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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The California Grill

Every now and then you go somewhere that is just amazing. The California Grill is one of those places. It is now tied with the best dining experience I’ve ever had. It was fantastic.

Following a tip my wife and I asked to sit at the chef’s counter. Most people want to sit by a window so they can see the Magic Kingdom. You can see the magic kingdom some other time. SIT AT THE CHEF’S COUNTER! It’s like being a judge on Iron Chef. All the action is right in front of you. It is open kitchen and the chefs know it. When someone sits at the chef’s counter they take notice. They know their every move is being watched. The chefs are not stupid. To distract you they start giving you freebies! One of the chefs came over and gave us a beat salad on the house. I don’t like beats but it was very good and when it’s free it’s even better.

We were sitting directly in front of the sushi station. The sushi chef couldn’t help but talk to us. We were so close that it would have been very uncomfortable if he didn’t. His boss, the head sushi chef, stepped in when needed a break. She took the opportunity to ask us what sushi we had tried before. She almost looked offended when we said we’d never tried sushi before (give us a break we’re from NH). She took it as a personal challenge to find sushi we’d like (aka more freebies!).

For an appetizer I ordered the triple cheese flat bread with pesto and sundried tomatoes. I could be happy eating that for the rest of my life. I salivate just thinking about it now. It was a WOW dish. For my main course I ordered the filet. You can’t do filet much better than they did. Back to back WOW dishes. For desert I ordered the Valrhona Chocolate Cake and Raspberry. It was great. Not wow but great.

The service was very good. The waiter knew his stuff and was very helpful and offered recommendations with being at all pushy. Because of him my wife tried a couple of things she otherwise wouldn’t have tried. She was more than happy with all of his selections.

The only draw back in regards to the California Grill is that it’s about 1500 miles from my home and I can’t go back once a month. Maybe I can convince Disney to open one in New England. Hey don’t laugh if they could make a buck they’d do it!

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