Had the good fortune of eating at the Carthay Circle restaurant recently and came away very impressed! First of all, the atmosphere is wonderful, perfectly mimicking the early century charm of Southern California and the famed Carthay Theater in particular. A warm lounge awaits guest on the ground floor, where small plates and cocktails can be had. We did have to wait 15+ minutes beyond the time of our reservation for our table, but it's such a nice atmosphere downstairs, we didn't think much of it.
Once seated, service was prompt and friendly. The menu offered excellent variety, and the wine/drink menu was surprisingly extensive. We began with a glass of wine (the Mrs.) and a martini (myself), which were both enjoyed thoroughly. We shared an appetizer, and it was actually the star of the evening - the firecracker duck wings. Duck is always a tad fattier than other meats, and this worked perfectly for the wings, which are lightly breaded and coated in a just-the-right-amount-of-heat sriracha-based sauce. My wife enjoyed the braised pork pot roast, and its sour cream mashed potatoes in particular. I ordered the Sierra golden trout, and it was a solid choice, though I would've enjoyed a bit more of the lemon chimichurri sauce they very lightly drizzled about the plate. We completed the meal with one of the restaurant's seasonal pie offerings, which was a delicious pear/persimmon version, with warm, folded over crust - very, very good.
Overall, we loved the experience at Carthay. The food was very good, and our enjoyment of it was certainly augmented by the wonderful ambiance. Whether for a full meal or even just a cocktail, we'd definitely recommend Carthay Circle.
Note: Disney offers "premier" viewing area access to World of Color if you purchase two entrees + two desserts OR appetizers. We were going to be ordering this anyway, so we gladly used the vouchers for World of Color, but to be honest the viewing area didn't seem noticeably better than many of the other areas you can get fast passes for. All this to say, if you're going to Carthay mainly for the WoC vouchers, I'd suggest saving the cash and getting to the park nice and early to snag fast passes.
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