Remy on Board the Disney Dream – A Night to Almost Remember

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It’s been exactly a year and a half since our Disney Cruise, and I’ve just realized that I never finished blogging about our trip. Life got in the way a little bit when we got home. (To be clear, I got laid off the day we returned from vacation.) Luckily I found a new job within a few weeks and was fine, but then it was a blur of learning new things, meeting new people, etc. Blogging took a back seat.

Having now realized that I never posted the pics from our amazing evening at Remy, I thought I’d fix that. Problem is, I can’t tell you exactly what it is that we ate. Some of the items are fairly recognizable, and some more memorable than others. But as is often the case with fine dining, the final product doesn’t much resemble the ingredients. And I would be hard-pressed to tell you what these dishes actually tested like.

So rather than a “review” I’ll give you the pics and let you decide for yourself. My memory of the meal was one of impeccable service, far too much very, very good food, and a very romantic evening with my love. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was probably my favorite experience on our cruise.

On our way to Remy Selfie

All dressed up and no kids in sight.

Full length on our way to Remy

A nice couple saw me taking the selfie and stopped to take our pic

Remy entrance

The entrance to Remy. Very posh and clubby.

Colette cocktail at Remy

The complimentary Colette cocktail. Champagne, pear vodka, dried apricot, mint, blueberry. Lovely. And check that view!

Amuse - Tomato soup at Remy

First, the amuse – tomato soup! This was a Willy Wonka-esque experience. Like a perfect tomato exploding in your mouth.

Foie gras mousse at Remy

A lovely, rich foie gras mousse with pistachios

Pork belly at Remy

I believe this was pork belly. My husband and I had different dishes.

Crab at Remy

These were little crab cigars with I believe a yuzu foam.

Crab gazpacho at Remy

Maybe a crab gazpacho?

Sunset from Remy on the Disney Dream

Let’s take a moment to sip our wine and drink in that sunset…

Black cod at Remy

Maybe black cod? I remember I enjoyed it.

Duck at Remy

I suspect this was duck.

Scallop at Remy

Wow, that’s pretty. Maybe a scallop?

Lobster galette at Remy

On the left is potato. On the right is lobster. I remember the really dense and unique texture of the potato.

Side of Lobster at Remy

And what goes best with lobster? Yes, a side of lobster.

Beef at Remy

I’m not entirely sure what this was. Maybe beef? Duck?

Beef at Remy

I’m almost positive this is beef.

Cheese cart, Remy

Why yes of COURSE we’ll have the cheese course. Roll over the cart. We’re not nearly full enough.

2009 Sancerre at Remy

This wine was delicious.

Chocolate mousse pyramid, Remy

Oooh, pretty! Probably chocolate mousse.

Mondrian dessert, Remy

This was my dessert, but I could not tell you what it was. Just that I loved the Mondrian design.

A rose to end the meal at Remy

Awww…they brought me a rose.

Truffles and desserts to go, Remy

Oh yes, and two more desserts to go, in case we got hungry on our way back to our room.

I forgot how amazing this was. I want to go back!

Dinner in Magellan’s Secret Room at Tokyo DisneySea

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Things have been quiet around the MouseChow blog, mostly because I’ve been busy at work. But ALSO because I was on vacation, in JAPAN! This was easily the most incredible trip I’ve ever taken with my family, and I’m happy to be able to share a few snippets of it with you.

I thought I’d start with a very cool experience that we had at Magellan’s at Tokyo DisneySea. We spent a day and a half in the Japanese Disney parks, and could have stayed a few more. First thing you should know about eating at Tokyo Disney – every table service meal¬†seems to be a huge fixed price, expensive, multi-course affair. Unless you’re an obsessed Disney food blogger, only plan to do one table service if you visit.

A great choice for that one meal is Magellan’s, right next to Mount Prometheus at Tokyo DisneySea. It’s classic European cuisine in a building that looks sort of like a chateau at the base of the mountain.

So let me set the scene for you. We had been walking around cold and drizzly Tokyo for three days and were completely exhausted. We had an 8:15pm reservation at Magellan’s, and if we hadn’t been completely starved would not have left our room at the MiraCosta. But we rallied (read: I forced my family to move) and we ventured out of our hotel into the park just as Fantasmic was beginning. It was getting dark and raining, and about 50 degrees and we were exhausted. We climbed the wide stairs that led up the mountain, and turned to watch the Maleficent dragon breathe fire over the lagoon, then made our way to the restaurant.

After a few seconds of language barrier confusion about our reservation, we were ushered inside, down the elevator, past the main dining room, to a bookcase in the wall. Our hostess instructed our daughter to find the hidden button (it’s not hard to find), and the bookcase swung open to reveal a hidden room designed as a wine cellar in the mountain.

There could not be a cozier spot for three bedraggled, exhausted, cold and wet people to settle into a fantastic meal.

Magellan's Secret Room

In the “secret” wine cellar at Magellan’s

We chose one of the set menus and I ordered a Glenmorangie to warm up. We were so tired, and it was so dark and warm, it’s a miracle we stayed awake for the entire meal. There was much discussion about a new invention, the “table bed”. ¬†Sorry for the dark photos. I didn’t have the energy to pull out the real camera, so we’ve got iPhone photos in the dark. And I neglected to take a pic of the best course – a silky and umami-laden cream of cauliflower soup. Even my child who never ever eats cauliflower loved it.

Barrels at Magellan's

Casks on the wall

 

scallops at Magellan's

Scallop dish. I seem to remember it was good. Oh yeah, with a tomato jam.

 

foie mousse at Magellan's

The glass contains a foie gras mousse that was delish. Also prosciutto on a stick, salmon, cress.

 

Beef short rib Magellan's

Melt in your mouth tender beef short rib with lots of tasty accompaniments

 

Creme brulee at Magellan's

Perfectly executed creme brulee

 

tangerine sorbet Magellan's

Fresh and tart tangerine sorbet

Fully satisfied, we stumbled out of our cozy cocoon of a restaurant into the twinkling lights of Tokyo DisneySea at night. It had stopped raining, and everything was glossy and beautiful. We slept pretty well.

Tokyo DisneySea at night

Tokyo DisneySea is gorgeous at night

 

Magellan’s at Tokyo DisneySea: 5 Mice

 

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Germany

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Continuing clockwise around World Showcase, we pass right past the Brewer’s Collection (because there’s only so much one can drink without ending up at Guest Relations) and land in Germany. If you do stop at Brewer’s Collection, there are some really interesting beers to try, including the much-hyped Schofferhofer Grapefruit (which is generally better in the bottle than what I’ve gotten at Food & Wine which last year was a bit skunky) and BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer which I am very sad that I didn’t get to try. I’ll be on the lookout for that one.

Germany booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Deutschland!

But this is about the Germany booth and the food at that booth, and we DID try each of the offerings here. Sadly nothing really stands out here as a “must-try”. It’s all fine comfort food, but not terribly exciting.

First, the Schinkennudeln (Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese.)

Schinkennudeln at Germany booth Epcot Food and Wine 2013

That’s mac and cheese to you and me

It’s fine. Hard to go wrong with mac and cheese. I sort of wish they’d just leave out the ham though, so that there could be an additional vegetarian dish at Food and Wine. My vegetarian friends have precious few items that they can sample, and end up eating mostly desserts. It would be so easy to omit the ham here – it’s not doing much for the dish.

A little less successful is the Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll.

Roast Bratwurst in Pretzel Roll Germany Food and Wine 2013

“Not impressed,” says Mr. MouseChow

That’s one long brat! Overall it’s pretty mediocre, and we just didn’t really enjoy this. The roll is fine, though for some reason we like it much better at the Biergarten restaurant. If you’re a completist and must try everything at Food and Wine, then go for it, but otherwise I’d skip it.

And for dessert, there’s Apple Strudel with Werther’s Original(r) Karamel & Vanilla Sauce.

Apple Strudel at Germany booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Gotta love Werther’s Karamel

As you might expect, the apples, caramel, and vanilla sauce were really yummy. The crust though was sort of hard to eat – not flakey or crispy, so it made it hard to cut with the side of a fork. Still, this was my favorite dish in Germany.

The best part of eating in Germany though? Sitting at a little table near the fountain in the middle of the German pavilion while mini-MouseChow played the Agent P game and made Doofenshmirtz come out of the clock tower. (We also made a pass through Karamel Kuche and got some chocolate and caramel covered strawberries. Mmmmm….)

Chocolate and caramel strawberry at Karamel Kuchel

Best thing we ate in Germany

And ya know what? You can get this year-round.

 

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Cheese!

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“I’m just crackers about cheese!” – Wallace

Cheese, cheese, cheese. The most delicious, varied, and amazing food product ever invented. Oh how I love cheese.

So it stands to reason that I am consistently disappointed by the Cheese booth at the Epcot Food and Wine festival.

Cheese booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The sign is so promising

First for the good news. The cheese plate is not offensive. It includes:

  • La Bonne Vie Triple Creme Brie served with Apricot Jam
  • Beecher’s Flagship Reserve served with Honey
  • Wyngaard Goats Gouda with Craisin(r) Bread
Cheese plate at Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

In order, from mild to slightly less mild

Sorry, it looks like my goat gouda was hiding behind the Craisin(r) bread.

It’s a very simple cheese plate. Just fine, but nothing truly exciting or challenging here.

Contrast that with the VERY “challenging” Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Souffle with Fig Jam.

Blue Cheese Souffle Cheese booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

Skip it.

And by challenging, I mean icky. Seriously not good. I LOVE blue cheese, so that’s not the issue. But think of this – a hot Florida day. A fairly full stomach. Very strong blue cheese, mixed into a grainy-textured “souffle” with sticky and thick fig preserves. We ate ours near the booth, and watched at least 5 people take a first bite and…well…have you ever seen someone take their first taste of Beverly soda? it was like that. One after another went from happily enjoying their day at Epcot to wishing they’d never put this awful thing in their mouths.

One bite each and it went into the trash. So sad, but somewhat expected. Seriously, how well could they be expected to execute a cheese souffle in that booth? I think it could have benefitted from being a smaller portion served with some crostini.

If you must try it, be sure to get some wine to wash it down quickly. The Cheese booth is featuring wines from Once Upon a Vine, with adorable names. I didn’t try any of them, and am interested to hear from anyone who did. Were they any good? Your options are:

  • The Last Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
  • The Fairest Chardonnay
  • A Charming Pinot
  • The Big Bad Red Blend

Or maybe just get a Beverly to wash down that souffle.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Africa

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For me, the continent of Africa and Walt Disney World are somehow entwined in my brain. I’ve never had a driving wish to visit Africa ( as I do to visit many parts of Asia and Europe), yet some of my favorite food and experiences at Disney are focused around African culture. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is by far my favorite place to stay, I adore eating at Jiko, love Harambe in Animal Kingdom, and would rather eat boboti and pap for breakfast than Tonga Toast any day.

So all of that just to say that I really, really like the food at the Africa booth at Food & Wine Festival.

Africa booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Right across from the Outpost

First, the Berbere Style Beef with Onions, Jalapenos, Tomato, Okra, & Pap.

Berbere Beef at Africa booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Okra and tomatoes – one of the best combos in the world

This is pure comfort food. (If you were raised on okra and tomatoes – otherwise you may not be so comfortable.) I do think it was a bit under spiced, and was a little oily. It honestly tasted more like food I grew up with in Louisiana than something African, which I suppose is not too surprising given the origin of many Louisiana Creole dishes. The pap was smooth and creamy, and overall I truly enjoyed this dish.

The other offering at the Africa booth is the Spinach & Paneer Cheese Pocket. It’s one of the few vegetarian dishes at the festival, and for me is usually one of the highlights. The filling is quite spicy and really delish. But this year’s pocket was a bit disappointing vs. last year’s. It’s shrunk, and the crust was not quite as flakey. Here are the comparison pics:

This year’s pocket:

Spinach and Paneer Pocket 2013 African booth

2013

And last year’s:

 

Spinach and Paneer Pocket at Africa booth

Spicy veggie goodness – 2012

But as I think I’ve mentioned before (I’ve definitely thunk it – not sure if I wrote it) there seem to be wide variations in consistency at Food & Wine, so maybe it was just that day.

There are no desserts at the Africa booth, but there are three wine options. MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc (a very light white), Porcupine Ridge Syrah, and The Wolftrap Red. My choice would be the Syrah, but I really don’t enjoy drinking red wine at Food & Wine. Something about 85 degree heat, dehydration, and red wine just don’t mix for me – go figure.

So while the offerings at the Africa booth may not be for everyone, they make me really happy. And if you’ve never tried okra, this would be a solid introduction.

What did you think? Was your paneer pocket smaller this year, too?