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“37th Anniversary Celebration”
Review of California Grill

California Grill
Ranked #48 of 3,931 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $80
Cuisines: American, Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Scenic view, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
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.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I try to make this special occasion fantastic and with California Grill's help, I was successful. We have been to the restaurant before, but this was after it has been remodeled. They have done an excellent job from looks to food. We started with the prawns...excellent! I had the Florida Red Snapper that was cooked to perfection. The wife had the chicken and was totally pleased. She was surprised the potatoes were on a superb piece of pork sausage. We then ordered the chocolate pudding cake! Wow! But before the dessert came, the waiter knew it was our anniversary and brought us champagne and a creme brulee. Again it was great! The waiter was attentive and yet gave us time to ourselves. Afterwards, stepping outside and overlooking the Magic Kingdom added to the experience. Overall, it was another great anniversary celebration!

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Thank St_Cloud_FLGranpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 30, 2013

My husband and I visited the new California Grill the evening of November 6, 2013. It’s taken me a while to put the experience in perspective, and to write this review. I wanted to be fair to the restaurant and the entire experience.

Over the years this has always been one of our favorite, Not to be Missed dining experiences when visiting Walt Disney World. We were looking forward to the remodeled restaurant and the new offerings, along with our old favorites. The changes were evident from the check in desk on the fourth floor of the Contemporary (smaller and less welcoming), to the check in station at the restaurant. We were handed the paging device and told “go have a cocktail over there (pointed in a vague manner) or enjoy the walkway (we knew where it was from past experiences) but don’t go too far.” Too far was not defined and we were bundled off so the next arriving party could be attended to.

The best part of the changes was the addition of the new walkway, at the back of the restaurant. The view from both walkways is not to be missed, and is the best part of the visit.

The problematic changes include the new lighting (way too bright) and the feeling of a sterile environment; not very cozy. Especially the former Wine Room, which is where we usually dine. This area really needs some attention. Maybe some nice plants or something that feels more inviting to the patrons.

The changes to the menu include a significant price increase. Our biggest disappointment was the change to our very favorite entree, the new Pork Two Ways. This meal used to include three delicious pieces of beautifully prepared pork atop the most delicious cheese polenta. Pork Two ways is missing one piece of pork, but includes a pork belly (fat). And really, who doesn’t need a nice piece of fat to enjoy with dinner. Sarcasm intended. The polenta was Way To Salty, and had the consistency of wallpaper paste. So sad. We mentioned this to our server and she said’ “oh, you are the second table to mention this so I’ll be sure to mention it at our team meeting, tomorrow. The Chef will want to know.” Eee Gad!

Our appetizer, Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, is the same great taste we have known and loved. Just more expensive. The cheese board was, and always has been, just wonderful. The desserts on offer that evening included Warm Homemade Fritters, which is new on the menu. In short, they looked better on the plate than they tasted. Not bad, just not great.

The wine list is extensive and many bottles are on display as you step off the elevator at the entrance area of the restaurant. Overall the prices are high, but not over the top.

I can share the location is amazing and the views to the Magic Kingdom are some of the best you can experience at Disney. However, overall we were disappointed with the changes, especially with the food. Will we be back? Yes. Will we hope for (and expect) a better meal and experience? Definitely.

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4  Thank TravelingForFun_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

We were looking forward to our visit to the newly refurbished California Grill having visited many times before. Sadly we were very unimpressed. Theres bot a huge difference in decor but our main disappointment was the quality of the food. As it was Thanksgiving we decided to order the turkey. It was dry, tasteless and all in all a very unattractive, unappealing plate of food. We were aware of the price range of this restaurant but this meal was highly overpriced and a huge disappointment. Im sad to say we won't be paying another visit anytime soon.

3  Thank Caz293
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

We visited twice, both times the sushi was amazing. Some of the best sushi I have ever has in fact. The entrees were a let down though.

The first visit I ordered the fillet mignon. It was a little overcooked and under seasoned. My partner ordered the cod and it was over cooked.

The second visit I ordered the scallops which were so overcooked it was untrue! My partner ordered the red snapper which was also overcooked.

We ate twice at narcooses the meals were cooked to absolute perfection.

We joked to the waiter in narcooses that the steaks were far better there than the California grill. He responded they had been nearing that a lot lately!

2  Thank serial45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2013

Reservations definitely required, The window seats facing the Castle IMO gives the Best view.
Go when the Castle is lit up makes for a spectacular view.
Food was very good and the portions were just right. Had the Meatball appetizer, the Pork two ways and the Cream Brulee for desert. Service was very good our server was excellent.
Definitely a must do and come back to the deck to see the fireworks. Just realize for this excellence there is a price, but well worth it.
Good Job Disney

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Thank SurferDan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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