On the main floor of the Contemporary is The Wave, a modern and trendy restaurant that is an escape from the hustle and bustle of Disney World. The entrance and main corridor transport you through a tunnel to what could be a hip Miami club. To the right of the front desk is a lounge, which is lit a cool blue. Upon arriving my party of three was seated immediately – without a dining reservation. The dining room was fittingly contemporary and was also rather empty for lunchtime on a Saturday at Disney.
Our waitress was soon with us and took our drink orders. When we received our drinks we were, at first, surprised to see the paper straws that Animal Kingdom uses. The Wave takes a sustainable approach to dining using only organic and local ingredients, which makes the paper straws make much more sense.
While we were still deciding on our entrees, we selected the lump crab Florida rock shrimp cakes for an appetizer, which is served with a colorful cucumber and tomato salsa and rémoulade sauce. The cakes were filled with moist, sweet crabmeat – not much filler here! However, I could hardly taste the shrimp, which wasn’t a bad thing for me as I’m not much of a shrimp fan. The cakes are very light and crispy pairing wonderfully with the coolness of the salsa and the tanginess of the rémoulade. This dish highlights the freshness of the ingredients at The Wave and was a true standout of the meal.
Next up were the entrees. I split the seasonal soup and sandwich with my boyfriend to make sure I had room for dessert. The soup was smoked tomato basil and was served with a quarter, as this was a half order, of a turkey sandwich. Unfortunately, the soup was the worst part of the whole meal. It had a strong smoky flavor that over powered the tomato and the texture was like a grainy puree, not the smooth soup I had been hoping for. I wish I had gotten the corn soup that was on the appetizer menu instead, as the one I had at Citricos was divine.
That said, the sandwich was fantastic. Moist hand-carved turkey, peppery arugula, and sweet cranberries on a focaccia round. The cranberries really stood out and the combination of turkey and berries reminded me of Thanksgiving.
My other dining partner ordered the Rueben, which was served with potato wedges and a dill pickle spear. While I did not have any of the sandwich, it was devoured and declared to be very good. I did manage to get some of the potato wedges, which were crispy and delicious.
At The Wave desserts are served in trios with a common theme from creamy indulgence to ice cream. On this visit, we ordered the American flavors trio, which our waitress said was her absolute favorite. The trio consists of a coconut raspberry bar, s’more, and key lime cube. I actually had to fight off the spoons of my drooling dining companions to snap a few pictures!
The key lime cube was a perfect mixture of sweet and tart. It featured a citrus cream on top and a graham cracker bottom. This was probably my least favorite of the desserts just because it wasn’t very exciting. It was yummy, but other than that didn’t have much going for it.
The s’more on the other hand was much more interesting. The marshmallow was house-made vanilla bean flavored and was nicely toasted so that it was warm and melty with a bit of crunch to the outer layer. Beneath the marshmallow sat a solid cylinder of milk chocolate and beneath that a smaller layer of crushed graham cracker. For me, the marshmallow was the star of this dessert.
Finally, the coconut raspberry bar. My goodness, this was delicious! It was definitely my favorite of the trio. The bar was garnished with pineapples that gave the dish an acidic quality that paired well with the sweetness of the coconut and tartness of the raspberry. Even the person who claimed to not be a fan of coconut enjoyed this treat!
It is important to note that everyone had a different favorite from the trio, so it really is up to the personal tastes of the diner. All of the desserts were delectable.
Overall, The Wave gets high marks from me. We all left the quiet of the restaurant with full and happy stomachs for an afternoon at the parks.
Food – Tasty! The organic and local ingredients shine in some of the freshest dishes on Disney property.
Atmosphere – You can completely forget that you’re at Disney with this relaxing and quiet restaurant. It’s a nice place to get away from the chaos for a meal.
Service – Excellent. We never had to wait for a drink refill our waitress was attentive to our every need.
Tips – For lunch, a dining reservation is not needed. Let the pressure of a reservation time go and allow The Wave to be a place of complete relaxation.
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