Rich: After the requisite rest in our Disneyland Hotel room, we headed out to Downtown Disney. First stop was World of Disney to browse and shop. We found an adorable Lion King stuffed toy and a 16-month Disneyland calendar.
We strolled around Downtown Disney some more, and then headed to Catal for our 8 PM dinner reservation.
Kathy: We chose to have the birthday dinner Saturday night, because for Rich’s actual birthday, we would be in the parks and didn’t want to spend park time at a lengthy sit down meal.
Rich: Since we had a reservation, we headed to the second floor via elevator and checked in at the hostess desk. We were soon led to a cute, round tower room and seated at a 4-top by the window. We had a great view of Downtown Disney that only became better as the sun set.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Chicory Lettuce, Blue Cheese and Peppered Sherry Vinegar
Mussels, Shrimp, Clams, Roasted Chicken, Chorizo de Bilbao, Saffron Bomba Rice, and Peas
Roasted Chicken, Chorizo de Bilbao, Saffron Bomba Rice, Peas, and Saffron Aïoli
Ercavio Tempranillo Red Blend, Spain 2015
Expressive aromas of dark fruit: black cherry, plum and blueberry mixed with a pleasant minerality, hints of cedar, vanilla, licorice, spice and espresso. Medium bodied, yet dense, this wine offers ripe tannins under a complex blanket of black fruit. The acidity is well balanced and the finish is long and velvety.
The service started out nicely with our server showing up quickly to review the menu and the wine list. He took our food order and suggested a nice red blend wine for us. Unfortunately, after that, we hardly ever saw him again.
Kathy: The wine turned out to be a really good choice — the best thing our server did to add to our meal.
Rich: We were served the appetizer, but the wine had not been served. We waited for a while until I finally got the attention of another server and asked him to find our server and have him serve our wine. Before long, our server sheepishly showed up with the wine, making some excuse about how he forgot about it.
Kathy: I had been waiting for the wine to present a birthday card to Rich.
Rich: But to the food, wine, and atmosphere — these were all lovely. The room we were in had a limited number of tables, plenty of windows, and a soft undertone of enjoyable music. And the food and wine were superb.
Kathy: The music, view, and overall atmosphere was special.
Rich: The bacon wrapped dates appetizer was a wonderful combination of sweet and smoky, and the blue cheese created a nice balance to the other flavors. Kathy gave me a beautiful (and truthful) “Happy 29th Again” birthday card that graced the table for the rest of the meal.
It is rare to find paellas on a menu (we’ve seen them at Jose Andres’ Jaleo here in Las Vegas too), so had to order them. Kathy had the traditional with fabulous seafood. I had the chicken (would have had the traditional, but I’m allergic to shrimp). Both were amazing. They were served in hot cast iron pans right out of the oven. The rice was perfectly cooked with a light glaze of tomato/saffron sauce.
The flavors were so well crafted. The chicken was nicely cooked, served in two large pieces that had to be cut. I would have preferred already-cut chicken, but it was delicious. For Kathy, everything was tasty, although the shrimp were a little bland.
The wine was a perfect pairing for the appetizer and the entrees. Overall, the food and wine were excellent. It’s too bad that the service was a bit lacking.
Kathy: We were a bit disappointed in the service – not the usual “Happy Birthday from Disney” and inattentive, but it was a busy Saturday night. We were too full to finish the Paella and this was when we were missing staying at our usual Residence Inn where we could have taken the leftovers and heated them up the next day. Oh well, we’ll have to return to Catal when we can take the leftovers.
Rich: We finally got to see our server again when he threw a dessert menu on our table. When we told him we were too full for dessert, he grunted, returning with the check which he once again threw on the table.
Kathy: I was oblivious to this – too busy enjoying the view out the window.
Rich: The tip was small, but the dinner was otherwise incredible. The location was romantic and quiet with a great view of Downtown Disney. We will return when the time is right.
Downtown Disney Magician Jumps in for Photo Op
View of Catal Bar in Downtown Disney from our Upstairs Window Seating as sun sets and lights turn on
Rich Peruses the Menu
Kathy Smiles but Secretly Waiting Impatiently for the Wine
The Bacon-Wrapped Dates
The Wine Arrives
Time for the Birthday Card
Kathy’s Classic Paella
Rich’s Chicken Paella