Bay Lake >Food & Dining > California Grill
California Grill at Contemporary Resort.
My husband made a reservation to celebrate my birthday; when we went we liked the atmosphere the menu, and the view. Unfortunately our dinner & celebration was ruined by the miscommunication of the server.
We ordered the first course that the server recommended to us which was Goat cheese Ravioli, then ordered the Shiitake mushrooms flatbread ( it was delicious). Then Topher brought some old cold bread and uneatable bread with butter( It's a shame for this well known restaurant to serve like this bread. At the time of ordering the entree i asked the server (Topher) if we can have the oak filet (with sauce on the side because my husband doesn't like Teriyake sauce) he confirmed no problem, and to have the potatoes without the bacon, he replied that it's prepared with the bacon; the server did not give us other substitution until i asked him.
So it was obviously that we don't eat pork. when i ordered the flounder for myself , Topher did not mention the meal also is served with bacon.
When we received our course, my husband 's filet had sauce so we callled Topher our server and let him about the sauce, he did apologize and took it to the Chef and less than five minutes he brought the steak to us which i assumed that the chef just washed out the sauce put it in another clean plate and send to us. Anyways i did not liked how the steak looked and when my husband tried it he did not like the taste at all.
We put the steak to the side and i asked my husband to share t he flounder with me; our server were passing by and said "anything wrong with your food" i replied that we did not like the steak, Topher apologized and asked us if he can order something else from the menu, my husband replied that he will go with the flounder fish while eating we discovered that there is some small pieces mixed with the sauce; we stopped eating and waved to Topher to come to our table, when he came we asked if the small pieces are pork and confirmed it.
We were really upset and told him how come we asked not to have smoked bacon with the other meal and you never mentioned to us that the flounder also has pork;
his reply was that he thought it was only one person not eating pork and made us feel like it was our responsibility to tell him that both of us.
I strongly believed and shared with my husband that this server has no serving background and definitely is not professional, all what he cares about is just to take the order run through and get paid. i understand that the restaurant is busy but every guests deserves the best service especially in California Grill.
After few minutes the manager approached our table (his name is Gary, he is bold and in his 50's or 60's) and apologized for the miscommunication; i replied that's the worst service we experienced; we've been to Victoria & Albert and other upscaled restaurant and always the server has to make sure to communicate with customer especially after requesting no pork on the other meal; the manager looked very upset after i expressed myself and then left to come back with the desert menu saying that of course we won't charge you for the two courses.
I never imagined that we will get this very low class, awful service from California grill. My birthday was spoiled, we were so excited and looking forward to celebrate that night.
We were very very disappointed with our dinner experience: very bad service. And from what i have noticed that the high volume of business is wearing off the service staff as well as management, it seems like they just love to make money but doesn't care about service.
we won't go back again, and i will make sure to share this experience with all our friends.
Pricey but worth it!. Very creative cuisine with prices to match. Beautiful views all around. A special place for special occasions.
California grill!!!! We will be back!. My husband and I heard alot of good things about California Grill...but WE were not prepared for what was to come. We went to Disney for our anniversary and was told California grill was the place to go for anniversaries.....and IT WAS! The best food We have ever had...I was very tempted to lick my plate. Let me not for get the sushi. They didnt have spicy salmon on the menu, so we asked and they made it happen. I didnt realize there was a world famous sushi chef there!!!! I crave there sushi!!!! CRAVE!We live in Alabama and We are very tempted to drive 8 hours for a night at California grill!!!!Awesome.We will be back!
A Painful Farewell to Fabulous.
During our recent WDW trip, we had four dinner reservations at California Grill. We loved the place for years; fabulous meals, wine, and service.
This year's visit could be our last to California Grill for dinner. Two miserable dinners in succession, May 12+13. We cancelled the rest. Something big has changed. The menu still has some familiar offerings -- but a longstanding favorite is gone: Brick Oven Fired Flatbreads.
Our first night, the entrees disappointed. The filet of beef was too heavily salted to be enjoyed or eaten, and the grouper was cold while the vegetables beneath it were steaming hot. We were told the chef cooks the fish to a medium-rare heat unless instructed otherwise. Hmm... the fish was cooked through, but cold. But we reordered.
The filet wasn't salted the second service, while the fish was too undercooked. We requested they fire it just five more minutes, which should have allowed us to dine together. INSTEAD, nothing come back for about twenty minutes. So one ate without the other having any meal before them.
They redid the entire grouper order; against our request. It was fully cooked but the vegetables were not of the same wonderful quality the first servings had been. Had they left the vegetables on previous service, that would have been good.
We spent over 2 hours to have an entree each; over 3 1/2 hours from seating through dessert and coffee. It derailed our evening entirely.
The manager and server were as good as they could be over it. But being on the Deluxe Plan, we'd prepaid for dinner; "comping" could not wipe away that disastrous dinner ($170.00 + gratuity). We tip generously, in cash.
Because the front of house had been so gracious, we returned the next night, certain the first evening had been a fluke and we had nothing to worry about.
We both ordered the pork tenderloin, a meal enjoyed on numerous visits over past years; I had carrots not polenta. I'd ordered a Sonoma Goat Cheese appetizer. It came out with parmesan and another (?asiago) cheese grated onto it. I don't eat parmesan cheese. I explained this to the server, noting that no additional cheeses appeared on the menu; if it had, I'd have asked them not to apply it. I requested that another without the added cheeses atop. He asked if we might "push the cheese aside?" I said I'd be losing all the other wonderful flavors -- tomato and pesto, because the grated cheese covered everything! The second service was fabulous.
Then the entrees came. Again, salty. The pork was salted; too much for our liking, edible (NOT enjoyable). My carrots were another story. They were served in little diagonal disks; each little sliver of carrot was so salty as to be entirely devoid of carrot TASTE.
What has happened to this fabulous restaurant? Some staff have been there for years; we spotted familiar faces from years past. But the food has suffered. Meals there had been a harmony of fabulous flavor; pure delight. Proper food prep does not over season to overwhelm the taste buds. Food at CGl was never salty before; if salted, it was subtle -- you'd barely notice. We hope things improve before our next visit. But if we dine there again, we might share a meal to play it safe, certain we can dine together.
Bad Fish and Worse Managment.
Go for the view and skip the food.
It's free to make a reservation and when your table is ready just tell them you changed your mind and nothing looks good tonight.
Menus are diffrent every night and 4 years ago we had a great time and the food was awesome. After the experaince last night I will never return. Waste of time and money. it took 45 min from when we ordered the food untill the time it came to our table. When it did the baked grouper was dry and cold. horrible! The manger said there was no way for the fish to have sat and there was no way it was served cold. Basiclly calling me a liar. This was apauling service. I called the Area Manager Bridget Sherren, and she still hasn't returned my call. Worse thing was this was my special 30th Birthday Dinner. The whole thing took 3 hours and we didn't even have enough time to go out to eat a real meal. The Grouper dish was $35 and yes we had to pay for it.
My favorite restaurant ever!. It?s pricey for sure, reservations typically need to be made way in advance, and the same clothes you wore to the theme parks that day might not be appropriate at this upscale restaurant. Nonetheless, this is my favorite restaurant in the entire world. The views in this penthouse restaurant on top of the Contemporary hotel are spectacular, especially at sunset and when the fireworks shows are going on next door at the Magic Kingdom. The food is equally exquisite, especially the art-like sushi plates and the flavorful flatbread pizzas. Be sure to save room for dessert! The apple pie I had was AMAZING!
Outstanding!!. Well, if you read the other reviews on this restaurant, it should convince you to pack your bags or get in your car if you live close enough and make your way straight to the California Grill. Our first experience was back in 2001--AWESOME! Next, we went in 2004 (2 x during our 5 day visit to Disney World)--AWESOME AGAIN! And then we just got back two days ago from Disney World and of course, eating at the California Grill--IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING HOW PLEASED WE WERE. I would recommend you make reservations at least 3 months in advance. If you don't like to preplan, they will still seat you w/o a reservation, but you will eat in the bar/lounge area--not bad, but you feel awkward sitting in Lazy Boy style chairs or on a sofa while downing one of their mouth watering meals--can put a damper on the ambience. Each time we've gone to this restaurant, we have NEVER been disappointed. The sushi is outstanding and fresh; in fact, I think their head sushi chef (a woman?) is world renown for her craft. The service is over the top!! We enjoy quality food and this restaurant definitely deserves recognition for giving their customers the best. I suggest if you do visit Disney World, to patronize this restaurant, as well as the Flying Fish Cafe (on the Boardwalk outside of the Epcot Center). Enjoy!!
Great service, nice views, delicious food. My hubby & I went here to celebrate my birthday. Our table had Mickey Confetti on it & the best view in the house! Space Mountain, Cinderallas Castle, the Grand Floridian, all right there. Then we met Ron, our waiter. What a great guy! He went over the wine menus with us, asked us to ponder if we wanted dessert (as they take some time to make) was off to get water & main menus with a sincerely meant "Let's have some fun tonight!"We tried the spicy sensation sushi appetizer. Ick! The fish was not fresh, the nori was so dry you could hardly chew it, and the sauce was more like a goopy gravy. We had a couple bites, then pushed the rest aside. Certainly not up to the standards I expected.That's the only bad expereince. We then moved on to the Goat Cheese Ravioli & a Peach/Walnut Frisee salad. Both were yummy, but the Ravioli was to die for! It was served in a nice broth, not a sauce, which was nice to see.For dinner I had the beef tenderloin with bacon/garlic mashed potatoes and haircot verts w/garlic. Hubby had the snapper with a coconut curry lime sauce & asian rice patty. My tenderlon was very good! The sauce was yummy & the potatoes were awesome. Hubbys was very good. Fresh, not a bit fishy, a lovely light sauce and fantastic presentation. We tried four wines.A Riesling with the sushi. A great combo if the sushi had been to par. Then 3 different Cabernets. We really dont' do dessert but it being my birthday they brought a special sliver of dark chocolate with Happy Birthday from the California Grill on it. Dinner came to $200 but with our DDE we saved 20%. Afterwards we went out on the catwalk & took pictures of the fantastic sunset.All in all, a great evening, very good food, nice wine selection (albeit it from California) great service! NOT a place for the kids! Everyone was actually dressed to code the evening we went but I can see how a bunch of down dressers could ruin the mood for some. A lesser server could ruin this terrific experience
ONE OF A KIND.....ONLY IN WALT DISNEY WORLD....
Have had the pleasure of eating at the California Grill several times. Absolutely nothing compares to it.
Like trying to explain a Lexus to a devoted Cadillac owner. WHO CARES where you sit..there are NO bad views..Last time we sat in front of the kitchen and watched the cooks...what a treat!! Service, Food, everything is Magic as Disney puts it.... But like anything else like it in it's class...if you have to ask
"How Much?"...this place isn't for you!! Just try to find a post meal treat like watching the Magical Kingdom fireworks show on top of the Contemporary Resort after your meal...Eye Level..That itself is worth the price of admission...Can't wait until next year..am already saving up my change..
Fabulous food, service and atmosphere-a definite must go!!. We went to the California Grill on 4/7/07 to celebrate my son's 10th birthday. I was unsure about going there because of his age and the price on the menu but that is where he watned to go and we went. It was fabulous. We had a window seat and watched the sunset which was fabulous. The service was beyond great. The food is fabulous. We had the filet of beef that was to die for.The firebread and sushi melted in your mouth.I don't think there is anything on the menu that could possibly be bad.We came back later that evening to watch the fireworks from the rooftop and it was unbelievable.They made sure to help us make this the best birthday possible for my son. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to experience a really nice evening. It is not stuffy and made to feel uncomfortable by any means.It is warm and inviting and everyone working there wants to make sure you have a great time. The experience is worth the price.The only thing that bothered me when we went was another family was there with there teenage daughters that were dressed horribly.They were told about their attire but put on sweatshirts to cover themselves. They had on short shorts and it was not acceptable for dinner. Other than that one incedent I would recommend everyone to dine there.I will be going every year I come back to Disney!
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