Dining with an Imagineer, Dinner at Flying Fish Cafe, Boardwalk Inn & Villas, Walt Disney World – Part 2: The Food

Our notes and thoughts regarding the Imagineering part of the evening are in another post. This one is solely about the food.

To set the stage for the Dining with an Imagineer at the Flying Fish Cafe, we have photos of the restaurant itself (by the way, we’ve never eaten here – the menu has always seemed too frou-frou, but we’ve become more knowledgeable about “food speak” thanks to all of our visits to bluezoo)…

In keeping with the overall theme of the Boardwalk Inn & Villas, the restaurant is bright and colorful in some aspects, whimsical in others, and there is the imagery of carnivals and boardwalks.

View of main dining room from the lobby area

View of main dining room from the lobby area

Looking back towards the open kitchen from the dining room

Looking back towards the open kitchen from the dining room

Ferris wheel in keeping with the overall Boardwalk Inn theming

Ferris wheel in keeping with the overall Boardwalk Inn theming

Light fixtures are themed as flying fish with parachutes

Light fixtures are themed as flying fish with parachutes

Another flying fish

Another flying fish

In addition to the usual dining room seating…

A regular table setting at Flying Fish Cafe

A regular table setting at Flying Fish Cafe

there are seats along the open kitchen’s bar…

Dining area at the open kitchen

Dining area at the open kitchen

More dining bar space

More dining bar space

We were seated in a room off to the side, to allow for more intimacy and privacy during our dinner with an Imagineer…

Our table setting at Flying Fish

Our table setting at Flying Fish

The Dining with an Imagineer experience at the Flying Fish Cafe (Boardwalk Inn and Villas) is different than most of the food-centric experiences we’ve had at Walt Disney World, you’re given a choice of entrees. As soon as we were seated (about 5:40 pm), Russ (our head server for the evening) asked for our preferences… nora chose the scallops and nick chose the potato-wrapped red snapper (a recurring speciality at Flying Fish Cafe).

Our menu for Dining with an Imagineer

Our menu for Dining with an Imagineer

We were offered a wine pairing with the meal for an additional $30, nick encouraged nora to partake (he was driving).

Appetizer Sampler

Wine pairing: Trimbach Reisling; nora thought this wine was good by itself and with the food, although she’s aware that she prefers Reislings as a general rule

Nick thought that the appetizers were quite good and nora judged them to be very good (especially the tuna tartare). The crab cake was nicely crisp. The sushi roll was okay, but nothing amazing.

Appetizer Sampler: Yellowfin Tuna Tartare & Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll and Our Signature Flying Fish Cafe "Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake"

Appetizer Sampler: Yellowfin Tuna Tartare & Crispy Tempura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll and Our Signature Flying Fish Cafe “Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake”

The yellowfin tuna appetizer

The yellowfin tuna appetizer

Crab cake

Crab cake

Salad

Wine Pairing: Crios Torrontes from Chile, the wine was okay, but not something we’ll make the effort to seek out – thus far, we haven’t been wowed by any chilean wines

Nora was more impressed by the salad than nick was, particularly the gorgonzola dolce and the candied walnuts (could have been hunger influencing her tastebuds); this isn’t to say that the salad was talk-about-it-for-days amazing, just that it was a nicely created salad with a mix of textures.

Entrees

Wine Pairing with the Scallops: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012, it paired well with the fish dishes especially the scallops

Nick’s choice was the Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper, as a general rule we both like red snapper. While this was good (better than nora expected), it didn’t wow us the way that the fish dishes do at bluezoo (hmmm, is there a trend going on?). The leek fondue was okay, but a bit too creamy. Also, we don’t really understand the pairing of fish with “veal glace, red wine, and cassis butter reduction” that seems more like something to adorn beef or lamb, not fish (we had a heavier, deep sauce on a lighter protein somewhere else lately… guess we’re just not fans of the combination).

Nick's selection: Potato-wrapped Red Snapper

Nick’s selection: Potato-wrapped Red Snapper

Close-up of red snapper dish

Close-up of red snapper dish

Nora chose the scallops and we both thought that this dish was better than the red snapper. The scallops were nicely seared but still barely cooked (making them very tender), the risotto was excellent and it was hard to not eat every morsel. The wine paired nicely with the dish.

Nora's selection: Oak-Grilled Maine Coast Day Boat Sea Scallops

Nora’s selection: Oak-Grilled Maine Coast Day Boat Sea Scallops

Close-up of the scallop dish

Close-up of the scallop dish

Dessert

Wine Pairing: Blaues Haus Eiswein Cuvee 1997; seems like eiswein or other syrupy wines (such as wines made with dried grapes) are becoming popular with desserts at Disney World, we’re not really sure why and think it may be due to the “uniqueness” of these wines… at times it’s too much sweet and any balance or “pairing” is lost in all the sugariness

The dessert was a caramelized banana napoleon, we’ve also noticed a lot of banana and caramel or toffee desserts lately. This wasn’t bad, but not nearly as good as the banofee pie at bluezoo. The phyllo was nice crisp, however, with the softer layers between the phyllo sheets, it can be difficult to eat these sorts of desserts neatly and/or to get a complete taste of all of the components at the same time (the banana in the middle layer was particularly hard to keep in place).

Dessert: Flying Fish Cafe "Carmelized Banana Napolean"

Dessert: Flying Fish Cafe “Carmelized Banana Napolean”

Close-up of Carmelized Banana Napoleon

Close-up of Carmelized Banana Napoleon

Overall Experience

We enjoyed the food overall and we would like to do the Dining with an Imagineer at the Brown Derby in the future. While we won’t be “no no no” about eating at Flying Fish (as we have been in the past), it’s likely to be a restaurant we go to with friends who really want to go there. With bluezoo a short walk away, it’s going to remain our favorite for the foreseeable future.

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