Last Friday, I met up with fellow bloggers Nora and Nick from Extra WDW Magic and newlyweds (Congrats!) Melissa and Danny of The Hyperion Papers for a cocktail at Todd English’s bluezoo at the Dolphin Resort. Thanks to working in Downtown Orlando and an I-4 traffic jam (naturally, especially when you’re trying to get somewhere on time!), I was around 30 minutes late for our meet-up.
Everyone had already settled in with a cocktail, so I took a look at the menu and ordered a “One Night in Mexico.” While I didn’t snap a photo (I was less there not for blogging but for conversation), you can see Nora’s here, as it’s become a favorite of hers. The cocktail features Del Maguey “Minero” Mezcal, Hum Liqueur, Pomegranate Juice, Fresh Lime, and Agave Nectar, which “come together beautifully with the addition of mole bitters and bittermens habanero shrub.” It was a really fantastic cocktail, and one I’m sure I’ll order again.
Because I wasn’t anticipating food or food photos, I left my real camera at home. But, when several food lovers come together in a restaurant, food is going to happen! That being said, I apologize in advance for the iPhone photos. We started with the Crab Nachos and the Mushroom and Fontina Flatbread.
The Crab Nachos feature lump crab, black beans, pico de gallo and cherry peppers. The nachos were very good, but became a bit tricky to pull apart as the cheese cooled. Still, I would order these again, and I think Matt would enjoy them as well. The portion size is plenty for two to share and even make a meal out of.
We also ordered the Mushroom and Fontina Flatbread. The flatbread is topped with Roasted Mushrooms, Fontina Cheese, Mushroom Cream and Calabrian Pepper Vinaigrette and Baby Spinach. The greens were a bit heavy-handed on their seasoning and dressing, leading a a dish that was a bit saltier than anticipated. I really did enjoy the overall flavor, and while I know Matt would skip this due to the mushrooms, I wouldn’t hesitate to order the dish again.
Chef Ryan and Chad also surprised us with a few more tastings. The Pigs Tail Terrine with Apple Butter, Red Pepper Jam, and Andouille Sausage (the thin, orange strip in the middle) was probably my favorite item of the evening. My understanding is that this is served as part of the Charcuterie Board. We were provided thin, crispy slices of Ciabatta as well to enjoy with this dish. I couldn’t get over how delicate the terrine was, and I HAVE to get Matt over so he can experience this too!
The Pork Belly Banh Mi features a Korean BBQ Glaze, Pickled Carrots, Cilantro, and Yucca Fries. It’s served on a house-made pumpernickel bread. This was another hit for us.
The pork belly melted away, and the Korean BBQ glaze complimented the meat nicely. The pickled carrots added a fantastic, vinegary punch that helped cut through the richness of the pork, and the green onions and cilantro brightened it with that pop of “green” flavor.
The Yucca Fries had a mild sweetness and had a light, crispy exterior and piping hot, soft interior. They are dusted with garlic powder that compliments the sweetness with a savory bite.
Finally, we received an item which I believe is from the entree menu, the Tasmanian Salmon. It’s a Citrus Poached Salmon served with Forbidden Rice, and Parsnip Puree. It is also accompanied by Candied Ginger Lime and a Blood Orange Gel. Now as many of you might know, I’m not a fan of cooked fish, and salmon is one in particular as it always tastes “fishy” to me. I did, however, give this a taste, and it was very mild, but I still prefer salmon raw. While I personally wouldn’t order it, I think salmon fans would enjoy this dish, as it was probably some of the best I’ve tasted.
I had nothing short of an amazing time with Nick, Nora, Melissa and Danny at bluezoo. The staff was wonderful and accommodating, and we were well taken care of. Todd English’s bluezoo certainly does not disappoint, and it is quickly becoming a favorite restaurant on property. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic evening, and I can’t wait to do it again!