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Grand Californian Hotel - Napa Rose
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Chef Andrew Sutton prepares meals with a California flair. The exhibition wine cellar features California vintages.
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 16 ( Displaying Reviews: 1 - 10 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   March 13, 2009
Reviewer: Mouseketeer1955 California     August 11, 2010
If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, to celebrate something significant in your life, I would recommend "The Napa Rose" at "The Grand Californian Hotel".

It's been nearly one and a half years, but I thought I would share my experience there nonetheless. For my wife's birthday and our 29th wedding anniversary, I decided that we should spend a few days at Disneyland. In planning this event, I decided to pull out the stops and I decided that we would do something awesome, so I reserved seats at the "Chef's Counter at Napa Rose on her birthday.

When we arrived, we waited only a few minutes and were then taken to our seats. The Chef's counter is exactly as the term implies. We actually sat at the counter looking into the kitchen and watched all of the very capable chefs as they prepared dishes for their guests. Shortly after we were seated, we were asked what type of wine we preferred and the wine steward kept our glasses filled with our favorite, White Zinfandel from Woodbridge wineries. We were then introduced to Executive Chef Andrew Sutton who asked us about food allergies and preferences. I'm not a big fan of fish and that's important but I'm getting ahead of myself.

My wife loves to cook and bake, so Chef Sutton and her were having a grand time talking about stuff that was over my head. I'm not stupid and if you talk to me about firearms, scuba diving, ham radio, or the space program, I can stay with you. But they lost me after chef Sutton asked me what I like. During their conversation, I'm sure she mentioned her likes and dislikes, but they lost me when they were talking about...well...whatever it was they were talking about.

As we watched the activity in the kitchen, a food server brought our first dish. She said it was complementary and from Chef Sutton as she placed Oysters Rockefeller on the half shell in front of us. I looked at my wife, and she looked at me and then I picked it up and poured the oyster in my mouth. What I tasted was to say the least, a surprise. There was a pleasant taste of garlic and I actually enjoyed something I never tried before. As the dinner progressed, Chef Sutton threw another curve ball at me and the server placed "John Dory", another fish dish, in front of me. I was intrigued with this new experience with food and tried the John Dory, and to my surprise, actually enjoyed it. The other dishes were wild boar and lamb, something my wife tells me was a Portobello mushroom Cappuccino Bisque (I had to look it up in her Disney cookbook so I could spell it), and other non fish dishes.

To make a long story short, Napa Rose was the best eating experience I ever had. This is coming from a guy that lives on burgers and fries from In-N-Out and McDonald's.

As a final note, it wasn't cheap. We had a great time, the food was awesome, and everyone at Napa Rose was great. The total bill was about $250.00. But we were full and satisfied and we felt that the whole experience was well worth it.
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   Saturday, October 13, 2007 at roughly 8:00 PM
Reviewer: Andrew ( Palo Alto, CA     November 14, 2007
Note: This review is for the Napa Rose Lounge.

Guests: A whole lot of MousePlanet staff and/or crew people
What I had: Diligently Selected Cheeses.

This review will be in a different style than usual. Rather than going over the appetizers, small bites and drinks that everyone in our party of nine enjoyed, I'm going to focus solely on my cheese platter. Trust me, everyone else liked what they had.

The "Diligently Selected Cheeses" were served on a platter with various bits of dried fruit and candied nuts, and came with a printed handout naming and describing each cheese in detail. Here they are in order: (typos and odd phrasing are straight from the handout!)

* Brie Val De Saône (vol dee Sone) - France
This is a rare and hard to get brie cheese, from Vale de Saône near the river Saône. This particular brie has a long history dating back to Charlemagne in 774. Many Bries are around 40% - 45% butter fat, this is over 60% and perfectly ripe. The cream-colored soft interior oozes at room temperature. The flavor is sweet and buttery with hints of almond.

* Bucheron, St. Saviol (boo-share-OH) - France
This Goat's milk cheese is from Burgundy, France, made in the village of Poitou. This is a fresh, unripened chèvre. This cheese is a pleasant cheese to snack on, which is somewhat tart and chalky on the palette.

* Etorki (eh-tor-KEE) - Aquitaine, France
This is an Aged A.O.C. 100% Sheep's Milk cheese from the high mountains of the Western Pyrenees of France. This is a true world class cheese with a nutty almost fruity character. The cheese has remained unchanged for well over a hundred years due to the remoteness of the area.

*Mimolette (MEE-moh-LETT) - France
A relative of Dutch Edam, made from pasteurized Cow's milk, Mimolette has a vivid orange color and a distinctive nutty taste. It is aged over 1 year and has a firm, yet flaky texture.

* Grana Padano - Emilia-Romagna, Italy
This Cow's milk D.O.C. cheese is made througout Lombardy andPiedmont regions of Northern Italy. The name padona means "of the Po River". This cheese is aged over two years and is a Parmesan style. The color is a straw to cream color. The flavor is that of classic Parmigiano-Reggiano, but with wonderful nutty notes and less salty flavor than other parmesans.

* San Joaquin Gold - California, USA
This is an artisan cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk by Fiscalini Family Creamery in Modesto, California. Its milk comes from it sown herd of 1500 Holstein cows. It just recently won a gold medal at the prestigious London World Cheese Awards. Aged for 15 months, it is semi-hard, with a natural rind and sweet, salty, buttery taste and a rich, nutty flavor and pleasingly crumbly texture.

* Roquefort "Le Papillon" (roke-FORE) (LAY PAPP-ee-yone) - France
"Le Papillon": the butterfly. The worlds premiere sheep's milk blue-veined cheese. It has a creamy interior with an intense, complex and spicy flavor with hints of bitterness associated with rye bread crumbs, which as used to distribute the bleu veining.

* Shropshire Blue (SHROP-shur-blu) - England
This cheese was invented in England at the beginning of the centure and currently regarded as a world class cheese. Shropshire is a farmhouse Blue-Vein Cheddar made from Cow's Milk. It has a crumbly, yet firm and creamy texture. This cheese is aged 1 year, and is great with red wine!

Without exception, each one of the cheeses was wonderful. Each cheese's associated paragraph pretty accurately described the flavor and texture, and I made sure to try most of them along with the bits of fruit, candied nuts and toast points. Pure pleasure, completely decadent. I loved it.

Service: Disappointing to start--the server saw a large party and must have assumed we were going to hang out, not order much and therefore tip low--but she perked up once we started ordering drinks and food. The odd thing was that she offered opinions on just about everything ordered. Actually that's not the odd thing--the odd thing was that her opinions were fairly negative and she was somewhat insistent about her preferred alternative. Again, though, she did get a lot better after the initial round of orders. One other sour note was that it was basically impossible to get a glass of water, and once having received one to have it refilled.

Would we go back: Yes, but perhaps in a smaller group.
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   Sunday, October 28, 2007
Reviewer: renodlandlover Reno, NV     October 31, 2007
We had PS for Napa Rose to celebrate our thirteenth anniversary at 7:30, dinner time.

My husband and I were very excited to have a wonderful dinner at Napa Rose, especially after a few questions and responses on the boards here. We were somewhat disappointed. First, let me say that primarily that disappointment stemmed from the fact that my husband is a relatively strict vegetarian - not a vegan, but does not eat any meat - fish or fowl included. He is willing to eat some meat based broths, and thank goodness for that or he would have just had wine for dinner.

Our server was Heather. She was very thoughtful and attentive. We arrived and were seated right away, and served the bread basket, which has WONDERFUL breads, especially the parmesean "bread". It was terrific! We knew the restaraunt was going to be quite expensive, and it measures up to that reputation. After perusing the menu for several minutes, it became clear that there was not ONE main dish on the menu that did not include meat. There is the portabella mushroom soup, but it is made with rabbit broth. We had that anyway, it is amazing.

Heather offered Ron some "pasta" or a "vegetable tower", but those of you that are veggies understand that pasta or a pile of veggies, no matter how wonderfully prepared, is not a meal. Especially when it would be $20+ for that. We asked about the risotto on the appetizer menu - also made with meat stock. She then said she would enquire about some options - Ron asked about a serving of the pumpkin ravioli. The chef was willing to serve that as a separate entree (it was part of the Vintner's dinner). She did make it clear that even the ravioli dish would not be totally meat free.

I am a vegetarian by marriage, so I ordered the ginger shrimp. It was very tasty, and RICH!. We did order the flourless chocolate cake for dessert, which was wonderful.

Heather was a wonderful server, and all of the servers there are sommeliers. She chose a wine for us, once we told her what we generally like, and it was quite nice.

So, to sum up:

Service - very attentive and good
Price - very high, as expected
Food - very rich, good, except for vegetarian options, which were just about nil
Atmosphere - lovely

I think Ron, my DH, summed it best like this: At a restaraunt where there is clearly amazing talent and ability of the chef and cooking staff, it would be nice if that talent was used to create ONE dish that is meat free, and tasty, and balanced, and wonderful like everything else on the menu looks to be. While Heather said again and again that they try to be accomodating, they actually are not to those that do not eat meat.

We did enjoy a dinner out on our own, but most likely will not go back, due to the lack of vegetarian friendly food.
9 out of 13 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   October 17, 2007
Reviewer: Boo's Mommy California     October 22, 2007
I originally made PS reservations for 4 (2A, 2C) for 8:30 p.m. But my brother was able to babysit and leave us to have a wonderful belated Anniversary diinner. We were seated immediately and our waiter "Saucey" was absolutely wonderful! With 2 kids, we have never had a "fine dining" experience and Saucey helped us through the menu and made us feel at ease. With his recommendation, we ordered the Vintner's Prix Fixe with wine pairing for me. My dh told Saucey he was more of a beer guy and Saucey surprised him with beers to compliment his meal! I don't remember the names of each course, but it was soooooooo good. Not that the two i'll describe were better than the others, but they stood out for was a halibut, crusted with cornmeal and another was served in a little copper pot with mushrooms, ooooh and another had scallops with beef cheeks (melts in your mouth), oh and of course the custard and empanada for dessert....hehe, guess i did remember them all. Forgot to mention, we also ordered the lobster pierogi as an extra and that tooo was D-lish! Now my wines. Saucey paired my wines for me, which was perfect each time. When it got to the red-wine, it was too tart and dry for me and Saucey gladly found me another wine, which was Perfect for my taste! I'd say my favorite was the Livindi (dessert wine), which of course is only made for the Napa Rose. But Saucey named a few wines of similar taste that I could find at the store. The food, the service, it was truly, the best dining experience I have ever had in my life and well worth the price! It was sooo good, it's bringing a tear to my eye as I write my review. Thank you folks at Napa Rose for a most wonderful dinner!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   Sept. 2006
Reviewer: MinnieMomma Long Beach, CA     November 19, 2006
My mother, 13 y.o. daughter and I were staying at the GCH and wanted some decent dinner. We had not brought fine dining clothes with us, but decided to take a chance on Napa Rose. I had heard the Lounge was a fine place to have a bit to eat, so we asked to sit there. We ordered some appetizers to share, a large platter with 4 tastes to try and the lobster ravioli. They were both delicious and unusual. My mother and I had a glass of merlot that our charming waiter recommended. It was just wonderful. And he kept the Shirley Temples coming for my daughter. We then ordered 2 desserts to share, a chocolate cake and a banana sundae. I must admit we were fighting over the last drops of both. It was not a problem being casually dressed in the Lounge, but our waiter provided service for us like we were eating a 5 course dinner in the dining room. And yes, it was expensive. 2 glasses of wine, the Shirley Temples, a large and small appetizer and 2 desserts with tax and tip was just over $100.00. But with food that delicious and unusual, I'll be going back for more when we're there in January. Its a great eating experience!!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/21/06
Reviewer: hawaiian mickey Laguna Hill, CA     October 22, 2006
Best food in Southern California. We ate at the chef's counter.
This is our second time eating here. The food is excellent.
We alway take the chef surprise with the wine pairing. The chef surprised us with his selection for our food. He asked us if we had anything that we particularly don't like and from there it was surprise at every turn.Watching them prepare all the food that was going thru out the restaurant made the anticipation for our food so much better. An we were not disappointed. Everyone in the kitchen made our experience so wonderful
Our server Michael(saucy) was excellent. He paired our wines with our meals perfect. An my wife is a picky wine drinker and he paired the wines perfect for her taste. Service was the best we have ever had. Much more better than Club 33 and almost as good as Victoria and Albert's at the Grand Floridian.
We are going to make this a quarterly event for us. Ask for the Chef's counter on the leftside (better experience) and ask for Michael (saucy) you can't go wrong
Good Eats
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   July 26, 2006
Reviewer: FunMom Honolulu, HI     August 19, 2006
Excellent food (taste and presentation), wine and service. While I am not a vegetarian, I like to have veggies to balance our meals - I was happy to see that a good amount of veggies were incorparated in everyone's selections. Additional tasty vegetable side dishes are also avialable.

We were impressed to experience this type of dining in a theme park environment. Definitely worth dining here even if you are not visiting the parks. Napa Rose is far far far from being a tourist trap.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   9/30/05
Reviewer: lisaboo Sacramento, CA     October 07, 2005
As my boyfriend and I were using this trip as our one big trip of the year, we decided to splurge on the food and it was our decision to go to The Napa Rose as our last hurrah of the week. It was a good decision. We used the entrance from Disney's California Adventure and it was VERY convienent on our sore feet. The ONLY thing that could be said as a negative is that we had reservations and although the restaurant was not full they made us wait for a few minutes. It was okay because there was plenty of room in the lounge area and it allowed us to take in the ambiance and adjust from a hectic day in the parks. Once we were seated for dinner we had impecable service, I only wish I remembered our waiter's name so I could write a commendation for him. He was the right balance between being accessible yet not hovering and being polite but joking with us as well. My boyfriend and I both started with the seasonal soup of pumpkin bisque with spicy beef wontons. One of the best soups I have eaten in my life (and the other had lobster). My boyfriend also got the pheasant and dumplings appetizer, which I took a couple of bites of. That was fabulous as well. For dinner my boyfriend had the sizzling beach rock appetizer as his entree, which had shrimp, chicken and ribs. I tried a bite of his shrimp and chicken and both were fabulous and presented beautifully in a stylized bento box. I had the blackberry chipotle short rib with sweet corn risotto. Incredible! I also had a couple of glasses of Toad Hollow Chardonnay, which was delicious. They had a GREAT wine list. The view from our table was of the large Frank Lloyd Wright-style stained glass window, which overlooks the lovely landscaped areas of the Grizzly Peak area of DCA. We were both stuffed silly and very sad to not have room to try one of the desserts. Our waiter informed us that we could always come back and sit in the (very large and comfortable) lounge and order dessert there. Unfortunately after fireworks that night we could barely drag ourselves back to our hotel so we missed dessert altogether. On our next trip we will definitely budget to come back to The Napa Rose and make sure we leave room for dessert. A superlative experience!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   October 2004
Reviewer: geoffa London U.K. - WE ARE NOT AFRAID     August 08, 2005
There's a maxim in life: You get what you pay for. At Napa Rose you'll receive a gastronomic experience with superb ambience and an amazing view of Grizzly Peak in the "California" park. Foodwise we both had scallops with a lemon and lobster sauce for starters followed by succulent lamb T bones with a bean / artichoke salad and Pacific salmon with a corn and champagne broth. Total heaven on the tongue. Desserts were Tahitian Creme Brulee / Chocolate pate with a hazelnut cream. The Sommelier, Michael Jordan (who is also the General manager) is attentive and knowledgable about his 1,000 wine labels. He allowed us several tastings before settling on a Russian River Reserve Chardonnay.A discussion followed about the Wine scholarship scheme (I used to work for a wine company in the U.K.) Servers were friendly and attentive when needed. The overall experience is superb. Yes it's $$$ but as said at the beginning - you get what you pay for. As for Thanksgiving experiences mentioned elsewhere in these threads I'd avoid restaurants where possible at that time of year but if you must dine out then it's not going to be like a normal day! I've always found that if you have any difficulties or problems at Disney they'll do their level best to sort it out if you give them a chance!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   December 31, 2002 and January 1, 2003
Reviewer: Clotho Seattle, WA     July 27, 2005
My husband and I were celebrating his birthday, which happens to fall on New Years. I surprised him with a trip to Disneyland and a New Years dinner at Napa Rose. We had such an incredible meal and experience on New Years, we splurged to retun the very next night. Yes, it was expensive, but it was so amazing a dining experience, we couldn't resist.

New Years was a fixed menu, had a live Swing/Big Band playing, decorated to the hilt with lovely New Years decor, and everyone was dressed to the nines. It was a magical evening, which included the most incredible food, I still think about it frequently. We danced the night away, sipped champage by an outdoor firpit on the patio, and saw the fireworks go off over California Adventure while making new friends.

The next night, we requested the same waiter. His name was Michael Jordan, so we couldn't possibly forget it. *smile* His knowledge of food and wine were a rare treat. He helped us make some great choices that made it well worth the $$ we were dropping to come two nights in a row, and then brought us a complimentary pear tart and some sherry that went together so perfectly, I can almost taste it now.

We have tried to come up with the cash to return on subsequent trips, but have not been able to make it back in the years since. We will absolutely make a point to get back if ever we can, to enjoy the amazing food and service again. Without a doubt the best Disney dining experience, if not the top dining experience we have EVER had, at Napa Rose.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful
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