Posted by: Joe Barrett | October 16, 2011

The one thing that will keep me going back.


For the past 6 years it has become a tradition for us to have dinner at Wolfgang Puck Cafe’ on our first night at Walt Disney World. But it wasn’t until 2008 that I tried the Pumpkin Ravioli. Initially the sound of it didn’t tempt my palate but I’m always one to try new things. After reading many recommendations from fellow Disney goers, I decided it was time.

(excuse the old picture from my Palm Centro)

The pumpkin filling is not the “pumpkin pie-ish” flavor that you’d expect because it doesn’t have the spices that give the pie it’s flavor. In fact the filling is savory with a hint of natural sweetness. If you’ve ever had any sort of squash, you’ll understand. The ravioli is served with a brown butter & fried sage sauce with pine nuts then topped with shaved aged Parmesan. Finally it is drizzled with a port wine glaze.

The dish became an instant favorite from the first bite. Every flavor mixes harmoniously in your mouth & instantly sends happy thoughts to your brain. It acts as my reminder that it’s the first day of a wonderful Disney vacation.

With all that said, it came to us as a surprise this past September that they have significantly reduced the options on their menu. My first thought was that maybe it was because our reservation was at 10pm & they switched to a late menu. But I’m unaware of any such policy. So for now I assume it’s a simple cut back. Now, my wife & I do not eat red meat or pork so this reduced menu made it difficult for my wife who is a picky eater to find variety.

The Creme Brulee, which was my favorite dessert there was removed last year & still hasn’t returned. It has been replaced by a Snickers Cheesecake which the staff really pushes towards. I had it last year & to be honest, didn’t like it at all. I love cheesecake & Snickers, but this dessert wasn’t for me. Maybe I had a “bad batch” but I found it to be dry & overly rich. It felt like I had a brick in my stomach afterwards. It also could have benefited from a little extra sweetness.

So this year I opted for the sugar free cheesecake mousse.

Wow!!!! Yes, Wow! This dessert was not what expected at all. The whipped cheesecake mousse has a perfect balance of sweet & sour flavor. It has a light & creamy texture that a mousse should & when mixed with the graham cracker crumbs & raspberry puree only gets better. It would be a hard decision for me if they brought back the creme brulle & I had to choose one. But with creme brulee being prominent in many restaurants in WDW, I think I would definitely go with this dessert.

Wolfgang Puck Cafe’s service has always been good. Sometimes better than others but always good. So I have no complaints there. The reduced menu is a concern but at least the popularity of the pumpkin ravioli will keep that on…… I hope. Should they ever remove it I would definitely consider breaking tradition & making ADR’s elsewhere. It would be a sad day as it would feel as though something isn’t right since we’ve been doing the same thing for a while now.

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Responses

  1. Aren’t Disney traditions wonderful? Ours is Nachos and Dingers at ESPN Club on our first day. Not very gourmet, but it let’s me know that I’m about to start my vacation.


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