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“Expensived Disappointing dining experience California Grille Contemporary Re” 1 of 5 stars
Review of California Grill

California Grill
Disney's Contemporary Resort, 4600 N World Dr, Orlando, FL 32830-8413 (Walt Disney World Resort)
(407) 939-3463
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Ranked #68 of 3,000 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $35 - $80
Cuisines: American, Californian, Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Entertaining clients, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dessert, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Walt Disney World Resort
Description: "California Grill is a Signature Dining restaurant that serves up award-winning gourmet dinners and sweeping views atop Disney's Contemporary Resort. Venture into this vibrant and charged atmosphere and watch the creation of culinary masterpieces in the on-stage kitchen.
china maine
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Expensived Disappointing dining experience California Grille Contemporary Re”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

Disappointing and expensive Do not expect to have a quiet evening as children of all ages are allowed. Crying, kicking, and generally not having a good time either. For the cost of a meal in this venue, children should not be allowed...as at Victoria and Albert's Yacht and Beach Club. Disney's dining plan information gives extensive details as to dress requirements and available selections. Note it was necessary to give a credit card number for a nonrefundable $20 charge if the reservation was not cancelled 24hrs prior. Any and all attire was seen. Fortunately we were seated at a table that provided a wonderful vista. However the dining experience was poor. The dining plan required the use of 2table service meal"exchanges" per person for this FINE dining experience, which was anything but! Our server informed us that an appetizer was not provided w/the plan (although information on the website for plan stated it was, we did not have that in our possession to "argue the point"
My husband chose the "Oak-fired filt of beef..cheesy yukon gold potato mash, sauteed broccoline, and teiyaki barbeque sauce"..$48. The small filet was adequate(altho who would put BBQ sauce onsuch a cut of meat??), 1/4 cup of potato and 1 stalk of broccolini.
My choice was "Seared scallops w/Fregola pasta, bacon, almonds, cauliflower puree, wild mushcrroms, and cider reduction" 2 barely cooked scallops, w/orzo like pasta were presented on paste of cauliflower. There was no bacon or almonds and just 2 slivers of mushroom. The perimeter of the plate was a drizzle of ?cider reduction.
And where was Kelly the waitress?....who knows. She neither presented the meal, nor inquired as to satisfaction.
The gentleman at the table behind us must have been a food critic or a travel writer as the obsequious waiter kept the patron and US informed of all aspects of choices on the menu and the wine to accompany each.

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English first
Sacramento, CA
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Amazing Amazing Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

My husband and I were expecting magic on our trip to DisneyWorld and we definitely experienced dining magic when we went to California Grill on our 3 year anniversary. Let's just say, our experience here was so amazing that we are dreaming about the next time we'll be able to go to this restaurant on our next visit back to WDW. Our waiter, Walter, was so friendly and helpful in describing what his favorite dishes were and his food recommendations were spot on! Definitely try the goat cheese ravioli, it's incredible! Also, their sushi is phenomenal. For my entree, I got the Scottish salmon which was mouthwatering. As part of our dining plan ,we got one dessert each and Walter let us substitute the cheese plate as one of our desserts.....this was very gracious of him! My husband and I both think that this was the best dining experience of our lives. Not to mention that after eating, we were able to watch the Magic Kingdom firework show from the outside terrace of the restaurant, a perfect end to a perfect evening at the California Grill!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful dining experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2009

I never thought we'd be able to get into California Grill because my friend and I didn't have a reservation. However, the woman at the concierge desk next to the elevator to the restaurant assured us we were more than welcome to dine at the bar if we wanted to, so we did.

The fact that we were at the bar didn't bother either of us since it's centrally located inside the dining area. The fact that the bartender was so friendly also made us feel really comfortable. He even gave us his detailed and highly educated opinions about some of the dishes on the menu and what kind of wines would accommodate some of them. We both took his suggestions, and he was dead-on. He even gave us complimentary tastings of 4 or 5 different liquors and wines and asked what we thought of them and if we could identify them by taste alone since we informed him that we were both fairly knowledgeable "foodies". To top it off, my friend wanted to order the composed watermelon salad even though I didn't order a salad, and he gave me same salad for free. His service was amazing and extremely friendly.

As for the food: I must say this 4-course meal was easily one of the best meals I've ever eaten. The grilled pork tenderloin with a Zinfandel glaze and button mushrooms was the juiciest, most tender and flavorful pork I've ever eaten. It came with a side of goat cheese polenta, which was almost TOO delicious. The cheese board was the perfect way to end this wonderful meal. It had 5 different cheeses, arranged from mild to most potent, and had things like figs and honeycomb that accompanied each one.

The interior of the restaurant is contemporary, sleek, and slightly upscale, but not uncomfortable whatsoever. The views out the windows are beautiful at dusk since it's on the top floor. This is easily one of my favorite restaurants.

TIPS:
If you don't have a reservation, don't worry. Tell the concierge you'd like to dine at the bar.
If you prefer to sit by the window be sure to make your reservation at least 2 months in advance.
............................
THE GOOD:
--The people working there are so friendly and knowledgeable of the food and wine they serve
--The views of the lagoon and Magic Kingdom are wonderful
--The pork tenderloin, the scallops, and the watermelon, frisee, arugula, pickled onion, feta and balsamico salad

THE BAD:
--I can't think of anything.

THE UGLY:
--Not a thing.

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“One of the best places I've eaten at. It's so unique and the food is amazing! It's a whole new world up on the 15th...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2008

One of the best places I've eaten at. It's so unique and the food is amazing! It's a whole new world up on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort. Great for taking outdoor pix as well.

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Alberta
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A very enjoyable - if expensive! - meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2008

We went to California Grill to celebrate by daughter's 16th birthday. The decorated the table for her, with some sparkly "Mickey" confetti, and then took a complimentary photo of our family, which they said they would email to us (but we've been home for a week and haven't received it....). She also got a complimentary piece of chocolate cake, but that's almost silly since we'd already ordered desserts. The Filet Mignon was the best I've ever tasted, and the side dishes were lovely - I never thought I'd get excited about mashed potatoes! This is also the only Disney restaurant we ate at with a children's menu that went beyond hot-dogs and chicken fingers. My younger daughter got a very nice rib steak and potatoes. It's nice to see a restaurant recognize that just because a child's appetite is smaller, they don't want to eat fast-food junk all the time. We were also able to go out to the terrace to watch the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. The portions, though, are quite small and the price is prohibitive. My husband and I could afford to go out for a decent meal at home just for what we spent on the 18% tip!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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