Christmas Dinner at the Flying Fish
Who: Rich and Kathy
When: December 10, 2005
Where: Flying Fish
Each neon letter spells out F-l-y-i-n-g-F-i-s-h one letter at a time but after a few tries, Rich was able to capture the entire sign.
While finishing off our first glass of wine Friday night, Rich and I looked at each other as if to say, “I’d sure like to have another glass but if we do, we’ll never be able to get up early and drive to the MK – so let’s call to see if the Flying Fish has any openings tomorrow night.” When the answer was “yes,” we poured the second glass of wine and started making our plans for the following evening. And what an evening it was.
But this is so like us. We never really know what we want to do until the night before. And even though we’re only about an hour away, we’re southwest of Disney and the weather can vary quite a bit. Learning from the past, we actually packed a small bag of items – just in case it was colder than we had hoped. As it turned out, the weather was perfect. We dressed in long pants and short sleeved shirts – collared for Rich, as requested for men. I brought along a couple of pairs of shoes – one for walking comfort, and one in case the open toes would feel too cold. Happily for us, we never had to open the bag – we were perfectly dressed just as we were.
The worst part, of course, was the drive there – I-4 is always too busy and the drivers are so terrible. I’ll take LA drivers any day. 🙂 But we made great timing. We pulled into the Boardwalk, valet-parked (Rich has fallen in love with this perk and feels it’s well worth the money), toured the Boardwalk Inn, looking at Christmas decorations.
Realizing we still had a couple of hours before our reservation, we headed over to World Showcase with our first mission: securing a Christmas cookie. We enjoyed the decorations and music along the way until we came across a stand with decorated cookies near Italy. We sat on a bench, split the cookie with a bottle of water, and enjoyed the festive atmosphere but noticed the crowds were gathering in anticipation of the first Candlelight Processional. We headed back to Morocco to catch Mo Rockin (our favorite Epcot band) and to purchase their CD and on to the Yacht and Beach Club to check out their decorations.
The smells coming from the Cape May Buffet were enticing and we were getting hungry but we had to take a quick look around and snap some more photos.
The Yacht Club scene, with aerial tramways and a pop-up tent camper, was our favorite:
We visited our favorite little gift shop and purchased a Yacht Club Christmas ornament for ’05. Each year we buy one new ornament with the year on it. We couldn’t think of a better ornament than one from the Yacht Club to have this honor this year. The Yacht Club is definitely our favorite resort. We stayed there on our first trip to WDW together and one we’ve returned to repeatedly. It’s home. So much so, I realized that the Yacht Club had replaced all of my West Coast fun locales as my home away from home. It was quite an epiphany. Now if we could only live at the Yacht Club … 🙂
By this time, it was getting close to our dinner reservation so we headed over to the Flying Fish. We snapped pictures along the way and just soaked up the atmosphere. This whole Epcot/Boardwalk resort area is just awesome. If Disney World only consisted of this area, we’d still be happy, happy, happy.
Now let’s just get right to the meal. The chef had changed since we had first experienced the Flying Fish with Bob & Larry back in February of ’04 but, if anything, the food was even better. Or was it just that we hadn’t eaten there in so long we didn’t remember just how fabulous it was. Rich has pronounced this not only his favorite Disney restaurant but one of his all-time favorites ever, including fine dining experiences in such places as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and the amazing Stephanie Inn on the Oregon Coast – high praise indeed.
Kathy: “Peeky Toe” Crab Cake with “Flying Fish” Slaw and Ancho-Chile Remoulade
Tasty, as before, but perhaps a bit heavier in consistency.
Rich: Coconut Steamed Mussels – jalapeno soffrito, cilantro, grilled sourdough
The most amazing mussels he’s ever had. Of course, Rich says his favorite mussels are the ones he’s eating at the moment. But these were unusual – with the coconut, jalapeno and cilantro. Kathy tasted them and they may be the reason she wasn’t quite as impressed with the crab cakes this time – the mussels were awesome.
Rich and Kathy: Potato Wrapped Red Snapper with Creamy Leek Fondue and Red Wine Butter Sauce
Benton-Lane Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
What can we say? These were the most amazing culinary sensations we’ve ever had. We think the new chef must have somehow improved on something already incredible. Our waitress, Rebecca (who was superb, btw), said the previous cabernet wine sauce had been replaced with a Merlot/Pinot mix – another reason we ordered a Pinot Noir with the fish – instead of the chef’s recommendation which Rebecca said was a little raisiny in taste.
Warm Apple Cranberry Cobbler with Egg Nog Ice Cream with black coffee
When were first read about the cobbler with egg nog ice cream, we were a little hesitant to order it because of the egg nog. But when Rebecca described it as a little taste of Christmas, we decided to take a chance. And was it heavenly. It was truly a little taste of Christmas in your mouth. We chatted with Rebecca a bit and when she discovered we had to drive back to Tampa, she got us 2 coffees to go – even going the extra mile by running next door to get the to go cups with lids.
Following our simply divine meal, we strolled along the Boardwalk, walked hand-in-hand, soaking up the incredibly festive and romantic atmosphere. We stopped in at Seashore Sweets, one of our traditions, and purchased some Mickey milk chocolate English toffee to take home. We even sat by the pool, sipping our coffees. It was truly an incredible evening and one we will bring out and revisit in our memories over and over again.
Retrieving our car from valet parking, we drove home and somehow after such a magical evening, the trip home flew by quickly. It helped that the traffic was light and that it was dark because somehow that made the magic last all the way home – as if we were just headed to our home resort – which is how we like to think of it.