Dining Recon: Phins! New Lobby Bar at the Dolphin Resort!

My friends, daytime adult refreshment options at Crescent Lake will never be the same!   Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort has raised the bar [pun very much intended]!

Phins.  Offering a wide selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and food, it is the centerpiece of the resort’s many brand new refurbishments and additions.

We’ll show you a refurbished room, as well as Dolphin’s new Quick Service option – Fuel – in the coming days, but, first, let’s take a look at the Dolphin’s new lobby and … Phins!

A beautiful “new” lobby!

The Dolphin’s old – very small – lobby bar is history!

Some shots of Phins!

Up to this point, folks, your best Crescent Lake alternatives for grabbing an adult beverage were places like ESPN Club or Crew’s Cup Lounge.  If you wanted to be outside, then establishments like Cabana Bar and Hurricane Hanna’s could fit the bill.

With the opening of Phins, you have another place to kick back, relax, and enjoy a tasty vacation refreshment.  For instance, they serve the Swan & Dolphin’s signature Pale Ale – Phins & Feathers – on draft!

In addition, the drinks – especially their daily Happy Hour punch – are very tasty.  A different recipe each day, here’s their Pomegranate Mint Julep!

We found this to be quite unique … the Phins Bloody Mary “bar” opens every Sunday at 10 AM.  Check out the descriptions, though.  Each of these specialty versions are inspired by Swan & Dolphin’s signature restaurants!

I’m definitely going for the Hail Mary next trip!  Filet, lobster, and shrimp?  What?!

Finally, the bar’s food really hits the spot.  Prepared and served from the hotel’s Room Service kitchen, the menu isn’t large, but it is still packed with enticing dishes!

Mrs. All in WDW and I shared three items.  The dish that caught her interest the most, was Phins’ Hummus Trio.  Served with small “chips” of naan bread, we were partial to the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Was tough to fit this presentation into one picture frame!

I, of course, couldn’t deny two of my favorite preparations – Pork Belly Bao and, you guessed it, Lamb Meatballs!

Yum! Lamb Meatballs!

Not quite as delicious as Food & Wine’s New Zealand version, the meatballs were still very good.  Mrs. All in WDW really loved the veggies bathed in the dish’s pork tomato sauce.

Steamed buns.  Pork belly.  Winner!  I loved them!  Plus, Mrs. All in WDW kindly gave me the “lion’s share”!  Also served as a “trio”, there was plenty of flavor to enjoy!

My friends, we had a great evening at Phins.  The staff was friendly.  The drinks are refreshing.  The food is quite tasty.  When next on Crescent Lake, please stop by the Dolphin and try Phins!  You might find that you’ll love it as well!

Welcome to Disney’s Restaurant of the Year?!

Good morning, folks.  OK, so maybe I should re-title this post “Welcome to All in WDW’s Disney Restaurant of the Year”!  After all, what follows is merely my humble opinion.

When I look back at where the All in WDW family dined in 2015, there are a few WDW experiences that really stand out.

For example, worlds “collided” when Mrs. All in WDW and I got the chance to share a phenomenal dinner with Dennis Conroy of the WDW Main Street Podcast and his family.

Where did we have this fantastic meal?  Well, let’s just say that plenty of Bangers and Mash were enjoyed.  Gotta love Rose & Crown.  Right, Dennis?

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But, is this All in WDW’s restaurant of the year?  No.  Close, but not quite.

One place that we haven’t gotten to for dinner in 2015 is the Yacht Club’s Captain’s Grille.  An oversight that I aim to correct next week!

Having said that, we did dine there for breakfast a few months back.  Remember my shot of Captain’s Lobster Omelet?

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It was good, but it wasn’t great.  What is great, however, is this under-appreciated restaurant’s Cabernet-braised Short Rib with Creamy Risotto.  Actually, it isn’t great.  It’s stupendous!

Short Rib

The single best entrée I have ever had in Walt Disney World, my friends.  You have to try it once.  Nonetheless, even the captain doesn’t win All in WDW’s pick for restaurant of the year.

Back in October, I published a piece about Morimoto Asia.  That post even caught the notice of the restaurant itself!  Mrs. All in WDW and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

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A truly beautiful restaurant!

In fact, Iron Chef Morimoto’s Kakuni Pork Bao was so good that we’ve gone back again.  Steamed bun.  Braised pork belly.  Utterly delicious.

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It’s hard for me to believe I’m going to say this, however, but Morimoto Asia isn’t All in WDW’s restaurant of the year either.  What?!

In fact, we’ve frequented Splitsville, Kona Café, Sanaa, and many other great venues.  All of them are outstanding.  None of them win All in WDW’s 2015 “prize”!

Folks, that honor goes to, in my humble opinion, one of the best-themed restaurants in all of Walt Disney World – The BOATHOUSE!

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A brand new Disney jewel, I posted my first “recon” of The BOATHOUSE back in August.  Our experience there was so enjoyable, we’ve gone back again and again.

To this point, we’ve just toured through selections of the restaurant’s small plates.  For example, the last time we stopped by, we shared three dishes.

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Their Hoison Chili Calamari was fantastic!

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The Dock Side Bucket of Wild Caught Surf Clam Strips was good but not great.

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As always, their Firecracker Shrimp were phenomenal!

When it comes to the size of this brand new restaurant and the way it’s decorated and themed by scores of boats, The BOATHOUSE really catches the eye.

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Its spectacular waterside views and the quality of their food keep you coming back.  When all is said and done, we feel that The BOATHOUSE deserves anyone’s “Disney Restaurant of the Year”!

What about you, my friends?  What WDW venue is your “restaurant of the year”?!

Dining Recon: Morimoto Asia [Tons of Pictures!]

Happy Friday, my friends!  This is one of those posts in which the pictures can tell the story much better than I ever could!

Our initial impressions about Iron Chef Morimoto’s new Orlando restaurant?  Quite simply, it’s beautiful, elegant, classy, and fresh!

The servers are friendly and knowledgeable.  The food is outstanding!  The prices weren’t unreasonable.  Take a look!

Oh!  And, please stick around for the food pics, folks!  They’ll be coming up really quick!

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Chef Morimoto found a home across the street from Raglan Road!

Chef Morimoto found a home across the street from Raglan Road!

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Like I said ... beautiful, elegant, classy, and fresh!

Like I said … beautiful, elegant, classy, and fresh!

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The sushi bar is upstairs!

The sushi bar is upstairs!

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What's going on in that kitchen?!

What’s going on in that beautiful state-of-the-art kitchen?!

Duck!

Duck!

We took a seat at the chef's stylish-looking bar!

We took a seat at the chef’s stylish-looking bar!

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Chef Morimoto has his own brand of saki … a collection of these eight.

And, thanks to a partnership with Rogue Ales, his own beers!

And, thanks to a partnership with Rogue Ales, his own beers!

This one is Morimota Soba Ale - delicate flavor of roasted Soba brings a nutty finish to this light and refreshing ale.

This one is Morimoto Soba Ale – delicate flavor of roasted Soba brings a nutty finish to this light and refreshing ale.

Photo Oct 17, 11 16 08 AMThe day that we visited, we had stopped in for a quick and light lunch.  From starters to sushi and from “Lunch Sets” (combos) to Peking duck, Chef’s menu is pretty comprehensive and complete.

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Mrs. All in WDW and I kept it simple.  We ordered two items off of the chef’s Dim Sum menu.  With a few other stops on our list – namely Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – we didn’t want to get too filled up!

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First, we chose to share the Kakuni Pork Bao.  The braised pork belly on this steamed bun was utterly phenomenal!  Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

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You get two for $8.  Pretty reasonable, I’d say.  We highly recommend that these be one of your appetizers when you visit the Iron Chef.  The spicy mayo was a great touch, by the way.

Also priced at $8 for two servings, I personally didn’t like Chef’s Grilled Chicken Bao as much as I adored the aforementioned pork.  Having said that, it was still delicious.

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We only experienced a small sampling of Chef Morimoto’s restaurant and cuisine on this visit.  Having said that, we saw enough – and ate enough! – to know that we should schedule a return engagement.

My friends, take our advice … plan to stop in for your own lunch or dinner.  Chef won’t break your wallet.  The food will be outstanding.  And, you won’t be sorry.  Of this, I’m very sure!