Victoria and Albert's review 6/1/11


#1

I’m not sure if I’m going to try to do a trip report this summer but I wanted to be sure to share our Victoria and Albert’s experience with everyone. Our group included 11 people, 6 adults and 5 kids (ages 21, 20 (still kids to me), 17, 13, and 10. Only the adults were invited to dine at V & A, the kids had dinner at Beaches and Cream and played mini golf–that’s fair, right?

After talking about it for years we finally decided to do it. I’m not sure that my husband and I would have ever book this dinner but it’s been something my friend has talked about for years. I have to admit, I was more than a little nervous about this as was one of our other diners. I poured over the menus and tried to decide what sounded safe but I was still nervous. I’m not picky but I was worried we would spend a lot of money on this meal and I wouldn’t like it.

We wanted to have dinner early in our trip to make sure we wouldn’t be tired of eating so we booked it for our first full day. We picked the 5:30 seating so we would still be awake at the end of our dinner. :laugh:

We arrived at the Grand Floridian about 30 minutes before our reservation so we shared a bottle of wine in the lounge. We ordered one of our favorite wines and it was just enough for the six of us to have a glass and share a toast to start our evening.

I didn’t take any pictures before, during, or after dinner. In fact, I didn’t even take my camera. I wanted to enjoy our evening and I knew trying to take pictures would be a huge distraction.

We were seated at a round table right next to a gentleman playing a harp. Our server for the evening was Allen and he was excellent. I can’t remember his assistant’s name but it may come to me later. Allen was excellent and made everyone feel at ease as soon as we were seated. We were each handed a personalized menu and a vegetarian menu was placed in the center of the table in case someone wanted a meat free option. Allen went through the menu with us and did an excellent job of explaining each selection on the menu.

We were told we were to make a selection from each course and we would order everything at one time. I didn’t have any trouble making my selections and my husband made his selections based on mine. Most of us added the wine paring as well. I decided to split mine which meant I got wine with 3 of my courses and the other person also got three glasses of wine. My husband wanted wine with every course. I was worried six glasses would be too much wine for me and I think I was right. Each pour is only about 4 ounces but it’s still six glasses of wine.

We started with a champagne toast. The one person in our party who didn’t order the wine pairing was also offered a glass of champagne, I thought that was a nice touch. Our server even refilled his glass when it was about half empty. This was the only wine that I think we all got a second glass of. It was good but it was my least favorite of all the wines.


#2

We started with an Amuse-Bouche which was lobster four ways.

It included a delicious lobster bisque. It was served in a small glass with no spoon, we sipped it. Yum. Next was lobster remoulade. It was lobster inside of a pastry crust. The third was poached lobster with caviar. I was really nervous about the caviar but honestly I didn’t even know it was there. I’m sure it added to the flavor it just didn’t stand out to me. Last was lobster pannacotta. I had never had a pannacotta and was also a little worried about the whole texture thing but it was really good. We all enjoy this course and it set the tone for the rest of our dinner.


#3

sounds like a fabulous start… keep going, the anticipation is killing me!


#4

mmm… so glad you’re doing this!


#5

Sounds like a great start!


#6

Oooh - I want to hear every detail! I’m pretty sure we’ll never eat there, because DH hates restaurants at the best of times and I can’t imagine him willing to pay V&A prices.


#7

I think this is the first V & A in-depth review I have read here. Nice.


#8

I forgot to add that shortly after we were seated three small ottomans were brought to our table for our purses. I expected excellent service but the service we received was beyond anything I imagined. We each got up from the table once during our dinner and we were escorted to the restroom by a very nice woman. Upon our return to the table we had a fresh napkin waiting for us. Our main server, Allen, was discreet yet was aware of our every need.


#9

Sounds like our husbands are cut from the same cloth.:glare:


#10

I agree, it is very nice! Looking forward to reading more DT.


#11

I started with the Jamon wrapped gulf shrimp shrimp with Athena Melons. This was large shrimp in a cold melon puree. It was good but easily my least favorite of all the courses. My husband had the Applewood smoked buffalo “Waldorf.” I had a bite and it was very good, very tender and not at all what I expected (gamey taste).

Service was very interesting. We were a party of six and were served each course by three people. Each server had two dishes/plates and waited until each server was in place and they set the first plate down simultaneously then waited until each server was ready and they set the second plate down. The same was true when plates were removed. Once the last person at the table was finished with the course three server appeared and removed the plates in the same order/way. It was all very choreographed and rehearsed. However, we did not feel watched while we were eating. I was sitting facing the dining room so I could see more than most at our table and I didn’t once notice anyone waiting for us to finish nor did I see our server signal for anyone to help him, they just appeared.


#12

For my next course I selected the diver scallop with braised fennel and blood orange gastrique. Oh my, was it ever good. I love scallops and this was beyond excellent, it melted in my mouth. I shared a SMALL bite with my husband but he wasn’t getting much, it was too good to share. I was a little worried about the minor ingredients but I have to say everything went together so well I quickly realized that I worried for nothing.

My husband selected the calamarata pasta with vegetable ratatouille, Spanish cuttle fish and octopus. This sounded too out there for me to order by my husband loved it and I tasted it and it was good.

The wine pairing went perfectly with each course. It was amazing the difference we noticed in the taste of the wine before and after we tried it with the course it came with. I could never select wine like that, but I now understand that it truly is a skill and talent.


#13

Ok, the next course was an easy choice for me–Roasted quail with Asian pears and serrano ham jus. I’ve never had quail but it sounded better than the roasted butternut squash soup and the duck three ways. The quail was very good, I would order it again in a heartbeat. My husband had the duck breast, duck sausage, and confit with strawberry-rhubarb puree. The duck was also very good, my husband was pleased with this. No one at our table ordered the soup but I have read that it’s good.


#14

sounds so yummy, i’ve seen pictures of V&A’s online & it looks gorgeous.


#15

After reading all this, I think I may not be classy enough to even post on this thread. But it does sound very special.

I understand no camera, but could you sketch a few courses for us? Perhaps that dish with the octopus.


#16

[QUOTE=jo-jo;1080245]After reading all this, I think I may not be classy enough to even post on this thread. But it does sound very special.

I understand no camera, but could you sketch a few courses for us? Perhaps that dish with the octopus.[/QUOTE]

:laugh: I was a little worried about not being classy enough for our dinner but it was an enjoyable dinner from start to finish and not once did I feel out of place.

I don’t want to lift pictures but here are some recent pictures of the food at V & A. The octopus/ratatouille is there.

Victoria & Albert’s - photos - theDIBB


#17

I don’t remember when but we were served three different breads during our dinner and each was excellent. I loved every one of them but one was a clear winner, I just don’t remember what it was. I know it was served last with a salted butter that made it even better. I tried to not eat all of each one but I couldn’t help but polish each off, they were just too good to not eat.


#18

Our main course was next. I poured over the different menus for months before we went and went back and forth between several things but in the back of my mind I knew I wanted the Kobe beef. With a little arm twisting from my husband I ordered the Australian “Kobe” Beef tenderloin with smoked garlic-potato puree. I’m so glad I ordered it, it was perfect. The beef was melt in your mouth tender and done to a perfect medium rare. The potatoes were also good, they had a little shredded beef on top and we so creamy.

My husband ordered the kurobuta pork tenderloin and belly with verjus-bacon vinaigrette. I had a taste and it was good but mine was better. :wink: There were five choice for this course and someone in our group ordered each choice so we got to see/taste each one. One person ordered the Wagyu beef, another person had the Niman ranch lamb with candied fingerling potatoes and English peas, another person had the Poulet Rouge with chanterelle mushrooms and truffle gnocchi. It wasn’t on purpose but it just worked out that way. I didn’t taste each dish but everyone was more than pleased with their choice.


#19

The next course had two choices–cheese or gelato. I picked the white chocolate gelato with tableside shaving and micro orchids. It sounds so simple but it was soooo good. I could have stopped there and been happy but I wasn’t going to miss dessert. My husband had the cheese and said it was good. The cheeses included Colston Bassett Stilton, 24 month parmigiano-reggiano, Comte Saint Amtoine, and Flagship Reserve Truckle Cheddar.


#20

Believe it or not, dessert was the toughest choice of the night. There were six choices and they all sounded good. I selected the Hawaiian Kona chocolate souffle and my husband ordered the caramelized banana gateau. The waiter gave him his approval when he ordered this so I knew it was going to be good and it was. It came with the coolest spun sugar thing, that alone made the dish. My souffle was good but way too much for me to finish.

None of us were coffee drinkers but we knew we had to order the coffee thingy just to see it. It was fun to watch the coffee brew at the table and a couple of people had a cup of coffee with their dessert. After dessert we were presented with a plate of Friandises to wrap up our experience. There were three different treats and they were all good and small enough we could all eat them. After we were finished with dinner the ladies were all presented with a long stemmed rose in a plastic box and we got a loaf of a quick bread for breakfast.