Friday, March 25, 2005
by Sue Holland, staff writer
Photo by Sue Holland.
Disney's Contemporary Resort is home of two very wellknown
restaurants, which may appeal to quite opposite tastes. On the 15th (top)
floor is the California Grill, which many consider as being one of the
finest dining experiences on Disney property. Although children are welcome,
this is really more of an adult restauranta great choice for when
the children are happily spending time in one of the many childcare clubs.
On the fourth floor at one end of the concourse is Chef Mickey's, serving
buffet breakfast and dinner along with visits by several Disney characters.
For obvious reasons this restaurant is a popular choice of families, but
adult-only parties also visit quite frequently for the good food and character
There is a third full-service restaurant at the resort, which is often
forgotten. Located next to Chef Mickey's, the Concourse Steakhouse is
the resort's only restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
each day. Due to the close proximity of Chef Mickey's, breakfast and dinner
can be rather noisy, but lunch is a wonderfully quiet respite from the
hectic pace of the theme parks.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 until 11:00 every morning, with the usual
assortment of menu items. There is no buffet here, and no character visits.
Lunch is served from noon until 2:00, and then dinner is served from 5:30
until 10:00. Priority seating requests can be made, but are generally
not necessary unless it is a particularly busy time of year or you have
a fairly large party (more than four people).
Monorail passing above the Concourse Steakhouse. Photo by Sue Holland.
The monorail passes through just above the Concourse Steakhouse, and
can be seen from many tables. Since it is located towards the center of
the concourse there really is not any view of the lake or Magic Kingdom.
However, the fourth floor observation deck can be used before or after
the meal if visitors want to check out the Magic Kingdom view.
Parking at the Contemporary Resort can be a challenge, due to people
attempting to use it as a parking area for the Magic Kingdom. This is
not allowed, and in recent years Disney security staff have attempted
to prevent this from occurring. Quite often they will issue a parking
pass good for three hours, which is plenty of time for a meal and looking
around the resort. If you are not staying at a Disney resort, be prepared
to show photo identification at the security booth. Both valet and self-parking
Tables are not too close together at the Concourse Steakhouse. Photo by
Breakfast is character-free and offers a fairly wide variety of choices.
Classics include French toast, Mickey waffles, blueberry pancakes or regular
pancakes, priced between $6.99 and $7.59. Specialties include eggs benedict,
steak & eggs, omelets and traditional egg meals, priced between $8.99
and $14.99. Lighter fare such as continental breakfast or simply an English
muffin or bowl of cereal is also available. Several delicious-sounding
smoothies are offered during breakfast as follows, costing $4.29.
- The Bay Lake Sunrise low-fat strawberry yogurt blended
with orange juice and pineapple juice
- Ravin' Raspberry a blend of raspberries, strawberries,
bananas and low-fat yogurt
- Blueberry Skies a special recipe of blueberries, strawberries
and low-fat yogurt
- Tropical Passion a creamy blend of coconut, bananas,
pineapples, orange juice and low-fat yogurt
- The Classic a perfect blend of bananas, strawberries,
mango, coconut, and orange juice
- Frozen Latte Cool a frozen cappuccino topped with whipped
cream and chocolate shavings
- Banana Chocolada a blend of low-fat yogurt, ripe bananas
and Hershey's chocolate syrup.
The lunch and dinner menus are very similar, and seem to focus on doing
a few things really well rather than presenting a menu with so many choices
it is difficult to promise any item will be particularly memorable. Samples
of several items can be seen in a glass display case near the entrance,
which may help in the decision-making process.
A selection of menu items is on display each day. Photo by Sue Holland.
Appetizers include an assortment of soups, salads and seafood offerings.
Any of these would be a great meal choice for anyone with a light appetite.
The onion soup in particular is a fairly large portion, with the cheese
nicely browned over the great-tasting soup. The current appetizers available
during lunch and dinner are as follows.
- Crab Cakes sweet mango salsa, and chipotle aioli $7.99.
Pan Seared Scallops Micro greens tossed with honey andouille
dressing $8.59 (lunch only)
- Onion Soup melted Gruyere, Provolone and Parmesan cheeses
- Caesar Salad Crisp Romaine tossed with croutons and
parmesan cheese $4.29 (dinner). Lunch Appetizer size: $4.99; Lunch Entree
- Field Greens mixed greens tossed with parmesan cheese
and balsamic vinaigrette $4.99 (lunch only)
- Shrimp Cocktail micro greens, citrus, and cocktail sauce
$8.99 (dinner only)
- Shellfish Bisque garnished with chives $5.99 (dinner
- Contemporary Salad baby greens, Laura Chenel's goat
cheese, oranges, candied pecans, and meyer lemon vinaigrette $4.99 (dinner
- Chopped Salad chopped greens, Nueske's apple wood smoked
bacon, Maytag blue cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and roasted red pepper
vinaigrette $5.29 (dinner only).
One of the most popular lunch choices is the grilled steakhouse burger,
which is served on an onion bun baked there. The meat tastes excellent
and appears to be at least 8 ouncesenough to satisfy a hungry appetite.
The burger comes with crinkle cut french fries and costs $9.99 without
cheese and $10.99 if cheese is added. Cheese steak lovers will be happy
here as well. Disney's version is shaved prime rib grilled with peppers,
onions and Swiss cheese in a house-baked roll (fries included) for $11.99.
If beef is not what you want, there is also a spicy buffalo chicken sandwich
for $9.99. These sandwiches are all available only during lunch.
Pork Tenderloin lunch entrée. Photo by Sue Holland.
Lunch entrées include a few items not often found outside of the
dinner hours. An excellent choice for a fairly light meal is the pork
tenderloin, pictured above. The three medallions of pork were tender enough
to cut with a butter knife, and the Tillamook cheese polenta was excellent.
The sliced apples and sauce enhanced the pork without overpowering it.
At $13.99 this meal was a good value, and definitely worth repeating on
Sesame seared yellow fin tuna comes with wasabi mashed potatoes and is
available in a lunch portion for $13.99 and with gingered jasmine rice,
sweet soy glaze, and wasabi aioli for $19.99. Mahimahi (dolphin fish)
is available at lunch only and comes topped with spaghetti squash, acorn
squash and eggplant for $10.99.
There is one pasta dish available at each meal. Penne alla Gricia is
the lunch choice, consisting of penne pasta tossed with pancetta, onion,
tomatoes, garlic, topped with basil and parmesan cheese $9.99. For $13.99
it comes with a grilled chicken breast or skewer of roasted shrimp. The
dinner choice is Penne Pasta with sautéed artichoke hearts, asparagus,
tomatoes, olives and basil pesto for $13.99. Adding a shrimp skewer or
grilled chicken breast will cost a nominal extra fee.
As the name implies, the Concourse Steakhouse is an excellent choice
for steak lovers. Lunch diners are limited to one choicea sirloin
steak stuffed with mushrooms, wrapped in bacon, and served with seasonal
vegetables and red wine reduction for $15.99. Dinner choices are as follows,
and come with roasted garlic smashed potatoes, onion frizzles, cabernet
sauce and red wine butter. Béarnaise sauce can be added for $1.99
and a skewer of six garlic butter-roasted jumbo shrimp can be added to
any dinner entrée for $8.99.
- Filet Mignon 6 ounce $23.99; 8 ounce $27.99
- New York Strip 10 oz. $21.99
- USDA Prime Sirloin 10 oz. $18.99
- Rib Eye 14 oz. $21.99
- Oven Roasted Prime Rib scalloped cheddar potatoes and
au jus: 14 ounce $21.99; 10 ounce $16.99.
The following three non-beef choices are also available at dinner:
- Grilled Chicken Breasts Tillamook Cheddar cheese grits,
sautéed Swiss Chard and Drex's two pepper nectar $18.99
- Barbecued St. Louis Pork Spareribs smashed boniato sweet
potatoes and onion frizzles $19.99
- Three Herb-Crust Salmon buttery tomato vegetable broth
and sautéed spaghetti squash $18.99.
Concourse Steakhouse dessert tray. Photo by Sue Holland.
Following the meal the server will present the dessert choices on a tray,
which makes it much harder to resist at least ordering one to share among
the people at the table. The current choices are:
- Kahlua Cappuccino Cheesecake $6.99
- Chocolate Pudding Cake with chocolate ice cream and
praline cream $6.99
- Brandied Orange Crepes with sweet cheeses $6.99 (dinner
- Apple Berry Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream $6.99
- Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee $5.99.
The Concourse Steakhouse has been a source of consistently good dining
experiences over the years. It is very convenient for a lunch break from
the Magic Kingdom, and is a wonderful respite from the heat and crowds
found in the park at mid-day. Breakfast and dinner is less peaceful, but
the great food and good service make it worth the trip.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Sue here.
Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since
her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning
more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.
After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in
1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at
the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.
She takes many of these trips on her own, but
she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly,
and people with disabilities.
She works as the Administrative Services Division Head
for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children
and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.
Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers.
Read her trip report archive here.
You can contact Sue here.
Get the latest info about the resort at Park
Update: Walt Disney World.