Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Flying Fish Cafe - Disney's BoardWalk

After we attended FLBlogCon on Saturday, Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW and I went to dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe with my family.  

The Flying Fish is one of my parents' favorite restaurants at Disney, so my family has dined there before, but I was looking forward to checking out their new gluten free menu on this visit.  For a limited time in September and October, Disney is testing allergy-friendly menus at the ABC CommissarySci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios, Kona Cafe and Captain Cook's at the Polynesian Village Resort, the Flying Fish Cafe at Disney's BoardWalk, and the World Premiere Food Court at the All-Star Movies Resort.

The gluten free menu at the Flying Fish Cafe is huge!  I was shocked at how many dishes I had to choose from.  

Chef Tim came out to answer any questions Sarah and I might have, then brought us gluten free Ener-G rolls, which are not my favorite, but they were heated well.  

For an appetizer, I ordered the Old Bay-scented crispy calamari and Florida rock shrimp with savory vegetable slaw and classic cocktail sauce.  

I would go back to the Flying Fish Cafe again and again just for this dish.  I loved the flavorful breading on the fried calamari and shrimp, and I was really impressed with the portion size of my appetizer.  

My family shared a side of the aged gruyere and parmigiano-reggiano potato gratin.  It was heavenly, with just the right amount of cheese, and the potatoes were cooked to perfection.  

I split the oak-grilled organic Scottish salmon entree with my daughters.  It was served with Spanish chorizo, marble potato, carrot, tomato, and Sweety Drop Pepper "hash", a Serrano ham crisp, and Catalan-style lemon & garlic aioli, which I had served on the side.  The hash, which is hidden under the salmon, was incredible.  I usually don't like carrots, but the vegetables in the hash were seasoned and cooked so well, I ate every last bite.  My salmon was a little bit overcooked, but that was my fault for ordering it medium well.  It still tasted great, but next time, I need to order it medium.  

My husband ordered the Flying Fish Cafe's Idaho potato-wrapped red snapper, which is served with a rich leek fondue, veal glace de viande, and red wine-cassis butter reduction.  They must fry the fish to achieve that wonderfully crispy potato wrap. I enjoyed the piece I sampled, but preferred our salmon entree. 

Gluten free desserts are not listed on the menu, but Chef Tim told me I could choose sorbet, creme brulee, or no sugar added cheesecake.  

I ordered the creme brulee, which was served with fresh berries and the most wonderful cookies.  Our server Moe assured me that he checked with the chef to make sure I was given the gluten free version of this dessert.  I have to admit that I was a little freaked out when I first saw the cookies, because I had never seen anything like them before.  I wish I had asked Chef Tim about them before we left.  The cookies were soft and buttery, and oh so delicious.  The creme brulee was amazing as well, and was the perfect end to an incredible meal.  

I love that the Flying Fish is located on Disney's BoardWalk, which is a short walk from Epcot, where we headed after dinner.  

The Flying Fish Cafe is a signature dining restaurant, so expect the service to be a little slower, and the prices to be higher than other Disney table service restaurants.  Overall, I was really impressed with our food, and the excellent service we received from our server Moe and Chef Tim.

You can make advance dining reservations for the Flying Fish Cafe, and view their full menu on Disney's website here.

Flying Fish Cafe Menu for Guests with Gluten Allergies

  • Our Signature Flying Fish Café Appetizer Duo: Crispy Corn-crusted Savory Crab Cake and Our Very Own Caesar Salad
  • Chardonnay-steamed PEI Canadian Mussels with fennel, chiles, pesto crema, and grilled tapioca crostini 
  • Vegetarian Sushi Roll – silken tofu, avocado, heirloom radish and young carrot roll, cucumber-vegetable salad with Tamari and piquant Asian-spiced mango ketchup
  • Crispy Corn-crusted Savory Crab Cake served with a savory vegetable slaw, roasted red pepper coulis, and ancho chili remoulade
  • Old Bay-scented Crispy Calamari and Florida Rock Shrimp served with savory vegetable slaw and classic cocktail sauce 
  • Our Chef’s Degustation of Worldly Artisanal Cheeses – fig and almond torta, raisins on the vine, honeycomb and a balsamico and spice-scented red Vidalia onion, fresh and kiln-dried bing cherry compote agrodolce 

Artisanal Salads
  • Our Chef’s Thunder Appetizer: Roasted Heirloom Beets and Fresh Vermont Goat Cheese served with young greens, spiced pecans, citrus supremes, and a pecan-truffle-blood orange vinaigrette 
  • Epcot Land Pavilion Sweet Bibb and Local Mesclun Salad served with Epcot cucumbers, tiny tomatoes, radishes, pickled red onions, lemon-dijon vinaigrette, elephant garlic, and artichoke chips with fennel, Midnight Moon chevre, sweet onion, olive, local basil and sun-dried tomato fritters 
  • Mozzarella di Bufala alla Caprese – Florida yellow beefsteak, UgliRipe, and tiny tomatoes, aged balsamico, exotic peppercorns, petite basil, and Sicilian olio verde
  • Our Very Own Caesar Salad – hearts of romaine leaves, roasted garlic dressing, parmigiana-montegrappa frico, and pesto-tapioca bread croutons 

  • Our Signature Flying Fish Café Entrée Duo: Oak-grilled Angus New York Strip Steak and Potato-wrapped Red Snapper
  • Pan-roasted Citrus and Exotic Pepper-crusted Yellowfin Tuna served with opal basil, fennel, caper, olive, golden raisin, and pine nut-laced Epcot Land Pavilion eggplant caponata Sicilliana, with a Lake Meadow Naturals poached egg
  • Our Chef’s Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Fish Selection: Oak-grilled Organic Scottish Salmon served with Spanish chorizo, marble potato, carrot, tomato, and Sweety Drop Pepper “hash,” Serrano ham crisp, Catalan-style lemon and garlic aioli and an aromatic saffron-heirloom tomato caldo
  • Flying Fish Café’s Idaho Potato-wrapped Red Snapper over a rich leek fondue, with a Veal Glace de Viande, and red wine-cassis butter reduction 
  • Key West Pink Shrimp and Calico Bay Scallop Brown Rice Gluten-free Spaghetti Pasta with fricassee of young squash, summer onions, tiny tomatoes, and a local basil with a fennel pollen-scented chardonnay crema
  • Oak-grilled Maine Sea Scallops served with confit artichoke bottoms, crispy young artichokes, local tomatoes and basil, pecorino romano and mascarpone-laced risotto di carnaroli
  • Oak-grilled Ashley Farms Organic Free-Range Ancho-Chicken served with roasted bliss potatoes, pole beans and young carrots, with tomatillo ketchup, jicama-pepper slaw, Epcot greens, and apple-chicken jus
  • Oak-grilled Angus New York Strip Steak served with thyme-roasted garlic vinaigrette-laced salad of local greens, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers and pole beans, with a classic sauce Foyot 

Seasonal Sides
  • Grilled California Asparagus with sauce Foyot 
  • Wilted Garlic and Lemon-scented Curly Spinach 
  • Creamy Risotto di Carnaroli – local tomatoes and basil, pecorino romano, and mascarpone 
  • Aged Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano Potato Gratin 
  • Fines Herb-roasted Wild and Cultivated Mushrooms 

You can view the current prices of these menu items on Sarah's blog, Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW, and read her review here.

November 3, 2014 Update

A couple of weeks ago, my daughters and I went to the Flying Fish Cafe to celebrate their half birthday.  Because my twins will always have to share a birthday, we celebrate their half birthday with a special dinner.

We were served different gluten free bread this time, but I found it to be a little dry.  

We ended up up ordering appetizers, salads, and seasonal sides instead of ordering an entree, and we had plenty of food.  The mozzarella di Bufala alla Caprese with Florida yellow beefsteak, UgliRipe, and tiny tomatoes, aged balsamico, exotic peppercorns, petite basil, and Sicilian olio verde was one of the best Caprese salads I have ever had at a restaurant.  The tomatoes and mozzarella were delicious, the seasoning was spot on, and I have always loved a little balsamic on my Caprese.  

My daughters shared the gluten free Caesar salad with hearts of Romaine leaves, roasted garlic dressing, Parmigiana-Montegrappa Frico, and pesto-tapioca bread croutons.  I am not a fan of Caesar salad, but my girls loved it.  I did enjoy the Parmesan crisp on top of the salad though, which oddly enough, my daughters didn't want.  Lucky me!  

When my girls first tasted the creamy risotto di Carnaroli with local tomatoes and basil, Pecorino Romano, and mascarpone, they said it was amazing.  Some of their adoration wore off when they started to get bites with the tomatoes in it, but we all still really enjoyed this dish. 

I couldn't go to the Flying Fish without getting the calamari and rock shrimp appetizer again, and it certainly did not disappoint.  My daughters also ordered the aged Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano potato gratin, which is hard to pass up.  

We finished our meal with creme brulee, which we were barely able to eat, because we were so full from all the other wonderful dishes we sampled.

I don't know how well you will be able to read the gluten free menu from our second visit, but there were definitely some changes.  We were a little sad to see that the salmon dish we enjoyed so much from our first visit was no longer on the menu, but we still had plenty of great options to choose from.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at the Flying Fish Cafe?