Thursday, March 28, 2013

Carthay Circle Restaurant - dinner - March 23, 2013

Our last visit had been in July 2012, so we finally had a chance to go back to the restaurant.  We were seated in the Hollywood room, where there are pictures of various Oscar winners for Disney films.  I was pleasantly surprised that our table ended up being right across from my favorite picture in that room.

The husband and I perused the menu and had a difficult time deciding what to have for dinner as there were many items to choose from.  We finally made our selections with our server, and bread was brought out to the table.  It's always nice to have fresh sourdough bread.  We'd tried the signature fried biscuits on our previous visits, and while we like them, we're not crazy enough about them to order them on every visit.  We'd probably be more inclined to order them if we were there with people who hadn't visited the restaurant before so they could try them.

For a starter, the husband had the warm artichokes tart.  He enjoyed the dish, and he especially enjoyed the blood orange vinaigrette, though when I had a bite of it, I agreed with him that the pastry wasn't as flaky as it could have been.

Warm Artichokes Tart - Redwood Hills goat milk cheddar, baby spinach and a blood orange vinaigrette

For my starter, I'd known what I was going to have before I'd even gotten there.  On my previous visit, I'd had a chance to try the fire cracker duck wings.  Oh my goodness, were those delicious.  I've been wanting more ever since.  So as much as I was tempted by the seasonal soup (Thai lemongrass squash broth, accented with ginger, coconut and cilantro glazed chicken), I had to have the duck wings.  They were every bit as delicious as I had remembered - tender meat and wonderful flavor with a nice kick from the sriracha.  I asked the server what kind of sriracha sauce was used in the dish, and she confirmed that it was "rooster sauce", the best and most popular brand of sriracha chili sauce.  (She also mentioned that they had a bottle of it at the servers' station, so if you want some as a condiment to any other dish, it's definitely available.)  I was amused that the Disney Parks Blog this week published the recipe for the duck wings.

Fire cracker duck wings - soy, lime and sriracha chile sauce.

For an entree, the husband ordered the short rib raviolis.  He very much enjoyed the dish and said it was the perfect serving size.  I had considered ordering that myself, so I was happy to just have a taste of the ravioli.  The meat filling was delicious.

Short rib raviolis sauteed in sage brown butter, with portobello mushrooms, sprouts and butternut squash.

For my entree, I had decided on the tiger prawns.  They were nicely cooked with good texture, and the small potatoes made a nice accompaniment, and of course, the sauce was wonderful.

Tiger prawns on a broth of fingerling potatoes, leeks, applewood bacon and thyme.

We perused the dessert menu and noticed that while the regular menu had been changed to the spring edition, the dessert menu was still listed as the winter menu.

The husband chose the lemon pound cake, which he enjoyed.

Toasted lemon pound cake with fresh marinated blueberries, lemon curd cream and Tahitian vanilla chantilly.

For my dessert, I chose the pear pie.  I liked the pear filling, but the crust was a bit more dense than I had expected, so it was very filling, and I didn't end up having much of it.

Warm winter pear country pie with salted caramel ice cream.

Overall, we very much enjoyed our dinner.  Our server was very friendly and helpful, and we ended up chatting with her at various times throughout dinner.  (She even relayed a story about someone who had recently been introduced to the sriracha sauce and loved it but who found out the hard way that sriracha sauce by itself does not make a good spaghetti sauce.  [Sriracha sauce added to tomato sauce, however, is wonderful.]).  Hopefully, another eight months won't have to pass before our next visit.

(Right click on the menu and open as a link for a larger version.)

I'd noticed several weeks ago in looking at the menu outside the restaurant that a new tasting menu had been added.  I'm told that it started in February, and the current plan is to change the tasting menu every couple of months.  Note that you can't order any of the items off the tasting menu a la carte - they are only available as part of the tasting menu prix fixe.

(Right click on the menu and open as a link for a larger version.)

Here's my review of our dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant on opening night.