Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fine dining and fun dining at Disney's Vero Beach Resort (trip report, part two)

(Note: the companion article to this blog entry, on Examiner, can be found by clicking here.) There are two sit-down restaurants on-site at Disney's Vero Beach resort, as well as a quick service outlet called Bleachers near the pool. The Green Cabin Room, which is the lounge, also serves food during certain hours. There are plenty of off-site restaurants, too, if you want to save money or explore other areas, but my husband and I set our sights on the resort options. Since we were only visiting for a weekend, we wanted to make sure we tried the two sit-down eateries. We've heard that the burgers are excellent, too, but alas, we didn't have time for a fast meal on our whirlwind trip.

Sonya's is the more upscale of the two sit-down restaurants, on a par with the signature dining places at Disney World. Shutters isn't too far behind it, although the atmosphere is more casual. You may get sticker shock if you're not used to Disney World restaurant prices, but DVC members do get a discount.

We wanted to experience both fine dining and fun dining. On the fun side, Shutters has a character breakfast and a Sunday champagne brunch. But first, let's start with the fine dining, which encompasses our arrival night dinner at Shutters and our Saturday dinner at Sonya's.

Both Shutters and Sonya's offer reservations, and they accept walk-ups too. We did a walk-up on Friday night at Shutters, but we made reservations for our other meals at the check-in desk when we arrived. Below is the sign that greets you at Shutters, which is located on the pool side of the resort (you walk through it to get to Sonya's):

The overall menu is seafood heavy, but there are other options for people who prefer turf to surf. We started off with the conch fritters on our server's recommendation, and they were amazing! My husband wanted the calamari because the dipping sauce sounded appealing, so we got some of that sauce as well as what regularly comes with the fritters. We most definitely didn't regret the choice:

What's a Disney restaurant without fresh bread? In this case, it was corn bread (yum) and salt-topped rolls:

For dinner, I chose the triple tail, which I had never had before. It was the fresh fish of the day, and it turned out to be very mild, like a mahi or tilapia. It was served with a mango sauce, field greens and delicious vanilla rum flavored mashed potatoes:

My husband opted for the Old Bay-seasoned steam pot. He loved mussels but wanted a bit of a variety, so it was perfect for him. He gave me the crab legs, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could actually taste the seasoning. I've gotten steamed crab legs at Joe's Crab Shack with Old Bay, and I've never been able to taste it there:

Initially we were sad we had missed the seafood buffet at Shutters, which is only offered on Thursdays, but soon enough got over it because we both loved our meals. The only regret was getting too full to try dessert.

The next night we went to Sonya's, which was dressier than we expected. I don't know if there is a specific dress code, but based on the other patrons we were glad we had brought golf shirts (some were even more dressed up than business casual). You get to Sonya's by walking through Shutters:

I love the artisan cheese plates at the Disney World signature restaurants and was very excited to see something similar offered at Sonya's. Alas, I forgot to take a picture of my cheese plate, which included four varieties with raisins on the vine, honeycomb, and home made compote, but it got a big thumbs up from me. Of course, I could probably live on Disney cheese plates. My husband liked his curried she crab soup, as did I, but we are both big curry fans.

Sonya's features bread with three butters. One is regular, one has roasted red peppers, and one has garlic and chives:

Sonya's had a triple tail, but I forced myself to try something different. I got the salmon because of its preparation style, which included heirloom tomatoes. It was indeed a tasty option, and I shared the huge portion with hubby:

Of course, he had his own big meal to deal with. He took our server's suggestion and opted for the scallops. They are as large as they look, and the sauce was a great addition:

Once again, we were much too full to have dessert.

In my next entry, I will report on our dining fun hanging out with Donald and Goofy for breakfast and enjoying mimosas and bloody Marys at the champagne brunch. Click here if you missed part one of this trip report.

1 comment:

Max E. Harris said...

Good photos.
I tried the examiner link. It had inserted or somesuch superfluous text in front of the examiner portion so it did not work until edited. You might want to check the links.