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California Grill
 
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Description:
Dine at an authentic "California Style" restaurant located at the top (15th floor) of Disney's Contemporary Resort while overlooking the Magic Kingdom.
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Average Reviewer Rating: 3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 19 ( Displaying Reviews: 11 - 19 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/25/2003, 10/31/2003
Reviewer: poweraap Millburn, NJ     November 04, 2003
This is, by far, the best dining experience I have had a WDW to date. We ate at The California Grill on our first night and loved it so much that we decided to dine there on our last night as well. First of all, the view of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon is magnificent. We had the pleasure of dining here on one of the nights of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party during which a special fireworks performance is given. The fireworks go off all around the Magic Kingdom and Sevens Seas Lagoon. It was breathtaking! What a view!!

The service was extraordinary as well. Our servers on both nights were extremely attentive without being invasive. For starters, we ordered the following items: the Hearts of Romaine with Green Goddess Dressing, the Triple Cheese, Sun Dried Tomato flatbread, the shrimp tempura roll, the banzai roll, the tuna three ways, and a cream based soup that had a dollop of custard in the center. They were all magnificent. It is hard to tell which was the favorite. Between the two nights we tasted all of the entrees except two. My favorite was the Pork Tenderloin over polenta. The pork was so tender and the zinfandel glaze that is drizzled over it is so flavorful. And the polenta was so fluffy it could have been mashed potatos. YUM!! The tuna in a wasabi broth was a smash as well. The tuna was definitely sushi grade and all of the flavors blended together so well. We also had the mahi mahi, the salmon, the ribeye and the pumpkin ravioli. All were delicious. If I went back again, I wouldn't know which to get!!!

And for the best part... DESSERT!!! We couldn't decide which dessert we wanted so we asked them to prepare a sample platter of all of the items, except for the cheeses and sorbets. Each dessert was better than the next. We had the valrhona chocolate souffle, the vanilla panna cotta, the sour apple cheesecake, the creme brulee, the apple tart and the very BEST dessert on the menu, the brioche french toast served with warm syrup and bananas.

We had two bottles of wine: a syrah and a riesling. They were both delightful as well. The total bill came to be @ $70 per person including tax and tip. However, it is definitely worth it. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys dining as an experience. I can't wait to go back!!!
 
12 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   Aug. 27/03
Reviewer: Joytotheworld Orillia, Ontario, Canada     October 11, 2003
Incredibly attentive service
Expensive but worth every penny and then some
Every item cooked to perfection and served with panache
Modernistic decor with breathtaking views

If it were possible to give a restaurant more than five planets, I would in this case. This was definitely the best restaurant I have ever eaten in, bar none. When we showed up for our priority seating, we were seated immediately. Our waiter was courteous, helpful and very attentive. He made menu suggestions which we followed and were glad we did. Both of us ordered the beef filet which is slow cooked and constantly hand-turned so that the finished product is this mouthwateringly tender and tasty cut of beef that is enough to make anyone's taste buds do a happy dance. We were celebrating my son's birthday so the waiter presented us with this complimentary slab of chocolate cake which tasted far too heavenly to be called simply a cake. I don't know what its official name was but it was fabulous. We had arrived right at sunset and had a great window table. We got to first watch nature put on a spectacular floor show with a breathtaking sunset, followed up by a viewing of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks. It was amazing seeing them up so close like that. If you're intending to splurge on one really nice dinner out while you're at Disney, then this is the place to do it. Every single part of our meal experience was pure perfection!
 
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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1.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.0   26/06/03
Reviewer: neal73 London, UK     July 10, 2003
We booked the California Grill as the evening meal as part of our Disney wedding package, and arranged priority seating with a window view.

On arrival we were quite early so we had some drinks and at the time of our booking we were expecting to be seated. After asking three times and a VERY long wait we were finally seated. 20 minutes later our order was finally taken and it then took an hour until our food arrived and one of the starters was completely cold. After yet another lengthy wait our main course was finally arrived, this time one of the steaks was completely overcooked and had to be sent back three times.

Our server seemed to be MIA for the duration of our meal, and upon one of our party actually speaking to the manager we recieved no apology for such rubbish service.

The food was mediocre - we were staying at AKL where the food was of a much higher standard. If you plan to eat at a disney hotel avoid the California Grill at all costs and head to AKL instead. Better food, better service and much nicer surroundings.
 
6 out of 11 people found this review helpful
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1.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.0   05/05/03
Reviewer: jmgannon Orlando, Florida     May 05, 2003
My sister, mother and I planned a trip to Disney during Epcot's Flower Festival and were really looking forward to it. Thanks to the incompetent staff at the California Grill and Guest Services, we will be ending our 29 year relationship with Disney this evening. When we arrived for our priority seating at 8:00 pm, we were informed we had no priority seating. (We had a confirmation number given to us when the reservation was made). A wait time of 20-30 minutes was given, which eventually stretched to 50, with multiple delaying tactics used ("it'll be just a few minutes", "we're cleaning your table and it will ready shortly", "We were just getting ready to call you"). We left angry and unfed. My 72 year old mother later that evening developed shortness of breath and dizzyness, and we had to cut our trip short. Needless to say, we will never return, to the restaurant, the hotel, or WDW.
 
4 out of 66 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   12/23/02
Reviewer: cally troy, ohio     January 07, 2003
Wonderful is a good one word description. The California Grill looks alot like Palos( which is partnered with The California Grill) on the Disney cruise ships. The menu, which changes every week, was a little limited, but had enough choices that a picky eater like myself could eat from. My wife and I both had the filet for dinner. It was wonderful. You could cut it with your fork, and was the best steak I have ever had. They had a great steak sauce to put on it too. For starters we had the four cheese flat bread. Which was very good. We finished our meal with the banana bread pudding with ice cream. Also wonderful. For drink I had a Mai-Tai which was good, my wife had a coke. The waitness was very heplful with our questions and was very attentive. We were able to stay for the firework, which was yes wonderful, the view of the fireworks from up on top. The price was higher then i was use to, but worth it. 120.00 for the both of us. I would highly recommend The California Grill.
 
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   December 7 2002
Reviewer: akdisney Laguna Beach Cal.     December 26, 2002
I take a trip to WDW ones a year, Is will be my ten year down and my nine year comming to the California Grill for dinner.
I was toll that the chief was new and he came from the flying fish cafe by boardwalk resort. I have the steam mussel and the lamb shank. the mussel alway great to eat for the frist courts and the main was the lamb shank. the meat pull off the bone nice a juicily. You only need a fork. The cheif change the dessert. I want to dig into the souffle but was not on the memu. so have a choclate cake.
I all was come for the view of the Magic kingdom fire works with the music pipe in to the place, If you are seating the restaurant will dim the light so you can see the firework. the sunset is nice to see too.
the fook is great and atmosphere can be nosiely the view the great. there is one main waitress or waiter and two food server. they will attain and surpass any of your needs. the price alway is high but you get the best food a view!
Alan
 
1 out of 10 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 2002
Reviewer: cosmic ray (hoylejr@aol.com) atlanta     November 16, 2002
this was my first time ever in the hallowed contemporary resort. we were staying at the boardwalk inn, for we made reservations too late to stay at the contemporary. nevertheless, we were fortunate to eat at the california grill and it was worth every dollar (roughly$150.00 for 2). we had mussels for appetizers, along with cocktails. for the main course we both had filet mingon and it was delicious. the best steak i've ever had in my life. as good as the food was, the atmosphere was better. the view of the magic kingdom and the 7 seas lagoon was breath taking. we had an early dinner, so we werent able to see the fire works, but next july we're staying at the contemporary, dining at the california grille, and i cannot wait. by the way, the service was nice, professionaly done. a snooty serever, but he definately didnt ruin the experience. i highly recommend this restaraunt if price doesnt matter.
 
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   August 26 2001
Reviewer: fxeditor (fxeditor@pacbell.net) Burbank, CA     August 29, 2002
All I can say is wow! I had taken my wife to WDW as a surprise for her birthday and the staff treated us like royalty! The food was superb and I found the wine list to contain many reasonable bottles of excellent California wine! For those of you familiar with Disneyland the restaurant looks and feels like Napa Rose at the Grand Californian but with a view the Anaheim restaurant can't even come close to!
If you are going to WDW to celebrate a special occasion or just looking for a REALLY good meal, I'd recommend The California Grill wholeheartedly.
 
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   8/3/02-8/9/02
Reviewer: vbdad55 Chicagoland     August 16, 2002
After 12 visits in 10 years to WDW, my family finally got the courage to visit the California Grill. The reason I say this is that I have read many reviews that had total bills of $200 + for 2 people and as you budget your money to ensure as many dining experiences as possible, we avoided this outstanding restaurant. Also as we decided to do this for the last meal of our trip ( before heading to Vero Beach Resort for a few days ) I booked the reservation for 9:15 PM to ensure we would have a view of the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks at MK. All I can say is if you haven't done this -- you are mssing one of the true treasures of WDW. The food is as good as any 4-5 star restaurant I have eaten in during my travels. Two members of the family had the Chicken with roasted tomato sauce -- and my teenage daughter proclaimed it to be the best chicken she has ever eaten. My wife had the pork tenderloin over polenta -- again tender, perfectly done and delicious. We did not over indulge in the many many fine wines they have, rather staying to a glass each and the menu offers: Appetizers / First Course / Second Course / and Desert. If you do order all of these you will break the bank, and in my opinion after a day in 90 degree + heat in the parks, also have way too much food. The wait staff was outstanding and professional and did not push anything upon you, the ordering choices were your own. The one indulgence you don't want to miss however are the deserts. One will easily feed 2-3 and are heavenly. The total bill for 4 was $125 + tip which is very reasonable for this level of restaurant -- the staff did not rush you and the view is remarkable. At the time of the fireworks the serving stops, the lights dim and the music is pumped in to the restaurant - can you think of a better rememberance of WDW ? You want to rush right out and set up the next trip. For those who like the outside there is also an outdoor observation deck for the fireworks-- totally your choice. Also making this experience even better was one of the Chefs, named Tee ( as in golf tee he told us) -- he spent much time talking with us at out table and really made my kids especially feel so welcome if a white tablecloth atmosphere. His 'spirit' is what it is all about and as soon as I find where to send kudo's to DIsney for this man -- I am doing so ---This is a 5 star expereince wating for you - take advantage
 
25 out of 25 people found this review helpful
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