Dinner at Todd English’s bluezoo, Dolphin Resort, Walt Disney World

We return to Todd English’s bluezoo at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Disney World for the first time in the New Year of 2013!

Miriam seated us right away with smiles and small talk; Dimas was our server (and he loves WDW theme parks).

For cocktails: nora went with the blood & sand and nick got a barrel aged manhattan; yes, these are perennial favorites of ours now. We both noted that the barrel aged manhattan seemed a bit “young” (sharp? less dark?)

Blood and Sand

Blood and Sand

Barrel Aged Manhattan

Barrel Aged Manhattan

We’re both trying to lose some of the combined Food & Wine Festival and holiday pounds, so we elected to start simply with a selection of bivalves (a.k.a. clams and oysters).

Tonight’s selection included (left to right in photo below)…

  • 2 east coast oysters (Malaspina from Prince Edward Island and Connecticut from Connecticut),
  • 1 west coast oyster (Gold Creek from Washington state), and
  • 1 middleneck clam (Florida Keys).
bluezoo dinner 01/08/2013 Chef's pasta and Chef's creation for the night - 3

Oops, ate the clam (far right) before getting photo!

Nick had asked Chad to pair a wine with our starters and Dimas brought out Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay. It wasn’t oaky, but we still weren’t bananas about it. Nora’s without food notes: nose is mineral, crispy, grassy and taste is slightly fruity, fizzy. Nick’s without food notes: nose is grassy rubber and taste is flat (without food, “I wouldn’t drink this”).

Now, on to the wine + bivalves!

We each tried the middleneck clam with horseradish and cocktail sauce. It had a nice brininess, tasted of the ocean, and had a good texture. When paired with the wine, the wine was grassy to both of us, nora also got a bit of lemon/citrus from the wine.

The Gold Creek oyster was nick’s favorite of the quartet, he had it with the horseradish and cocktail sauce. Nora had it with the mignonette sauce, it was quite good, better than the middleneck clam.

Connecticut and

Connecticut and Malaspina oysters

The Malaspina from Prince Edward Island had a different texture than the Gold Creek, most likely a size issue. We both had plain horseradish and a squeeze of lemon juice on top of this one. Nora enjoyed this one more than nick did.

The Connecticut oyster we also topped with horseradish and lemon juice. This was the least favorite for both of us.

As a whole, we preferred the Gold Creek oyster from Washington and the middleneck clam. We suspect that size and texture has a lot to do with this. The wine ended up being okay with the oysters and clam; next time nora wants to order a semi-dry Riesling to go with them.

The bread service was excellent as always. We thought that the Chardonnay paired rather well with both the lavash and the onion loaf, the breads brought out the fruitiness of the wine. The onion bread was very yeasty (we asked Chad later, and yes the recipe was changed recently).

So, what did we have for dinner? We had the Chef’s Specials and again asked for a wine pairing. Dimas brought out the Londer Pinot Noir (California). Nora’s without food notes: nose is fruit, warm and taste is burnt rubber. Nick’s without food notes: nose is not distinct and taste “without food I’d send this back”. Nora thought that the taste was improved with the bread selection.

Our wine for the evening

Our wine for the evening

Chef’s Pasta – Free form lasagna with Waygu strip, creamed heirloom tomato sauce, black olives, capers, and foccacia bread crumbs. Notes: “damn that’s good” meaning the first bite of pasta and “OMG!” for the first taste of beef. The combination of black olives, capers, and the rich beef went very well with the wine. If all beef tasted like this, we’d be eating beef more often than once every 3 or 4 months. The dish had a lot of umami and the components blended well but still remained distinct.

bluezoo January 2012 Chef's Pasta and Chef's Creation - 1

Chef’s Pasta, Free Form Lasagne

Chef’s Salmon – Pan seared salmon, leeks, grano risotto, turnip puree, fennel, and blood orange powder. The portion of salmon was HUGE, it was a bit overdone (white protein was evident) but had a lovely crisp exterior. The other elements weren’t very distinct. The dish was good but didn’t pair well with the wine.

Chef's Salmon

Chef’s Salmon

All in all, if this Chef’s Pasta is still on the menu on our next visit, one of us will be ordering it!

All in all, we really enjoyed trying the variety of oysters and nora thinks that sampling the oysters may become her go to starter as long as the oyster season lasts.

All in all, we had a lovely time at bluezoo (as always) and are looking forward to our next visit.

Dimas: it was apparent that he was a bit “green” but with time and guidance, he’s sure to be an asset to bluezoo

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