It was our first visit to the Disneyland Resort and our first stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa using our Disney Vacation Club points. Let’s just say that I have many things to write about following our trip. But the first thing I couldn’t wait to tell you about was our dinner at Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel. We were staying for three nights so we had reservations for dinner on our last night.
Napa Rose is an upscale restaurant offering California cuisine and an amazing wine list. To be honest, it was one of the few times in my life that I had a difficult time choosing what to eat – not because I couldn’t find anything that was tempting, but because it ALL sounded amazing! Our waiter was extremely helpful, informative and knowledgable. He told us that he was also a chef and sommelier so he was ready for any questions we might have.
What quickly caught my eye on the menu was “The Vintner’s Table.” The Vintner’s Table is a prix-fixe, four-course tasting menu “inspired by today and our ever changing seasonal flavors.” As such, the offerings change.
DIStracted Tip: A word of caution – the tasting menu is pricey ($100). You can also add a flight of four wines, a full glass of wine to accompany each course ($45). Prices are subject to change.
Since we were on our first visit and it would probably be a long time until our next (we usually visit Walt Disney World Resort), we decided to splurge. My husband, son and I all decided to order “The Vintner’s Table.” My husband and I also opted for the wine flight. My 13 year old son ordered a Roy Rogers (coke flavored with cherry). Our wait staff was amazing and we felt spoiled the entire time.
Once we had ordered, I realized I didn’t get a picture of the menu so I could remember what was contained in each course. I asked the waiter if he could bring a menu back for me. He went a step further. He brought me a menu to keep and had one of the chefs sign it for me! I wish I could remember the waiter’s name, because he was fantastic. Disney magic at its best!
First Course: Market Brandywine Tomato Salad Accented with Fra Mani Rosemary Ham, Micro Rye Crouton, Vidalia Onions and Buttermilk Dressing; Wine: Chene Bleu, Rose, Cotes du Ventoux, Rhone Valley, France 2013
From the first course, the mood was set. We were in for one of the best meals of our lives. The tomato salad was fresh and crisp and the dressing was perfect. The sommelier at Napa Rose must be a genius because the wine was a wonderful accompaniment. I’m sorry that I don’t have a picture of this course. We were too busy diving in to enjoy!
Second Course: Sauteed Atlantic Skate Wing with Calamari Quills, Squid Ink Gnocchi and Shrimp Saffron Broth; Wine: Grgich Hills Estate, Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
The second course was my favorite of the four, although I loved all of them. But this one was a stand-out for me. The skate wing was prepared perfectly and all three of us enjoyed it very much. The squid ink gnocchi was odd-looking because of its color and my son was hesitant to try it. My husband and I didn’t hesitate. The shrimp saffron broth was so tasty that we used bread to soak up as much as possible. Our plates were soon empty! The wine for this course was good as well. I am not usually a chardonnay drinker. It’s usually a bit too dry for my taste. I tend to choose semi-dry to semi-sweet/sweet, like a reisling. But this chardonnay was more semi-dry so I enjoyed it.
Third Course: Twin Falls Idaho “Boneless Pork” New York Cut, Corn Gratin, Morel Mushrooms, Asparagus and Red Velvet Apricot Sauce; Wine: Sapphire Hill Vineyards, Syrah, Russian River Valley 2007
The third course was excellent as well. The pork was juicy, the sauce was light and not over-powering. I love mushrooms so it made this course even more enjoyable. The wine was excellent. The syrah was tasty, with just a hint of fruitiness to it.
Fourth Course: Blueberry Semifreddo, Family Tree Farms White Nectarines and Ice Wine Gelee; Wine: Royal Tokaji, Mad Cuvee, Late Harvest, Hungary 2012
You would think that by the fourth course, we would have been too full for dessert. We managed! This was a fresh, summer dessert that we all enjoyed. My son’s dessert also had “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate along with a lit candle since we were celebrating his 13th birthday (a few days after the fact). The wine that accompanied it was fantastic. I love a late harvest wine as a dessert wine. Being half Hungarian, I got a kick out of the fact that it was a Hungarian wine as well.
The evening was so enjoyable. Each course was timed perfectly. We never felt rushed from one course to the next. As each course was presented, the waitstaff or chef staff explained how it was prepared. Our waiter presented each wine course with an overview of the wine and why it was chosen.
DIStracted Tip: “The Vintner’s Table” changes on a regular basis, but my guess is that the quality and presentation will continue to be top-notch. The Executive Chef is Andrew Sutton, who also happens to be the Executive Chef at Club 33, the exclusive membership-only restaurant in Disneyland.