Review: Citricos at The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Usually when I am scouting out restaurants for vacation, I try to plan what I think will be our best meal for the last night of the trip. I like to end things with a bang, but saving the best for last can have its downside, as it makes going home that much harder. During our recent mini-vacation to Disney, reservations were quite scarce. So I decided to changes things up a bit, and booked for our first night what I knew would be the best dinner of our trip...Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort.

Citricos Disney Grand Floridian

Formerly known as Flagler's, Citricos is located at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, and is one of three signature dining options for the hotel. The resort's other two restaurants, Narcoossee's and Victoria & Albert's, are a regular stops for us, and have been featured in previous posts here and here. This was to be our first visit to Citricos, however, and I had no doubt that she would equal the experiences we've had at her sister locations.

Citricos Disney Grand FloridianWe arrived quite a bit early for our reservation, but this was by design, as we wanted to enjoy a beverage before dinner. Since it was the start of our vacation, it seemed appropriate to begin with a glass of champagne, and as luck would have it, our favorite was available by the glass. After enjoying a bit of people watching, we made our way to a great table in the center of the dining room.

Citricos Disney Grand FloridianAs I pondered over the wine list, one in particular immediately caught my eye. At last year's Food and Wine Festival, we attended a tasting put on by The Meeker Vineyard, and I noticed their "Hand-print Merlot" on the Citricos menu. While the wine proved to be fantastic, perhaps even more so was actually the bottle itself, which featured a hand-print of the wine maker, done in some sort of heavy multicolored paint. It was pretty impressive, and I'm sure is great for shelf appeal.

Citricos Disney Grand Floridian
With a great wine in hand, I moved on to the dinner menu for the more important decisions. I started the meal with the duck confit, which was served with marscapone and ricotta cheese ravioli. I was surprised to find the dish served with the meat shaved and set atop the ravioli, as opposed to the traditional "bone-in" serving. It was a unique twist to the dish, but a welcome one, as it was an excellent start to the meal.
Citricos Disney Grand Floridian

Following the duck confit I moved on to the romaine salad, which was served with hearts of palm and white anchovies. This was certainly a far cry from your run of the mill "Caesar" salad, and if nothing else it gave me the opportunity to try whole anchovies for the first time. An interesting taste which I actually enjoyed, but I'm not so sure I'll be ordering them on pizza any time soon.

Citricos Disney Grand Floridian

With the pleasantries of the appetizer and salad out of the way, it was time for the the main course. I decided to follow our server's suggestion, and went with the braised veal shank, which was paired with a potato-carrot puree. I had seen a few of this dish leave the kitchen, and I knew I was in for a treat. This thought was confirmed when our server brought a small seafood fork, which he said was to be used for extracting the marrow.

The veal was literally fall off the bone tender, and went perfectly with the puree, as it's muted flavors did not overpower that of the meat. I was sure to try some of the marrow with the veal, which to me was like adding soft butter to a warm chocolate chip muffin. Granted, it seemed no different than the fat that one finds at the bottom of the pan when cooking pot roast, but nonetheless it was nice to try for myself what so many consider to be a delicacy.

Citricos Disney Grand Floridian

For dessert, I needed no assistance in making a selection, as I had seen many of the banana chocolate tart served to our fellow patrons, and knew we were destined to be together. The warm banana chocolate cake paired with vanilla ice cream was the perfect end to what had been an excellent meal. And while I was too full to enjoy the full serving, I did manage to eat the entire chocolate crown which accompanied the dish.

In addition to the excellent food, the service at Citricos was also spot on. While our server had several tables spread throughout the restaurant, he did not seem rushed in any way. After sharing with him our story of the Meeker wine, he even took the time to bring out two other bottles which the restaurant served from the vineyard.

Great wine, great food, and great service...without a doubt, Citricos had it all. Were we not on the Disney Dining Plan, I'm unsure if it would have been a great value for the price paid, but this seems to be a common feeling when I leave Disney restaurants. Given that we were on the plan, however, Citrico's certainly helped us get our money's worth that day.

Our first experience was a great one, and no doubt we will return.

Enjoy Your Stay

Citricos on Urbanspoon