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Flying Fish Café

Flying Fish Cafe

On a recent visit to Walt Disney World, my family and I had the opportunity to dine at one of the Disney Boardwalk’s most visually-prominent restaurants: the Flying Fish Café.

The beautiful décor of this whimsical restaurant takes you back to early 20th century America, Coney Island and the Atlantic City Boardwalk.  The main focal point of the restaurant is the extensive mural that runs along the left side of the dining room.  The mural depicts the amusement park rides of an earlier age.  The parachuting fish dot the ceiling and are an excellent play on the restaurant’s name.

We started our meal with a glass of wine each and the roasted heirloom beets and fresh Vermont goat cheese salad.  The goat cheese was creamy and had just a hint of pepper.  The sweet orange slices were offset by the VERY spicy pecans.  These pecans were so spicy that the seasoning was left on my fingers after I had picked one up to try it.  The creamy vinaigrette was flavored with just the hint of citrus which highlighted the freshness of the salad greens.  The bread basket was one of the best I’ve seen on property.  The crusty, sourdough bread paired well with the creamy goat cheese.

Our entrées arrived soon after we were finished with the salad.  My husband selected the duo of a New York strip and the Flying Fish Cafés renowned potato-wrapped snapper.  The steak was accompanied by roasted fingerling potatoes, green beans and carrots.  As usual, he ordered his steak medium-rare.  However, in this instance, the steak came out a little charred and overdone.  He still enjoyed it, though, and said he was well-seasoned.  The top of the steak was caramelized, which he scraped off before cutting into the meat.  Neither of us had experienced the potato encrusted snapper before.  The potato was crispy on the outside, yet tender as you cut into the fish.  The red wine reduction complemented the potato and added some much needed flavor to the fish.

Never one to pass up risotto, my mother chose the oak-grilled Maine scallops.  I always avoid scallops, because I get so disappointed with the portion size.  Here, my mother received four plump, large scallops served over a bed of creamy risotto.  The scallops were seared to perfection and melted in your mouth.  The risotto was cooked al-dente and was melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness.

Since I had my heart set on trying the truffle macaroni and cheese, I went with the pork tenderloin.  This was a terrible decision.  The crust on the pork overpowered any flavor I might have gleaned from the meat itself.  Furthermore, the pork was severely overcooked.  As a result, the meat was dry and doughy, instead of tender and juicy like I was hoping.  On the other hand, the truffle macaroni and cheese was creamy, cheesy and just a little spicy.  I enjoyed the strong truffle flavor and the crispy onion topping.

We were all excited about desserts and each person ordered something different.  My mother selected the orange crème brulèe.  The dessert was pleasantly plated with a fig on top and accompanying almond biscotti.  The custard was creamy and sweet with just a hint of the citrus.  The caramelized topping was surprisingly thick.  The texture of the caramelized sugar wonderfully complemented the creaminess of the custard.  However, the biscotti seemed like an afterthought and tasted better dipped in coffee than on its own.

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In the mood for a fall dessert, I chose the apple-caramel bread pudding.  The presentation was excellent, but the flavor did not pass muster.  The pudding the tough and chewy, and there seemed to be more raisins in the pudding than apples.  The accompanying vanilla bean ice cream, however, was delicious.  Rich and creamy with a strong vanilla bean flavor, this ice cream was definitely the star of my plate.

My husband hit the dessert jackpot with his trio of concession sweets.  First up was the caramel popcorn mousse.  The mousse tasted like vanilla pudding with a hint of caramel.  The caramel flavor was brought in through the fresh caramel popcorn topping.  Next was the cherry limeade popsicle.  This bite-sized popsicle was served in a sugar rimmed shot glass.  Thank goodness for that.  The popsicle was so tart that you had to roll the popsicle in the sugar in order to eat it.  Regardless, the cherry and lime flavors melded together in this whimsical treat.  Last, was the s ’mores lollipop.  Served with a swirl of white and dark chocolate as its “stick”, this “lollipop” had just the right amount of chocolate to round out this dessert.  The marshmallow crème held the two graham cracker cakes together, while the chocolate paired well with the slight cinnamon flavor.

Overall, this was a fun restaurant with good -but not delicious – food.  We had heard such great reviews of this restaurant that we were really looking forward to visiting.  However, once we were finished none of us was dying to return any time soon.  I would say that this should be one to mark off of your Disney Dining bucket list for the atmosphere and desserts, but for what you are getting for your money, there are much more delicious, and somewhat cheaper, options elsewhere on property.

F.A.S.T. Review

Food: The food here is hit or miss.  The delicious bread basket and flavorful salad gave way to a bland and mediocre entrée course.  However, the desserts have great concepts and are well worth it.

Atmosphere: This is an upscale restaurant with a whimsical décor.  You feel like you are at a Las Vegas hotel and not steps away from EPCOT.  The murals really bring out the Coney Island/Atlantic City Boardwalk theme and the “flying fish” chandeliers are something else!

Service: The service is what you would come to expect from a Disney restaurant.  However, the service wasn’t as extraordinary as I would expect from one of the property’s higher-end restaurants.  I’ve come to realize that just because the restaurant counts as two dining credits on your Disney Dining Plan, this does not necessarily equal out to two dining credits worth of service, and Flying Fish was no exception.

Tips: If you are one that enjoys a pre-dinner cocktail, then be sure to grab one elsewhere before arriving for your reservation.  The bar at the Flying Fish is a “dining bar” where they serve dinner to walk-ins.  Also, ask for a table near the open kitchen.  It is fun to watch the chefs create their masterpieces.

About Angela Spece

An attorney by trade, Angela has a passion for all things Walt Disney World. She took her first steps into the Magic Kingdom in the fifth grade and has been a lifelong fan of Walt Disney World ever since. While she spends her days writing briefs and memos, in her spare time she enjoys writing about and sharing her Walt Disney World experiences with her family and friends in an effort to help them enjoy their time in Walt Disney World as much as she does. Angela and her husband, Gabe, recently discovered all of the amazing “adult” drinking and eating opportunities that can be found in Walt Disney World, and have made it their own personal goal to visit all of the pubs and lounges on property. When Angela is not daydreaming about or planning her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World, she enjoys snow skiing, spending time with her husband, fixing up their new home, and taking their black lab, Pearl, for a long walk each day!