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“Disappointed at new menu”
Review of California Grill

California Grill
Ranked #50 of 3,776 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $80
Cuisines: Japanese, American, Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Large groups, Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Scenic view
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level Contributor
81 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Disappointed at new menu”
Reviewed February 10, 2014 via mobile

Really disappointed at the new menu. Flatbread was horrible. Can get better at most pizzerias. The pork chop was inedible and the raviolo was ok.
Was truly looking forward to coming back after 4 years and doubt will ever come back.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Susanna_Sm2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
288 reviews
178 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed, and I Didn't Want To Be”
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Trip Advisor may need a category between Average and Very Good in this case. I gave the restaurant the benefit of the doubt.

I was asked where I wanted to go for dinner for my birthday and I chose California Grill. They had been closed for nearly a year and reopened several months ago, newly redecorated and with an updated menu. California Grill had been a favorite special occasion place of mine for years, as I live in Orlando. Do note that it's hard to get a reservation, so call months ahead or the day before to see if there are any cancellations.

When they updated the interior design of the restaurant they took out all of the color and character. Yes, it's contemporary (like the hotel), but contemporary design can still have style. The basic lines are still present, but the color and character is all gone. Of course, the view of Cinderella's Castle is still great, and it's a wonderful spot for the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

We felt rushed by the server when she first came to our table, handing out menus and talking about the food before we chose the wine, but it did slow down to a better pace after that. There are many good wine selections. We were off to a good start with appetizers. The tomato flatbread was delicious, as was the goat cheese ravioli, a holdover from the good old days. I tried the Farmer's Salad. The waitress really talked up so much that I couldn't resist, but I should have resisted. The honey-sherry vinaigrette was light and tasty, but there was nothing else flavorful or of a good texture in the salad. Disappointing.

Two people at our table ordered filets, both done medium. One was fine, the other was rare and had to be sent back. Puzzling, as the place is supposed to have top chefs who know what they are doing. I ordered the flounder. It was quite dry, but the presentation on the plate was beautiful and what one would expect from this restaurant, at least visually. Another guest really enjoyed the bison, best served rare.

We shared a couple of crème brûlée desserts, which were perfectly wonderful. This item is another holdover from the former menu.

Dinner for four, with a bottle of wine and the tip was around $400. At that price I expect consistency, but didn't get it, and for that reason I was underwhelmed.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank edyrp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Outstanding!”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

They have renovated and updated the California Grill since we were there last and it looks so much better, it was great before but like it better now. My husband had the Oak-fired Filet of Beef and I had the Pork Two Ways. Both had great flavor, cooked perfectly to what we had ordered. I had made the reservations a little later than when we normally eat so we could see the fireworks. They turn down the lights and plug in the music! It was a wonderful time. You sit there eating great food watching the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. It really doesn't get any better than that. I encourage everyone to try this at least once. It's pricey - but worth every cent. The waitress who waited on us was very helpful and took great care of us.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, NC
Level Contributor
568 reviews
447 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Very Good”
Reviewed February 8, 2014

Back story. A good friend of our has been a regular at California Grill for about 20 years. Eating there and staying on e 14 th floor with his wife and son. He is a legitimate high roller and enjoys nothing but the best.

I asked him to hook us ups witH his dedicated server for our meal. Gary E. picked us up at our hotel and accompanied us to dinner. He got us a primo table near the Balcony so we could step a few feet away and enjoy the firework display prior to dinner. Then he gave us a history lesson about the Grill and gave us so,e advice on the menu.

We started out with a couple of glass of Pinot Gris and ordered the Dragon Roll sushi. It was delicious. We went on to a Margherita flatbread which was outstanding. Then for entree we had goat cheese ravioli with tomato broth and I had the Bison. We accompaniied it with a bottle of Jarvis Cab, which was amazing. The service was amazing, the food was delicious, and the company was terrific.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank iamstoked22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Incredible view of fireworks”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

I dined here with my partner during a stay in Orlando. The restaurant is very child friendly and there were kids everywhere (this may or may not be your cup of tea!) We arrived just in time to see the fireworks so we watched them from the terrace which was lovely. The food was nice, just very over priced. $18 for a pizza was a little steep but it was delicious! My partner and I are 29 and 30 and both had our UK driving licenses as ID to drink but the restaurant manager would not accept these and wanted our passports instead which was slightly ridiculous as we both look over 21 anyway! I think next time we'd just go for drinks (with out passports!) and watch the fireworks. The service was also very slow which was a pain! Oh and puddings looked amazing but we didn't have any.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank h0llyjsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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