I really should be doing WAY more restaurant reviews instead of alternating them with resort reviews simply because I've eaten at far more places than I've stayed, but there you go and here we are. I figured, since I just did my Yacht Club Resort review, what better time to segue into Yachtsman Steakhouse!
This was a last minute change-of-booking, I had originally picked the Captain's Grille, which is another restaurant at the Yacht Club, a bit less fancy (and a lot cheaper). But the more I thought about it, since I was only gonna have one sit-down meal, I figured I'd enjoy myself at least once, cost be damned. I opted not to do the dining plan for that trip because I initially planned a much smaller trip and was trying to control my eating...my logic being if I had to pay out of pocket, it would control how much I ate. I tend to really pig out on the dining plan, be it the regular one or the counter service one since the food is already paid for. Besides, after the sit-down fiasco of 2006, I'm not a big fan of Disney table-service and solo trips, once or twice is fine, but definitely not every single day. My two day trip turned into a five day trip and my attempts at cutting my food intake were given up after only a few hours of being there. C'est la vie!
Anyway, Yachtsman is a signature restaurant so it uses two dining credits and dress is "business casual". It is located along the walkway to the Beach Club and after a couple of twists and turns off the main lobby, I was there!
Instead of having to stand around waiting for my table, they seated me in front of the meat locker, on a bench all by myself, which was extremely nice (until a father and son showed up and the son proceeded to jump up and down on the bench with his shoes on, and yes, the father was completely oblivious to it - luckily, I got seated at my table soon after).
I did manage a couple of "around me" shots before they arrived, however:
I walked around it and got a picture from the front as well (ummmm...mooo cow!):
Once I got to my table (I had an early reservation and got there a bit before the restaurant was officially seating...leave it to me to be early, I could have avoided jumping jack flash had I got there on time), my extraordinary CM waitress seated me in a section all by myself and it pretty much stayed that way through the entire meal. There were a couple of young women seated across from me, obviously locals by their dress and discussion, which I had to listen to in great detail since one of them had an extremely shrill voice that she insisted on using at top volume (but considering my super-sonic hearing, she probably was just talking normal). No one was ever seated beside them either, so I guess it was only me she was bothering.
The starter bread came with roasted garlic and this amazing butter. I don't normally eat bread, but that butter was so good, I couldn't help it.
But I didn't have any of the garlic, even I don't love garlic that much to spread it on bread.
I opted for the Truffle Mac & Cheese as an appetizer (since this was to be my only table service meal, I figured I'd splurge) and it was AH-MAZ-ING, far better than any review I had ever read about it!
Everything arrived in the right order and my steak couldn't have been more perfectly cooked if I did it myself. I chose the New York Strip (bleedin' and faintly going "moo") which had a delightful peppercorn brandy sauce and a white cheddar twice baked potato:
I didn't eat too much of the potato however, it was a bit much after the mac & cheese.
Then came desserts, so I went with a sorbet trio (in the shape of a hidden Sorcerer Mickey):
I was really surprised how different each flavor was and, even the cantaloupe (which I typically hate) was really good! One was Fairy Tale Cuvee flavored, a champagne made exclusively for Disney World which is really good (and I don't like champagne), and to say that they managed to adequately incorporate the flavor of the cuvee was an understatement!
Also, I can't possibly convey how wonderful my waitress was! She took time to explain everything (but not in a way that made me feel stupid), she small-talked in a way that wasn't annoying (another one of my pet peeves is wait staff who insist on telling you their life story), she made sure that every single course was to my liking and even offered to bring me something different when she saw I didn't eat my potato (I wouldn't let her, I just explained I was full).
It was one of the longest meals I've ever had in a Disney restaurant, not because I had to wait for a table or the meal to arrive, but simply because I wanted to stay and enjoy the quiet! I sat there quite a while after finishing my meal and she never rushed me out the door as they do at some places (um...LeCellier?) and even continued to bring me tea, long after I'd paid the check. And, as much as I hate to admit it because I do love LeCellier so much, the quality and flavor of the steak I got at Yachtsman was far superior!
I debated on going there again this year, but since we are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, it would be a bit hard to go back to the resort, spruce up a bit for the dress code, then go back and de-spruce back to park attire. We have booked Cape May Cafe, the seafood buffet at the Beach Club which is not a Signature, so park attire is acceptable and it won't make too much of a dent in park time. It gets mixed reviews, but I've always wanted to try it, so wish us luck!