Bswan26's Review of The Boathouse

I ate at The Boathouse on May 26th, and thought I would provide some observations. For those who don’t know me, I’m somewhat of a “foodie”; I look forward to dining experiences at WDW as much as I do the rides. As a point of reference I have eaten at California Grill, Flying Fish, Citrico’s, Narcoossee’s, Artists Point, Le Cellier, Monsieur Paul, Hollywood Brown Derby, Morimoto’s, and Victoria and Albert’s - both in the “regular” dining room and at the Chef’s Table. I have also eaten at most of the TS restaurants in the parks, as well as a selection of those located in the resorts. This is not to “brag”, but to show that I have a broad base of Disney Dining under my belt.

The Restaurant

The Boathouse is one of the larger dining establishments in WDW, with a large bar area (with dinner seating), 3 dining rooms (one with its own smaller bar), an outside dining deck, and a stand-alone bar at the end of a pier. There is also a good-sized gift shop selling all things nautical. All of the rooms are very well themed, and are filled to overflowing with assorted nautical items. Here are a few pictures.

The Entrance

The Bar Area

Dining Room Number 1 - the seating area of the boat has a booth in it

Dining Room Number 2

Dining Room Number 3 - also known as The Regatta Room (by far the prettiest, IMHO)

The Dockside Bar

The Outdoor Dining Deck - especially nice after dark

This is not the place for a quiet, relaxing, romantic dinner. There is constant hustle-bustle all around you, and between the piped-in or live music and a lot of people in a space that has virtually no sound-absorbing elements, it is loud inside (not T-Rex loud, but much louder than I would like for a “fine dining” experience). I was sitting in the bar area, near the entrance and had the additional aural assault of live music on a nearby outdoor stage. If there is a positive to this, if you have small children and want an upscale dining experience but are afraid of how they might behave, this is the spot for you. There is lots of visual stimulus to keep them interested, and I don’t believe that even a full melt-down would be very noticeable over the ambient sound level.

The Food

I guess that this is what you’re really interested in hearing about. You have to understand that this is based on a single meal on a single night, so this is not necessarily representative of all the restaurant has to offer.

First off, I have to commend the service. From check-in, to seating, to wait staff, it was excellent. My water glass never got past half empty, bread was replenished, the waiter was informative and friendly and checked back several times to make sure everything was OK, etc. I could not have asked for better.

Everything is ala carte. If all you order is a steak, all you get is a piece of meat on a plate; salads and sides all have to be ordered separately. This is not unusual in high-end dining, but at the Disney signatures, the entree typically includes a starch and a vegetable.

I started with the Garden Salad ($8.00). Everything in it was fresh and it was served with a very nice vinaigrette. Very tasty, but rather small for the price. For my entree I ordered the filet ($35.00) with a side of oven-roasted new potatoes ($8.00).

Whenever I try a new steakhouse, I always order a filet as my “test” meal. This one was somewhat disappointing. I ordered it rare, and it was well cooked, but it had almost no “juice” to it, it was not “melt in your mouth” tender, it had an unusual amount of tendon running through it, it had been rubbed with a spice mixture that was so salty as to be almost offensive, and it was lukewarm, at best. The flavor also seemed to have gotten lost somewhere. It was served with a side of “house” steak sauce. I typically do not like sauce on my steak, but I gave it a try. It is a very complex flavor with strong overtones of chili powder and Worcestershire sauce; a little bit would go a long way.

(Sadly, perhaps) the star of the show was the side of roasted new potatoes. They were perfectly cooked and were served with an excellent, slightly spicy, remmoulade dipping sauce. And as you can see from the picture, the portion is crazy-big; I counted 15 potatoes. I don’t know about any of the other sides, but this was definitely enough for 2-3 people.

Because I tried (unsuccessfully) to finish all of the delicious potatoes, I had no room for dessert.

When all was said and done, when you add in a domestic draft beer, tax, and (well deserved) tip, the bill came in at right around $80.00 - about the same as a dinner at one of the Disney signatures (with dessert).

Verdict

Great location and theming, excellent service, but food and prices that won’t put The Boathouse anywhere near the top of my “go back to” list.

13 Likes

As a point of comparison… A few nights later I went to Raglan Road (one of my all-time WDW favorites). I had a Harp draft and the Bangers and Booze (delicious), that came with a basket of fresh, warm, soda bread. Total cost with tax and tip was right around $30.00, and I got an hour of live Irish music and dance to go with it.

8 Likes

Thanks for the review and all the pictures! Sorry about the steak. I love a good filet. I’m glad the service was excellent.

1 Like

Oh no, that’s disappointing. We tried it once in April, and it was very good. But I was hoping that the good would be reliable, and not hit-or-miss. We had split a filet slider appetizer, which came with three tiny filets on buns. Those actually were melt-in-your-mouth, and I cut one of them with a fork. I was so looking forward to going back and getting the filet as an entree, but it looks like I should modify my expectations, just in case. Thanks for the great honest review!

2 Likes

Thanks for the review. Too bad it turned into a disappointing experience…and a pricey one too…
I checked the menu on-line when they first opened…and had some serious sticker shock, even for Disney dining.
Like you, I loved Ragland Road…

2 Likes

Thank you for the review! With so many choices in DS these days, I honestly do not know if I will ever try it!

1 Like

What a great review! Must say it does look impressive and it’s a shame the food didn’t quite live up to this. Will probably give it a try. Do really like the look of having a drink on the dockside, do they have bar snacks at any of the bars? I’m with you on Raglan road…one of my absolute favourites, we always try and eat here :grinning:

2 Likes

Great review - love the photos, especially that last one!

Due to time, allergy and $ constraints, we only get in a few TS in our trips, so nice to live vicariously through reviews…

3 Likes

My wife and I dined at The Boathouse last September and found all of the food to be excellent. We also really enjoyed the roasted potatoes and the sweet roasted corn side was delicious.

2 Likes