Jiko, The Cooking Place presents May Wine Dinner

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Jiko – The Cooking Place is pleased to announce the following Wine Dinner

 

A Pinotage Tasting – Thursday May 15, 2014

 

The following details apply to this event:

6:00PM Reception Sunset Lounge Disney’s Animal Kingdom

6:30PM Dinner Dress Code – Business Casual Evening Attire

$160 inclusive of tax and gratuity.

 

Please see below for Menu Offerings for the Dinner

For reservations please contact Victoria Thompson at Victoria.j.thompson@disney.com

This event is limited to 40 guests. This event is a credit card guarantee, and there is a 3 day cancellation policy.

 

Reception

Moroccan Rock Shrimp Tagine

Grilled Seitan, Delta Asparagus Jus, and Kenyan Style Mashed potatoes

Smoked Pork Belly and Green Mango Atjar

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon, Franschoek 

 

First Course

Butter Poached Lobster, Delta Asparagus, Chipolini Onions and Heirloom Potatoes

Southern Right, Pinotage, Hamel-en-Aarde

 

Second Course

Fiddlehead Fern Salad, Rocket, Duck Crackling, and Dark Cherry Vinaigrette

M*A*N Family Wines Pinotage, Coastal Region

 

Third Course

Egyptian Stuffed Squab, Liver Pate, Prunes, and  Dates

Spice Route Pinotage, Swartland

 

Fourth Course

Burundi-style Coffee Crusted Veal with Roasted Spring Baby Vegetables, and Ramp Emulsion

Side by Side tasting of Fairview Pinotage, Paarl

 

Dessert

Tasting of Seasonal Peaches Local and Beyond with a White Peach Sphere

Fairview La Beryl Blanc Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, Coastal

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Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Places At Walt Disney World

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We thought that to celebrate the day, we would share some of our ideal places to celebrate at Walt Disney World!

Valentine's Day

Beth

A fun unique way to spend Valentines Day at WDW for me is to take a stroll around the Boardwalk. Grab some dinner & drinks while taking in a view of Illuminations before ending the night at Jellyrolls for a fun sing-a-long. 

Betsy

One of the most romantic things I love to do at Walt Disney World is stroll around with that special someone. I have a few places in particular that I enjoy. One of my favorites is Epcot at night. The parks transforms when the torches are lit before Illuminations and the ambient noise from guests seems the die down. I especially love finding a quiet spot in France by the back gardens or tucked away while everyone else is getting ready for the fireworks and listening to the beautiful French accordion music. Enjoying a toast with an adult beverage or even a snack from the patisserie is a great way to cap off a romantic stroll around World Showcase. 

 

If you are looking for romance outside the parks, also in the evenings I really enjoy walking around the gardens at Port Orleans French Quarter, maybe after enjoying some beignets! After all, the French do seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to l’amour <3!  I also would never turn down a romantic walk around the Polynesian with the palms swaying in the breeze, ukelele and steel guitar music gently wafting through the air, sand beneath my toes, and a view of Wishes fireworks from the beach would make almost anyone swoon. 

 

Dining options around Walt Disney World are prevalent, but it can sometimes be hard to picture a romantic place that is quiet and sans children. Of course if I had the choice, I’d pick dressing up with my man to go to Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian where no children under 12 are admitted and the tones are decidedly hushed. I’d also prefer not to pay that bill ;). Looking for something a bit more affordable, but still with a nice atmosphere, I like Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge or Flying Fish at the Boardwalk. Both are quieter than most other restaurants I’ve found on property and have a nice ambiance, great food and wine to match. 

Gail

There are many restaurants and places to go for Valentines day, depending on how extravagant one is willing to go.

 

For me, if I’m not planning on going to a restaurant or park, one of my favorite things is fireworks. So my recommendation would be to go to The Polynesian, pick up a coffee and a sweet snack and head down to the beach area. If it’s chilly be sure to take a blanket, which can be used to sit on too. 

 

The view from the beach at the Polynesian is special as you don’t need park access, and the view is stunning as you get the reflections off the lake too.  Just be sure to get there around 15/20 minutes before they begin so you can secure a good viewing spot. 

Watching the fireworks with your loved one can be so romantic, especially snuggled up with a hot beverage by the beach! Don’t forget a selfie to capture your night! 

Jillian

I’d love to spend Valentine’s Day with a nice meal at Yachtsman Steakhouse followed by a night time stroll around Crescent Lake or World Showcase. Then cap the evening off with any of the firework spectaculars. 

Kelly Hicks

My ideal Valentine’s Day at WDW would have to be in the World Showcase at Epcot. I especially love wandering around at night when the pavilions are lit up. Maybe grab an ice cream cone at L’Artisan des Glaces in France – my favorite flavor is profiterole! – and do a little window shopping. Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without a viewing of Illuminations!

Kelly Walker

When I think romance (which I hardly ever do in general) around Disney World, I immediately think of Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Not only is it one of our favorite restaurants, but it tends to be quite one-on-one. It’s normally not loud and while it’s “fancy”, it’s got a laid back feel to it as well. And if you’re not looking to spend a bunch of money on dinner, a favorite of mine is to get a good spot on the train station and watch Wishes from there.

Mike

If I could pick somewhere to spend Valentines Day in Walt Disney World it would have to be experiencing a romantic candlelit dinner at the California Grill located within the Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Not only does this location have excellent food and atmosphere, but it also provides for some of the greatest views of the entire Walt Disney World property. Located on the 15th floor, the California Grill provides views of the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake and numerous other landmarks on Disney World property. There’s nothing quite like being able to catch a Florida sunset from the top of the Contemporary Resort while enjoying an excellent glass of wine and top notch cuisine. At the end of the night you can head out onto the balcony and top off your romantic evening with a breathtaking view of Wishes, the Magic Kingdom’s night time spectacular. In my opinion the California Grill is one of the most romantic dining options on Walt Disney World property and an excellent way to spend your Valentines Day. 

Shelley

My favorite date night with Dave is a little bit corny, but we love to head to the Magic Kingdom. We have a ‘light’ dinner of appetizer’s at Tony’s Town Square, take a stroll through the park as the sunsets, and then settle into our favorite spot for the rest of the night. We head over to Sleepy Hollow Refreshments to grab a funnel cake and a table near the castle. Sleepy Hollow is an awesome spot, because you can watch the Main Street Electrical Parade and Celebrate the Magic before heading to the castle to watch Wishes! I love our Magic Kingdom nights, because it’s a great chance to slow down and I don’t have to share my treats with Zoe!!!

Wherever you are celebrating today, we hope that your Valentine’s Day is awesome!

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May Tables In Wonderland Events – Hosted By Jiko

Jiko - The Cooking Place
Jiko – The Cooking Place is pleased to announce the following Wine Dinners…

 

South African Winemakers Tour – Saturday, May 4th 2013   

-And-                                                       

The Wines of Warwick Estates  Thursday, May 16th, 2013

 

The following details apply to both events:

6:00pm Reception/6:30pm Dinner
$160, plus tax and gratuity
Business Casual Evening Attire
Meet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby, Sunset Lounge

 

Please see below for Menu Offerings for Each Dinner

For reservations please contact Victoria Thompson at  Victoria.j.thompson@disney.com.

Each event is limited to 40 guests. Each event requires a credit card guarantee, and there is a 3 day cancellation policy.

 

Jiko – The Cooking Place presents the South African Winemakers Tour

Abrie Beeslar, Kanonkop; Peter De Wet, Excelsior; Gavin Slabbert, Raats Family Wines

Saturday, May 4th, 2013; 6:00pm

 

Reception…Arusha Terrace

Spinach and Mushroom Dumpling, Paneer Cheese, and Harissa Sauce

Fire Roasted Corn Cake with Applewood Smoked Bacon

Braised  Beef Short Rib, Cracked Pappadom, and Peppadew-Cucumber Raita

Excelsior Chardonnay, Robertson

 

First Course

Grilled Moroccan Spiced Quail, Chickpea Puree, and Wilted Greens

Side By Side Chenin Blanc Tasting

Raats Original Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region

Raats Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region

 

Second Course

Tunisian Olive Oil Poached Butterfish, Chorizo Bobotie, and Crispy Okra

Side By Side Chenin Blanc Tasting

Raats Original Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region

Raats Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region

 

Salad

Watermelon and Tomato Salad, Sherry Vinaigrette

Kanonkop Kadette, Stellenbosch

 

Entrée

Ostrich, Herb Pasta, and Spring Vegetable Medley

Kanonkop Pinotage, Stellenbosch

 

Dessert

Chocolate Chile Molten Cake and Drunken Cherries

Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon, Robertson

 

Jiko – The Cooking Place presents the Wines of Warwick Estates

Thursday, May 16, 2013; 6:00pm

 

Reception…Sunset Lounge

Braised Curried Tomatoes, Toasted Millet Bunny Chow, and Gooseberry Marmalade

Rooibos Honey Smoked Quail, Compressed Orange, and Sweet Potato

Cinnamon-Dashi Oysters and Chili Pearls

Warwick “Professor Black”, Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch

 

First Course

Berber Spiced Duck Confit, Potato Gaufrettes, and Mango Sambal

Warwick “Old Bush Vines” Pinotage, Stellenbosch

 

Second Course

Creamy Zellwood Corn Soup with Jumbo Lump Crab

Warwick “The First Lady” Chardonnay, Stellenbosch

 

Salad

California Delta Asparagus, Exotic Greens, and Wild Mushrooms

Warwick “Three Cape Ladies”, Stellenbosch

 

Entrée

Ember Charred Buffalo, Curried Lentil Puree, and Roasted Vegetables

Villafonte “Series C”, Paarl

 

Dessert

Cape Town Malva Pudding

Warwick Estate “The First Lady” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch

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My Favorite Restaurants At Walt Disney World

We haven’t really focused much on food specifically and thought it was about time we explored this huge part of most guest’s Walt Disney World vacations. Dining in the parks and at the resorts ranges from Uncrustables to hot dogs, sandwiches and other typical park fare like burgers and fries to some of the finest dining in the world. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite signature restaurants at WDW. If you have a Tables in Wonderland membership you are able to save 20% (with an automatic 18% gratuity added back in) at these restaurants. The other great feature of the TiW card is that it allows you complimentary valet parking at the Disney resorts with validation showing you used your Tables card on your dinner receipt.

5. Todd English’s Bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin) The restaurant sits on the lower level of the Dolphin at the bottom of the escalator. The decor reminds me of an upscale club or bar, but more subdued with subtle lighting and lots of blue accents. I’ve only been here once back in November of 2009, but the food was fabulous. My mom and my brother treated me to dinner for my 30th birthday, and it was amazing. The seafood seemed so fresh and the service was great. We started the night off with the zooberry (a twist on the blueberry martini). They were so fresh the perfect way to begin our meal. We shared the beet salad and the classico flatbread for appetizers. For an entree I had the teppan seared jumbo sea scallops, which were magnificent and perfectly cooked. The dessert was a lemon meringue pavlova and was complimentary for my birthday, which made it taste even better.

4. Flying Fish (Disney’s Boardwalk Inn) Situated on the Boardwalk, Flying Fish is decorated with whimsical fish flying through the air with parachutes. The resort’s atmosphere reflecting early 20th century seaside fun with rollercoasters and ferris wheels is carried through the restaurant as well. The first time I experienced the restaurant it was August of 2009, and more recently I returned in February of this year. So, the two times I’ve been here I ordered the same exact things for appetizer and entree and was so full that I didn’t get dessert. The cheese platter changes in the featured cheeses, but was great both times. I guess I really like the scallops in the Epcot Resort area because I have ordered the oak-grilled Maine diver scallops each time. Scallops aren’t even my favorite seafood, but I absolutely love them from here.

3. Citrico’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) Featuring a Mediterranean theme, Citrico’s is located on the second floor of the Grand Floridian between Mizner’s and Victoria & Albert’s. The decor and the menu reflect the influences of Italy and Greece and are both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing. Of the restaurants on my top five list, this is the one I have been to the most, having been more than five times, and most recently in the beginning of March. Each time I have been the food has been absolutely fabulous. One of my favorite seasonal appetizers, which they didn’t have this last time, was the gateau of crab. This past time we had a nice cheese and cracker amuse bouche to start our palates on our dining adventure. I tried something new for my entree and was not the least bit disappointed. The Madeira-braised short ribs were so tender, they were falling apart. Wild mushroom ragout and trofie pasta accompany the short ribs along with a truffle creme fraiche. For dessert I did repeat one of my favorites in the seasonal berry gratin with a champagne – Grand Marnier sabayon. It was just as incredible as when I had first had it in November of 2010.

2. Jiko – The Cooking Place (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) This is the restaurant I have honestly been craving the most above all others on property. I love the atmosphere here with the gorgeous blue ceiling, setting sunset and beautiful (fake) birds flying overhead. It is an eclectic menu and I like to try different things each time I go. The first time I went was in July of 2008, when I first stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I remember having the ostrich filet as an appetizer and the Kenyan coffee barbecue braised short ribs (another favorite of mine apparently). They were both so tender and falling apart in my mouth as I took each bite. On subsequent visits I have had the Taste of Africa bread and dipping sauce service, kalamata olive flatbread, duck and stonefruit salad, oak grilled filet mignon with mac and cheese, and seared barbarie duck breast. I can say that each of the three times I’ve been, the last time being in November of 2010, the service and the quality of the food have been nothing short of fantastic.

1. Victoria & Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) Ah, la creme de la creme. Victoria & Albert’s is a 13 time AAA Five Diamond award winning restaurant. I’ve only been here once, and would love to go back if someone else is paying. This is not to say that the price isn’t worth it (I want to say it was about $475 for two with the wine pairing and gratuity included AFTER my Tables in Wonderland discount), it is. I’d just prefer to have someone else pay, and I’d like to do chef’s table next time. But I digress. This meal is easily within my top five, if not top three meals I’ve ever eaten. The service was beyond impeccable. Situated on the second floor of the Grand Floridian, Victoria & Albert’s is hidden behind large wooden doors with frosted windows. The decor is a refined elegance not to be found elsewhere at a Disney restaurant. It is one of only a few Five Diamond restaurants in the state of Florida. I went with my mom for my 29th birthday present in 2008 and it was an incredible dining experience. There were amuse bouche, palate cleansers, about seven courses, coffee, dessert, and the aforementioned wine pairing to go with each course. This is most definitely a culinary experience, not simply a meal. You need every bit of the three plus hours they warn you about when you book. One of my favorite aspects of the pre-arrival communications with the restaurant is the conversation about your allergies, likes and dislikes. This is so the restaurant can customize your menu to you so you are not being served something for hundreds of dollars that you do not enjoy. I don’t recall the specific menu items, as there were so many, but there wasn’t one I didn’t like. I’ve included a picture of the general menu for the evening. Each guest also receives a personalized copy of their menu to take home, which I am unable to locate at the moment.

 

Have you been to any of these restaurants? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you have any favorites?

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