Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Palo Brunch - Disney Fantasy

Last week, my family took a seven night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy.  This was our 7th time cruising with the Disney Cruise Line, but our first on the Disney Fantasy.  You can read about my previous experiences dining gluten free on the Disney Dream and the Disney Magic here.

Before we sailed, I made reservations for brunch and dinner at Palo, and brunch at Remy, the two adults only restaurants on the Disney Fantasy.  You can read my Palo dinner review here.

My husband and I never miss a chance to have brunch at Palo, because they serve Italian cuisine, the best food in the world as far as my family is concerned.  Brunch is served on "at sea" days on all Disney Cruise Line ships sailing on 4-night and longer cruises.

Our server Luca seated us at a table with a beautiful sea view, and started us off with a complimentary cocktail.  Instead of a glass of champagne or a Mimosa, I chose to have a Bellini with champagne and peach puree.

Luca gave us a tour of the buffet, pointing out what dishes were gluten free.  Most of the foods with gluten were on one table, but I still decided to order all of my food from the kitchen. We started our meal with four dishes that are made to order for all guests.   The chilled strawberry soup is not to be missed.  It is just as good, if not better, than the strawberry soup they have at 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.  I wish I had asked for the recipe before we left, because I would love to make this at home.  It tastes like a liquified strawberry mousse.

The beef tenderloin I ordered for brunch was just as tender and well cooked as the beef tenderloin I had later in the week for dinner, but both times, it was underseasoned.

My favorite brunch entree was the salmon with risotto.  The salmon was well seasoned, and I loved the sweet sauce that was drizzled on the plate.

When I told Luca how amazing the risotto was, he brought me a bowl of it from the kitchen.  It was creamy, cheesy, and perfectly al dente.  I am pretty sure it had asparagus in it, which is not one of my favorite vegetables, but it was incredible nonetheless.

When we dine at Palo for brunch, my husband and I usually split a gluten free pasta dish and a pizza, but this time, we just ordered a Margherita pizza, made on an Udi's gluten free pizza crust.  I don't like tomato sauce on pizza, so I asked Chef Massimo if he could make it with some added garlic instead.  The pizza was very good, and I would have enjoyed eating all of it, but I had to save some room for dessert.

After watching my gluten-eating husband eat several plates of food he picked up from the buffet, I decided to order some of the dishes he tried from the kitchen, because I did not want to risk cross contamination.  Luca brought me a plate of Parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma), Caprese salad, and lobster salad.  My husband and I always joke around that it is good to be Italian when we have meals like this.  We can't wait to get back to Italy in the summer of 2018, which seems way too far away.

I had a chance to speak to the pastry chef about gluten free desserts.  He wanted to have all of my desserts brought out from the kitchen, so there would be no risk of cross contamination on the buffet.  My husband liked the coffee panna cotta, but I was not a fan.  I really enjoyed the raspberry panna cotta though.  The mixed berries served with champagne jelly were good, but I much prefer the mixed berry compote made with Grand Marnier we had on the Disney Dream.

My favorite dessert was the baked vanilla yoghurt.  It reminded me of cannoli filling, which I can't get enough of.  I came home with the recipe, which I will share after we make it.

If you have a day at sea on your Disney Cruise, definitely make reservations for brunch at Palo.  Our daughters went to lunch with my parents and my brother's family while we dined at Palo, so I did not have to feel guilty about sending them to the kids' clubs while we had an amazing meal.

You can read more about Palo on the Disney Cruise Line website here.  The charge per person for dining at Palo is $30 for brunch and dinner.

What are your favorite gluten free options at Palo for brunch?


  1. Do you happen to know if they can do a GF version of the Chicken Parmesan? The description says "Parmesan-crusted chicken breast" which *sounds* like no breeding... But I can't remember if it was breaded when I had it (in my pre-gluten sensitivity diagnosis days).

    1. Hi Beth,
      I am not sure about the chicken Parm. If you are interested, I would probably stop by a day before and ask if they can accomodate your request. With notice, hopefully they could do it.

  2. I was just on the Magic and even last year on the Dream, Palo brunch was able to do.a gluten free chicken parmesan, it is sooooo good! Just ask your server for that!

    1. They were willing to make it for me last summer on the Magic, but it needed to be pre-ordered to be breaded.