California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has always been hit or miss for us. We love it for its ambience, Magic Kingdom views, and for a fancy Disney night out. It changes every time we visit so it’s a gamble. We made a late reservation for after our park day, which during normal times would have been great for firework viewing.
When we arrived at the Contemporary it was very quiet aside from the small crowd checking in at the restaurant. We checked in about 45 minutes early and they let us know they were running 10-20 minutes behind. There was no availability at the bar so we wandered around the shops and checked to see if we could get a drink at The Wave. There was a wait for the bar there as well so we decided to skip it and keep exploring.
We ended up finding a totally private spot on a balcony with a perfect Cinderella’s Castle and Space Mountain view. We got a text around 15 minutes past our reservation time to come check in. We were seated right away and the tables were very spaced out. We got a window table with a perfect view.
Our server brought us a paper disposable menu in addition to the QR code on the table. We asked about the usual Vegan Unplugged menu and he told us due to COVID they scaled down to what was on the printed menu. We could enjoy the bread service, Plant-based Forbidden Roll, Truffle Selezione Pasta, and a Cashew Cheesecake for dessert.
We have had all of this before, with the exception of having the pasta as a main entree. We had the truffle pasta as part of the unplugged menu at least twice before and we were never blown away by it so I was skeptical to order it.
The fresh baked house bread is vegan as is and served with an oil mixed with tomatoes and garlic. This is a true highlight when dining here.
As an entree, the Truffle Selezione Pasta was amazing. Instead of the elbow style pasta we have had in the past, they used a Mafaldine style noodle that tasted house made. I love an in-house made pasta. I will warn you not to get this if you don’t like truffle. The truffle flavor is very present and the taste will stay with you… for hours.
The dish had delicious Forest mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, baby carrots, and the tofu truffle cream sauce. This is very savory and I was happy we split it because it would have been too rich to enjoy alone.
The Plant-based Forbidden Roll had shiitake mushrooms, avocado, pickled mango, and was dressed with a smoked paprika aioli. With these current options you’re enjoying a faux meat free meal which is harder and harder to find on Disney property.
Our service was really good. It was minimal but our server kept an eye on us. It was quiet and we didn’t feel rushed. We decided to skip dessert as I had high hopes for the lavender doughnuts but since it was the cashew cheesecake we have already had, we passed on it.
Instead we took a cocktail out on the roof and enjoyed Magic Kingdom views totally alone which has never happened before for us there. It was beautiful and made me miss seeing the parks at night so much. We find California Grill to be worth it for the ambience and for the Disney dollar the food is quite good here. It’s one of our favorite date night spots.
Review from August 2020.