Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coral Reef Restaurant (Epcot)

   With all the wonderful dining locations in Epcot I'm going to place a spotlight on a hidden gem: Coral Reef Restaurant. It is literally hidden near the back of The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion in Epcot's FutureWorld.

   Just walk around to the back of the splashing fountain pictured above and you will find the entrance to Coral Reef.

   Upon entering the lobby, you will feel as if you have been immersed into a breathtaking underwater city. The atmosphere is remarkable. After checking in at the podium, you will more than likely stand until you are called for your table, as there are very few seats available in the lobby. If you have any table requests (such as along the aquarium wall) they should be done at this time.

   Once you have been called by your host, you will be taken to the dining room. It is a dimly-lit, intimate dining room with an entire wall dedicated as an aquarium, giving you a unique experience in addition to a wonderful meal.

   There are three seating levels, two being slightly raised on platforms, allowing all guests to have an excellent view of the sea-life.

   Your waiter or waitress will bring you a menu along with a Coral Reef Fish Guide. In this guide you will find names, pictures and descriptions for the sea creatures inhabiting the large tank along the wall. This is a fantastic way to pass the time while waiting for your meal and if you have children they will love trying to spot each one listed.

    Below is a pic of a giant sea turtle swimming down to visit to some fans. One thing you may want to take into consideration if you request a table next to the aquarium wall: Be prepared to have visitors while you dine. I saw numerous children allowed to wander over and squeeze themselves in between tables and up to the glass for a peek and also some eager adults with flashing cameras hovering over dining guests that were awkwardly trying to finish their meal.

   Coral Reef has a variety of appetizing entrees on their menu, including: Grilled Mahi-Mahi, Roasted Pork Chop, Rainbow Trout, New York Strip Steak, Caesar Salad, Seared Chicken Breast, Scottish Salmon and Lobster Ravioli.

   Pictured above is the Lobster Ravioli with rock shrimp, lobster cream sauce and fresh tarragon.

   This is the Grilled New York Strip Steak with Roasted Dill Potatoes (substituted for the Horseradish Smashed Potatoes). The steak was perfection.

   And let's not forget dessert! By far, the most requested is Coral Reef's signature dessert: The Chocolate Wave. The Chocolate Wave is a warm chocolate-truffle cake with cream filling. It is served atop sweet raspberry sauce and alongside fresh raspberries. Freshly whipped cream topped with a sugar-candy Mickey head is another bonus to this dessert. The cake is finished off with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and Mickey-shaped edible-confetti, making this truly a magical treat.

  If you want to try a deliciously decadent dessert, then order the Cheesecake Napoleon with fruit compote, fresh cream and mint.

   And for the adults, there is the Bailey's and Jack Daniels Mousse (contains alcohol) topped with a Pirouette wafer cookie. Need I say more? Even Captain Jack was happy with this dessert. :D

*Reservations are highly recommended for any and all Walt Disney World Table Service Restaurants. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE or by visiting