September 28, 2013 - We had dinner reservations at Yachtsman Steakhouse the day after Andrew’s birthday. The Yachtsman became a fast favorite a few years ago after our first visit where, upon recommendations too many to count, we met the incomparable Ricardo.
Of course, you don’t just “meet” Ricardo, you “experience” him, and what an experience it is! He has this amazing ability to make you feel both utterly at home and ridiculously spoiled all at once. His smile and energy consume the very space around him; and his generosity and sincerity remind me why we choose Disney time and time again.
We checked in early at the Yachtsman podium, hoping to have a quick drink before dinner in the Crew’s Cup Lounge. The hostess noted that we had requested Ricardo and said, “I see you know who the boss is around here!” She laughed and said she’d let us know when our table was ready.
Over to the Crew’s Cup Lounge where Jon and I enjoyed dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives, Andrew a cold beer, and Baleigh a soda. About the time our drinks had vanished, our hostess came over to escort us to our table. (Apologies for the photo quality...dark restaurant + iPhone = meh results)
Bleu Cheese stuffed olives - our favorite!
Ricardo appeared a moment later, all smiles and hugs and birthday wishes. He asked Andrew how it felt to celebrate "the big 2-1" at Disney, and Andrew laughed, saying, “It’s awesome! But everyone keeps looking at me like,'Hey, you can drink DISNEY alcohol!' Meanwhile I’m like, “But I just want a glow-in-the-dark Buzz Lightyear drink clip!” Ricardo laughed, and for what was at least the hundredth time, I realized just how blessed I have been to “raise” my children here at Disney. There is a history here. One that weaves its way through our hearts and knits us so tightly together that it sometimes reaches beyond even the magic.
Switching from our usual martinis, we asked Ricardo to choose a wine for us, and he soon returned with a lovely red for Jon and I. We ordered the cheese board to start, always a favorite of ours. Of course, along with the cheese we also enjoyed the delicious bread basket - Ricardo even remembered how much I loved the onion rolls with that heavenly, spreadable roasted garlic.
Cheese is never a wrong choice. No, there is no photo of the bread, apparently I couldn't keep it out of mouth long enough to snap a photo :)
Cheese and bread well under way, we ordered our entrees - except for me...I always ask Ricardo to choose for me...and he's always right :)
For Baleigh and Andrew-
12-oz Prime New York Strip Steak White Cheddar Twice-baked Potato, Peppercorn-Brandy Sauce
16-oz Boneless Rib-Eye Brioche, Bone Marrow, Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter
For Jon - well, Jon just made up his own menu. I think it was a strip like Andrew and Baleigh's but basically he asked for his entire plate to be smothered in bleu cheese - he was not disappointed.
[ATTACH=full]16868[/ATTACH]After consuming every delicious bite, Ricardo appeared with a lovely and light dessert sampler - it was the perfect ending to a delightful meal.
As we lingered over coffee and the remains of our dessert, Ricardo appeared to once again wish Andrew a happy birthday, Andrew stood up to shake his hand and as he reached out, Ricardo grinned and presented him with…what else but a glow-in-the-dark Buzz Lightyear drink clip! Andrew, a bit overcome, hugged Ricardo with an affection and fervor that I have rarely seen in a young man. I, of course, cried like a ridiculous sop.
My own Peter Pan :)
Not quite ready for the evening to end (or maybe it as the wine talking), the kids convinced us to go next door to the arcade for a few moments. All I can say is, never, ever underestimate the pure joy you can find in something as simple as 25 cents dropped into an arcade game and 25 minutes spent with your children - no matter how old. As it was late, we practically had the place to ourselves, and while some of the details are a bit fuzzy…I do recall using our arcade points to buy these.
[ATTACH=full]16870[/ATTACH]There may also be a video somewhere out "there" of me utterly convinced I can jump rope…on a video game. For the record, I can not.
We "mustache" you a question...are we cool or what?
After a steady half-hour of silliness in the arcade, we wandered out on to the beach and Jon and I sat and relaxed will Andrew and Baleigh horsed around as only brother and sister can do...
Such a simple and perfect evening. I can’t say more.