Huge resorts aren’t known for gourmet dining, but during a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and beverage.
If you want to treat a group of up to 30 with an out-of-the-box culinary experience, consider setting up a chef’s table in the banquet kitchen. I sat on a high director’s chair at the stainless steel sauté counter and chatted with the chef as he prepared our exquisite two-course meal, beginning with grilled sea scallops with prosciutto, roasted red pepper, lemon chervil, and a balsamic reduction, followed by a tender fillet with truffle-braised tomatoes, baby Brussels sprouts and blood oranges, accompanied by an unusual but tasty grilled pineapple pasta. Each course was paired with wines that enhanced but didn’t overpower the cuisine.
While there are standard banquet menus to choose from, 80 percent of group meals at Walt Disney World are customized, says the executive chef. For wine-tastings, you can hook up with one of Disney’s many sommeliers. In their free time, attendees can sample more than 300 eateries located in the theme parks and resorts. —Regina Baraban