Paddlefish restaurant is hard to miss in Disney Springs since is literally a boat docked at the Springs. The multi-story modern design is eye catching, and it preserves the steamboat that has been there for decades. I recently had the opportunity to dine here with a group of friends to celebrate a milestone birthday for one of my best Disney friends. Orlando Magazine readers voted Paddlefish the 2018 Best Seafood Restaurant, and I don’t disagree. There are many things to love about Paddlefish from the décor to the menu—here are a few highlights:
8. The Service
Paddlefish is considered a fine dining or signature restaurant experience. As such the service we experienced was top notch from the check in at the entry to the service at the table. Our server was thorough with recommendations and pairings, very knowledgeable about the menu to advise on flavors, and made sure that we had everything we needed without being intrusive.
7. The Desserts
Paddlefish has some amazing desserts and we sampled a few around the table. They offer an excellent Key Lime Pie that is topped high with a beautiful meringue. The flavors were perfect for key lime with that combination of tangy/tart with a little sweet. Another dessert enjoyed was the Brownie Milkshake that was as pretty as it was tasty. It wasn’t over the top huge like some of the trendy milkshakes restaurants are offering (like Planet Hollywood Observatory), but it was an understated decadence with chocolate ganache, caramel popcorn and whipped cream. If you are looking for a boozy dessert Paddlefish offers Buzz Pop Cocktails which are essentially a frozen cocktail in the form of a push up pop (definitely Instagramable).
6. Seafood Boils
I love a good seafood boil and Paddlefish offers several options on their menu. There is a Maine Lobster Boil, a PEI Mussels Boil, Littleneck Clams Boil, Shrimp Boil, Snow Crab Boil and Alaska King Crab Boil (I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump). Each is served with sweet corn on the cob, red potatoes and cornbread. The boils are all prepared on the bottom level of the ship, so if you are on a top deck (as we were) it may arrive slightly after everyone else’s meals. But it is worth it. The dish is well prepared to a great texture and seasoned for a perfect flavor.
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5. Outside Lounge Seating
If you are looking for a place to relax with friends the outside seating areas around the decks are the perfect place. You almost feel like you are on an actual ship cruising. There are comfy couches, and lots of nooks to find a great place to enjoy some drinks and small plates. Unfortunately it was raining during our visit or I could’ve spent the entire night out there.
4. Shrimp & Grits
Another menu item that deserves highlighting is the Shrimp & Grits. Overall this low country classic is one of my favorites and a go-to dish when I find it on restaurant menus. The Paddlefish version is cheddar grits (the BEST kind) shrimp and topped with a spicy pepper-butter sauce. The sauce was lightly applied and the butter balanced out the pepper, so it wasn’t all that spicy. This was a great version of shrimp & grits and one that I would recommend.
3. The Boat
The novelty of dining on a boat is certainly one of the things I love about Paddlefish. It is an actual boat with multiple decks and you have to go out and around to reach some of the dining areas as they are not all connected. This adds to the character and charm of the dining experience and allows for some really neat dining rooms and views.
2. Lobster Corn Dogs
If you are looking for a unique and delicious seafood appetizer you need to check out the Lobster Corn Dogs. Chunks of lobster are lightly breaded and fried (don’t think of a doughy corn dog) . . . and the preparation is fabulous. It is served with a sweet chili aioli for dipping. The Lobster Corn Dogs at Paddlefish are a great way to start off your meal, or if you are having drinks and some small plates this is definitely one I recommend adding to the options.
1. The Views
Docked in the middle of Disney Springs, Paddlefish offers some amazing views of Disney Springs and the surrounding area. With multiple decks and stories you can get fairly high up to have some great panoramic views. And many of the dining rooms offer beautiful views out over the water and looking at Saratoga Springs Resort or areas of Disney Springs. You feel like you are out in the water as you dine which really adds to the atmosphere of Paddlefish as a seafood restaurant.
Have you tried Paddlefish in Disney Springs? What did you love about it?