines which accompanies each course :)

    Kuan
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I was so excited by your mention that I just had to respond before I did my usually thorough search through my library. So this is a disclaimer that I could be wrong, as I am relying on my memory alone.

    I believe there is a citrus fruit called "Buddha's hand." Instead of being globular in shape, it has numerous "fingers" which are more rind than flesh. Perhaps that is the mysterious ingredient that Dear Abby encountered? This has piqued my curiosity, and I will keep looking.
     
  7. dear abby

    dear abby

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    Zut alors! Victoria and Albert's! Of course it is! Ladies first! Thank you, Kuan. Dear Abby should have turned over her souvenir menu; the name is embossed in gold on the menu cover!

    Good advice, my dear Kuan. Among many other awards, Victoria and Albert's earned Wine Spectator's 2001 Award of Excellence for their outstanding wine list.

    The prix fixe menu is usually $85.00 per person (sans wine), and around $35.00 for wine, but be aware that during special holidays, the price is higher. At Christmas, it was $100.00 per person with an additional $45.00 per person charge for those lovely wine pairings.

    Victoria and Albert's is a small restaurant. Reservations go quickly, so call for reservations as soon as you know your travel dates.

    My dear Suzanne, from whom Abby has never received the resume! Merci! Abby appreciates your assistance and she is piqued as well!

    Merci!

    Abby
     
  8. suzanne

    suzanne

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    My dear Dear Abby,

    Please forgive my rudeness in not fulfilling the promise of the resume. I hope you will understand that on further consideration, I thought that I might be of more service to more people if I remained independent. That way, both Abby and the rest of the world may benefit from my efforts. If I cannot save the world, at least I may try to edify as many as possible.

    So I apologize, and thank you for the gentle reminder of my duty.

    I must dash now, but will work on the research problem later. I only wish I had a scanner, so that when I find the reference I could attach it. Oh well.