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WDW Radio # 777 – Narcoossee’s Live Review

On this week’s show, Disney magic meets culinary adventure, as we recorded live from Narcoossee’s, nestled on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Join us as we dive into a sensory journey, tasting the finest seafood offerings and experiencing the enchanting ambiance that only Disney can create at a dining location I haven’t experienced in more than a decade. Get ready for a review that’s sure to add Narcoossee’s to your Disney dining bucket list…. but don’t listen hungry.


Summary

Embark on a mouth-watering journey with host Lou Mongello on WDW Radio as we dive into the heart of Disney’s culinary magic in episode 777. Join our vibrant conversation with Disney aficionados Betsy and Ken Haas, and enjoy insider dining tips for your next Walt Disney World adventure.

In this enchanting episode, we unwrap the secrets of Narcoossee’s, an acclaimed restaurant nestled in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. With stunning views of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon, this fine dining experience is a must-visit for Disney foodies and theme park enthusiasts alike. Discover the wonders of signature dishes like almond cheesecake, the invigorating pineapple bavaroir, and the luxurious hazelnut chocolate bar as our guests share their diverse palates and candid critiques.

But there’s more than just food! Lou and the guests delve into the warm atmosphere and exceptional service that got Narcoossee’s voted into the top five Disney dining experiences. Revel in the tales of their personal connections to the restaurant, the impact of dream-making activities through the WDW Radio Nation, and the over $550,000.oo raised by the Dream Team project, enriching the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses.

From thoughtful cocktails to a seaside-inspired menu, we cover every detail, including the universal appeal of delectable bacon, Betsy’s delightful white sangria discovery, and the surprise pleasure of the restaurant dimming the lights for Disney’s “Happily Ever After” music just before the enchanting waterside electric pageant.

We also dish out the latest WDW Radio events, meetups, and partner promotions, including our trusted travel provider Mousefantravel.com. Plus, don’t miss insightful discussions on annual pass holder benefits, Disney Vacation Club discounts, and opportunities to collaborate with Lou himself.

Lou’s passion is palpable, from the exquisite lobster bisque to the beautifully balanced blueberry and barrel-aged feta salad. The hat trick of entrees, including Yuzu ginger salmon and pan-seared scallops, is critiqued with humor and gusto.

Cap off your Disney dining planning with the weekly Walt Disney World trivia contest, community sharing at the WDW Radio Clubhouse, and a chance to win fabulous prizes.

Don’t let your taste buds miss out on this celebration of Disney dining excellence. Hit play on WDW Radio’s episode 777 to savor every detail of Narcosus’s unforgettable offerings and imagine your next magical meal at the happiest place on earth.

Subscribe, recommend, share, and leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join the WDW Radio Nation and become a part of making wishes come true. Remember, enchanting Disney adventures and delectable dining await you, only a play button away!


Takeaways

  • Endorsement of Mousefantravel.com as a trusted and recommended travel provider for over 17 years.
  • Mention of available discounts for annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members at Narcoossee’s
  • Guests provide mixed reviews on the almond cheesecake and pineapple bavaroir desserts.
  • The hazelnut chocolate bar and the ginger salmon dish receive high praise.
  • Narcoossee’s is rated as a top Disney dining experience, offering a complete evening with craft cocktails and unexpected menu items.
  • A white sangria with muddled strawberry ice cubes was a unique featured beverage.
  • Plans for watching the fireworks and the electrical water pageant during the dining experience.
  • Detailed descriptions of various dishes including lobster bisque, blueberry and barrel-aged feta salad, ginger salmon, and pan-seared scallops.
  • The server adds insight into popular menu items like plancha seared scallops and roasted vegetable paella.
  • Betsy and Ken Haas share their emotional connection to Disney and Narcusi’s, and their experience aligns with the kindness of the staff.
  • Discussion of familial approaches to sharing and tasting food, emphasizing the communal aspect of dining.
  • Lou Mongello and guests appreciate the thoughtfulness of the light dimming and music during the electrical water pageant.
  • Discussion on the exceptional service and attention to detail from Disney’s cast members.
  • The renovation of Narcoossee’s is mentioned, acknowledging its coastal aesthetic and scenic views.
  • Invitations to listeners to join the community conversation at the WDW Radio Clubhouse and to suggest show topics.
  • Announcement of a Walt Disney World trivia contest and the previous week’s trivia prize winner.
  • Recommendations for trying the signature almond crusted cheesecake.
  • Betsy Haas’s enthusiasm for the thoughtfully prepared cocktails and the desire to return for more menu explorations.

Timestamped Overview

  • [00:00] Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian reviewed.
  • [09:15] Disney, horror movie beginnings, excellent personalized service.
  • [15:31] Diverse menu options for special occasions.
  • [16:51] Excited about eight main entrees, seeking recommendations.
  • [23:15] Barrel aged feta, amazing lobster bisque, seafood charcuterie.
  • [32:08] Licking lobster biscuit, enjoy feta and blueberry.
  • [34:52] Delicious salmon and scallops make a difference.
  • [42:49] Enjoying food, mindful of the last bite.
  • [45:26] Dry wine drinker would enjoy floral cocktail.
  • [49:28] Pondering flavors before dessert and parade. Luxurious.
  • [56:23] Exciting upscale dining with stunning park views.
  • [01:04:17] First female Disney imagineer highlighted last week.
  • [01:08:43] Trust Mousefantravel.com for expert, free personalized service.

Who is a woman in Disney history that has inspired or influenced you, and why?

Share your thoughts in the WDW Radio Clubhouse at WDWRadio.com/Clubhouse, or call the voicemail at 407-900-9391 (WDW1) and share your story on the show.


Episode Transcript

Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello [00:00:50]:
Hello, my friend, and welcome to the WDW Radio show, your passport to the Disney parks. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is hopefully lucky number 777. And this and every week, as we have been since 2004, I want to not only help you have the best possible vacation experience when you go to, and in this week's case, eat at the parks, but I also want to bring you a little bit of Disney magic wherever you are. Not just here in the podcast, but my weekly live video every Wednesday night blog events, weekly newsletter updates, and more. Please join the community and find everything at www.radio.com. On this week's show, Disney Magic meets culinary adventure, as we recorded live from Narcoossee's, nestled on the shores of the Seven Seas lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I haven't been here in more than a decade, so this was a pretty new experience for me. And spoiler alert was surprising in more ways than one.

Lou Mongello [00:01:49]:
I'll be very curious to hear if this review adds Narcoossee's to your Disney dining bucket list. And remember, don't listen hungry. Stay tuned for our Disney trivia question of the week and more updates at the end of the show. And if you like what you hear, please share the show and tell a friend and invite them to be part of the community and conversation. But for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week's episode of the WW radio show.

Lou Mongello [00:02:26]:
For many, many years, a Walt Disney World restaurant that is not only a favorite of many, but is sort of lauded as one of the best of the best anywhere on property is Narcoossee's at Disney's Grand Floridian resort and spa. The last time I was here was maybe 1012, maybe 15 years ago, in April of 2023. They had opened up after a relatively long and somewhat extensive refurbishment. And I said on more than one occasion that if only there was somebody, anybody that would go and review it with me. Well, fortunately, someone stepped up, and they stepped up in a big, big way. Because in January during marathon weekend, we held our dream team charity auction and one of the lots that I wasn't even sure anybody was going to bid on was something that we did probably ten years ago, which was co host for the day. Well, longtime friends, fellow cruisers, fellow foodies stepped up in a massive way and contributed to our dream Team project, which benefits the make a wish foundation of America. And it didn't take many emails to come up with the idea of let's do a live dining review in one of their favorite restaurants.

Lou Mongello [00:03:42]:
And so I'd love to introduce for the first time ever on the show, although I've seen you in the box on Wednesday nights, Betsy and Ken House.

Betsy Haas [00:03:51]:
Hey, Lou. Hey, family.

Ken Haas [00:03:53]:
Hi.

Lou Mongello [00:03:55]:
So I don't think I've seen you other than in January. I think the last time I saw you was probably on the wish. I think we were on the meet.

Betsy Haas [00:04:03]:
And greets with you. Yeah. So we've seen you a few times at meet and greets, but yeah, we did spend that significant time with you on the wish.

Lou Mongello [00:04:09]:
I remember sitting in the hyperspace lounge for a very long period of time talking, Ken, about your career and what you do. A little bit of Star wars in there as well. So just very quickly give a little bit of a background of who you are and why. Why are you here? Why did you want to sort of be part of this?

Betsy Haas [00:04:29]:
Well, I'm an ordained United Methodist minister. My husband Ken is an international pilot with Delta Airlines. So we like to be known as a wing and a prayer. Insert laughter here. And we've been Disney fans forever. I came my first time in 1971, December, right after it opened. As a very tiny, small child person, we basically raised our girls to be Disney fans. And going to the make a wish foundation luncheon was something that was very natural for Ken and me to do.

Betsy Haas [00:05:02]:
We both graduated from Penn State, which supports one of the largest philanthropy that supports children with cancer in the country. It's called Thawn. In fact, this year they raised almost $17 million to support children with pediatric cancer. And we've been a part of that effort since college. And so when we got an invitation to come to your luncheon and support make a wish foundation, that was a real natural connection for us to come and be people who stand behind young children as they're going through hard times. And so it was a real delight. Ken surprised me by outbidding everybody in the room so that I could be the co host of the podcast, because being a preacher, I thought, oh, I could easily do that. I talk for a.

Betsy Haas [00:05:43]:
Then, you know, we decided to invite him because Lou and I had this conversation, said well, if there's three of us, we can order more food.

Lou Mongello [00:05:51]:
And of course, it would not be. And you're mean. I'm happy to have you here, not just because of the food, but again, I appreciate your incredible generosity and obviously goes a long way towards. We were able to fulfill a child's wish to be able to come after that day. And you picked Narcoossee's because this is like your old stomping ground.

Betsy Haas [00:06:12]:
Yes. I don't even remember the first time we came here. But back in the day, Delta and Disney had a collaboration where they were partners. And when our children were very young, we could get 50% off of resort rooms on Disney properties because of the Delta Disney partnership. So one of our favorite places to come was grand Floridian. And this kind of became like a home port for us back in the day. And Narcoossee's, once we first discovered it, then became that heartfelt place. And I want Ken to tell you the story about a very difficult time we went through when a bartender in Narcoossee's made everything magical.

Ken Haas [00:06:52]:
One night we came here right after we bought a house in the area, and we closed on the. Finally, everything was done. We had the furniture ordered, and we were coming down from our place in the outer banks of North Carolina to set up in the house. And the night before we came, we got a phone call from our contractor, who was just doing some minor things for us. And he said, we had a little accident and a pipe burst. And I said, oh, like little accident? And he said, well. And he said, but it'll be fine. And so we got in the next day, we drove from North Carolina, and when we got in the next day, there were, like, twelve of those five foot dehumidifiers.

Ken Haas [00:07:44]:
And there were about 15 fans and hoses running all over the place. And there was an eight foot hole in the ceiling of two different floors of this. And he had stepped on a pipe and broken it and didn't know where the water shut off was. And it ran for 23 minutes. And we had all of our furniture being delivered the next day. And so we came in and we knew we couldn't stay in the house, and so we got a hotel, and we said it was very frustrating, and we just said, let's just go out to Narcoossee's. And luckily they could take us. And we came in, and we had met him before, our serge.

Ken Haas [00:08:26]:
He's one of the best bartenders here, just friendly to us. And he listened to our story. And he had lived where we lived for a while. In celebration, and it was just nice. And then we came in, and we were just kind of stunned still from the day, and we were sitting at the table, and the server came, and she was just lovely. And she comes over and she says, rough day? And we told her a little bit of it, and she said, I've got an open room. She said, if you need someplace to stay, you can come stay with me. And we just thought, how incredible is mean.

Ken Haas [00:09:07]:
You can't even have words to think that somebody who's helping you like that. So that was kind of our story about this place.

Lou Mongello [00:09:15]:
If it wasn't Disney, that's usually the beginning of how a horror movie starts. I have an extra room. Come on in. What could possibly go wrong? And I think you talked about surge. We had a chance to meet our server, Josh, and you see right out of the gates one of the things that has always been, I think, a hallmark of not just Disney, but Narcoossee's has been the service. As we were talking about ordering a beverage or a cocktail before, his knowledge of the menu and the drinks and what your personal preference might be was fascinating to me. He recommended a few, and then he sort of got a sense of what your tastes and flavors might be and directed you somewhere else. I love that time and attention that's taken, and again, it doesn't just happen here, but that impressed me right out of the gate coming in.

Lou Mongello [00:10:04]:
And from what I understand from the two of you, that seems to be consistent whenever you come.

Betsy Haas [00:10:08]:
I think that is a hallmark of anything you do with Disney. The training that the cast members go through, the selection process of hiring cast members, you know that they're really looking particularly for people who listen well and who want to help and want to serve, who can become knowledgeable in whatever area they're serving in. We just got off the magic, and the cast on the magic was incredible. And I can't say that I've ever had an experience with Disney where I didn't say the same thing. Cast members are so well trained and so good at what they do and so joyful to be here and to make that little bit of magic happen with you. It's just such a wonderful place to.

Lou Mongello [00:10:46]:
Be, and that's the difference, right? You might be able to go elsewhere, and the food is good, the entertainment good, the rooms are beautiful. But there's that intangible, unquantifiable thing that the cast members have. I've seen it on Disney Cruise line. I've compared it with other cruise lines. I've seen it from the hotel side, the restaurant side, the entertainment side. It's why we get it, and it's why sometimes it's hard to explain to people that don't exactly what it is that we're talking about, because it's the consistency and the exceeding expectations that we get. All that being said, we are here not just for the food, but for the view. I think marcuses has some of the most beautiful views anywhere.

Lou Mongello [00:11:29]:
We're looking out over seven seas lagoon, Cinderella Castle. You feel like you could reach out and touch it. Space Mountain and the contemporary. And if you time your reservation just right, you can catch the fireworks at night. We talked about the renovations. I have a somewhat foggy. I sort of remember more sea foamy green type colors in here, where now it's sort of a muted blue pastel that sort of fits really into the theming of grand Floridian. As the resident raccoosi experts, how has this changed for you? Because the layout hasn't changed.

Lou Mongello [00:12:02]:
It's still that center bar, sort of surrounded by most of the tables, really are almost windowside.

Betsy Haas [00:12:08]:
Well, first of all, I have a question for you. Do you know what narcosi means?

Lou Mongello [00:12:12]:
I do.

Betsy Haas [00:12:13]:
What is it?

Lou Mongello [00:12:13]:
Baby bear or little bear?

Betsy Haas [00:12:15]:
Little bear. And so they call this little bear because what do we eat at Narcoossee's?

Lou Mongello [00:12:21]:
I was going to say, I'm looking at the menu. I don't see bear anywhere on the menu.

Betsy Haas [00:12:25]:
No, bears don't eat bears. Bears eat fish. And so this is one of the premier seafood places in the area. I think the renovation has been stunning, and a lot of times I'm not really excited about renovation. I'm old school. I like things to kind of remain the same. And if it takes on too much of an ikea vibe, I get a little disappointed. I will tell you if you know what Narcoossee's look like.

Betsy Haas [00:12:48]:
And coming here today, you will be pleasantly surprised. They've gone to this very beautiful aqua, turquoise, very coastal vibe kind of beauty around us. And the bar, which used to be a mural, and it had fish and it had a lot of pastels. They've really done an interesting thing with the bar to put in shelving units. And then if you sit there, the longer you look, the more interesting things you see on the shelving units. And they put that beautiful, the Florida glass in the middle, in the aqua color. I think they've done a great job with the renovation. These have a lot of dark wood and cobalt blue.

Betsy Haas [00:13:25]:
So if you think of those two colors and then you look around, you with the bleached woods and the turquoise shutters and everything, it's just beautiful. But they've maintained the integrity of the beauty of the place. Of course, the most beautiful thing about the place is the view.

Lou Mongello [00:13:39]:
And if you've been to Disney's grand floridian resort before, and maybe you've never seen narcousis, it's because it's on its own, sort of outbuilding on the water. And when you look at the menu and you look at the offerings, you look at sort of the prices. It is definitely a more upscale, very much more on the upscale side. But there's something very comfortable about this space where you don't feel that it's stuffy or too overly dressy. You can come here, as a lot of guests do, right from the park. So you can come in casual but still have an elevated meal and experience.

Betsy Haas [00:14:16]:
It doesn't feel fussy in here. It feels very.

Lou Mongello [00:14:19]:
That's the right word.

Betsy Haas [00:14:22]:
I like words. It feels warm and inviting and welcoming. And when I think about value, it is one of the higher end price wise. But you're going to get a lot of good value here, because think about it this way. Yes, this is high end price wise, but where can you go and have a wonderful, upgraded meal? And then you can walk outside or even sit at your table and watch the fireworks, and then you can watch the electrical boat pageant. Magical pageant thing. Come. What do they call the electrical water pageant? The water pageant.

Betsy Haas [00:14:56]:
Thank you. The water pageant. Come along.

Lou Mongello [00:14:58]:
I like your descript. The actual magical water boat.

Betsy Haas [00:15:01]:
Again, I like words. If I throw enough words at it, you'll get it. You're a lawyer, you know about throwing more words until you finally get to it. So, yeah, it is for value. This view, the two shows, if you time it right, and the very high quality, sustainable fish offerings. I mean, you can't beat it. It's one of those places that you want to come at any point, but definitely an anniversary, a birthday party, a graduation, it's that elevated. But it's also come straight out of the park.

Betsy Haas [00:15:30]:
Sit down and have a good meal.

Lou Mongello [00:15:31]:
I was going to say you can come here for a special occasion, but you can also come here just as a place to have something that you might be looking for. As long as we're talking about food, why don't we take a look and peruse the menu a little bit? And like a lot of restaurants, it is a single page menu. But what I love is that there's a lot of options on it. And the starters have an arcusi chilled seafood plateau, king crab, tuna poke, colossal poached shrimp and coconut thai mussels. That appetizer comes in at 139. There's also a brisket and regatta tortellini, a buttermilk fried calamari ocean inspired charcuterie board with ahi tuna, pastrami, charred. Oh, my God, I'm so hungry. Lobster sausage.

Lou Mongello [00:16:14]:
There's shrimp and grits and sweet potato and yucky. Those all come in anywhere between 16 and $28 for soups and salad. There's a romaine and hearts of palm, a blueberry and barrel aged feta salad, and according to our server, a lobster bisque that will forever sour you. Towards lobster bisque?

Betsy Haas [00:16:32]:
Any?

Lou Mongello [00:16:32]:
You're nodding ahead. Have you had it before?

Betsy Haas [00:16:34]:
We did have it pre renovation, and it's done basically the same way. They're going to bring out a beautiful bowl with a nice huge chunk of lobster, and then they're going to pour the biscuit in. So not only do you get a great bowl of soup, you get a presentation with your bowl of soup, and it looks delicious.

Lou Mongello [00:16:51]:
I'm sweating out of excitement. There are eight main entrees that include a Yuzu ginger salmon plancha seared scallops and Parisian yoki gulf shrimp, buccatini, surf and turf blackened redfish, prime New York strip steak, a milk brine pork chop with winter squash johnny cakes, and a roasted vegetable paella, which our server explained is a vegetarian meal, which I love the fact that there's vegetarian vegan options, but you can enhance that or anything else with plancha seared scallops, butter poached lobster tail, and char broiled gulf shrimp. I am very confused and excited all at the same time. Ladies first. What sort of jumps out on the menu to you or what are something that you've had before that you recommend?

Betsy Haas [00:17:40]:
Two things that immediately jumped out to me. The black and redfish is their signature dish. The chef here is named Chef Noah, which is really good. When you're surrounded by water, you want Noah at the helm. So I'm kind of liking that vibe. It comes, know, southern sweet corn and this chorizo suncho cash. That looks amazing. And then the other thing, and maybe this is my number one choice, the plancha seared scallops and parisian yoke.

Betsy Haas [00:18:05]:
Because this truffled Meyer lemon cream, one has to think, what in the world could that possibly taste like? And is it a little taste of heaven down here on earth? That just sounds delicious. I like scallops. If they're well done. And a plancha seared scallop means it's done on that flat, cast iron, kind of a hot plate thing. So you have a chance that it's going to be seared to your liking. And I think they will ask us how you want it seared, like they do with steak. So I don't like mine too rubbery in the middle. So I'm grateful to be in a place where they ask me how I want it seared.

Betsy Haas [00:18:41]:
And that's usually what I say. Just no rubber in the middle, whatever your chef calls that. So those two things jump out at me.

Ken Haas [00:18:48]:
Yeah, I think that the salmon looked really good. It's a Yuzu ginger salmon with the white asparagus. I mean, that's something that you just don't get very much, and that sounds good. There's things on this that look good, but I just never order a pork chop, really? Pretty much when I go out, when you think, I don't know, pork chop.

Lou Mongello [00:19:08]:
Is one of those things that you.

Ken Haas [00:19:09]:
Make at home, and you just aren't thinking, oh, yeah, let's go out to a fine restaurant and get a pork chop. But they do have the milk brined pork chop. And then the other thing for me that looked really good was the gulf shrimp buccatini over house made buccatini pasta. So that just sounded like some really good things.

Lou Mongello [00:19:28]:
I'm excited and confused all at the same time. And you know the rules, right? We can't get the same thing. We all have to, and we're all family here, so we need to sample sometimes a little bit from each other's plates, because that's how we do. Oh, wait, there's also sides. There's loaded mashed potatoes with a garlic glazed pork belly creme fresh and smoked cheddar. Stop the pressing. Wild mushroom risotto and sweet and sour brussels sprouts. I need, like, a sampler platter.

Lou Mongello [00:19:57]:
I just need them to do a little bit of, like, a narcosi buffet, as it were.

Ken Haas [00:20:02]:
And the Brussels sprouts just sound. The Brussels sprouts, they just sound wonderful. It's like hiding those vegetables in all those other things.

Lou Mongello [00:20:11]:
I might wait to see what you order first, and that will give me time to figure out. I'm so happy you guys won, not just for the company, but for bigger.

Ken Haas [00:20:22]:
We're a family like this. We have two daughters, and when we go out, you don't enjoy it as much if somebody else isn't enjoying it also. So, like, you have the plate and the girls always say, so is it good? And they're looking at it like, when am I tasting this? And then it's. When it's good is when everybody says it's good. It's not just when you say it. You're not one of those people that you kind of turn your plate away and turn your shoulder and go, nobody's touching my food.

Lou Mongello [00:20:48]:
Just so you know, I eat like I'm in prison. I sort of, like, hover over my food and get it in. So you have to get in there very quickly. I'm incredibly excited. And they do have a separate menu for guests nine and under. And what I love, too, is, like you said, you don't normally see a pork chop necessarily on a menu. There's pork, there's steak, there's fish, and there's vegetables. And for kids, there's a chopped salad and calamari rings.

Lou Mongello [00:21:13]:
As an appetizer, you can create your own meal. And there's entrees that's really nice. With one entree, two selections, grilled chicken breasts, grilled steak, seasonal fish, and crispy fried chicken strips. And then for the sides, there's harrogate vert's grapes and strawberries, anemo cupcake, brown basmati rice, Mac and cheese, and Bruce's raspberry sorbet. So I love the fact that for kids, it's not just you have chicken tenders for a hamburger, kids can have fish and steaks. They get a little bit of an upscale meal, but still things that are very approachable for kids as well.

Betsy Haas [00:21:47]:
I totally agree. We tried with our daughters to introduce them to all different kinds of foods, and we now have six grandchildren. And when we take them out, we encourage them to try new things. And as Ken says, we all eat off each other's plates. So we're always saying, do you want to taste this? Do you want to taste that? And even our 20 month old twins now know that they can pretty much eat anything they want off a papa's plate. As long as they're sitting close enough to reach over and grab it.

Lou Mongello [00:22:14]:
You have no other choice but to share. I am very excited.

Speaker E [00:22:19]:
All right, so we're a land and sea themed restaurant. A couple of my personal favorites on the menu. I love the plancha seared scallops with the parisian salagnocchi. It comes with tasso ham, english peas, a meyer lemon, and truffle cream sauce. Really delicious, well balanced dish that I love, if anybody is vegetarian. The roasted vegetable paella is also phenomenal. It's a little bit of an underdog on the menu. I love it, but I am not vegetarian, so I usually load that up with seafood using the enhancements at the bottom.

Speaker E [00:22:45]:
And you can attach seafood to any entree or salad using those enhancements there. So I like to get the paella and load it up with, like, scallops. Or on my birthday, I got it loaded up with scallops, shrimp, lobster, and an order of calamari dumped on top. They now call that the Josh special. When we get to the salads, the romaine salad is going to be like an elevated caesar salad. So all the traditional components with a little bit different of a twist. The blueberry and barrel aged feta salad is my personal favorite. Has a lot of great textures, like toasted pistachios, some blueberries, and it has the cornbread crackers in there.

Speaker E [00:23:15]:
And the barrel aged feta gives it a very unique flavor. As far as our lobster bisque, it will make you hate all other lobster bisque because it's just that good. And when we get up to the starters, the brisket ricotta tortoloni is hands down my favorite. It's all made in house by hand. So we braise down a brisket, and we shred it up, put into some fresh handmade pasta with ricotta cheese, and we use a braising liquid to make a red wine reduction sauce that goes with some parslent puree and wilted Swiss chard. I also really love our ocean inspired charcuterie board. It's all seafood based. So there's a lobster sausage, tuna pastrami sous vide, and grilled octopus.

Speaker E [00:23:46]:
So really outside of the box thinking. And then lastly, we have the seafood plateau, which is a great sharing option if we are seafood fanatics there.

Lou Mongello [00:23:54]:
Listen, I still believe in ladies first.

Betsy Haas [00:23:57]:
Beth, I appreciate that.

Lou Mongello [00:23:58]:
Plus, I want to see where you're going with this.

Betsy Haas [00:24:00]:
I would like to start with the blueberry and barrel aged feta salad. Thank you. And I think I would like to just keep that lemon thing going. Excuse me. And I'll get the plancha. Seared scallops and parisian yoke, because that truffled Meyer lemon cream sounds like it came from heaven. Okay.

Ken Haas [00:24:20]:
So I was thinking of the tortellini. You like that? Something good for sharing for three people.

Speaker E [00:24:29]:
Three individual tortellini.

Ken Haas [00:24:31]:
That's exactly right. And the romaine and hearts of palm. If you were going to get the salmon. I know this is tough, because people say, well, I don't know what you like, but the shrimp or the salmon, which I would go with salmon.

Speaker E [00:24:48]:
And only because I love the shrimp pasta, but I can make a shrimp.

Lou Mongello [00:24:50]:
Pasta in the house.

Speaker E [00:24:51]:
The salmon has.

Lou Mongello [00:24:53]:
Salmon is a little bit more something.

Speaker E [00:24:54]:
I wouldn't make at home often. So I would lean towards that. That's how I would break it down a bit.

Ken Haas [00:24:58]:
Yes, please. And then we probably have to have some of those Brussels sprouts and. I don't know. Were you going to do the mashed potatoes somewhere? Okay.

Lou Mongello [00:25:11]:
Well, now I'm more confused than ever. We definitely need a lobster bisque, because according to you, you said something about changing our lives forever.

Speaker E [00:25:19]:
Yes. It's going to make. You have to come back here every time. You'll be addicted, and you'll have to come get your fix with our lobster bisque.

Betsy Haas [00:25:26]:
Is there a twelve step program after we're addicted? Okay.

Speaker E [00:25:29]:
I have never seen anybody reach the first month.

Lou Mongello [00:25:33]:
Okay, so you're getting the nioki. You're getting the nioki, and you're getting the.

Betsy Haas [00:25:40]:
I didn't order anything.

Lou Mongello [00:25:41]:
Oh, no, I'm sorry. For your entree, the scallops and Nyoki. And then you ordered the salmon. All right. So they took the two I was looking at. Other than maybe you recommended the roasted vegetable paella with one of the enhancements.

Speaker E [00:26:00]:
I prefer it with scallops. I definitely love the scallops.

Lou Mongello [00:26:02]:
Gulp.

Speaker E [00:26:02]:
Shrimp are good, but personally, I can cook shrimp at the house. Lobster. I personally prefer shrimp over lobster. And scallops are just delicious. They have a sweet flavor to them naturally, and then they're perfectly seasoned.

Betsy Haas [00:26:14]:
We are getting an order of scallops here if you want to change it up and get something different with your paella. Oh, I know. Now the raider says, I'm all over the place.

Lou Mongello [00:26:25]:
All right, I'm going to do the vegetable paella, and I'm going to leave it up to you. You choose either what you think is better, the scallops or the shrimp.

Speaker E [00:26:34]:
All right, it sounds good. I'll take care of that.

Lou Mongello [00:26:36]:
So our first starter just came out, the brisket, and we got the tortellini with parsnip brown butter and sultana raisins. Comes at $17. There was three large tortellinis, which was perfect because there's three of us. I could have six more of those and make that a meal.

Betsy Haas [00:26:55]:
Yes. It's got this wonderful texture. The brisket is perfectly cooked and tender and shredded inside the tortelloni, and it has some ricotta in there. And then you get this wonderful brown butter parsnipe thing. Sultana raisins, which are other beautiful white raisins from sultana grapes, give a little bit of a texture and a sweetness. And I think we should just tell them to send back the rest of the food and bring us eight more of these plates.

Ken Haas [00:27:22]:
Yeah. That stuff is so good. What was it sitting in again? It was sitting in the parsley, the parsley puree. That was so good. And it had just a little bit. I think the raisins gave just a little bit of sweet to that. So that was great for me.

Lou Mongello [00:27:39]:
It's this warm, buttery, velvety texture. Everything you said was on point. I just kept putting the microphone in front of your face. So you didn't watch me licking the bottom of the bowl?

Betsy Haas [00:27:52]:
That was judgment. No judgment.

Lou Mongello [00:27:55]:
It's why I don't do this on video. That's remarkably good. But also, on paper, it sounds heavy, but it's not at all, because sometimes you get pasta dishes like this and they can feel very heavy. Oh, look, our next appetizer is here. I'm so excited. So I'm just going to say that although your salads look lovely, I won the soup and salad lottery. Without a doubt. You have the blueberry and barrel aged feta salad, which looks delicious.

Betsy Haas [00:28:35]:
Yes.

Lou Mongello [00:28:36]:
I don't know what all that green stuff in there, but I'm assuming that it's healthy.

Betsy Haas [00:28:39]:
We call it vegetables.

Lou Mongello [00:28:40]:
That's fine. You have the romaine and hearts of.

Ken Haas [00:28:42]:
Palm, which even when she brought it to me, she said you had the Caesar salad, so she's not even calling it that thing. So it's a Caesar salad, but it looks like a really nice one.

Lou Mongello [00:28:53]:
It looks lovely, and I'm really happy for all of you. I'm going to take my lobster bisque. It comes served in, you get this almost a little bit larger than a golf ball size piece of butter poached lobster with vanilla and coral on top. And then they pour in the bisque over and around. It smells fantastic. Bona petite waste. All the good stuff.

Betsy Haas [00:29:26]:
So we're tasting Lou's lobster bisque, and I just took a bit of the broth, and the first thing you get is this warm, buttery, very seafood forward. Lobster forward. And then on the back, it's a bit of a nice burn, a little bit of a spice. And it's all just like. It's like if you could melt down velvet and put it in a bowl, that's what we just got.

Ken Haas [00:29:51]:
That was so good. The lobster itself, it doesn't have any of the fishy taste or anything. It just is a smooth lobster. It's wonderful. And the broth is just excellent.

Lou Mongello [00:30:04]:
I stopped listening when I put my first taste in my mouth. You're right. That the lobster. Again, we talk about scallops. Lobster. Certain things, the way it is cooked, can make or break seconds make a difference. This lobster spoon cut, it literally just melts on your palate. You get that warmth of the bisque sort of just surrounding it, that little taste of the vanilla on top.

Lou Mongello [00:30:32]:
It's this wonderful warmth. Comfort food, savory. He's right. That's up there. In terms of lobster bisque, it's a game changer.

Betsy Haas [00:30:44]:
I know that it's poached in butter, and so you almost have a feeling that water did not touch this lobster, that it was entirely cooked in butter.

Lou Mongello [00:30:52]:
Which just swam in butter its whole life.

Betsy Haas [00:30:54]:
Swam in butter until it reached Lou's spoon. Who doesn't like that?

Lou Mongello [00:30:59]:
So for those of us who had salad, which would be the two of you, I'm still licking the bottom of my lobster bisque plate. Lobster biscuit at $19 sounds expensive. I have zero regrets over spending that on this. You have the blueberry and barrel aged feta salad, which. Beautiful presentation.

Betsy Haas [00:31:20]:
Yes, it's huge. It comes on a dinner plate and it goes to all of the edges of the dinner plate. Normally, an appetizer salad might be in a small bowl, but this could even easily be an entree. And you could put an enhancement on it. And Bob's your uncle. There's your dinner. So it's blueberry and barrel aged feta salad with tiny lettuce. And let me say that that's a lie.

Betsy Haas [00:31:40]:
There's nothing tiny about the lettuce on my plate. It is a huge bunch of lettuce. It's the kind of a rough, curly lettuce. There's a cornbread cracker. The only disappointment on the plate was the cornbread cracker because it's kind of too soft to be a cracker. Very thin little sliver of cornbread, but soggy pistachio and the lemon curd dressing. If I could lick the plate, I would.

Lou Mongello [00:32:05]:
But you did. There's no video. It's fine. I'm going to call you out, though.

Betsy Haas [00:32:08]:
Lou's over here licking the bowl on the lobster biscuit, and I thought if two of us are seen doing it side by side, they would definitely kick us out. I would definitely order this again. Just not have any high hopes for the cornbread cracker and enjoy the feta and the blueberry. The blueberry gives that beautiful texture and the sweetness of the blueberry against the lemon curd against the feta, which is very salty. Let me tell you, when you order this salad, do not pick up the salt shaker and try to salt it, because the feta itself is very salty. But this, to me, is a hit.

Lou Mongello [00:32:37]:
I would love to see that. And I wonder if they would even do it, because yours looks like it's on iceberg or Romaine. I would love to see. I'm not a mixed green guy. It's a little bitter for me.

Ken Haas [00:32:48]:
Yeah. Sorry. And I'll say that the bitterness was counteracted by the blueberries. That was the thing that fixed that for me. And then when the people brought it, they said it was the romaine salad, but when the people brought it, they said, oh, I got your Caesar salad. That wasn't anywhere on what it was, but a couple of the things that were really good in here were that you don't expect in a normal Caesar salad. They had some look like onions, and it had some fried capers. And I'm a caper person.

Ken Haas [00:33:22]:
I love the little bit of tartness of capers and things, so I thought the salad was great. I thought that the blueberry salad looked really nice, and on the menu, it looked better, but I think mine probably tastes better.

Lou Mongello [00:33:38]:
This is how my mind works. Is it wrong that, as he was saying, capers? I'm already planning my breakfast for tomorrow morning. Oh, a nice bagel with a little smear and locks and onions and capers would be a nice way to start a Tuesday morning.

Betsy Haas [00:33:53]:
Pair that up with a coffee regular, and you got it.

Lou Mongello [00:33:56]:
Coffee. K a w f f e. Coffee regular. Really impressed so far. Starter soup and salads. Let's see if the entrees live up to expectations. So, Ken, you got the user ginger salmon with the white asparagus, the coconut jade rice, and the lemon thai basil emulsion.

Ken Haas [00:34:17]:
I did. And the salmon's got just a little bit of heat on it, which I absolutely love. And it's the white asparagus, or as I'm used to spargle, it is perfectly cooked. It's just got that tiny bit of crunch to it. I hate soggy asparagus. And so that is really good. And then it's sitting on the coconut jasmine rice, which the flavors just go together so well. I mean, really, to me, the best part of it is the little bit of the heat, but the salmon is perfectly cooked.

Ken Haas [00:34:50]:
It just flakes off on your fork.

Lou Mongello [00:34:52]:
Really good salmon, like scallops, is one of those, like, for me, I have to sort of almost be in the mood for salmon, and a matter of seconds can probably make or break it. You're right. There's just enough of texture on the outside, but it's moist, it's flaky. Like you said, it falls apart. But then I look over and I see Betsy's digging into her food. You literally, you put your hands up like a little kid and you shuddered when you put the scallop. You just did it again. You shuddered when you put the scallops in your mouth.

Betsy Haas [00:35:25]:
Oh, my gosh. Now is when words going to fail me because this is just absolutely exquisite. So this is the help me find it here. The pancha seared scallops and parisian yoki. My first bite. And by the way, pro tip, don't bother using your fork. Get a big spoon and eat this thing with your big spoon because you want to get shovel. Get the loose eye shovel.

Betsy Haas [00:35:53]:
You want to use a spoon for this. The truffled Meyer lemon cream is absolutely divine. I know a little bit about divine. I know what I'm talking about. There is a earthy balance of this lemon cream. And then you have english peas in there which give it great texture. They are not mushy peas, which you can buy in England, but these are not english mushy peas. These are beautiful peas.

Betsy Haas [00:36:16]:
And there are also some mushrooms in here, so you get some earthiness from the mushroom. The brightness of the pea. The gnocchi was made by Lou's grandmama. I mean, somebody who grew up in Italy and moved to South Jersey knows how to make this gnocchi. And then the scallops are. And I always hate to use this phrase because everybody says it, but they're perfectly cooked. They could not be cooked better. I don't like scallops that are gluey in the middle or jelly in the middle.

Betsy Haas [00:36:41]:
And these are firm. These actually taste like somebody took lobster and used a hole punch and punched out a big piece of lobster and served it to you as a scallop. And then on the top are some microgreens, which give it again. That gives a nice crunch and texture, and it makes you think you're eating something healthy, which is always good.

Lou Mongello [00:37:00]:
Betsy, I've known you a relatively long time, and even if I didn't, I would never call you a liar to your face. However, I don't believe you. So I'm going to give you my as yet unused spoon.

Betsy Haas [00:37:10]:
Bring your spoon.

Lou Mongello [00:37:11]:
Bring your. I'm just going to let it oh, he's going to let me dive right.

Betsy Haas [00:37:14]:
In and get in there.

Lou Mongello [00:37:15]:
I want to make sure I get a little bit of everything.

Betsy Haas [00:37:18]:
Get some gnocchi, you get some scallops. Make sure you get at least one pea lube.

Lou Mongello [00:37:22]:
Did I get. Oh, I see why I made the face. Wait.

Betsy Haas [00:37:30]:
Oh, my gosh. It's incredible.

Lou Mongello [00:37:33]:
So what is it that has that almost like a citrusy sort of finish on top? Wow.

Betsy Haas [00:37:42]:
The Meyer lemon. So they put Meyer lemon in a cream. There's also a bit of tattoo ham in there, which gives it the nice saltiness. But it's this combination of everything has a different texture, but it's all sitting in this heavenly Meyer lemon cream. I wish they would bottle that. I would pay whatever they want to take a bottle of that home.

Lou Mongello [00:38:01]:
I was going to say I would bathe in it, but that would be weird. But it's also, the portion sizes are wonderfully large. Sometimes you come to a little bit more of an upscale restaurant, and the price does not necessarily reflect the portion size. This is quite the opposite. You had one, two, at least six very large, very tender scallops in there as well.

Betsy Haas [00:38:23]:
Yeah. This could be dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow for sure. And when we eat out places where you get a large portion, you're looking at a price point and you're thinking, okay, what is that, $50 for an entree? But then you take half of it home and you have it for lunch. Then it's $25.

Lou Mongello [00:38:40]:
Do you really think anything's going to survive tonight?

Betsy Haas [00:38:43]:
Possibly not. This is our first time to dine with you, Lou, so we'll find out.

Lou Mongello [00:38:49]:
Wow, that's wonderful. That's really good. I want you to try the roasted vegetable paella with mixed vegetables. What are the different vegetables? So it's like rump room. I see what looks to be red pepper. I see green beans. I see artichoke, caramelized beans. There's some charred lemon in there as well.

Lou Mongello [00:39:15]:
And we did the enhancement of the same thing, the poncho, seared scallops as well. And that was a choice enhancement, right? You could do that?

Ken Haas [00:39:24]:
No, but I mean. But he said, you said.

Lou Mongello [00:39:26]:
I said choose, and that's what he chose. He could also do lobster tail and the gulf shrimp.

Ken Haas [00:39:33]:
Really?

Betsy Haas [00:39:33]:
Well. I would like to give some very intelligent and relevant commentary on this, but I got to eat right now, so. Lou, you say something?

Ken Haas [00:39:44]:
Scallops was the thing. It was actually Betsy's dad's favorite seafood. And the whole time, no matter where we went the whole time, and that's what he would take. And these are some of the best. They really are good.

Lou Mongello [00:39:59]:
I love the smoky flavor of a charred vegetable. The rice is wonderful. This is fine. It's fantastic. Without an enhancement, I almost don't need the scallops. I mean, I'm happy I got them, but I almost don't need the scallops on top again, too. And I'll post pictures of all of these in the show notes at www.radio.com so you can see what these look like. This is a full, hearty but not heavy meal.

Lou Mongello [00:40:32]:
It's a great vegetarian option. I think. Even if you're not vegetarian, I think it's a great option as well. It's incredibly flavorful. I love, again, if rice was healthy. This is delicious. I'm really happy with my selection.

Betsy Haas [00:40:48]:
So Ken has shared with us a bite of his. He's ordered the salmon plate, and he has shared with us this white asparagus spargle, as he calls it, from having traveled so much in Europe. And it's a roasted sparkle, but there is some heat coming off that thing. What do you think? That is just something delicious. It's a somball white.

Lou Mongello [00:41:11]:
I didn't taste any heat on the salmon, but whatever was on there on the white asparagus, and not so much that it overtakes the flavor of the vegetable and certainly overpowering the salmon as well.

Ken Haas [00:41:22]:
No, I wouldn't worry about it if you were someone who didn't like hot things. For me, I like just a tiny bit of spice to almost all the.

Lou Mongello [00:41:32]:
Foods that I'm eating. Betsy, I think we'd be remiss and really doing a disservice if we don't talk about one of the sides that we ordered, which was the sweet and sour, which is an absolutely appropriate, and it sounds bizarre, sweet and sour Brussels sprouts. And if you were a kid who's like, I hate Brussels sprouts, I would never eat it. These might be the thing that completely changes your opinion.

Betsy Haas [00:41:58]:
I agree. I think they've done a great job with giving you what's really a complete dish. It has applewood smoked bacon in it, so you get a lot of smokiness. Your first bite is not. This is a Brussels sprout. My mouth. Your first bite is that smoky flavor, and then you pick up on the sweet and sour, and they're done very well. I don't like mushy Brussels sprouts.

Betsy Haas [00:42:17]:
I like a good roasted Brussels sprout. I want it to still have some firmness. And then they've done this weird gastric of sorghum and malt. I mean, those are two power grains. And you usually think about making bread products with sorghum and malt. You think about either bread or beer, but it's almost got a kind of a sideways malt vinegar without being vinegary because of that gastric. And so you're getting all these different wonderful flavors. And I think that we should also give ourselves a lot of credit for ordering another vegetable.

Lou Mongello [00:42:49]:
I'm happy that we did, by the way, that was a beautiful. I have nothing to add, because I don't want to ruin what you just said, but I love there's this sort of lingering flavor on my palate after the Brussels sprouts. I'm a weirdo when I eat. I'm a weirdo when I do a lot of things, but I'm weird because sometimes I like to think about, what do I want that last bite in my mouth to be before we move on? I am perfectly content with having that Brussels sprout be the last thing that's sort of sitting in my mouth. And look, he ate everything in his plate. He finished the whole thing.

Betsy Haas [00:43:25]:
Ken gets the award for the clean plate Club.

Lou Mongello [00:43:27]:
Ken gets the award for not sharing any more salmon club.

Betsy Haas [00:43:30]:
Oh, yeah. What happened with that? You and I were over here chatting, and he was over there chomping.

Lou Mongello [00:43:35]:
Clearly, you enjoyed that, and you enjoyed the Brussels sprouts.

Ken Haas [00:43:38]:
That really was good. And when you were saying the last bite thing, that smoked apple, smoked bacon, that, to me, was a great last bite in that whole thing.

Lou Mongello [00:43:47]:
I mean, it's just true. Bacon really makes every single thing in the world better.

Betsy Haas [00:43:50]:
That's biblical. I can tell you where that comes from.

Lou Mongello [00:43:53]:
Really?

Betsy Haas [00:43:54]:
Yeah.

Lou Mongello [00:43:56]:
Wait, is there a verse in the Bible I didn't know about?

Betsy Haas [00:43:58]:
It comes from Lahaminus 314.

Lou Mongello [00:44:03]:
Like, Jesus comes out after 40 days and going, you know what? Bacon makes everything better.

Betsy Haas [00:44:08]:
Now, Jesus was a good jewish boy, so he wasn't eating no bacon. But other than that, it's a good analogy. Lumangello.

Lou Mongello [00:44:14]:
I really should just keep us recording the entire time. We just had a discussion about our cocktails and the old fashions, which were fantastic. And I'm not really a big drinker, and your very wonderfully articulate and flowery description of your drink, but I love how thoughtful. That's the way I feel. Everything here is very, very. The chefs gave so much thought into not just the individual dishes, but how they pair with the appetizers, the cocktails. The soups, the salads, the starters, I'm sure the desserts are going to deliver in spades because it's clearly very well designed in this being a multi course, experiential type menu.

Betsy Haas [00:44:58]:
I think this drink was almost more of an experience in a glass as opposed to just a cocktail. This is one of their newly renovated cocktails to celebrate their new renovation of the interior here. And it's a white sangria with Kim Crawford Sauvignon blanc. And that's one of my favorite wines. The first time I ever drank it was over at the Brown Derby in Hollywood studios. And it's something that we keep at home almost all the time. I like a good, dry, crisp wine. I'm not a fan of sweet wine.

Betsy Haas [00:45:26]:
So if you're a dry wine drinker, this is something I think you would enjoy. And it comes with a kettle. One cucumber and mint, botanical agave and strawberry. So you get floral, you said I was kind of floral in my description of it. Well, you get floral notes because of the botanical vodka that's in there. But the experience comes and the thoughtfulness comes in the fact that they took muddled strawberries and put them in an ICE cube tray. And your ICE cube for this drink is the muddled strawberry. So you get a piece of fresh mint, you get all of the mixture of the wine and the other things, and then this strawberry ICE cube that as you're drinking it, you experience the drink transforming.

Betsy Haas [00:46:06]:
It changes. It starts one way with fresh mint, and it ends in this beautiful, sweet strawberry. Not sugary strawberry, but fresh, sweet strawberry in that muddled strawberry ICE cube. It's just genius.

Lou Mongello [00:46:17]:
And a beautiful compliment, too, especially to the dishes you ordered. Again, light with the scallops, et cetera. I want to take just a second, right, because we've been speaking of transforming our dinner reservation list for 630. We're here in March. This restaurant has transformed from bright and wide and open. And now it's dark outside. And we can look across the seven seas lagoon. We see the train station lit up.

Lou Mongello [00:46:41]:
We see Space Mountain. We see the contemporary. We see the castle off in the distance. It's such a beautiful view that changes as you go from day to night, too. It's why what we said earlier is even more beautiful at night. And again, if you time your reservation appropriately, you'll be able to catch the fireworks and or the electrical water pageant going by at night, too.

Betsy Haas [00:47:03]:
Well, tonight the fireworks are at 830, and right now we're recording this at 819. And we haven't had our dessert yet. So I'm thinking fireworks and dessert are going to be a nice pairing of two things. And then the electrical water parade on boats that goes across the lagoon because I can never remember. The pageant. The pageant, the pageant. It's going to happen at 845. So between the fireworks and the pageant tonight, it's only 15 minutes.

Betsy Haas [00:47:30]:
So again, you're going to get that full experience. We've seen this transform from day to night. The lights over there have gone on. I've been looking at Space Mountain all night and it's this beautiful glowy gray blue. And main street lights are on. And I know we overuse this word, but it is magical.

Lou Mongello [00:47:47]:
It's dinner in a show. It is. It's a little bit of a dinner.

Ken Haas [00:47:50]:
Dinner show, and I don't think that. So when the fireworks start, they do not do the speakers inside the restaurant. And I'm trying to remember, I know they do it right at the dock that's only, like, 50ft away from here because people start crowding around that and listening to the whole narration for the fireworks. I don't think they do it just outside by the windows here, but I know that you can go just a minute from where we are and you can listen to the whole thing. And we have been here before when we've said we're at the point where desserts just come in and we go, sorry, but we're going to be back in, like, 15 minutes here.

Lou Mongello [00:48:30]:
Just cover that with a plate because we'll be right back.

Betsy Haas [00:48:33]:
I'm expecting that we'll just sit here and enjoy our dessert. And as the fireworks start, Lou will do the full narration in his Lou voice. You probably have the whole thing memorized. It's happily ever after. You know the show.

Lou Mongello [00:48:46]:
I'm not a sweets guy, but I haven't even seen the dessert menu yet.

Betsy Haas [00:48:52]:
Can I tell you what's good on it?

Lou Mongello [00:48:55]:
Do you have it memorized or is it on the back of the menu?

Betsy Haas [00:48:58]:
No, we don't have the dessert menu yet. But the signature dish here is an almond crusted cheesecake that comes with a lambert cherry sauce and a chantilly cream. And it looks absolutely wonderful. So I already have my eye on that. I always like to find out what the signature dish is in a restaurant because that tells you the chef likes it, it's popular, people order it, and this is what they want to be known for. So that is the one signature dish that I spotted before we came in tonight.

Lou Mongello [00:49:28]:
I'm already thinking again, just to sort of round out. I'm thinking about what I want that last flavor on my palate to be before we go outside and catch the parade and the pageant. When it comes to looking to punctuate a meal that has been as delicious as it was certainly only overshadowed by the company. Of course, it's not just dessert, because we had a surprise tonight. We were not expecting them to dim the lights and pipe in the music for I almost called it wishes for happily ever after. And then a few minutes later, because of where we are, the electrical water pageant comes just within minutes after all of that. Right before we were served this luxurious, dare I say, decadent dessert, we ordered the almond crusted cheesecake, the hazelnut chocolate bar, and the pineapple bavaoir. Each of us take it individually.

Lou Mongello [00:50:35]:
We all sampled each other's. I have a favorite. Okay, but tell me about your almond cheesecake. And then what was your favorite?

Betsy Haas [00:50:44]:
Well, the almond cheesecake is a signature dish, so this is one of the things that they'll recommend to you if you say, what's good on your menu or what's popular or what's your best seller? It's almond crusted cheesecake. So there's an almond crust. It's almost like a pie crust that's been broken into bits, and it surrounds a cupcake shape piece of cheesecake. So all around the edges are the almond bits. The main part of the cheesecake is the normal cheesecake, but somehow there's some type of glossy finishing on the top. Of course, there are three tiny little pearls in the shape of a mickey mouse that finish that part off. And then around the edge of it are three almond tweels, which have tiny, tiny bits of edible glitter. And they're cut from an almond crust in the shape of coral.

Betsy Haas [00:51:32]:
So totally on. The theme has chantilly cream in the middle of that. And it's good that it's not sweetened. It's an unsweetened chantilly cream. You need the relief from the sweetness of the almond cheesecake. And then there are three large dots of the Lambert cherry. What should I say? Lambert cherry sauce. I wouldn't call it a sauce.

Betsy Haas [00:51:56]:
That's why I'm stopping, because it's not saucy. It's almost more like a garnish. Like a Lambert cherry garnish. The lambert cherries are very tart, so it adds contrast to the sweetness of the almond cheesecake. I'm a huge cheesecake fan. Lil and I grew up in New Jersey. We ate know as soon as we came off the bottle we were eating cheesecake. Cheesesteaks, actually.

Lou Mongello [00:52:17]:
A cheesecake in my bottle.

Betsy Haas [00:52:19]:
Yeah. There you go. That explains so much. Anyway, so I like my cheesecakes to be that Philadelphia cream cheese style. Tart. Tart. Tart. So for me, this is almost a little too almondy.

Betsy Haas [00:52:34]:
I would say if you're an almond fan, especially because cherry and almond are very complementary flavors. They're very alike. Very similar. So if you love almonds or you love cherry flavored things, this is your dessert. If you are looking for an authentic cheesecake from the New York, New Jersey philly kind of area, this is not it. But it's still a delicious dessert, and it is their signature dessert. And I'll tell you, the presentation, you eat first with your eyes. And the presentation was absolutely gorgeous.

Lou Mongello [00:53:01]:
This reminded me of the holidays growing up, where at the end of the meal, there were always these italian almond cookies. And that's exactly the. There was this core memory that was sort of instantly resurrected when I tried that, too. I really like, even without the cherries and again, with a nice cup of coffee, I think that's a really nice way to end the meal. And you at Ken, you have the hazelnut chocolate bar, which is chocolate sponge cassis and a ganache.

Ken Haas [00:53:36]:
My general thing in life is if it's not chocolate, it's not dessert. And so I kind of look straight on the menu for something that's chocolate, and got this. And I will say it really was good. It was hard, like a chocolate bar, kind of like a candy bar that you cut up pieces. And the taste was really good. I mean, the chocolate was there, and I had just a little bit. I had saved just a little bit of my pinot noir because I like just that tiny bit of red wine with my chocolate, and that was good tasting. Betsy's cheesecake, that was mean.

Ken Haas [00:54:13]:
Again, the texture in that was really good. And then I don't want to give away Lou's dish yet, so I'm going to pass it back to him.

Lou Mongello [00:54:23]:
So just to sort of round things out, I did have the pineapple bavaroir with the shortbread and the BlackBerry buttermilk ICE cream. Beautifully presented. You know, we taste with our eyes first. It's almost sort of a baseball sized pineapple yellow ball with a flour on top and sort of a delicate almost. They almost look like hidden Mickey's, like in lattice. And I was trying to sort of associate the texture. Right. It's not like a flawn, and I'm not a big flawn person.

Lou Mongello [00:54:56]:
It's somewhere between, like, meringue, but almost a little bit tighter than a meringue. And it's served over a little shortbread cookie. What I really liked on the plate was the little dollop of the BlackBerry buttermilk ICE cream. We've all tasted each other's. I see why the almond is the star of the show. Was that everybody's favorite?

Ken Haas [00:55:23]:
That probably was. I really like the chocolate stuff, but the cheesecake was probably my favorite with second on the chocolate. And I thought it was a good. The pineapple dish was a good dish. The texture was okay. It's like when you get too much, you said you don't like flawn when you get things that are jiggling and that texture in your tongue, it's just not right. But this was really good.

Betsy Haas [00:55:45]:
And I think this pineapple bavar could easily be the star of the show over the Polynesian. It is so pineappley. It is so tropical. The flour on the top is absolutely beautiful and delicate, and there's a little gum drop in the middle, and then there's this beautiful lacey thing made out of white chocolate that sits under the flour. And then that's all on top of the pineapple bevoir, which is on top of a shortbread cookie. And as Lou mentioned, then there's this beautiful piece of dollop of ICE cream on it. So it wasn't my favorite, but I didn't have anything here that I wouldn't order again.

Lou Mongello [00:56:23]:
Well, I'll tell you, when we first started talking, and you, metaphorically in your email, were jumping up and down, waving your hands for Narcoossee's, I see why. I see why. And the only thing I regret was not coming here more often in the last 50. I'm happy that I waited to share this experience with you, but I really am almost surprised at how this sort of fell off mine. I think a lot of other people's radars. I think it is, like we said earlier, it is a very upscale meal that you can dress up to come here, but you could also come right from the parks and enjoy fine dining overlooking magic kingdom. And I think that's what people sometimes forget is the variety and sort of the levels of fine dining and higher end cuisine that is available throughout the resorts. And I think because of where Narcoossee's is, sometimes it's forgotten about, although you'd never know tonight, because every table is full, we were able to see the fireworks.

Lou Mongello [00:57:34]:
We were able to see the electrical water patching. We've been here for almost. We've been here for 3 hours, we have never felt rushed at all. The service has been. I'm really pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this meal. And I look forward to coming back because there's so many other things on the menu that I want to try. Where does Narcousi sit for you in terms of overall Disney dining experiences? Because we've been talking about Disney Cruise line and Walt Disney World.

Betsy Haas [00:58:08]:
It has to be in our top five. And a lot of that is. And even now in the redecorated, reimagined redone, it kind of bumps it up even more because the menu is so good. We love citricroast. We love California grill. We do like table service, and we save our pennies so that we can do table service and enjoy it. But this was so much of the complete evening because you had, as Lou said, dinner and a show. Dinner and two shows, very knowledgeable server, wonderful drinks and craft cocktails and things that are absolutely unexpected.

Betsy Haas [00:58:43]:
So I think for me, Ken will say what he thinks, but for me, this is definitely up in the top five.

Ken Haas [00:58:50]:
Yeah, I agree. I think it's even higher than that. For me, I think the getting to see things is one of my biggest things. And as we're sitting here, some of the water pageant is coming back. It looks like the other direction. And I think know, it's like if you go up on the California Grill and they have such a great show up there, but with the prefix menu, I'm not as big a fan with that. I like the idea that here you get to choose what you want to have, not just what they kind of want to serve you, and that if you're not as hungry, you still don't have to get everything. And so I'm putting this up in my top two or three restaurants of the whole place.

Ken Haas [00:59:25]:
But this has really been, overall, just from eating and seeing things and the way they've done this place up, redecorating. They have a great job.

Lou Mongello [00:59:37]:
Yeah. I have to sort of really give this a lot of thought because I have my list of favorites, and Narcoossee's wasn't on the radar, but it very quickly jumped up. I would love to know from you, our friend, who's been metaphorically sitting at the table with us, sharing and enjoying this meal. Have you been to Narcoossee's? Where does it rank for you? What is your favorite item on the menu? Or if you haven't been here before, is it just something that hasn't been on your radar, or why have you not visited as yet? We should mention, too, our server did ask if they do take discounts, so I almost said tables in Wonderland, but they take annual. Remember tables in Wonderland, but they take annual pass holders. I very much miss that. They do take annual pass holder and Disney Vacation Club discounts. So if you're looking for a special meal, an elegant meal, or just something maybe you haven't done before, I very highly recommend Narcoossee's.

Lou Mongello [01:00:28]:
Again, I'll put some of the pictures I took of our meal in the show notes, and I'd love to know your thoughts about where Narcoossee's ranks for you. Most importantly, this meal would not have been nearly as good had it not been for the company. I am grateful for your friendship. I'm grateful for this wonderful evening, and certainly for your incredible generosity for the dream team. So thank you very much for that. And I thoroughly enjoyed dining with you. We definitely have to do this again.

Betsy Haas [01:00:55]:
Yes. If only you could find someone, anybody, who lives really close by in celebration.

Lou Mongello [01:01:04]:
But you don't even like food. You were pretty blase about the whole thing.

Betsy Haas [01:01:09]:
Yeah, I mean, I'm glad this wasn't video because y'all would have seen me scarfing down my food. But yes, we are happy to accompany you anytime you want to talk about food or even not talk about food. But Lou, thank you so much for what you do for the Make a wish foundation and all of the wonderful work you do within our community and how you have created this beautiful ohana of Walt Disney radio. Folks. Old fashioned box people, folks. New fashion clubhouse, folks. All the folks that are listening. We love you, Lou, and for us to be dining with you tonight, it was our pleasure and our treat.

Betsy Haas [01:01:43]:
So thank you, sir.

Ken Haas [01:01:44]:
Thank you.

Lou Mongello [01:01:45]:
You're going to make me cry. And, Ken, thank you as well.

Ken Haas [01:01:48]:
And I've got about a month left, and then I'm retired. So there might possibly be one or two days, if only. There might be one or two days that we're free. So thanks for having us.

Lou Mongello [01:02:01]:
I'm already thinking about what I'm going to order the next time I come back. And to quote Elaine from Seinfeld, I mentioned the bisc. If you get the reference, you get the reference. Thank you guys again so very much for tonight. Thank you for joining us virtually at the table. And I will see you at it's.

Lou Mongello [01:02:35]:
Time for our Walt Disney World trivia question of the week, where I invite you to test your knowledge of Walt Disney World history or see how you pay attention to the details. What you see, hear, experience, taste, or remember. And if you think you know the answer, you can enter for a chance to win a Disney prize package. And this week's trivia contest is brought to you by factor meals look, we're all busy, really busy. And sometimes, a lot of times it's really hard to decide what to eat, get all the ingredients, cook it correctly, and then come up with new, different, healthy and flavorful options day after day after day. Well, a few months back, I discovered factor meals and I we have been diving into their chef crafted, dietitian approved meals at home. And let me tell you, it's been a game changer for both my solo work lunches and then the family dinner table with more than 35 options each week, plus 55 add ons from keto to vegan calorie smart extra protein sides, snacks, juices and smoothies. My family and I love these nutritious, flavor packed meals.

Lou Mongello [01:03:35]:
And the best part, all of them are ready in like two minutes. So we've waved goodbye to the chaos at the grocery store and endless meal prep, which makes our days a lot smoother, a lot easier and gives us more time on. Well, for me, what I enjoy most, which is eating and not cooking. So I want you to try and experience this as well. So I have a special offer just for you. Head to Factormeeals.com wdw 50 and use code Wdw 50 to get 50% off. That's code wdw 50 at factormeeals.com wdw 50 to get 50% off. Trust me, with factor, you're not just eating, you are literally upgrading your mealtime experience.

Lou Mongello [01:04:17]:
Now, before we get to this week's trivia question, let's go back, review last week's and select our winner. So last week we were highlighting just some of the incredible women that have literally shaped Disney history. And your question last week was to tell me, who was the first female Disney imagineer? Did you get this right? Who was the first name that came to mind? Because the answer was Harriet Burns. She was the first woman hired by imagineering in a creative capacity, and she helped to design and prototype and build theme park attractions at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the world's Fair. At 64 65, she worked side by side with the men in the model shop, wielding saws and lathes and sanders, all while wearing the required heels and dresses. And she worked on attractions like Carousel of progress, sleeping Beauty Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, Matterhorn BoD sleds and the Haunted mansion. Most notably, she also worked and is credited with helping to design the first attraction using audio animatronics, which was Walt Disney's enchanted tiki room. Anyway, I took all the correct entries, randomly selected one, and last week you were playing for a WWE 3D keychain, stickers pin, and a special item that I picked up for the winner from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Lou Mongello [01:05:28]:
And last week's winner, randomly selected is. Terry P. So Terry, congratulations. I'll get your prize package out to you right away. And if you played last week and didn't win, that's okay, because here's your next chance to enter in this week's Walt Disney World Trivia challenge. Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be. Thank you, Christopher Cross. This week's question is to simply tell me where in Walt Disney World can or could you sail the river of time? Where in Walt Disney World can you sail away on the river of time? You have until Sunday, Easter Sunday.

Lou Mongello [01:06:05]:
Happy Easter. If you celebrate March 31 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern to go to wwradio.com, click on this week's podcast.

Lou Mongello [01:06:12]:
Again.

Lou Mongello [01:06:12]:
You're going to play for the keychain, the stickers, the pin, and this week I'm going to throw in a mystery prize. So good luck and have fun. That's going to do it for this week's show. Huge thanks to you for subscribing and tuning in. But quickly, before you go, just a couple of things I'd love to know from you. What are your thoughts on narcosi? Have you been before? Is this maybe adding it to your Disney bucket list? Come be part of the community conversation. Talk about this week's show and anything you want in the Disney Marvel or Star wars universe over in the WWDO clubhouse@wwradio.com. Slash clubhouse and if you have a suggestion for the show, you can feel free to post it there.

Lou Mongello [01:06:56]:
And if you're enjoying the show, and I really hope that you are, please help support it from just a dollar per month as part of the WWDO Nation. Your help not only helps to bring the shows and live broadcasts to life, but also gives you exclusive rewards like scavenger hunts, group calls and surprise monthly care packages. Plus, you're also going to be supporting our Dream Team project, which has raised more than $550,000 for children with life threatening illnesses, to visit Walt Disney World through the Make a Wish foundation. You can learn more and join the WWDO Nation family@wwradio.com. Slash Support I sincerely appreciate your friendship and your help and your support and I cannot wait to welcome you into the nation. Please also follow along and connect with me on social. I am at Lou Mangello on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. And again, make sure you like the WWDO page on Facebook and join the clubhouse and turn on notifications I'm going to be traveling over the next couple of weeks, including somewhere next week that is very special that I cannot wait to share with you.

Lou Mongello [01:07:51]:
So if you turn on notifications, you'll not only be able to join us every Wednesday at 07:30 p.m. Eastern for WWDO Live, but you'll also get notified of other updates and blog posts and events. Speaking of which, make sure you check out our events page@facebook.com wwdo. I have information there about our next meet of the month in Walt Disney World, our next meet on the road in London in May our group adventures by Disney to Japan in 2025 and our WWDO group cruises on the Disney Magic this October and on the Disney Treasure in February, 2025. If you have a question, a comment or just want to say hello from the parks, call the WWDO voicemail at four oh 7909 three nine one. That's four oh 7900 WW one and I will play it on the air. And when you are planning or thinking about your next adventure or looking to book your next cruise, let mouse fan travel be your guide. They are my official and recommended travel provider for more than 17 years because it's who I use.

Lou Mongello [01:08:43]:
More importantly, it's who I trust for you. So whether you're thinking about your next magical vacation to a Disney destination or any other location in the world, Mousefantravel.com offers personalized service, expert advice, incredible deals to make your trip unforgettable, and all their services come at no cost to you. Don't just take my word for it, you can experience the magic for yourself and see why mousefantravel.com is my one and only go to for all things travel. Please also visit loomongello.com. Find out how maybe I can come to speak to your event, conference, business or school with customized presentations about lessons learned from the Disney parks on customer service and experience, and learn more about some of the different ways we can work together to help you turn your idea, business, brand, content, product or channel and take it to the next level. And if you go to facebook.com/loumongello, I have a short video showcasing some of the things I'm working on now. And we're going to be releasing in the next few weeks, because I really do want to repay the favor and the gift that you've given me and help you live the life that you dream about any way that I possibly can. And finally, if you like the show, and I hope that you do, not only can I ask that you please help share the show and tell a friend, but if you can rate and review the show over an Apple podcast or Spotify.

Lou Mongello [01:09:53]:
Thank you again so much for spending and sharing your time with me this week. I hope to see you in the clubhouse during this week. And until next time, remember to choose the good find joy in the journey and have a great day and an even better tomorrow. I love you. I appreciate you. See ya.


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