As I mentioned in my last post, I discovered two favorite new restaurants during my recent Disney World trip, Sanaa at Kidani Village and Todd English’s Bluezoo at the Dolphin on the Boardwalk. This post reviews my experience at Bluezoo.
Before I left on my trip, I was interacting with other Disney travelers on the DIS Boards and mentioned that I would be interested in meeting other visiting solos during that time period for a drink or meal. (I enjoy my solo time, but I also like a little socializing time on my trips.) A woman from the UK, Clare, emailed me and took me up on the offer, suggesting dinner at Bluezoo on Saturday night.
I met Clare where she was staying on the Boardwalk, and we walked over to Bluezoo for our 6:40 dinner ADR (reservation), arriving around 6:30. This is apparently an early time for diners at Bluezoo, because the dining room was not that busy when we arrived. This was good, because it meant the almost undivided attention of our waiter and plenty of time for me to take photos of the restaurant without attracting too much attention. The restaurant is quite attractive with an upscale, contemporary design. There is a very long bar that would be comfortable for solo dining (or just drinking) as well as two-tops and plenty to look at. It is a bit dimly lit, which makes reading the menu a tad difficult.
Our server, Will, kind of reminded me of a young Woody Harrelson. He was very personable, helpful, and informative. For instance, Clare needed to eat gluten-free foods, and Will was knowledgeable about which dishes would work for her and which wouldn’t. Clare ordered a shrimp appetizer to start us off. It was almost too pretty to eat (almost). Large chilled shrimp were arranged on a plate with four different dipping sauces, smeared to look like an artist’s palette. Excellent presentation. They tasted fantastic, too. I’d have to say my favorite sauce was the avocado puree. The others were bloody mary, fennell salt, and a seafood sauce.
For our entrees, we both decided to splurge and order the two signature dishes on the menu: Clare got the surf and turf, and I got the Cantonese lobster. The lobster was enormous (two pounds) but just delightfully arranged. The meat was removed from the shell, tossed in a sticky soy glaze, and then rearranged in the shape of the lobster, on top of sticky rice, bok choy, and mixed stir-fried vegetables and served with the lobster head. Again, excellent presentation. . .however, I am a little squeamish about eating food that looks like the creature it came from, so I really had to avert my gaze away from the head and concentrate on the body!
The flavor took me by surprise. I expected the soy glaze to be more flavorful–more like a sweet Asian glaze–but it was very subtle, which in hindsight makes sense, because who would want to overpower the flavor of the lobster? Anyway, it was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. Of course, it was way more than I could possibly eat, and I felt terrible about wasting so much food. I would recommend it for two (or three!) diners to share, but for a solo, it was really too much food.
The surf and turf comes with two pieces of beef tenderloin, two crab cakes, and a medley of vegetables. Clare enjoyed it quite a lot. In fact, she declared it “the best meal I’ve ever had and the steak was far superior to the Yachtsman Steakhouse (although that was still good) I had a few days later!” According to her, the steak “cut like butter” and the red wine sauce on the meat was “rich and pure heaven!” Although it doesn’t look like a lot of food in pictures, it really was. (The hunks of meat and crab were large, but the plate was even larger.) Again, it was too much food for one person, though; a couple could share this dish.
Normally, both of these entrees are priced at $60, which is (gasp!) the most money I’ve ever spent on one meal for myself in my life. But as Clare and I agreed, if we’re not going to splurge once in awhile when we’re on vacation, what are we saving our money for? Luckily, Clare had a 20% off dining discount for the restaurant which we were able to apply to our meals, making them much more affordable. (Thanks again, Clare! You are a most generous dining companion.)
By the time we left the restaurant, more diners were starting to appear, but it still wasn’t even half full. I’m not sure why. I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner here and will gladly add it to my list of future visits. One thing I enjoyed perhaps the most was the lack of children here. Most of the Disney World restaurants I dined at were packed with children of all ages, and were subsequently really LOUD. This was a much more adult atmosphere, and I really appreciated that. As I have said before, there are very few places on Disney property where an adult can get away from all the kiddos for awhile, so when I run across one, I embrace it. The fact that it was also a classy restaurant with wonderful food was icing on the cake. I will definitely recommend this restaurant to others, particularly adults traveling without children.
I know this is a review of the restaurant, but I just want to put in a plug about how great it is to meet up with other solo travelers to share a meal when you’re on the road. Technically, Clare wasn’t solo–her parents were traveling with her, though they were off doing their own thing that night. But in any case, it was an absolute delight to meet her. She was very funny and had lots of interesting things to say about life in England. Our dinner together went by way too fast. Thank you very much, Clare! I hope our paths cross again some day.