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Victoria & Alberts at the Grand Floridian

Discussion in 'Restaurants, Dining, Dining Plans' started by pigletpete, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. pigletpete
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    pigletpete Imagineer

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    Has anyone ever dinned at Victoria and Alberts and if so is it easy to book?

    we are looking for somewhere special for our Honeymoom and would welcome your reviews and opinions. Is it worth the money? how long does the meal last ?
  2. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    My DW and I have dined there several times and it is an ideal venue for an anniversary, in fact we did exactly that on our silver wedding anniversary a few years ago.
    You can dine either in the main restaurant or try for the Chef`s Table which we did on our anniversary. To be honest though, the Chef`s Table is a better experience if there are more than just the two of you. We dined at the Chef`s Table on another couple of occasions with some friends and enjoyed the experience much more.

    The main dining room is also a great dining experience and the meal is likely to last around 2 hours.
    At first glance the portions seem a bit on the small side, however as there are loads of courses, you certainly won`t leave the place feeling hungry. :lol:

    It is essential to make a reservation which you can do 180 days before your visit.

    Is it worth the money? Well it isn`t cheap that`s for sure, however it is a great experience for a special occasion and worth splashing out at least once.

    You must let us all know what you think of the place.
  3. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Slowhand, isn't it the style of this restaurant to change the menu frequently? There is no set menu, rather a general "feel" for the type of choices that may be offered on your night there?
  4. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    It's an experience not to be missed if you're celebrating that special "something"! :thumbsup:

    My DW and I have dined there on our wedding anniversary and thoroughly enjoyed it. They even give you a personalized menu with your name in beautiful script across the top. We've got ours in one of our memory albums. The meal is superb and while the portions do seem small at the time, you'll leave absolutely stuffed. And as you leave, the maître d’ presents your honey with one, beautiful, long stemmed red rose.

    Is it expensive? Well, yes but when you put it into perspective, I believe it's well worth the price. :yes:

    Do make your reservations as early as possible. Like Slowhand says, 180 days before your visit. The restaurant fills up fast.

    Tom :)macwave:... now I'm hungry! Again!)
  5. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    That`s right Tink.
    The menu changes daily as the head chef sources what he considers to be the best ingredients available on a daily basis.

    At the Chef`s Table however you are not given a menu.
    Instead the chef comes to your table, and then over a glass of bubbly, he/she asks your party if anyone have any preferences or allergies etc.etc..
    You then leave it to the chef to "tailor make" your meal for you.

    At the end of the evening you are given personalised menus, printed with your name and detailing all of the courses you have chosen.
  6. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Slowhand, can you elaborate a bit more on why the Chef's Table experience is something you found more enjoyable with more than two?
  7. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Donna and I have also done the Chef's Table as well as the main restaurant. To us it is well worth the price. Donna is a much more picky eater than I (she doesn't do any seafood, veal, wild game etc.) V&A has always worked with her to make sure that she got a meal that she would enjoy even if it meant adding in items off of the vegetarian menu also to meet her needs.

    We too believe that the Chef's Table (which I think seats 8, maybe 10) would have been more enjoyable with other couples. You are back on the far side of the kitchen away from the remainder of the diners and it would be nice to have friends to talk to while dishes are being prepared. The one good thing about it though is that men are allowed to take their jackets off while they are back there. They do ask you to put them back on if you wander out into the main dining room to go out and use the restrooms though. I'm not sure I would want to share it with total strangers but it would be nice to be able to plan it with a group of friends.
  8. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Don`t get me wrong Tink, the Chef`s Table is a wonderful experience.

    The thing is that you are seated on the only table there which is sized to suit a party of 10 [or 12?]
    As the table is located actually in the kitchen with only a handrail between you and the chef`s, you are then free to chat with them and ask any questions regarding their work etc.etc.
    I felt like we were in a "goldfish bowl" when there were just the two of us, but it`s great when there are other folks in your party in order to share the experience.

    Incidently we were getting some strange looks from the chef`s when it was our anniversary meal.
    It was only when they presented us with our menus after the meal that I found out why. Emblazonned on the menu in hand written gold letters it stated "Congratulations to Mr & Mrs ******* on your Golden Wedding Anniversary".
    The chef`s said later that we looked good for our ages! :lol:
  9. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Here's the page at Disneyworld.disney.go.com that elaborates on the Chef's table. Even got a pretty good picture of it!

    Tom :)macwave:... stop it! Now I'm starving!)
  10. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    It seems to have changed a bit since we were last there Tom.
    On our visits there was a circular table in that area.
  11. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    We love V&A and always try to go when we're in Orlando :yes:

    It's a full evening for us, we like to go early for drinks at Mizner's lounge. At Christmas, there is often a brass band playing christmas carols just by there.

    Everything about V&A is a wonderful experience in fine dining. As USCWEST says, they're surprisingly willing to work with guests to ensure they deliver an enjoyable experience even if it means changing the menu somewhat. I don't "do" vegetables or much seafood, but they take all this in their stride and allow me to have meat dishes instead.

    The only time we had a bit of a disappointing experience was when they had opened a sideroom and stuck all the anniversary couples in there, of which we were one, along with people proposing and so on. Firstly I didn't enjoy being out of the main dining room, secondly the constant "oh my god"s with the proposals (oh dear, what an old grouch I am hey :lol: ) followed by the clapping and all. I can understand what they were trying to do but not the best in my opinion and if they'd asked me in advanced I'd have explained we wanted a quiet private meal.
  12. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Yep that is what it looked like when we ate there.

    Here is an excerpt from a trip report that we did on this experience:

    We were seated and introduced to our "Albert" (we didn't have a "Victoria" this evening). The rules of dining at the Chef's Table were explained to us and we were told that we could get up and move around, take pictures, ask questions - we just had to remain behind the railing that separated the dining area from the kitchen area. And if either of us needed to use the "facilities", we were to be escorted to the door of the kitchen area. John was told he could remove his jacket while dining at the Chef's Table since it could get a bit warm back in that area, but was reminded that he had to put it back on if he went out.

    Chef Hunnel came back to join us. We discussed our likes, dislikes, and dietary restrictions. He shared a glass of champagne with us and then took off to begin preparing the 9 courses we would enjoy that evening.

    As we watched the different chefs preparing food, plates, etc., we asked questions and I took pictures. One young man was placing a stencil on plates, and then using chocolate to fill in the design on the stencil. When we questioned what he was doing, he told us and brought over a plate for us to see the chocolate V&A design the stencil left behind. He explained that the design was put on all of the dessert plates, including the plates our dessert would come on. Later this same young man filled molds with butter. The molds were of a smaller version of the V&A logo.

    John and I have vastly different tastes in food, so the courses served to us were geared to our likes. I don't eat fish or seafood, game, veal, or lamb. However, John enjoys all of those types of food. So we only had the same dishes at a couple of the courses.

    Our first course, the "Amuse Bouche" was thinly sliced beef tenderloin on a bed of tender greens. This was served with Deutz Brut Champagne NV. John was a bit amazed, I think, that I enjoyed mine as much as I did given that the meat was a bit more "rare" than how I normally eat beef. But it was tasty!

    From here our courses begin to veer off in different directions. John's second course consisted of Dungeness Crab and Bibb Lettuce with Sherry-Black Walnut Vinaigrette. He enjoyed a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2002 with this course. I had "Waldorf" with Sierra Beauty Apples and Walnuts, and a glass of the same Sauvignon Blanc.

    John's third course included Nantucket Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower, Satsuma Tangerines, which he declared delicious. With that he had a glass of Morgadio Albarino, Rias Baixas 2001. My third course was probably my favorite of all the courses - except dessert, of course. I had Mushroom Risotto with Button Shiitake, Truffle Emulsion and White Truffles. Oh, yum! I'd never had white truffles before and they added a wonderful taste to the dish! According to the menu presented to us, "the white truffle is the most prized luxury ingredient in the food market today. This rare ingredient is harvested from the Piedmont Region of Italy. The ripened fungus has an earthy/garlicky flavor and aroma, meant to be shaved at the last moment." All I know is that it was one of the most delicious things I'd ever eaten! I had a glass of Hartford Pinot Noir, Sonoma 2000 to accompany the dish. John managed to convince me to allow him to taste my risotto and he also agreed that it was marvelous!

    Now, the fourth course presented to us was a soup course. John was presented with Vegetable Consommé with Pearl Vegetables. Mine was Butternut Squash-Hazelnut Cream. Ok. I took a bite of mine, but John, knowing that squash is not among my favorite veggies, offered to trade his soup for mine. Now, before you go off thinking he was just being sweet and thoughtful, I should tell you that he LOVES squash! We made the trade, and asked "Albert" to keep our secret! John's Consommé was fabulous! He later confessed that he wished he could have kept his Consommé…

    For our fifth course, John was given Atlantic Cod with Roasted Baby Beets and Wild Rice Ragout. With this he had a glass of Guenoc Chardonnay "Genevieve Magoon Vineyard", Guenoc Valley 1999. I had Free Range Chicken with Roasted Baby Beets and Wild Rice Ragout and the same Chardonnay.

    The sixth course was amazing! Really! The lights were dimmed and we were presented with a course described as Terrine of Sorbet with Fruit. What was presented to us were dolphin ice sculptures with a tiny indention on the side holding two melon ball-sized scoops of sorbet!!! It was BEAUTIFUL!!! A small glowing light had been placed under each sculpture. I just had to take a picture! And our lovely "Albert", I believe, took our picture with the sculptures.

    Then it was time for the seventh course: the entrée. John had Porcini Crusted Veal Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto and Grilled Prime Filet over Potato Turnip Puree and Cabernet Jus. Chef Hunnel grated some of that wonderful white truffle over John's food, to his delight! To drink with this course John had Crozes-Hermitage Michel Chapoutier "Les Meysonniers", Rhone 1999. I was served Grilled Prime Filet over Potato Turnip Puree and Cabernet Jus, and I also had the same wine.

    For the eighth course we were both served Passendale, English Stilton with Burgundy Poached Pear. John had Ferreira Tawny Port. However, since I don't care for Port, I was served a glass of John Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2000.

    Then, as if we hadn't already had WAY too much to eat, out came the desserts! Chef Hunnel wanted to make sure there was plenty of chocolate for me, so three of the five desserts were chocolate. However, my favorite was (again) the Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Soufflé. Two desserts more suited to John's palate were offered: Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee and Caramelized Banana Gateau. One of the chocolate desserts was a pyramid of chocolate topped with a bit of edible gold leaf. Sitting behind the pyramid was a "cookie" with the MGM Sorcerer's Hat and the 100 Years of Magic logo. With that we were given a glass of Sauternes La Fleur D'Or, Bordeaux 1999. We also had some of Victoria and Albert's wonderful coffee.

    After a meal like the one we'd just shared, I had to get a photo of John with Chef Hunnel. He was a truly wonderful person and went out of his way to ensure that we both had a marvelous meal. Before we left the restaurant I was given a beautiful long-stemmed red rose. We said one last good-bye to Keith and headed back to our resort to sleep off the wonderful food and wine! This was an experience I think we will both treasure for years to come!
  13. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    This is on my "bucket list" :)
  14. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Do you mean "buck it", as in you won`t be going there Becca? :unsure:
  15. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    HAHAHA! No, Slowhand :)

    Meaning "before I kick the bucket" I want to do this (meaning before I die, in case that doesn't translate well across the pond. :wink: )
  16. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    AH ok, I see. "Kick the bucket" is also a well used phrase over here.
    You MUST give V & A`s a try though someday. :thumbsup:
  17. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    Ahh good!! Yes, I have an entire "list" of things I want to do before I kick the bucket...hence the well used phrase over here "bucket list"

    Jon is looking forward to going as much as I am. We are just waiting for a "good excuse" to splash out :)
  18. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    ...before you "pop your clogs". That`s another way of saying "kick the bucket" over here. :lol:
    [Here endeth the English lesson.] :lol:
  19. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    hahaha!! I like that one!
  20. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    I was talking with a co-worker today about our mutual love of everything Disney (she was born & raised down here so, it's in her blood).

    Co-worker said V&A's is a definite MUST-DO. She said it was the most fabulous meal of her life (her dad took her for her 30th b-day). She said the whole meal is an experience from the ambiance to the food. Co-worker said that even a trip to the powder room was elegant. An "Albert" escorted her from the table to the hallway. She said once inside the ladies' room, there weren't just the usual stalls, there were closets. And then of course cloth towels to dry your hands, all sorts of soaps and powders and perfumes...Once finished, before entering the dining room, another "Albert" came over and escorted her back to her table, pulled out her chair, and laid her napkin back on her lap. Is that service, or what?!?

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