Florida Guide > Dining
Artist Point Restaurant
If you want to discover one of the best kept secrets in Disney’s culinary array then take a trip to The Wilderness Lodge. It is modelled on the historic Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park and is worth a visit in its own right. However nestled at the back is the subject of this review the Artist Point restaurant. This is not a low cost restaurant and is best enjoyed without younger children.
We arranged to arrive at the Wilderness Lodge on a recent visit early as we were meeting some friends. This provided an ideal opportunity to pass the time in the Territory Lounge; we chose a table with a nice view and enjoyed pre-dinner drink while we waited. The Lounge is laced right next to the restaurant and maintains the theming of the Lodge, with dark woods, paintings and wooden bear carvings that adorn both ends of the bar.
In the restaurant you enjoy a grand view of the interior of the Wilderness Lodge as you dine in this two-story restaurant. It has rather impressive murals of the Pacific Northwest and windows which overlook waterfalls, rocky landscaping and the resort's erupting geyser. In keeping with the park-lodge theme, iron chandeliers hang from the ceilings, and the tables and furnishings are made of exposed wood and full of animal carvings.
There is an outside terrace seating for when the weather is suitable but we have not tried it. There is quiet a wide wine list and it is now exclusively from the Pacific Northwest.
The menu changes seasonally so it not possible to give you an exact run down on what will be available. They try to provide only the freshest food with a Northwest theme and this leads to a varied and fairly unique choice of dishes.
The appetizer section of the menu is full of wonderful things to choose from and if you plan to visit here often then you will be able to try many of them. If this will be your only visit then I would recommend the family-style appetizer platter for the table as this will allow you all to have a taste of a number of different items.
The entrée section might features such items as grilled buffalo sirloin with sweet potato hazelnut gratin and sweet onion jam, pan-seared tuna with roasted parsnips, shallots and mushrooms or maple and whiskey glazed cedar plank salmon. Artist Point is one of the few Florida restaurants able to obtain the rare Copper River Salmon, which is known for its size, meat quality and overall rich flavour. The season begins in mid-May and lasts for only three to four weeks so if you are there at that time plan your visit now.
The ultimate complement for all these fine dishes is a selection of wines from Oregon and Washington. I enjoy a good red and some of my favourites are on the wine list. The soil around border of the two states is rich with volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens and it provides a very full-bodied merlot among the many options.
In addition to the wonderful wine list, you can also order a cellar flight of wines. The flight selection, offers an opportunity to experience two-and-a-half ounce portions of three different wines. Again if this is your only visit then it gives you the chance to experience just that little bit more. If you do choose this option then talk to your server to get the best wines to compliment your choice of meal.
The final, and some would say the best part, of the meal is the dessert menu. This includes items such as Chai Tea Cheesecake, Chocolate Silk Bread Pudding, Chocolate Cake Glazed with Ganache, Raspberry Sorbet, Cappuccino Crème Brulee and the restaurant's signature dessert, Artist Point Cobbler. The Cobbler comes with seasonal berries, cream drizzle and vanilla bean ice cream. If you feel to full to manage a full portion then have one to share and you will not be disappointed.
If you like an after dinner drink they have a wide range and something that is uncommon for Florida, a selection of Grahams 10, 20, 30 and 40 Year Tawny Port. All that is left to say is, enjoy your meal.
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