Need advice on two restaurants in the Orlando area
We're taking our daughter to Disney in March and will be staying at the Ritz. We were wondering if anyone on here had any opinions on Norman's at the Ritz as well as the Victoria and Albert restaurant at the Grand Floridian? Any Chowhound critiques would be greatly appreciated!
Victoria and Albert's is insanely expensive, and quite good. If you're in the mood for an experience, it's definitely worth visiting, but it is not for anyone. Service is excellent and old-fashioned. They used a very cool contraption to brew the coffee at the table (sorry not a coffee drinker so I forgot the name of it). The food was interesting - think the 19th Century swept up in the modern food craze, like a Victorian new world meal. The wine pairings going along with the dishes are up and down. I chose my dishes for the most part according to the wine and found those worked quite well. My wife on the other hand picked based solely on the dishes and some of her paired choices were less thoughtful in my opinion. Everything was at least very good, and the Nantucket scallops were one of the best tasting dishes we have ever had the pleasure of ordering. The meal is multi-course (with choices) and if you do choose the wine pairings, please order a taxi, as no one should drive after as much wine as they give you.
I ate at Victoria and Norman's about six months ago and was very impressed with the food. Including opting for a food and wine pairings deal that gave you about a half a glass of wine with each course, the meal ran about $200 ($125 for the food and $75 for the wine). Add in a 20% tip (the service was well worth it) and 7% or so sales tax (I can't remember exactly), and the meal cost over $250.
Obviously, this is a special occasion or "treat yourself" kind of place. I, too, was blown away by the scallops and highly recommend the foie gras with apples, a sort of smokey/charred/sweet combination, which was out of this world.
Portions are not big but there are a lot of them, and you leave feeling satisfied, which is sometimes a problem at places that are, essentially, French.
I haven't been to Norman's but have heard nothing but good things about it. I hope you enjoy your experience.