REVIEW - Todd English's bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Dolphin

Sep 18, 2015 in "Todd English's bluezoo"

September is Orlando’s Magical Dining month, with over 70 restaurants taking part in a prix fixe menu offering priced at just $33.

It is a great time to sample some of the latest menus at some of the best restaurants in the area, and this year two Walt Disney World eateries are taking part - Il Mulino New York Trattoria at the Walt Disney World Swan and Todd English's bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Dolphin

Appetizers, entrees and desserts are all included and one dollar from each meal will be donated to the ELEVATE Orlando charity.

We visited Todd English’s bluezoo last week to check out their Magical Dining menu.

The Restaurant

You’ll find bluezoo located on the bottom floor of the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel, which happens to be ground level if you are entering from the Epcot side of the hotel, or a trip down the escalator from the main lobby if entering at the front of the hotel.

The entrance includes a large water feature and blue lighting - which immediately sets the tone for bluezoo’s seafood-based menu.

bluezoo is categorized as a Walt Disney World signature restaurant, which puts it in the same category as favorites such as California Grill, Yachtsman Steakhouse and Le Cellier. Although it is on Disney property, is isn’t on the Disney Dining Plan, nor is it operated by Disney. You can however make reservations via the Disney World website and My Disney Experience apps, as well as via Open Table.

The Dining Room

Inside the restaurant you will find a distinctly upscale appearance. White table clothes, elegant lighting, and tables arranged in both booths and open table configurations. It is unlike most other restaurants found at Disney, and is perhaps more like something you might find in Las Vegas.

The restaurant is larger than it appears from the outside, and includes a separate bar area and on-stage kitchen. All seating is indoors.

Like every other Walt Disney World restaurant with the exception of Victoria and Alberts, children are welcome. But if this restaurant will be a good fit for your child depends largely on the individual. While on our visit there were children in the restaurant, they were not running around and playing - which is something we have seen frequently at California Grill or Flying Fish Cafe. If your child can sit through a meal for a couple of hours, there should be no problem dining at bluezoo with young ones.

The Food

Magic Dining month is all about a three course menu for a fixed price. Some of the offerings are from the regular bluezoo menu, and others are created specially for this month. You can see the full menus here.

Up first was a complimentary fresh-baked bread basket, which was rather fantastic. There are three breads, a ciabatta, an onion bread, and a crispy flat bread - with an accompanying butter. Certainly one of our favorite breadbaskets across all Walt Disney World restaurants.

For appetizers, we tried the ‘Heirloom Tomato Salad’ and the ‘Beet Salad’. Both were beautifully presented and prepared, offering a fresh light flavor to get things started.

The Heirloom Tomato Salad was accompanied with seasonal melon, brillat savarin, and tomato basil "panzanella”. 

The Beet Salad was served with a Walnut vinaigrette and goat cheese fondue dressing.

For the main course, we went with the Airline Chicken and the Mahi Mahi.

The Mahi Mahi was definitely the pick of the two. It was a generous sized portion, perfectly cooked, and served with a Roasted potato hash, cherry peppers, charred meyer lemon, and a herb vin blanc.

The Airline Chicken left us a bit wanting. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, just not a particularly interesting dish.

The restaurant really delivered with the desserts. We tried both the Carrot Cake and the Blueberry Sundae. Both sound like simple desserts, but these were seriously elevated takes on the classics.

The Carrot Cake is served with a pineapple confit, orange panacotta, poached carrots, sour cream sorbet - which ultimately made it more like a deconstructed Carrot Cake - a long way removed from a slab of cake you might be expecting.

The Blueberry Sundae - an incredibly fresh looking and tasting masterpiece, including a vanilla lemon peel rice pudding, blueberry compote, blueberry ice cream, sugar ball filled with blueberry vanilla cremeux & blueberry sauce, blueberry tuile, whipped cream. Dessert perfection on a plate.

The Service

Like most Walt Disney World Restaurants, the service was good, and at a level expected in this calibre of restaurant. The pace was fairly slow, but this is of course a restaurant to savor, and not to rush through. So if this is a good or bad thing, is really a matter of personal preference.

Wrap Up

Todd English’s bluezoo is an impressive restaurant - both visually, and with its food. It is a perfect alternative to some of Disney's high end restaurants, such as the Flying Fish Cafe, California Grill and Jiko.

The Magical Dining Month is a great way to experience the restaurant at a price point that would get you something much more average anywhere else. In fact, it has left us wanting to return to try the full menu to see what else is on offer. 

We would highly recommend a visit on your next trip, and as this is one of the more hidden dining gems of Walt Disney World, it is easy to get a reservation, via My Disney Experience or Open Table.

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Article Posted: Sep 18, 2015 / 1:27pm EDT