A Tale of Two Short Ribs … A Before and After Story!

OK.  I’ll admit it.  To call this a “before and after” episode is a bit misleading.  After all, the Yacht Club’s Ale & Compass Restaurant has only been open for six months or so.  To date, they’ve only served one version of short ribs.

No.  Those of you who know me will clearly understand where this piece is coming from … I had an obsession with the Captain’s Grille’s Cabernet-braised Short Rib with Creamy [Sweet Corn] Risotto.  Look at it!

Simply phenomenally delicious, my friends, for years, this was my absolute favorite meal on Disney property!  Of course, as the Compass replaced the Captain, so, also, did a new short rib replace my beloved, “hall-of-fame” caliber cabernet-braised delight.

What does the Ale & Compass have to offer, then?  Well, on our most-recent trip to “The World”, Mrs. All in WDW and I met some dear friends there for dinner.  Wanting to give Ale’s offering a chance, I ordered their Smoked Short Ribs.

Served with a Roasted Vegetable Mash and Barbecue Demi, I have to admit that they were good.  Were they cabernet-caliber?  No.  The Captain’s recipe was an A+.  This version was, at best, a B.

Having said that, the ribs were fork tender.  They tasted quite good.  Where the dish lost me, however, was with the “side”.  Laced with roasted Brussels sprouts within, the vegetable mash was acceptable but paled in comparison to the Captain’s luxurious risotto.

What’s my conclusion, you ask?  I said it a few weeks ago, I was very disappointed when Disney decided to close Captain’s Grille.  But, even I have to admit that WDW notched a ‘home run’ with the Ale & Compass refurbishment.

When it comes to their food, if you’re a fan of short ribs, I’d recommend you give Ale’s dish a try.  For myself, it had a tough act to follow.  In the days of the Captain, I would order nothing but the short rib.  At Ale, I’ll give some of their many other menu items a try.

The Captain Bids Us a Fond Farewell … While the Compass Entices Us with a Menu!

It had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it, folks?  The Yacht Club’s displaced Captain’s Grille – the undeniable Walt Disney World hidden gem that had taken up residence in Ariel’s at Disney’s Beach Club Resort – is now closed.

Before we move on, let’s take once last glimpse at this esteemed venue in one of its very last days of relocation …

Fortunately, we shot those pics on a visit that we made in late August.  We were paying our final respects, as it were.  Poor Captain.  You really were so under-appreciated.

When we were in WDW a few weeks ago, Mrs. All in WDW and I stopped over to Yacht Club to check on the status of the skipper’s soon-to-be-opened replacement – Ale & Compass Restaurant.  Alas, nothing but construction walls … still.

Frankly, I thought we had a chance to catch their Opening Day!  When we made the aforementioned visit to the Captain, two Cast Members told us that Ale could be open as early as the middle of October!

Maybe the Compass will open sometime later this month, but, in the meantime, their initial menus can be found on Disney’s web site.

Click here to view Ale’s dinner menu!

For those who are interested, no breakfast buffet is listed, by the way.  Doug Davis, for one, will be very disappointed.

For my part, Ale’s dinner menu confirmed my worst fears.  My friends, the Captain’s delicious Cabernet-braised Short Rib with Sweet Corn Risotto is history.

How incredibly sad.  Replaced by Smoked Short Ribs with Vegetable Mash, what was once the very best dish on Disney property is now nothing more than Entry #4 in All in WDW’s Hall of Fame.

That’s right.  This dish was that good!  It joins Maelstrom, Off Kilter, and Wishes in our personal annals of WDW history!  Yahoo!

Having said all of that, Ale’s menu is still quite interesting.  Chowder, savory pies, a clambake.  I’m sure it will all be very tasty.  Hey, even the short ribs sound enticing.  Maybe they’ll sub me in some risotto for that mash?

Frankly, even with that unique sweet corn risotto, a smoked dish just won’t be quite the same as the Captain’s cabernet-braised masterpiece.  I’ll still give it a chance, though!  I promise, I’ll have an open mind, and I’ll try it … at some point.

Meanwhile, let’s take one last look, shall we?  Behold, my former favorite Disney dish!  A new “Hall-of-Famer”, as it were.  Yes, everyone, in late August, I did get a chance to say farewell to it, as well.  Feast on this beast!