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Grand Californian Hotel - Napa Rose

by ZZZ

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5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0 Outstanding
4/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.0 Recommended
3/5.03/5.03/5.03/5.03/5.0 OK, but not great
2/5.02/5.02/5.02/5.02/5.0 Disappointing
1/5.01/5.01/5.01/5.01/5.0 Poor

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 Grand Californian Hotel - Napa Rose Reviews: 16
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.
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.
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.

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