Last Foodie Friday, we covered the top 5 Resort Table Service restaurants at Disney for Christmas Eve. Today we’ll take a look at the top 5 Resort Signature restaurants for Christmas Eve dinner.
Il Mulino, Disney’s Swan Hotel
There’s just something about eating Italian food on Christmas Eve. Maybe it’s because I’m Italian, but nothing beats a plate of pasta on Christmas Eve. We tried Il Mulino last year and loved it. It’s not on the Disney Dining Plan, but we wanted to try something different and were willing to pay out of pocket. Not to mention, the Swan and Dolphin is a gorgeous resort. While nothing beats the Osborne light display, the Swan and Dolphin does have a light show of its own. The path between the two resorts is lined with tall palm trees that are illuminated by dancing red and green lights. The lights even “dance” to your favorite holiday songs.
Oh – and the food. I really like that Il Mulino lets you choose half dishes. I was stuck between the Pappardelle and the Gnocchi Bolognese. Well, I went with both! The Pappardelle lived up to its highly touted reputation. The Gnoochi Bolognese was the perfect comfort dish. The gnocchi was like little pillows of potato swimming in a delicious red meat sauce. It went perfectly with a nice red wine! We decided to skip dessert, but were treated to complimentary limoncello. After I chugged down the delicious lemon drink, the waiter told us it was made with grain alcohol. Whoops!
Whether you’re on the meal plan or not, Il Mulino is a great spot for delicious Italian food. It also has a decent selection of seafood, including a snapper, shrimp and salmon dish. The restaurant itself is beautiful. I really liked the dim lighting – it creates a nice, warm atmosphere that’s perfect for eating dinner surrounded by loved ones.
Narcoossee’s, Grand Floridian
This will be our first year not dining at Narcoossee’s as we’ve decided to try a new Signature restaurant. It’s a family favorite. Narcoossee’s has it all – ambience, location, fantastic food, and talented bartenders. We usually do Narcoossee’s for Christmas dinner, but that’s just a personal preference. It’s even better for Christmas Eve dinner. Narcoossee’s is a seafood restaurant, and it does it well!
You start with the bread, served with a Himalayan Pink Salt topped butter. The bread is served warm. It’s crunchy on the outside and fluffy and warm on the inside. Try to not fill up on the bread, though! The best is yet to come…
Every Christmas I order a Ketel One martini, dirty, with bleu cheese olives. Before Narcoosee’s, I’d never had a “perfect” martini. I’ve gotten martinis that weren’t dirty enough, ones that were too dirty, and others that just didn’t taste right. If you enjoy martinis, you know just how hard it is to make a perfect martini. Well, Narcoossee’s makes a perfect martini.
We usually skip appetizers. We made the mistake of ordering appetizers our first time at Narcoossee’s and I was way too full by dessert. I couldn’t let the delicious dessert go to waste, so I ate it anyway. You almost had to roll me out of there! If you must order an appetizer, go for the Lobster Bisque. I once ordered the oysters and was unhappy to find that they were served fried. They were good, but I was craving fresh oysters.
Dinner offers plenty of delicious seafood and non-seafood choices. My dad doesn’t eat seafood, so he always goes with the steak. My sister and I usually opt for the surf and turf. You choose from either a filet mignon or a New York Strip steak served with a butter poached lobster tail. The lobster tail is cooked to perfection. It’s buttery on its own – no need to dip it in anything! It partners with the steak to create the best dish on property. I repeat: the best dish on property.
You can also choose from a two-pound Maine lobster, Alaskan halibut, Ahi tuna, or scallops. My mom usually opts for the scallops, which are served with vegetables and arugula. My mom rarely finishes everything on her plate, but last year she finished the whole thing!
And last, but certainly not least – dessert. Narcoossee’s usually serves a holiday-themed dessert on Christmas. Last year, they had a white chocolate pudding served over a gingerbread cookie. It was gorgeously decorated – like a wrapped Christmas present. My sister ordered and vastly enjoyed it, but I couldn’t pass on my favorite dessert at Disney: the Almond Crusted Cheesecake. It’s crunchy on the outside and so amazingly decadent on the inside. The cheesecake is creamy and slightly tart and partners beautifully with the acidic cherry compote.
Flying Fish Cafe, Disney’s BoardWalk
If you’re looking to enjoy a nice seafood dinner, then look no further than Flying Fish – for namesake, at least! Flying Fish is located at Disney’s BoardWalk. The decor is very whimsical, with a nod to old school boardwalks.
Like Narcoossee’s, Flying Fish features a range of dishes suitable for any palate. For appetizers, the restaurant serves a broad range of seafood options, including: crab cake, sushi, a calamari and rock shrimp dish, and mussels. Entrees include swordfish, Yellowfin tuna, a seafood pasta dish, salmon, scallops, and their famous Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper.
They offer a few less non-seafood options than Narcoossee’s. The entrees include pork chop and a New York Strip. As far as desserts go, they offer a delicious Caramelized Banana Napoleon and I’m sure they’ll have a holiday-themed option, as well.
The Signature restaurant is a great spot for a nice, relaxing sit-down meal on Christmas Eve.
Todd English’s bluezoo, Dolphin Hotel
Another “off-site” non-dining-plan restaurant graces the list for fine dining on Christmas Eve. Todd English’s bluezoo draws comparisons to Disney’s Narcoossee’s. For appetizers, the restaurant offers shrimp, scallops, and a raw bar selection platter. Entrees include swordfish, tuna, Hawaiian sea bass, and a two-pound Maine lobster. It also offers non-seafood options, such as lamb, beef tenderloin, and a pasta dish.
Todd English’s bluezoo is a bit pricey, but totally worth the experience. The servers even make a show of the food’s presentation – from tableside filleting to tuna tartar with a liquid nitrogen sriracha. It’s a lively atmosphere that’s great for older families, such as mine.
The BOATHOUSE, Downtown Disney
Okay, maybe The BOATHOUSE (that’s the last time I’m capitalizing the entire name) isn’t at a resort, per se, but it’s not at a park, either. For the sake of this blog, I’m counting it as a resort. Like the other Signature restaurants, eating at The Boathouse could be pricey, but the food and experience certainly warrants the lofty pricetag. After all, it is Christmas Eve!
From a menu standpoint, The Boathouse offers a plethora of seafood options. Guests can start with a raw bar, or opt with appetizers such as calamari, and andouille beer steamed mussels. Entrees include tuna, swordfish, snapper, cedar plank salmon, and scallops. You can also share a lobster bake or surf and turf between two people. For non-seafood eaters, The Boathouse offers everything from burgers and chicken fingers to steaks, provisions and chops.
The Boathouse is on the Disney Dining Plan, but exclusions and exceptions do apply. It’s best to give them a call before dining.