We started out our unforgettable dining experience at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in the hotel's lounge, Peacock Alley. We had to try a cocktail there like no other: The Peacock Egg. So, this delightful concoction is a basically a Gin Lavender Lemonade drink, frozen into the shape of an egg. You sip the liquid through a hole in the egg, which is lit from below. You must try this at least once! Another delicious drink in Peacock Alley was the Waldorf Special, an amazing rum and pineapple martini. Peacock Alley also has several small plates and appetizers, and is a great place to hang out with a glass of wine and enjoy the piano music.
Next, we visited Bull & Bear, the hotel's signature steakhouse. Our first apps were Steak Tartar with Ground Mustard and Tarragon and Cheese and Sausage Crackers. Not only was the presentation of these apps delightful, but so was the flavor. The
tartar was probably the best we have tried, and the cracker was so light. The Tuna "Ring Around the Rosey" is a wondrous platter of tuna prepared three different ways: Tuna Tartar, Smoked Tuna and Tuna Confit. The delicious preparations - we liked all three! - were paired with a sorbet of water from the Atlantic Ocean. The sorbet brought all the various sea flavors to life even more.
The starter you must try at Bull & Bear is the Pasta Explosion. The pasta is so light because of a unique phyllo-dough type pasta that is prepared in-house. Inside is a mousse made with the highest quality prosciutto from Spain, paired with Parmigiano Reggiano. The tiny pastas each make for a perfect bite.
On to entrees: The New York Strip is unlike any strip steak you have seen. It is so thick, you would think it was Filet Mignon. Bull & Bear gets its steak from a butcher in the Midwest who selects only the top five percent of cows. And you can tell it is a top quality piece of meat, with its delicious flavor and simple preparation.
We also had Florida Black Grouper, which is in season. The grouper may have been the most perfectly-cooked piece of fish I have had: not overdone and crispy skin. But the flavors that are paired with the fish is what I will remember most. The light almond milk sauce (prepared dairy-free for me) and walnut oil atop the quinoa accompaniment added a different flavor profile to the fish, which I really loved.
We had to try the hand-cut French Fries, which are cut in house, fried in beef tallow, and paired
with house-made aioli and ketchup. Can I just say the accompaniments are perfect? The French Fries themselves were crispy, but too salty for my taste.
There are so many amazing desserts to choose from at Bull & Bear, including Beignets. Because we were so stuffed, we opted for something lighter: The Lemon. I'm so glad we did. You cannot really understand how unique and flavorful this dessert is until you try it for yourself. Waldorf Astoria chefs basically developed a way for guests to enjoy all parts of the lemon. The candied lemon rind is delicious, as is the lemon curd. The lemon sorbet is probably the lightest sorbet I've had.
Obviously, we were beyond pleased and impressed with this dinner. The atmosphere is incredible, as is the service. A team of servers takes care of your every need. I also appreciated how the chefs prepared special foods for my gluten-free and dairy-free needs. So many people have food allergies, and this is one restaurant that makes a variety of delectable options available for those with special diets.
Are you looking for an unforgettable dining experience this weekend? I promise that you will find that at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek's Orlando Food & Wine Weekends, which run through November 9.
The two fabulous properties have created unique culinary events that complement the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. However, after dining at the Waldorf's Bull & Bear restaurant, I can tell you that the food that these expertly-trained chefs whip up - and the personalized treatment you receive - will be far beyond the crowded experience of the Food & Wine Festival.
Every weekend, the Waldorf and Hilton Bonnect Creek features the events below and more. Pick and choose which ones you would like to try, and then go back next weekend for something different.
Bar du Chocolat and Champagne Tasting: choose from a buffet of carefully made chocolate treats from Waldorf Astoria Orlando's world-class pastry team, using recipes from all over the world. These chocolate conocotions are paried with an extensive selection of fine champagnes.
A Taste of Waldorf Astoria: try exclusive tasting menus and wine pairings from master chefs in the Waldorf Astoria brand.
II Cibo Della Vita: New tasting menus and wine pariings every weekend from the kitchen of La Luce by Donna Scala at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
Pea Ringu - The Art of Sushi Pairing: the outstanding culinary team at Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge explore perfect pariings for its outstanding sushi dishes, includign beer, sake, and wine.
Royal Tea: Guests can savor to tea, house-made pastries, and tea sandwiches in the wonderful, fun environment that is Peacock Alley.
For more details on these events, visit www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com/food-wine or www.hiltonbonnetcreek.com/food-wine.