Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sailing with the Yachtsman

I know what you people come here for.

or as Winston Churchill would say: For what you people come

and correct grammar is most appropriate for a visit to the Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club Resort. Disney describe the resort as having the "formal grace of a grand New England yacht club."

"hi ho Bunty? Shall we wander down to the Yacht Club for a gin libation?"

This is the very adult face of WDW.  The Club is very clubby with highly polished timber parquetry, overstuffed chairs, model yachts, palm trees in chinese pots.

Of course Bertie! First I must get Kitty her pool pony for the St. S&Ms synchronised swimming gymkhana

The hotel is very very quiet cause they are hunting rwabbits because it is more serious and less cartoony - so kids find it boring. But for the gin swilling sailing set's right up their alley creek!

"Well, Bunty I want to be out of there before the Faversham Twins arrive, flaunting their ill-gotten narco-dollars"
And what is better for the giant globe-y, hunt-y, clubby, yachty set but a temple to great huge hunks of meat!

hmmmm ....meaty goodness
On arrival at the Yachtsman Steakhouse, right in the entrance is their own meat hanging room. Here you can peer through the windows and leer at the aging cuts hanging around.

I'll have the vegetarian option.... no just joking - half side of beef for me
Inside the restaurant the woody, clubby, meaty kind of atmosphere continues. All that's missing is the cigar smoking.
The wonderful Disney Food Blog captures it well - see how dark it can be? Even though it is daylight outside.
Let's get on with the important stuff.

All good Disney restaurants provide a signature bread. At the Yachtsman their bread is the highly addictive onion pull apart. This stuff is dangerous. I had to make a conscious decision to reject additional offerings. It is served warm with butter and whole roasted garlic cloves to squish and smear all over. Oh Wow!

Once again, the Disney Food Blog has the best photos of Disney food. You could get lost on that site.
Take a look at this plate:

Butter poached Maine lobster tail with American osetra caviar, tarragon emulsion, garden vegetable crudites, and lime sorbet
This was one of the most amazing dishes I have EVER enjoyed - not just on this trip but EVER! (The Ken Man rarely reads this blog so I shan't have to worry about reprisals - I shall share the glory with you)

So there is lobster chunks, poached in butter with fishy, briney, black caviar pearls whilst sitting on a swipe of tarragon emulsion that was surprisingly strong in flavour so such a thin painting.

And those veges - so beautifully warmed through - perhaps poached in vege stock? They seemed to have heightened fresh vege flavours - honestly this is the way all veges should be prepared.

And yes - that is lime sorbet with a lotus chip on top.

See that little plastic pippette in front of the lobster? That contained their special chilli oil/sauce/dressing. The waiter advised that it was in a pippette so that I could control the amount of heat in the dish. Well - this dressing had barely any heat so after a small testing squirt, I quickly doused the lobster with the entire serve. What that dressing did have was hints of harissa - I feel certain there was some kind of extract of harrissa in there.

Now who would possibly even dream up the combination, let alone bother to put it all together on a plate?? Well the Yachtman did - and it was a winner! The flavours mixed together absolutely beautifully. Think about the citrus with the chilli - that works, chilli with butter and lobster - yep that works. Veges with butter / lobster / chilli - yep yep yep.

This was imaginative, flavourful, cooked to technical perfection, and presented beautifully. I licked that plate clean.

For my main course, what else? The prime New York strip steak with peppercorn brandy sauce

And I couldn't decide what side I wanted so I requested 3. Fortunately the chef was generous and he set up a little sampling tray for me! How nice was that  - and food not wasted!

So what sides did I enjoy?

Zellwood corn, butter, smoked bacon and herbs
Yummo - love every ingredient in this dish. (And I suspect this dish is the start of the 2012 Disney foam festish - yes - in Disney 2012 the theme is sticking something foamy on top of anything they can. Watch out for reviews from my Christmas Trip. I suspect they shall be foam filled.)

No. 2 :
Every American's love: Mac and Cheese - Truffled Orecchiette pasta and reypenaer
How could I turn down an offer like that?

And finally in honour of The Ken Man who could not be with me:

Brussell Sprouts with carrot-sherry emulsion and house cured pancetta
Really - it behooves me to admit that the sprouts were really just the mechanism by which I ate more butter and bacon. But they did a very good job by trimming off the old leaves and steaming lightly so they were not bitter. And just to prove that I did The Ken Man proud:

No - I didn't hide them in a pot plant
So now the main attraction. That steak!

Surprisingly evenly cooked
I asked for medium rare: which they achieved. However the evenness of the cooking suggests that they are pre-cooking in some method (I kid my myself it is a Heston waterbath) and then when ordered, whacking on the grill. Nethertheless, let me assure you that the steak was very good, tender, and tasty. I did not feel the need to slather the sauce around as it had enough flavour on its own. My caveat - not as good as the steak at the California Grill - but amoung the best you'll get.

So I am now sitting there, being all 2 Mr Creasotes after all of that ....

'One more wafer thin brussel sprout'
.... when I am handed the dessert menu.

Do I have their signature Banana Napolean? The creme brulee (if 2012 is foam, 2011 was creme brulee)? NO! I have another entree. The artisinal cheeses. Because we all know cheese is one of the major groups for proper nutrician.

Not my actual cheese plate but close enough: source: wdwmagic forums
When one is already at 2 Mr Creasotes, 4 samples of cheese is rather a lot. Unfortunately for you all I can't remember the cheeses (eek!) EXCEPT the exceptional ones. The blue on mine was delicious and was served with dried grapes on the vine - an excellent pairing. The goat cheese on mine was FANTASTIC. I compaired to the fresh, first spring offering from the now gone Kervella farm in Western Australia. Then I remembered it was Autumn in the US. Still it was a great plate that I didn't want to not finish.

So this meal gets my top scores:

3 sugarspoons for amazing flavours, technical excellence and all round tastiness at all 3 courses
Irrestistible comestibles - I waddled to the door.
A 'Douglas Macarthur' of a meal - I shall return!

So Zontians - have I convinced you yet that there are wonderful offerings to be had in 2014?

1 comment:

  1. Of course Bertie! First I must give Kitty her swim pony for the St. S&Ms synchronised swimming gymkhana

    love that comment :) great review...not to mention the food porn...