REVIEW: Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill at Disney Springs

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As previously reported, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill opened this week at Disney Springs, marking it the third Puck restaurant to come to the shopping complex. While Disney Springs is already awash in pasta and burgers, this venture from the famed American-Austrian celebrity chef finds enough unique twists to make it stand out against the competition and overshadow some of the more conventional offerings on its own menu.

Aesthetics & Service

With a rustic-chic barn aesthetic and a roaring fire in their pizza oven, the dining area was especially pretty as it filled with soft amber light once the sun went down. Overall, the area is spacious with only a few spots creating a tight fit for wait staff traffic. Ask for a table near the pizza oven if you’d like to see them make yours from scratch.

The service was also very friendly and personable with one waiter acting as the main server and providing most of the interaction, while another two popped by occasionally to see if anything was needed and to change out silverware between courses. Room temperature ice water was served when we were first seated, but the second pitcher was colder (though still no ice). I’ll count much of this as just opening week jitters.

Cocktails

Garden of Eden – $12

A mix of Garden of Eden vodka, tea, and lemon, this one comes in a massive, almost comical, sized glass, but has a nice smooth taste. Though the ingredients might suggest an Arnold Palmer-type sugary concoction, the elements here are far more subtle.

Xiang Li – $13

 

The best of the four cocktails reviewed, this consists of Absolut Pear vodka, Canton ginger liqueur, and lime, and it tastes like the juiciest pear you’ve ever eaten with a sweet aroma to go with it. An excellent choice and, upon discussion with the server, already a favorite among diners.

Kakamora’s Dart – $12

Straight from the Islands, this has a classic tiki taste made of Malibu coconut rum, Plantation pineapple rum, and lime. While it was a more conventional concoction, it was well-made and worth your time if you’re seeking a tropical beverage.

Warm & Fuzzy – $12

Made of Old Forester bourbon, Marie Brizard peach, and lemon, this certainly delivers on the vibe it’s selling. This is perfect for the whiskey lover and for a chillier night at Disney Springs.

Appetizers

Bruschetta – $12

Though the toppings of marinated tomatoes, torn mozzarella, pesto aioli, and aged balsamic mixed well, the bread was not as stiff as expected and, after sitting for a bit, soaked in the tomato’s juice. Still, great flavors, but a tad soggy.

Tempura Calamari & Shrimp – $15

Served with an excellent lemon aioli, both the calamari and shrimp were fried to golden perfection. The general saltiness that comes with calamari was balanced out by the aioli, providing a sweet/salty tang. Though the shrimp held good flavor, the calamari, as is so often the case, didn’t hold the same impact without the dip.

Entrées

Spaghetti with Added Meatballs – $21

Looking at portions, it’s impossible to consider getting the spaghetti at such a price without paying extra for the meatballs. There’s just not enough food otherwise. The noodles are well-crafted and the meatballs have a nice aftertaste kick to them. The sauce paired well with the rest, but it didn’t stand out on its own.

Wild Mushroom Pizza – $16

One of the best pizzas we’ve had a Disney Springs restaurant, this is covered in mushrooms and fontina cheese with a seasoning of roasted garlic and marjoram herbs. The crust, kneaded just a few steps away from our table at the pizza oven, was crispy on the outside, but remained soft inside. An excellent choice to share between two people.

WP Burger – $16

Cooked medium-rare, this burger came topped with white cheddar cheese, red onion marmalade, and garlic aioli all on a brioche bun with a pickle and a side of fries. Regretfully, the best part of this dish was the pickle. It was a rather bland mess of a sandwich with thin fries that were barely salted. Skip this for something more fun.

Pan Roasted Half Chicken – $28

A succulent serving of chicken with potato puree, sautéed vegetables, double blanched garlic, and lemon, this dish is a bit pricey, but well worth it. Make note that the potatoes are a puree or else you will think that they are runny at first.

Dessert

Crumble – $8

Served from a hot skillet right on to your plate, this crumble is pineapple-based with a scoop of coconut gelato. A unique taste, there is a hint of herb in the crumble that helps curb the sweetness of the pineapple and gelato. It’s not as bold as you’d think, but that only benefits the collective flavors. It’s something different you’ve probably never seen anywhere else. Give it a try!

Cheesecake “Spanish Style” – $8

Though glazed with a citrus sauce, this dessert was overall underwhelming. Sadly, there was nothing special about the Spanish style that certain “factories” who specialize at this type of dessert haven’t done better.

Carrot Cake – $8

With whipped cream cheese and candied walnuts, this stood out even if the description is rather conventional. If you like carrot cake, you’ll love this version.

Creme Brûlée – $9

Possibly the largest portion of creme brûlée we’ve ever been served, this is extra special as it’s made of key lime pie! This was a completely unique variation on a foodie favorite.

Get Up, Get Up – $13

Finish the night off with a coffee drink of Amaretto, Kahlua, and chocolate liqueur. Bold and dark, this will do what the title says and get you back up and energetic for more Disney Springs shopping.

Final Thoughts

Wolfgang Puck’s Bar and Grill brings some new twists on some classics as well as some fan favorites of the chef’s brand. When the food is good it’s REALLY good, but when it’s subpar it is closer to poor. If it sounds unique on the menu, give it a try, but if it reads as conventional, the more likely that’s exactly how it’ll taste.

Menus

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About the author

Nathan Hartman

A sunshine state resident, Nathan is an avid Disney parks wonk as well as a university film professor.

Twitter: @somestuffisaid

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