Friday, September 14, 2012

Foodie Friday: The Coral Reef Review

                        Creamy Lobster Soup

The Coral Reef Restaurant is one of two table service restaurants located in Epcot's Future World area. It is to the far right side of The Seas With Nemo and Friends attraction and is connected to it via VERY thick walls of the aquarium that you view from inside the attraction. Actually, this is the largest "inland" saltwater enclosure built to date and if I recall the information they provide, one inch of water from it will fill a large swimming pool. You may even see divers taking care of the sea life or from the DiveQuest program while you dine! You feel like you are underwater as soon as you enter the restaurant. From the lighting effects to the fixtures, walls, ceiling and the use of color, it all works together to make a very unique dining experience. The seating is tiered on three levels, as in a movie theater, and the booths are situated facing the aquarium so that everyone has a good view of its inhabitants as they dine. There is even a "Fish Finder" card on the table to help you identify all the various species you may see. You may want to ask to sit next to the window, especially if you have children in your party.

The culinary part of the experience begins with a complimentary bread service. For an appetizer, Lobster soup has been on the menu since it opened,  though it has had a few changes in recipe since then. The latest version is a Creamy Lobster Soup with tarragon and brandy. I was there the day after this latest change in early May this year. I would describe it as having a bit more of a tomato base than the previous versions, though it is still a "must have" for me at this restaurant. The signature entree is a Lobster Ravioli, which is now Lobster Orecchiette Pasta with White Cheddar Cheese and Basil Oil. The Chocolate Wave is known as the restaurant's signature dessert and has also been on the menu since the opening, but is now being served with Raspberry Gelato. Though I'm not a huge fan of the raspberry in this particular dessert, it is still a favorite. The Abyss is a signature drink made with Skyy Vodka, Bacardi Superior Rum, Blue Curaçao, and pineapple juice. My dining companions on this last visit declared it "absolutely delicious" and ordered two each. Hey, it was a hot "spring into summer" Florida day, what can I say!  ;)   I have always had great food and fantastic service here, though I have seen other reviewers that have not been as fortunate. As with many table service restaurants at Walt Disney World, and most especially Epcot, you are going as much or more for the environment as for the food; and this restaurant cannot be beat when it comes to a unique environment and dining experience.  I hope you add it to your dining plan the next time you visit Epcot, and say "Hi!" to Nemo for me!

This location takes 1 table service credit on the dining plan and honors the Tables in Wonderland card as well.

Lunch entrees range from $15.50-32, dinner entrees $19-35 (market price for the Chef's selection) and the Kids menu selections are $8.99.

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