Friday, April 18, 2014

Palo Brunch - Disney Dream

My husband and I dined at Palo for brunch on our most recent cruise on the Disney Dream.  Palo is an adults-only restaurant serving Northern Italian cuisine on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy.  Palo serves dinner every night from 6 to 9 pm, but only serves brunch while the ship is out at sea during Disney four night and longer cruises.  The dining charge is $25 per person for brunch.  You can read my review of Palo for dinner here.  

After having a huge dinner at Palo the night before, my husband and I weren't too excited to go to Palo for brunch.  We had already been overeating for three days at that point and were a little wary of eating another big meal.  

As it turned out, our brunch at Palo was my favorite meal of the cruise.  We were excited to have Alex as our server again, and to have some quiet time without the kids, enjoying these beautiful ocean views.  

My brunch started with a complimentary mimosa, then Alex found the chef, who gave me a tour of the buffet and talked to me about the gluten free options.  

The chef told me that they could make me any of the pizzas on an Udi's pizza crust.  

I didn't take a picture of the table filled with pastries and fruit, which was off limits because of gluten or cross contamination concerns, but I was offered fruit from the back if I wanted it.  I could have anything on the table pictured above, which contained shrimp, smoked salmon, crab legs, seared ahi tuna with arugula salad, Bloody Mary shots with baby shrimp, roasted potatoes, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and sea scallops.  

The next table was also full of gluten free choices like Italian meats, Caprese salad, eggplant wrapped feta cheese, marinated olives, hummus, grilled vegetables, marinated artichokes, and prosciutto wrapped melon & asparagus.  

This large table also had lettuce, dressings, caviar, grated egg yolks & egg whites, and chives & shallots to choose from.  

The next display contained sample meals that could be made up for us in the back, like seared tilapia and risotto, and smoked salmon or pesto pasta dishes.  

The chef said he could make me gluten free pancakes, or any of the egg dishes with gluten free bread.  

I would have loved to have tried the chilled strawberry soup, but I forgot about it until after we had eaten dessert, and by then, I was too full.  

While the chef made some dishes for us in the back, I enjoyed a plate of grilled vegetables, marinated olives, Caprese salad, and some Italian meats.  I added a little hummus or pesto to almost everything on my plate, and enjoyed it all!  

I also liked the roasted potatoes and the eggplant wrapped feta.  

Palo's gluten free pizza is pretty impressive.  It was good both hot and cold.  

My husband and I ordered half Margherita and half spicy Italian sausage.  

When our gluten free spaghetti with pesto arrived, I must admit that I was a little bit skeptical because of how heavily it appeared to be sauced, but it was delicious, especially eaten right on top of my Margherita pizza.  

I was shocked when my husband said that the seared tilapia and risotto might be his favorite fish dish of the cruise.  Usually, he ranks ahi tuna above everything else.  

The piece de resistance of this meal was definitely the desserts.  Everything else was delicious, but the desserts were just amazing!  The pastry chef told me that three desserts from the dessert table were gluten free, and of course I had to try them all.  I started with the Chocolate Pot de Creme, which was ridiculously good.  Usually, I like vanilla ice cream or whipped cream with my chocolate desserts, but this pot de creme was perfect as is.  Next, I tried the mixed berries compote, made with Grand Marnier.  I could eat this for dessert every day.  I love berries, and this was such a nice, light treat.  Palo's pastry chef then wowed me again with the vanilla & mango panna cotta.  They were all so good, I wanted to go back to the dessert table and have seconds of all of them, but I settled for just the mixed berries compote, because it was the lightest of the three dishes.

When we take our next cruise in December, my husband and I will definitely be going back to Palo for brunch and dinner, but this time on the Disney Magic.

Reservations for Palo can and should be made once your cruise has been paid in full and you reach your booking window.  You must be at least 18 to dine at Palo for brunch or dinner.  We received reservation confirmation cards for Palo on the first day of our cruise, that contained the reminder that dress pants and shirt are required for men, and no jeans may be worn.  Disney Cruise Line's website and my travel books do not state the hours of brunch, but seatings start at 10 am and run through at least 1 pm.

Related blog posts:

Palo Dinner - Disney Dream

Gluten Free on the Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Line Gluten Free

Palo - Disney Magic

Gluten Free on the Disney Magic


  1. Thank you for this!! I'm taking my parents on a Disney cruise (their 5th, my 4th - but my first since having to go gluten-free). I know you're also dairy-free, so you may not know this, but can the chicken parmesan be made GF?

    1. Beth, I do eat dairy, but do not know about the chicken Parm

    2. Thank you Alexis! I guess I didn't realize I got here from a GF/DF Disney site. :) I'll find out in Feb I guess! :) (I'm not DF either.)