by Kristin Casagrand
This week in “A Taste of Disney,” we will explore one of my absolute favorite restaurants of all time, anywhere. For me, it ranks up there with the likes of Ruth Chris Steakhouse. Being a signature Disney dining experience, the restaurant dazzles with phenomenal dishes, an elegant, quiet setting, and spot-on service. The Yachtsman Steakhouse, in the Yacht and Beach Club Hotel, is setup to look like a New England steakhouse with wood finish and touches of a nautical theme. The restaurant has a huge wall of windows offering a view of the resort’s sand pool, lighthouse, and bay.
From the moment you check-in to the moment you leave, the servers are on top of your every need. My family has been to the restaurant so many times that we even have a favorite waitress, Yoon, who has worked there for years. If you get a chance to go to Yachtsman, I really hope you get her as a server because she is a riot! One big family trip, we went out with my whole extended family for a dinner at Yachtsman. My dad showed up late to dinner because his golf game ran past our reservation time. Yoon made sure to call him out for being late and joked around with us the entire night! You can tell the servers at Yachtsman really love what they do and are completely invested in making sure you have a wonderful experience when you dine there.
I suggest going to Yachtsman on an “off” day from the parks. Maybe on a pool side, water park, or downtown Disney day! It is a nicer restaurant, so you have to get a little dressed up. I know I hate coming out of the parks early and then having to shower and dress up when I am tired from being out all day.
Now for the good stuff, the actual food. When you first walk into the restaurant, you will notice a small butcher room with meats aging and sometimes, an actual butcher making his cuts. Yachtsman means business with their steaks. They have a variety to choose from, ranging from the porterhouse to the filet mignon to the rib-eye and New York strip. The highlight of the beginning of dinner is the warm dinner rolls and onion bread they give you. My mom swears by the onion bread with roasted garlic that they provide. I could eat a whole basket of those onion rolls- they are heavenly. The last time I went, I ordered the 8-oz filet mignon, covered in Cabernet Wine Sauce. I passed on the side of mashed potatoes that the entree came with and went for something a little more my style. Three words: Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese. Out of this world. I am an avid mac ‘n cheese fan, so I know some good mac ‘n cheese when I taste it. For dessert, I got the Yachtsman Sundae, which is a trio of gelato. It was very good, but I would personally skip on dessert at the restaurant to grab ice cream at “Beaches and Cream” next door after dinner! However, for those of you who like salted caramel sweets, I see that they have added a chocolate-peanut cake that has pretzels, salted caramel gelato, and liquid ganache. It sounds like it could be a winner!
The Yachtsman is perfect for a romantic dinner for two or a quiet, sit down family dinner. I can assure you that you will not regret your visit. The restaurant has many good things to pick from that I couldn’t highlight in this short post, so please check out the menu!
This week’s recipe is for the delicious truffle mac ‘n cheese that I mentioned! The recipe comes from wdwrecipes.com and apparently was obtained by contacting Disney directly (has to be good!).
Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese
2oz Peeled Diced Garlic
4oz Peeled Diced Shallots
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper
2oz Fresh Basil (Chopped)
1/2 Gallon Heavy Cream
2 Egg Yolks
Pinch Ground Nutmeg
20oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste
4oz Leeks (Chopped)
Garlic Croutons (Crushed)
White Truffle Oil
1. Sweat garlic, shallots, leeks, and crushed red pepper in butter over medium–low heat.
2. Once translucent deglaze the pan with just enough white wine to cover the bottom and allow the alcohol to cook out.
3. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil turning the heat back down to medium low immediately after boiling.
4. Whisk in shredded cheese, fresh basil, and nutmeg.
5. Finish with whisking in salt, pepper, and egg yolks.
6. Blend the entire mixture with an immersion blender.
7. Toss over cooked pasta, and top with croutons tossed with truffle oil.
Happy cooking everyone!
Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.