Concourse Steakhouseby Sue Holland, contributing 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 interaction.
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 is available.
Tables are not too close together at the Concourse Steakhouse. Photo by Sue Holland.
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 $4.99.
- Caesar Salad Crisp Romaine tossed with croutons and parmesan cheese $4.29 (dinner). Lunch Appetizer size: $4.99; Lunch Entree size: $8.99
- 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 only)
- Contemporary Salad baby greens, Laura Chenel's goat cheese, oranges, candied pecans, and meyer lemon vinaigrette $4.99 (dinner only)
- 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 future visits.
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 only)
- 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.