This week I celebrated my 21st birthday and I went drinking around EPCOT with friends. Then for day two of my birthday week, I went to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for dinner with my parents. And I have to say, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I’ve been here before and I will continue to come here. What I love about this place is that it’s different from other resorts. Wilderness Lodge exudes a rustic nature environment inspired by the Northwest US. The minute you walk in you are greeted by a huge lobby and during the holidays, they go all out.
For dinner we went to Artist Point. My parents decided to surprise me here and I sure am glad they did!
Tip #1: if you are celebrating your birthday, make sure to wear your pin at any Disney Park or Resort. You will get endless “HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!” and I was loving every minute of it.
Tip #2: Arrive at least thirty minutes before your reservation at Artist Point and ask the host/hostess for a window view. The windows have a breathtaking view of the lodge overlooking the waterfalls or the lake. You will thank me later!
Artist Point is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge’s signature dining restaurant. Dress attire is business casual, but it’s a more nicer place. Our dinner ended up around $280, but after the service and food we got, the price was perfect. The reason why we paid this much is because we got wine, appetizers, main course and desserts. I heard that it can get loud and full, but the night we went (Wednesday night in December), it wasn’t too crowded. The ambiance was just right.
Our server was Katie and I seriously have to rave about her for one minute. She’s absolutely amazing. She was friendly, knew exactly what she was talking about without sounding snobby and throughout dinner, she surprised us with a few WOW moments. She was very attentive and paid attention to every single detail and made sure that our needs and wants were granted. I was honestly blown away. So let’s get on with dinner shall we?
They started us off with an amuse-bouche, I think it was a cheese ball with some sort of tomato based sauce. It was very good! But we decided to get our own appetizers, so we got the cold water mussels and portobello soup. I asked the server how big the portions are. Katie said that it depends. The mussels can be shared and the soup is a bit small, but can be shared.
But what happened next surprised me. Normally most restaurants would serve the appetizer as is and you just have to share the single plate. But they knew we were sharing the soup so they came out with three individual small bowls of the soup. I was impressed by this kind of service, I wasn’t expecting that! The soup is to die for. YOU HAVE TO TRY THE SOUP. The portobello soup is topped with shiitake mushrooms, chive oil, croutons and a crème fraîche. It was rich and the ingredients went well together. I honestly would go back here just for the soup. The mussels were great as well! The appetizers definitely set the mood for the night and we were off to an amazing note right now!
For the main entree, I got the usual filet mignon, my mom got the salmon and my dad got the buffalo. According to our server the buffalo is their most popular entree and I can see why. My mom and dad (yes, my mom took a few pieces of the buffalo from dad because it was that good) were raving about it nonstop. I loved the filet mignon and it consists of Butternut Squash Purée, Marble Potatoes, Roasted Pearl Onions, Forest Mushrooms, Truffle Aïoli, Horseradish Cream, and Cabernet Au Jus. The buffalo entree had three types of buffalo and the dish consists of Grilled Buffalo Strip Steak, Chipped Buffalo, Macaroni & Cotswold Cheese, English Peas, Crispy Shallots, Buffalo Sausage, Braised Cabbage-Apple-Cranberry Slaw, and Blackberry Demi-glace. And finally the salmon had Sweet Potato Mash, House-smoked Bacon, Autumn Vegetables, and Apple Cider Gastrique. They also have an extensive wine collection that is sure to impress any wine connoisseur. This restaurant is definitely for foodies. What I loved is that the food is fresh and from various places throughout Northwest North America.
Here’s another WOW moment. As a hospitality student, I live for this kind of stuff. Katie, our server, brought us complimentary champagne because it was my birthday. I wasn’t expecting that, I was so surprised! And then for dessert, I ordered the caramel cheesecake and my mom got the chocolate ganache cake with macarons. Along with my cheesecake our server brought out a cupcake with candles and a light up buzz lightyear toy. She said it’s never too old for buzz and she was right. This made my night.
Tip #3: Go to the outdoor terrace of the restaurant during your dinner or after. It’s a nice place to enjoy the view of the lodge.
Our dinner was perfect and I cannot thank the entire staff, the chef and Katie enough at Artist Point for making this an unforgettable and magical dining experience. The quality of the food was just phenomenal and the fact that I was surprised over and over again throughout the dinner was just unforgettable. After Monsieur Paul at the French pavilion at EPCOT, this is my favorite restaurant. I would definitely come here again in a heart beat!