Thursday, March 04, 2010

Victoria and Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Hello all! I'm Dawn and I will be your new DW Tickets blogger. I'm a long-time visitor and former resident of Orlando, so I have a whole lot of love for the place, and all its many forms and functions and fantasy. I'll be blogging about all things Orlando, from the theme parks and big news events to smaller travel secrets and places and things you might not know about without my help. I hope you'll use my tips and enjoy my suggestions on your next visit to Orlando, whether you're hardcore for the Mouse or not.

The first piece of news I'd like to share is about a truly once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. Victoria and Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been considered a culinary treasure since its opening. The restaurant has been awarded the the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond Award for 10 consecutive years, the most of any restaurant in the state. For a long time now, V&A's has served two menus, both prix fixe, both changing daily, and both at over $100 per person: the 6-course menu in the main dining room and the 7-course Chef's Tasting Menu in the kitchen itself. These experiences last 2 to 3 hours, on average, and are worth every penny if you love food and exquisite preparation. It's not for everyone, certainly; the price point and the dress code--jackets for gentlemen and pants ensembles or dresses for ladies--do scare some away. But if you can do it, it's worth doing. I've been lucky enough to try it a few times and I can't wait for more.

Well, now there is more--more food, more experience and, yes, more money. V&A's recently announced a third dining experience. It is their most amazing and their most exclusive yet -Queen Victoria's Room. The room has only 4 tables with one seating time each night. It features French gueridon service, where a rolling cart travels from table to table, offering the most superb cuisine with incredible touches (like a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt, mined from the mountains themselves, or perhaps a plate of exceptional cheese from all over the world). The experience lasts four hours and features TEN courses of Chef Scott Hunnel's most creative offering, such as "perfectly seared Kurobuta pork tenderloin and belly, or butter-poached lobster with bisque and lobster roe foam." And if that's not enough, why not have the sommelier pair wine to each course? Or choose your own bottle from V&A's well-respected and very impressive wine list. The experience will set you back $200/person for the food, plus $95 for the optional wine pairings--the bottle of your choosing could most a lot less or a lot more than that, depending on your personal taste. And if you have children, you'll also need to pay for a sitter--V&A's does not serve children under 10 years of age. It's an intimate, adult dining experience, an evening worth savoring and enjoying, worth lingering over as long as possible. You'll head home from any of the three dining options with a personalized menu and a rose for the ladies. You'll also remember the meal for a long time, like a perfect mental souvenir you'll ttreasure for years to come. Especially if you opt for the Kona chocolate souffle at desert time, which you definitely should. Save a bite for me, too.


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