Whenever Disney has closed a restaurant for remodeling, you can typically expect it to return with some of the menu offerings and other elements that were once loved about it. In the case of the Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk, they did neither. Despite Disney promising that the once-famous snapper dish would return with the restaurant, it did not. So, does the Flying Fish improve despite not really retaining any of the items that guests visited for? Let’s find out…
The G was burnt out and ruined my pictures and I don’t want to talk about it…
First off, the interior could not be any more different. Gone is the gaudy style of the previous Cafe that hardly evoked the feel of a signature restaurant, replaced with an elegant interior filled with subtle nods to the Flying Fish and boardwalk amusements. The hand blown glass fish swimming above the restaurant are one of the most striking design elements I have ever seen and is quite breathtaking.
Despite the AbracadaBar opening next door, there is also a bar inside of the restaurant.
We also have a short video tour of the restaurant to share, including a look at the private dining room courtesy of the manager at the restaurant:
Quite frankly, my one previous experience at the Flying Fish Cafe wasn’t anything special. The infamous snapper dish was fine, but not worth the hype it had been given in my opinion. We had some good appetizers and drinks, but nothing that made me feel like I would need to come back until there was a drastic menu change. Those changes did indeed come with the remodel…
Before you even have a chance to say it, let me beat you to it: it is really, really expensive. Yes, this is a signature restaurant, and yes, it isn’t necessarily one of the first ones that comes to mind when you think signature dining at Walt Disney World. I will say I was a bit skeptical when I opened the menu, but I was willing to try it and see if anything was worth the price on the paper.
There is a vegetarian menu available, despite claims that the restaurant had no vegetarian options… Josh…
The kid’s menu looked pretty solid…
Pacific Island Punch ($10.75) – This reminded me a lot of the Leaping Lizard drink from Nomad Lounge, only less juice flavor and more alcohol. It was good, not great. I like sweet drinks and based on the description I expected this to be sweeter.
Blood Orange Margarita (10.75) – Nothing out of the usual, but a tasty take on the blood orange margarita if you typically enjoy such drinks.
Maple Bacon Peach Manhattan ($10.75) – Smoky and unique, this was highlight of our meal. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted anything quite like this. The peach taste isn’t strong, but the bacon sure is and that’s a good thing.
The bread offered was pretty unique, a combination of seaweed and sesame seeds in a wheat bread, fitting the location and theme of the establishments. We ate two baskets, so I guess we liked it…
Blue Crab Bisque ($15) – My favorite dish of the night, this soup not only had great flavor, but there was a TON of crab in it. Likely the most crab I’ve ever had in a soup, so definitely worth the price on the menu. The aged Sherry dropped in table side was also a nice touch.
Corn-Encrusted Wild Gulf Shrimp ($16) – Not the largest portion for $16, but good flavor from the corn breading. If you like shrimp, you will likely enjoy these, but likely not be the best appetizer on the menu.
Kurobuta Pork Belly ($15) – Absolutely fantastic. So tender and the sauce accompaniment was heavenly.
Crispy Feta Dumplings ($32) – We decided to try one of the vegetarian options to see if they were worth the hefty price tag. This was good, but in no way can be a value at $32. Now, none of us are vegetarians, but I imagine in a world without meat that this is still overpriced, while still being rather tasty. Overall, it felt like it was an appetizer priced as an entree.
Wagyu Filet Mignon ($55) – Possibly the best steak at Walt Disney World, defying any and all logic since this is a seafood restaurant. Prepared medium rare as the chef suggested, the inside was so tender and flavorful, accompanied by the sauce underneath which added the perfect flavoring. Again, I’m not joking, this was THE best steak at Walt Disney World, topping Jiko and Tiffins in my book.
Maine Lobster Nero Pasta ($64) – This was expensive, but I feel like it lived up to the price point. There was a lot of lobster in here, and the pasta over giolden tomato sauce was pretty much near perfection.
Alright, let’s move on to dessert:
Boardwalk Cafe ($7.75) – A solid caramel coffee offering, but still one of the better specialty coffee drinks around WDW.
Chocolate Martini ($10.25) – Chilled, very sweet, and rather enjoyable. If you like chocolate martinis, this is a viable option and a nice take on it.
Peanut Butter Freeze ($10.25) – I know it is a drink, but likely one of my favorite desserts in all of the resort. A very sweet peanut butter and chocolate flavor which basically tastes like a frozen (alcoholic) peanut butter cup milkshake.
Under the Sea ($12) – Just OK, very reminiscent of a similar offering at Tiffins. I would skip this for a Peanut Butter Freeze next time…
Cherry, Peaches, and Sea Shells ($9) – Again, this was fine for cheesecake with fruit, but nothing to write home about. A good option if you want something light, but there’s always Ample Hills Creamery just a few steps away if you really aren’t too excited about anything here. Did I mention the Peanut Butter Freeze?
Overall, I was beyond impressed by Flying Fish. My previous experience with the restaurant was surpassed tenfold, in both the interior design of the restaurant, and the overall quality of the food and beverage. This is one of the best re-imaginings of any restaurant at Walt Disney World, completely changing what it was and was perceived as before and making it something entirely new.
It is expensive, in fact, it is one of the most expensive restaurants in all of Orlando, but the quality is there. I feel the prices will hurt the restaurant in the present, just because the Flying Fish name doesn’t mean a whole lo to many people based on it’s previous lackluster run. However, if the quality remains as it is now (maybe with a slightly revamped dessert menu), I think good word of mouth will spread and those looking for a fine dining experience at Walt Disney World will find their way here. Flying Fish is an expensive signature restaurant, but if you are going to spend the money, this is probably one of the places you will want to do it.
OVERALL SCORE FOR FLYING FISH – 6.5 OUT OF 7.