Ok all - no short answers please. Best signature for 2 adults no kids. You must include a plethora of reasons or evidence- go! What would you pay OOP for?
Flying Fish Cafe, especially the Chef's Wine Tasting Meal! You get to watch them preparing the food and chat with the cooks. They design a menu of several small courses, but you can review the menu ahead of time and tell them if you want them to change anything, so it's all catered to your tastes. Wonderful wine pairings and phenomenal food. The service was outstanding - friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, but totally relaxed and not overbearing. Great atmosphere - top notch but laid back all at the same time. I went with my BFF for a post-Princess celebration dinner, and it was the perfect place for that occasion - they took our picture together and gave us a souvenir printout of our menu with the picture printed on it. And I just snagged a return ressie for my upcoming trip!! Couldn't get it until now! The regular menu is also terrific!
How much was chefs tasting?
$157.22 per person, paid at the time of booking. That includes all food, wine, tax, and tip. No money changes hands at the meal (unless you want to leave extra gratuity). You can cancel up to 2 days ahead of time for a full refund. Definitely a splurge, but I think when you compare it to, say, an appetizer, steak, and a glass of wine or two at someplace like Yachtsman, I think it measures up pretty favorably (and much less than V&A as far as I'm aware).
I think that is reasonable for what you get.
I havent tried as many as I'd like, but I love HBD & FF. I was underwhelmed by LC & CG as far as food & service.
@wehavetogoback, how did you book the chefs tasting dinner - do you need to call or can it be done online?
@Iheartepcot, you can book it online or on the phone.
I must admit I have Artist Point book for December so I may change my mind then but right now I say Jiko. The flavor combinations in the food are amazing, but the whole experience is amazing. From the time I was seated the staff made me feel as if I was special, the service is amazing! The wild boar appetizer may be the single best food item I have ever ate! I must also admit I was surprised by the dessert. I ordered a no sugar added item and a still dream of it!
Sounds wonderful, @PrincipalTinker ! I have Jiko on my list for my upcoming trip - can't wait to try it! I ate at Artist Point last December and really loved it - the mushroom soup was so indulgent, and the salmon was wonderful. Nice wine list, too! Hope you enjoy!
Our current go-to night out is bluezoo -- the atmosphere is wonderful, there is rarely a crowd, and the food is delicious. Plus they have some really cool tricks with the food (like mixing a siracha aioli with liquid nitrogen or a cocktail served with a bruleed orange). I always get their Dancing Fish because I love watching someone with skill fillet a whole fish in front of me, and the tempura haricot vert is big enough to share. Even my sometimes hard-to-impress MIL was amazed at the chocolate bonbon selection:
I'd echo everything @WeHave2GoBack and @mascardofamily said about Flying Fish and bluezoo. I've not sat at the Chef's Counter, but I've been to many wine dinners at the Flying Fish and the format is the same, just for more people. The food has ranged from excellent to stunning, including some occasions where, side-by-side with V&A, Flying Fish would've been the clear winner (not that V&A isn't superlative, just that these wine dinners were that good). Flying Fish has two sommeliers and the wine list and selections definitely aren't run-of-the-mill.
As far as the regular menu goes, I'd probably give the edge to bluezoo. bluezoo used to have a chef's tasting that was fantabulous and a steal at $65 each (wine separate), but it ended about 18 months ago. Their craft drinks are second-to-none on property, but I'd give Flying Fish the edge for wine. bluezoo definitely has a quieter, more adult vibe, though the lounge can get a little meat-markety if there's a big convention in the hotel.
What tips the scales for me is that I've been fortunate to be a friend of the house at the Flying Fish for some time now. Not to be show-offy, but I usually get to try some things that aren't exactly on the menu (before they even had a Chef's Counter, Chef Tim made my mother a birthday chef's tasting-type dinner, just because, and the pasty chef once made me an amazing birthday cake). If it's slow at the bar, and the bartenders are feeling a little experiment-y, I'm the fortunate test subject. I'm friends with some of the CMs there outside of WDW. So I'm not exactly an impartial reviewer. Even having said all that, I'd recommend it without reservation.
Since Chef Phil took over the kitchen at Citricos and former Flying Fish GM Kieth Gimbel took over the front of the house, it's better than it's ever been and can "hang" with these other two. I've seen pictures of some new-new menu items and they're definitely breaking away from some items that were a little too settled. Their bar is also starting to experiment with craft-style drinks. All of which means I'll need to go there again, soon.
I couldn't agree more with everything you said @WeHave2GoBack, DW & I have made that a must do for just about every trip!
California Grill tops my list. Both the steak and sushi that I've had there are among the best of both that I have had ANYWHERE. The service was excellent, and the view, including Wishes, can't be beat. Jiko would be a close runner up. Subtly attractive, trading the scope of CG for a much more intimate feel. Food is top notch, and I like the exotic flavors that many of the dishes have. Again, the service is excellent.
And of course there's V&A. This is in a class all of it's own and is habds down the most elegant and gourmet experience in WDW. I've "only" eaten in the main dining room, but it was amazing. I have the Chef's Table reserved for my Nov trip; I can only imagine how that will be...
Blue zoo is not DDP though, right?
No DDP, but we've used TIW there before -- now whether that changed with the new rules on August 1, I'm not sure offhand. In the past, we've also had luck getting discounts on Restaurant.com, but I don't believe they are participating in that anymore.
I vote for Jiko. The bobotie roll appetizer is to die for. The steak and mac and cheese is another yummy favorite. We have different desserts each time, but I always have a chocolate martini that is very good and I am very chocolate martini picky. Love watching the sunset wall change during your meal. Great wine and great service. Afterwards walk on the savannahs and see the animals with night vision goggles. Sit and relax by the fire. We love a Jiko date night.