Second night in Orlando took us to Downtown Disney and Wolfgang Puck‘s Restaurant. It was my first time eating something that was not a sandwich in an airport or a quick pasta dish at ORD (O’Hare International Airport). A had many good things to say about Puck and so I was really looking forward to this night’s meal.
It took us almost half an hour to get to Downtown Disney despite the fact that the hotel was only a supposed 10-minute drive away. Keep in mind that when traveling anywhere in the Orlando vicinity, please account for the 50% increase in population from around the world that are simultaneously trying to get to the same location as you are, particularly if that location is one of the following three: 1) Walt Disney World 2) Islands of Adventure 3) Universal Studios.
Things for the tasting:
Calamari: I am a big fan of seafood, and I was hoping that Wolfgang Puck would put a new twist on this favorite dish of mine. It came out with great presentation and looked really delicious, but I have to admit, upon eating the dish, I was not super impressed. The calamari was breaded so certain pieces have a lot more salt flavor from the breading than other pieces. The dipping sauce was pretty good as well as the amount of calamari that was served. However, it seemed more of an appetizer for three or four rather than for two. I guess if you thought about it in terms of value for your money, then this would be a perk, but for the two of us, we were pretty sick of calamari midway through the dish.
Butternut Ravioli: This was pretty amazing actually. The ravioli was stuffed with a butternut squash filling and served with a light dressing of olive oil and maybe a balsalmic vinegar reduction? Then it was lightly tossed with deep-fried or flash-fried tarragon leaves. I was debating if I should’ve gotten this dish or gotten my sushi. Luckily A got the ravioli because it pretty delicious. The ravioli was cooked very well without having the edges of the pasta hard and dried upon serving like some places do. The filling was slightly sweet but butternut squash tends to have a sweeter taste than your standard ravioli fillings. Not to mention, this is a much healthier filling than ricotta cheese!
- Sushi: I have to admit, I went for the sushi for a fresh and lighter taste that night, but the sushi itself was not amazing. It was pretty standard. A. then told me that Asian food in Orlando was pretty sub-par. Hearing this I was pretty surprised as I would expect some really good food coming from this city. The fish wasn’t the freshest that I have tasted, and it may actually be comparable to that in Atlanta, but it was light on my palate and I couldn’t say that it was terrible. Then again, the best sushi that I had was in Portland, Oregon. I have yet to find better sushi in the United States outside of that city.
Shitake Mushroom Miso soup: More like Sh*t-ake Mushroom Soup. This was perhaps the biggest disaster of the night. I had wanted something hot and liquid to go with my sushi, and miso soup seemed like the perfect accompaniment. When it came out it looked like your standard bowl of miso soup, but when we tasted the first spoonful, it was revolting. It was as if someone had taken half a can of Morton salt to the pot before serving the dish. A. said that he couldn’t even eat it. Even the wakame (seaweed) pieces didn’t salvage the taste as the salt had totally overwhelmed the flavor of the soup.
After telling our server/waitress about the issue, she brought it back and gave us a completely new bowl which was much better tasting than the original bowl. She explained to us that someone had probably taken the last of the miso soup which is usually at the bottom of the pot. Any basic cook would know that this is NOT satisfactory because all the salt dregs and leftover ingredient gunk settles to the bottom of the pot. Why would you even try to serve the remaining bit knowing that it is going to taste like crap? It doesn’t require making a completely full pot, maybe just a quarter of a pot, or even a single bowl serving (like most normal people do at home) to satisfy the customer. Instead, by being lazy, you have ruined not only a diner’s experience at a supposedly great restaurant and thereby tarnishing the name of someone who probably worked really hard to establish his reputation of not only the restaurant but the food that comes from it.
All in all, a summary:
- Calamari: ***.5 (3.5 stars – 1/2 star for quantity)
- Butternut squash ravioli: **** (4 stars)
- Sushi/Nigiri plate: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- Shitake Mushroom Miso Soup: * (1 star – for giving us a new bowl)
If you wanted to try Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant for yourself:1482 East Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 407-938-9653
Until next time, bon apetit!