Coral Reef

It had been at least 5 years since we had dined at Coral Reef so I decided it was time for a return visit.   The restaurant opens at 11:30 and our reservation was for 11:45 so we were one of the first parties to be seated.  When checking in at the desk I asked if we could be seated at a table on the lower level, right next to the aquarium and my request was granted.

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We took many photos during our lunch, way too many to post here.  But here are a few of my favorites…

 

 

 

 

We even got to see a diver in action…

We enjoyed the scenery very much!  But how about the food???

Well, let’s begin by taking a look at their menu…

And their Prix Fixe Menu…

Not wanting any appetizers, we all chose to order from their regular menu.  But first, since this was my daughter’s first meal of the trip, she wanted to celebrate by ordering a Mimosa…

 

I don’t see this listed on their menu but it was just a typical mimosa made with orange juice and probably sparkling wine (and not champagne).  The price was $10.00.

Then while we waited for our entrees to be prepared, our server delivered a complimentary basket of rolls to our table…

These were good.  My bread-loving son ate two of these (leaving the other two for my daughter and me) and then later asked and received a few more.

Now on to our entree selections, starting with my choice…

 

Shrimp and Grits – Sauteed Shrimp, Cheddar Grits, local Corn Succotash, Andouille Sausage, and Creole Spice Emulsion ($30.00)

And a close-up shot…

I was a little disappointed by the main part of this dish.  The shrimp tasted like the usual frozen variety that I can get here at the grocery store in Illinois rather than fresh shrimp from the nearby Florida gulf.  I did though enjoy the cheddar grits and the corn succotash with andouille sausage.

My son had previously enjoyed the steaks that he had had at Coral Reef so he was looking forward to again having their steak…

 

 

Grilled New York Strip Steak topped with Bercy Butter, served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans ($33.00)

He was very disappointed with his steak, as it was filled with fat and gristle.  Consequently he filled up on rolls.

My daughter didn’t have much better luck with her entree choice…

Oven-roasted Chicken Breast served with a Creamy Polenta Cake, Pearl Onions, Swiss Chard, Bacon and Mushrooms ($24.00)

 

She said the chicken was very bland.  On the positive side though, she enjoyed the polenta cake.

So the best part of our meal was by far our shared dessert, which was chosen from this menu…

While I was lobbying for their signature dessert, the Chocolate Wave, I was outvoted by my kids who both wanted this…

 

 

Baileys and Jack Daniel’s Mousse with a Caramel Crisp – $9.00

 

And from a different angle…

 

I had gotten a Birthday button (who’s birthday was actually two days later) and had convinced him to start wearing it today.  Our server had apparently noticed the button and brought our shared dessert decorated with an edible “I am Celebrating!” plaque (made of white chocolate) and a lit candle.  But even without the extra birthday decorations, the presentation of this dessert was pretty with the edible chocolate straws, etc.  More importantly though was how it tasted…and it tasted great!  We all agreed that this dessert was very good and the highlight of our meal.  So our otherwise pretty mediocre meal ended well.

And that just leaves the ratings, which I was a little surprised to find was 4 stars on Trip Advisor.  Yelp reviewers gave Coral Reef 3 1/2 stars.  Based on our entrees only, I would say 3 stars would be a very generous rating.  However, factoring in the atmosphere/scenery and our delicious dessert, I could in good conscious give Coral Reef 3 1/2 stars.  As for their Trip Advisor ranking, Coral Reef ranks #248 of the nearly 3,000 Orlando restaurants reviewed and #98 of the Disney World area restaurants.  

 

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