Disney Dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse (Round 2)

The first and last time Raymond and I ate at Yachtsman was in February of 2015.  It was a great experience and we are always up for a good steak.  When we were discussing dining plans for November, Yachtsman came up and we decided it was time for a return visit.  To be perfectly honest, the food was better this time and the service was better last time.  Even so, I still recommend you give Yachtsman a try if you get the chance.  Let me tell you why.

Disney Dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse

For us, there are three go-to steak places near Epcot.  One of them, actually in Epcot, is Le Cellier (Canada Pavilion).  While wildly popular with many Disney guests, this old favorite has kind of fallen out of favor with us for one simple reason – we can easily walk from Epcot to places we like much better.  Places with better food for the price and where the tables aren’t so close together we feel packed in like sardines with no privacy.  Le Cellier is considered a Signature Dining location and takes two Table Service credits on Disney Dining Plans.  (For comparison purposes, the filet is $54 and includes Mushroom Risotto, Asparagus-Tomato Relish, and Truffle-Butter Sauce.)

For an absolutely outstanding dining experience and one of the best steaks anywhere, Shula’s Steak House at the Dolphin offers a fine-dining experience we absolutely love.  The menu is a meat-lover’s dream and the steaks are perfectly prepared to order.  Where the in-park atmosphere at Le Cellier is very casual, the much more formal setting of Shula’s makes us want to get dressed up a bit to eat there.  It’s also relatively expensive and does not accept Disney Dining Plans.  (Currently, the 12 ounce filet is priced at $55 and side dishes are a la carte/additional cost.)

Not too casual, not too fancy, Yachtsman is just right!  The atmosphere is one I’d describe as neutral and even with a pretty good number of guests, the dining room doesn’t feel overcrowded.  One thing we loved is that on both visits, the hostess was the same wonderfully kind lady from Louisiana.  She loves her job and it shows!  The menu is not currently available online at Disney’s website, but this one seems to be up to date.  Notice the prices?  My 6-ounce filet and Raymond’s Elk Tenderloin were each less than $50 and they both came with sides!  On the Disney Dining Plan, Yachtsman, like Le Cellier takes two Table Service credits.

Disney Dining at Yachtsman SteakhouseI mentioned the service not being as good on our recent visit and I should stress that it had nothing to do with our server.  He was professional, knowledgeable, and, best of all, didn’t hover (we hate that).  We ordered lobster bisque to start and the filet and elk tenderloin as our entrées.  Disney Dining at Yachtsman SteakhouseThe bread service is especially good here; served with butter, olive oil, and roasted garlic – YUM!  Disney Dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse We also ordered some butternut squash risotto…which we did not receive until we were finished eating.  Our server took it off our bill and brought it out to us to taste anyway.  He sincerely felt terrible and was extremely apologetic, but we were overly full anyway and didn’t miss it at all. Disney Dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse The only reason we ordered the risotto in the first place is that I make it at home and we wanted to compare flavors.  For dessert we enjoyed the Seasonal Sorbet Trio and some coffee.  Our meal was great!Disney Dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Signature dining at a decent value in a great location – Yachtsman Steakhouse is an excellent choice!

What’s your go-to Disney restaurant for a good steak?

(Note: all three restaurants mentioned accept Tables in Wonderland if you have or are considering that option.)

Disney Dining – Shula’s Steakhouse

Shula's-Place-SettingSo many restaurants, so little time!  At Walt Disney World, steak-lovers have no shortage of options.  Three popular choices include Le Cellier (Epcot, World Showcase Canada Pavilion), Yachtsman’s Steakhouse (Yacht Club Resort),  and Shula’s Steakhouse (Dolphin Resort).  We’d tried two of the three and on our most recent trip to the World made dining at Shula’s for the first time a top priority.  And we were so happy we did!

Disney Dining – Shula’s Steakhouse

If you’re not a football fan, brace yourself for the décor when you walk through the door (you’ll get used to it once you taste the first bite of food).  If you ARE a football fan, you are going to love Shula’s theme.  Shula's-Orlando Shula's-Dining-Room-OrlandoThe original Shula’s Steakhouse opened in 1989 (Miami Lakes, Florida) and, according to our hostess, the first menus were printed on footballs.  This explained why she escorted us to our table carrying a football (one of the menu-bearing ones) – which she left on our table for us to examine at our leisure.Shula's-Football

The wait-staff (dressed formally in black and white) is very serious about making dining in Shula’s an excellent, worth-the-splurge experience.  They are professional yet friendly and informative – a team working together to achieve the goal (see what I did there?) of scoring a return visit from first-time guests.  In our case, it was a big victory.Shula's-Wine Shula's-Bread

We started with an appetizer to share – the BBQ Shrimp – recommended by our server, Kyle.  The unique sauce and preparation made this dish a big hit with us.  Sweet, tangy, smoky and with a lovely crunch of bacon!Shula's-BBQ-Shrimp

We also shared a salad – the Chopped tomato and mozzarella, which was also delicious, but in hindsight, we should not have ordered because we could not finish the most important course of the evening.Shula's-Salad

It really is all about the steak.  Raymond and I each ordered a filet.  According to Shula’s website, the “Shula Cut” is key to how these (insert adjective of your choice here.  Ours include amazing, incredible, indescribably delicious, ridiculously tender, and unbelievably tasty) steaks achieve their well-earned reputation.  Shula's-Filet-Two Shula's-Filet-OneSeriously – if you love steak, you will be ecstatic.  Kyle stepped in with another recommendation on a side dish – the corn.  Corn?  Seriously?  OMG!!!  This was not like any corn we’d had before.Shula's-CornLike Kyle, we highly recommend the corn!  We also ordered a side of sautéed spinach.  (If you’re old enough to be a Quick Draw McGraw fan like me, we were like Snuffles the dog with our dinner!)Shula's-Plate-Before

Without a doubt, we loved our experience at Shula’s and wouldn’t change a single thing – except maybe skipping the salad so we could have finished our steaks and eaten more corn!  We skipped dessert and made our way back to our room at the Polynesian with joyful taste buds and full bellies.  Shula’s is now, without a doubt, our favorite steakhouse on Disney property.  Note:  Shula’s is not on the Disney Dining Plan, but does accept Tables In Wonderland.

Have you been to Shula’s?  What did you order?  Did your experience match ours?