Today we’re taking you along with us to the height of luxury in Disney World Dining.
Book a babysitter for the littlest kiddos and put on your “going out” clothes, because we are heading to the land where chocolates are served with white gloves and truffles abound! We’re dining at Victoria and Albert’s!
This high end, “Signature Dining Experience” is located inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and it’s so upscale that it even has a dress code and age limit. Men are required to wear dinner jackets with dress pants and women must wear a dress, skirt, or pantsuit and guests must be at least 10 years old to dine here!
The menu can rotate, especially with the seasons, but Disney describes it as “modern American cuisine crafted with exquisite ingredients from around the world.” It gets a whopping four $$$$ from Disney’s website which means dinner here is over $60, and we’ll go ahead and warn you that you will spend well over that $60… .
They have three different dining experiences here. The Chef’s Table is situated right in the kitchen (which we’ve enjoyed a number of times!) The Chef’s Table hosts one party at a time, allows guests to interact with the sous chef, and offers a front-row look into the bustling kitchen.
The Queen Victoria’s Room seats a maximum of 8 guests across 4 tables in a more intimate setting than the Main Dining Room. It even has a working fireplace that is nice and toasty to sit next to!
But this time around, we dined in the Main Dining Room. There are only 2 seatings per night, so even this main room is still super-exclusive – which means you should try and snag that Advance Dining Reservation early, friends (like frantically clicking refresh on the reservation page right at 7AM on the dot, early! It books up FAST!).
The word we find ourselves thinking over and over when we visit Victoria and Albert’s is “FANCY.”
The dining room features small tables, intricate décor, muted colors, fresh flowers, and white tablecloths.
Each table will have a waiter and an assistant waiter to tend to them for the evening. On our visit, we had the wonderful Malek as our waiter and Christina as our assistant waiter. They were so attentive and open to wonderful conversation all night. It was a treat to hear about both of their journeys working at Disney World.
To add to the experience, there is a live harpist playing most evenings in the Main Dining Room! She played everything from modern hits to Disney classics and we were cheering for her by the end of the night! She went from Coldplay’s “Clocks” to “When You Wish Upon A Star” to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” like a straight-up BOSS. Seriously — she was aaahmazing.
And because you might be as fascinated by restrooms in classy joints as we are, it’s even an experience to “take a trip to the loo” at Victoria & Albert’s. Meaning we were escorted by the waitstaff — not unlike a princess — to the potty! It’s in the restaurant and right down a hall, but being walked to the restroom was still…an experience!
Another touch we loved? Ladies get a cushion for their purses or, in our case, cell phones! Our phones have never felt so classy in all their lives! 😉
Enough about the phone pillows, rocking harpists, and fancy potties — let’s EAT!
We started off with an iced tea and leave it to Victoria & Albert’s to even make iced tea fancy. What’s the worst part about iced tea? The ice melting and diluting your tea, right? So at Victoria & Albert’s, each iced tea is served with iced tea ice cubes! The waiter left a small carafe of tea for refills, but as the ice melted, he brought out new glasses of fresh tea cubes! Such a nice touch.
If that wasn’t the height of luxury — we briefly took our straw out of our cup, and a STRAW REST appeared as if from nowhere. We were today years old when we found out (1) straw rests exist and (2) we need more of these in our lives!
They also have Sulawesi Island Coffee by Joffrey’s, Tea, and a full menu of cocktails or mocktails if you are not drinking. Our main server was named Malek and he said he came up with most of the mocktails himself for younger guests to enjoy. They were so popular, they were added to the full drink menu! Soooo we had a celebrity as our waiter, NBD.
We also tried out the Cosmopolitan which was served with a Morello cherry on this dainty (and sharp…whoops) skewer.
What’s a menu you won’t find in most places? How ’bout a FULL water menu in case you’ve ever wondered what an iceberg tastes like (spoiler alert: it tastes like regular water).
We got regular old water because we decided to put our drink funds towards the optional wine pairing. Each pour is smaller than a traditional glass, but our waiter said you typically end up with about 3-4 glasses by the end of your meal.
Chef’s Degustation Menu typically serves an 8-10 course menu with “enhancements available” (you’ll see why the amount of courses gets dicey later…we lost count).
Don’t be daunted by 8-10 courses. They’re small portions with a focus on tasting and enjoying the foods.
Our assistant waiter served us freshly baked, warm bread throughout the meal.
They bake all the breads fresh in house and they are served by your assistant waiter. So don’t expect to order another basket for the ole table! You could probably ask for more if you wanted, but we tried to make our first piece last — which is especially difficult when it came with a perfect quenelle of unsalted butter (You can kind of see it but…we ate it. Whoops!).
We also couldn’t get over the Maldon sea salt served in a Himalayan salt cup to season your butter. We resisted the urge to lick the cup just to prove it was really made of salt. This is a classy joint, after all. We really shouldn’t be allowed in nice places. 😉
We may have warned to not fill up too much on bread in the past, but TBH, we enjoyed the breads way too much to let them go to waste.
First Course (Amuse-Bouche)
The first course — or “amuse-bouche” – is meant to warm up your palate for the meal ahead. During our visit, they served Imperial Caviar with Alaskan King Crab.
It was served with a PEARL spoon since metal can alter the flavor of the caviar.
The crab was tasty – very mild, cold, and fresh and the caviar tasted…mostly salty. We don’t presume to be caviar experts, so our review tapped out at, “It’s lil’ fishy eggs. They pop in your mouth if you like that sort of thing?”
We aren’t the biggest fans of caviar (obviously!), but if you are, Victoria & Albert’s offers an enhancement to this course that lets you sample three more types of caviar for a mere $295! The International Caviar Tasting includes French Siberian Osetra, American Snake River White Sturgeon, and Royal Platinum caviars.
This first course also kicked off our wine pairings for the night with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.
The second course was New Zealand Langoustine with Passion Fruit Nuoc Cham. In case you need that broken down (like we did), a langoustine is kind of like if you could mix a lobster with a shrimp. It’s served with a fruity Vietnamese sweet and sour sauce.
It was served cold and the tart passion fruit really came through. We had already had a stellar langoustine with a green onions sauce on a previous visit, so that one was hard to beat, but this version sure put up a fight!
This course was paired with Inama Vulcaia Fume from Veneto.
The third course brought along more seafood – and we weren’t complaining! It was Glacier 51 Toothfish and Nantucket Scallops with Dill and Potato Glass. Glacier 51 Toothfish is found 2,000 meters below sea level in the sub-Antarctic. So, it’s kind of a big deal. 😉 We tipped our hat to the brave fishermen and women who helped get this delicacy to our table and dug in!
The fish was very mild and delicious. That potato glass was really cool though. It melted on our tongues and tasted…like potatoes! The dill flower on top added a little extra boost of flavor and color.
We opted for the extra enhancement to this course (which was really just an extra course). It was Wild Turbot with Toasted Capers and Preserved Lemon for $35.00.
Our waiter told us about how rare these fish are and how they only get one or two at a time flown in fresh from the North Sea. While it was delicious, if we are pitting fancy fish against fancy fish, we would have to opt for the Toothfish. Don’t get us wrong, both were tasty, but we thought the Toothfish was very mild and sweet.
This course was paired with De Montille Chateau Puligmy.
Third — and a Half — Course
A rogue short rib made its way out to the table between the third and fourth courses and our server insisted we try it – but it didn’t take much convincing. 😉 The Kobe Short Rib with Romanesco and Cauliflower Puree was served on a hot plate made of stone. The meat was tender and flavorful and the cauliflower was surprisingly a nice addition!
Aside: At this point, we were reminded of how it felt like our waiter was kindly walking alongside us during this dining experience. He was very attentive and was focused on us enjoying the meal instead of rushing us along. During one of the courses, he brought out a wine to pour, but once he got to the table, he changed his mind and went back to pick something he thought would pair better. So this is much more than a meal where you just work down the menu and check the boxes. The service is just as much of a sight to behold as the food.
Back to our regularly scheduled meal with the fourth, or poultry course! Next up was Maple-glazed Manchester Quail with Chestnut Gnocchi and a Soft Boiled Quail Egg.
The quail was tender and tasty, but the sweet sauce was the BOMB. The gnocchi was flavorful and we really could have eaten a whole bowl of it. The quail egg was creamy and similar in texture to the gnocchi, but for us, the gnocchi stole the show here.
This course was paired with Don AntonionNero & Avola Riserva from Sicily.
First off — BREAD BREAK! This time we were served an herbed compound butter.
Bread break over, we were off to the next course. The fifth course was a Texas Wild Boar with Elote and ‘Salsa Verde.’
The boar tasted more like beef than pork to us — it was robust and tender. The meat (and the whole plate) was dusted in a chipotle spice that added an extra kick. The elote, aka seasoned corn, was served two ways: grilled corn on the cobb and a baby corn covered in spices and cheese.
The presentation was beautiful, but we couldn’t get over the precious tiny corn – it was almost too cute to eat (ALMOST). A few glasses of wine and lots of food in, we were struck with every impulse to pick up the baby corn with our bare hands and eat it like a cartoon character (don’t worry, we resisted!). We were already loving this plate but then we tried the salsa verde.
This sauce is normally tomatillos and green chili peppers blended together, but somehow Victoria & Albert’s made this salsa verde taste like they liquefied the best steak fajitas you can imagine and turned them into a fluffy sauce. If we weren’t being our fanciest selves, we may have asked for a bucket of this to go because we NEED this “fajita sauce” in our life.
The boar, corn, and apparently-not-really-fajita sauce were paired with Finca Valpiedra Reserva from Rioja.
Closing in on what we might call the “main course,” number six was an Australian Kobe Style Beef Steakhouse Style. But we decided two types of wagyu beef were better than one, so we went all out with the Miyazaki Japanese Beef Enhancement for $60.00 extra.
Here’s where the truffles come in. Freshly shaved Italian White Truffles, that is. They actually are part of an enhancement you’ll see in a bit that came out with the steak course. Each person received a small dish of shaved truffles and the assistant waiter used fancy tongs to carefully place a few truffle slices on our Australian beef.
It’s hard to say whether it was just the truffles talking, but we loved the Australian beef.
The Miyazaki was served with a mild steak sauce and the meat melted in our mouths. We’ve had this incredibly delicious beef before in Disney World (including the REALLY authentic stuff at Morimoto Asia) and if you are in any way a lover of steak, we highly recommend you taste it at least once.
So the bottom line: they were both crazy good, but truffles won for us by a hair (we know, not a fair fight). Our beef was served with what we would (not so delicately) call chipotle onion rings and a mac and cheese florette. It was basically mega fancy comfort food for sides!
These were both fun sides for fancy steak, but they were going up against some stunners on the plate and didn’t end up being all too memorable.
This course was paired with Croix Canon Saint-Emilion Grand Cru.
Since we had decided early on we were going all out on this meal, we didn’t think twice when we heard there was a pasta upgrade to this course. Here’s where the dish of truffles comes in. Enter the Tagliatelle Pasta with (you guessed it) Italian White Truffles for $95. Yes, we might have blacked out for a few moments at the thought of a hundred dollar TINY bowl of pasta, but guys: WORTH IT.
Our assistant waiter placed the majority of our truffles atop the pasta. We showed as much restraint as humanly possible and ate the crazy good steak FIRST so we could enjoy this after (the struggle is real, guys!). 🙂
So up until this point, it may be clear just how much we were enjoying our meal. None of it compared to this pasta. This was hands down the BEST thing we ate all night (or really, all of our LIVES!). If you add anything to your meal, please let it be this pasta. The bowl was tiny but SO rich that we almost tapped out. But we pressed on for you, dear reader. 😉 It was crazy filling but the rich taste and smell of the truffles were absolutely heavenly both throughout the sauce and on top. If ONLY there was such a thing as a scratch and sniff computer screen!!
Since the truffle life had chosen us, this course was served with truffle brioche bread and truffle butter. (Sensing a theme yet?)
You may think this would have been truffle overkill by now, but think AGAIN. This bread was melt-in-your-mouth incredible and we were all fighting over the truffle butter. How many truffles are too many truffles? Answer: The limit does not exist.
On to the seventh and penultimate course! We started winding down the night with a Selection of Cheese from the Market. Our server rolled up a cheese cart and asked if we had preferences after explaining the selection of cheeses.
We opted for him to make us a plate of everything, per his suggestion, and got to sampling. I wish I could tell you what cheeses these were guys, but honestly, I was still deep in the thralls of a truffle coma. I DO remember the second from the left…it was truffle cheese. 😉 The cheeses were served with dried apricot, grapes on the vine, honeycomb, Marcona almonds, and croutons to make a palette of flavors to mix together.
We tried so many combinations it’s hard to say which cheeses were stand-outs, but we had no trouble clearing our plates so — interpret that as you will.
The cheese course was paired with Triana Pedro Ximemez, “La Gitana,” Seleción Napoleon NV.
For our dessert course, we started off with a dessert not listed on the menu: a Guava Terrarium. It had a thin, crispy sugar top our waiter recommended we crack into the cup with our spoon and eat it all in one or two quick bites.
It was fresh, tasty, and had bits of guava jelly that added extra sweetness. But after our tangy dessert, we moved on to the decadent finale: Trinitario Chocolate Mousse and Avocado Gelato.
The chocolate mousse was served three ways – all delicious – but RICH. It’s hard to see here, but the cone of chocolate was filled with Cajeta, or caramel made from goat’s milk. The avocado gelato was the real dark horse star of this dessert. It was cool, creamy, and paired surprisingly well with the chocolate.
We ordered coffee to go with dessert, and in classic Victoria & Albert’s style, this was no typical coffee. We’ve had it here before, but we were still just as mesmerized by the coffee siphon.
It was already heating up while we were finishing up the cheese course, but once the water boiled, the siphon pulled it up to the top with the grounds. Once all the water made its way to the top, the pressure pulled the fresh coffee down into the pot below!
If two desserts weren’t enough, the waiter brought out a tray of handmade filled chocolates and served them to us with white gloves(!!!).
By this point, we had just about ordered the WHOLE menu and were the only party left in the dining room. Our waiter kindly boxed up our chocolates to go so we could enjoy them on less stuffed stomachs. Since we were dining there for a birthday, the staff kindly offered us a small loaf of Victoria and Albert’s orange date bread to take home as well – which served as a great breakfast the next morning!
Before leaving, each woman received a long-stemmed rose (we ate our hearts out, we deserved it) and each guest was given a copy of the menu for the evening with their names on it.
We rolled out of there stuffed and satisfied.
Victoria and Albert’s is truly an experience. From the décor, to the service, to the exquisite food — this really is a dinner like no other in Disney World (or probably back home, for that matter). With a base price tag of $235 per guest and the optional wine pairing available for $150 extra (not to mention the additional $190 we spent on enhancements like our truffle bonanza!), a trip to V&A’s isn’t your average quick date night out. But if you are willing to cough up some extra change, it can be a perfect place for a special celebration or to dine in a truly unique way. That said, if we have to choose, we still prefer the experience at the Chef’s Table to the Main Dining Room — it’s tough to beat that view and the chance interact with the chefs while they cook! As of now, the Chef’s Table is $15 more, and we love the more relaxed setting. However, the food in ALL of the rooms is divine, so it’s just a matter of whether you’re looking for an interactive or more formal dining experience.
When it comes to fancy dining, it is really tough to beat Victoria and Albert’s. The service is impeccable, the food is gorgeous, and it makes for such a memorable overall experience. So if this is a must-do on your Disney World trip list, make sure to try and grab a reservation 180 days ahead, and don’t forget to pack your fancy pants!
Note: Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table price will increase from $250 to $350 on August 30th, 2020.
Have you visited Victoria and Albert’s before? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!