Sunday, April 26, 2015

Artist Point - Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Last night, my daughters and I had dinner with my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW at Artist Point, a signature dining restaurant at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

This month, approximately 120 quick service and table service restaurants at Disney World and Disneyland began adopting new allergy-friendly menus.  The menus were first introduced at signature dining restaurants, like Artist Point.  

Even though the menu listed a large number of gluten free options, it stated that guests can still consult with a chef before placing their order.  It also noted what dishes were safe for people with milk, soy, egg, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  Beyond this menu, there were other dishes that could be prepared gluten free, like the filet mignon.  

I was excited to see that Artist Point serves GNI gluten free rolls, but they were not heated very well, so the texture was not as good as it can be.  

I ordered the smokey portobello mushroom bisque with roasted shiitakes and chive oil, because it was highly recommended by my neighbor.  I had to send back my first bowl when I was told that the white drizzle on top was creme fraiche, which I don't eat, and was not mentioned on the menu.  Minus the creme fraiche, I really enjoyed my soup.  It was not overly mushroomy, and was creamy and full of flavor.  I did have occasional bites with roasted shiitakes that added a little texture and a punch of mushroom flavor.  

For my entree, I chose Artist Point's signature dish, the cedar plank roasted King salmon with sweet potato puree, brussels, house-smoked bacon, and a citrus gastrique.  My salmon was cooked to perfection, and seasoned well.  

The sweet potato puree was incredible, and I loved the citrus gastrique, but there wasn't enough of it for my large portion of salmon. The house-smoked bacon was delicious, but it was in large awkward chunks that I wasn't sure what to do with.  I think I would have enjoyed it more cut into very small pieces that were sprinkled on my vegetables.  I also had some beets and purple cauliflower on my plate, which were good, like my brussels, but nothing special.  I think they could have used some additional seasoning.  Overall, I enjoyed the dish and would definitely order it again.  

For dessert, I skipped the Artist Point cobbler, because I avoid no sugar added desserts, and went with the vanilla bean creme brulee with strawberries and Amarena cherries.  The creme brulee was one of the best I have ever had, and was packed with vanilla bean.  Since the menu mentioned strawberries, I was expecting more than just a half a strawberry, and the one I got had a very medicinal taste.  I love Amarena cherries, but the creme brulee was perfection on its own, and didn't need them.  With a couple of fresh strawberries, I would have been 100% satisfied with this dessert.  

The current allergy-friendly menu lists the following dishes as being safe for those who avoid gluten/wheat:

Appetizers - cold water mussels with crispy kale chips and Riesling nage

Soups and Salads - smokey portobello mushroom bisque; land greens salad with peaches, sunflower seed granola, sheep's milk cheese and ice wine vinaigrette

Entrees - Cedar plank roasted King Salmon; 54 Degrees C Buffalo with buffalo sausage, roasted marble potatoes, broccoflower, and blackberry currant demi; applewood-smoked cornish hen with wild rice, lentils, root spinach, brussels and mountain berry marmalade; roasted Berkshire pork tenderloin with chevre-herb polenta, baby carrots, favas, local peaches and stone fruit reduction; vegan lo mein with sweet chili tofu, brown rice, snap peas, shiitakes and lotus root

Desserts - Artist Point cobbler (a no sugar added dessert) with seasonal berries and house-made raspberry sorbet; vanilla bean creme brulee with strawberries and amarena cherries

Currently, allergy-friendly menus are not available on Disney's website, but hopefully this will change in the future.  

Gluten free kids' options include the mixed field greens salad, seasonal fruit, grilled chicken breast, baked salmon, and grilled petit filet mignon. Katie enjoyed her kid's portion of salmon with sweet potato puree and carrots, but Emma was not crazy about her gluten-filled penne pasta with cheese sauce, which my daughters said didn't have much taste, even with added grated cheese.

I loved the theming of Artist Point, which was inspired by the dining rooms of National Park lodges, and I liked the menu, which features Pacific Northwest fare.  I found that some of the ingredients and flavors of my entree and dessert did not seem to mesh really well, which is unusual for a signature dining restaurant, but overall I enjoyed my meal.  

You can read more about Artist Point, view their menu, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  My friend Sarah's review can be viewed on her blog Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Artist Point?  


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