In 2009, my husband Barry and I ate at the Flying Fish Café during our honeymoon and did not have a great experience. I recall the restaurant being loud, hectic and crowded. We were seated at a small two top in the middle of the restaurant next to the server station, and we were also rushed through our meal. While the food was good, our experience was subpar. Recently, I’ve heard many positive things about the restaurant, so we decided to give the Flying Fish Café another try on our most recent trip.
Surprisingly I was able to secure a 6:30 reservation earlier that afternoon. When we arrived, the restaurant only seemed about two-thirds full, and we were seated right away at a larger table towards the back of the restaurant. This was the first night of our trip and we were celebrating our two-year anniversary, so we were presented with special Happy Anniversary menus, which was a nice surprise.
Looking around, I immediately enjoyed the whimsical décor. It has a carnival like atmosphere with many fish flying overhead.
The restaurant wasn’t as loud as I had remembered it to be and I already had a better feeling about this experience. As we perused the menus and soaked in the ambiance, we ordered celebratory martinis and enjoyed the wonderful breadbasket of warm whole wheat bread.
I had a few questions for the waiter about some of the appetizers, as I have a few food allergies. He immediately said he would get the chef to review the menu with me. The chef promptly came out and went through the menu to make sure my choices were safe for me to eat. Now that is great service!
To start the meal, I chose the signature appetizer on the menu; the Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake. Served with a savory vegetable slaw, roasted red pepper coulis and an ancho chile remoulade, this was probably the best crab cake I have ever had. It was full of crab with very little filler and the crisp outside was a wonderful contrast of textures. All of the flavors came together perfectly!
Barry ordered the Crispy Sesame and Togarahi-scented Calamari for his appetizer. The chef left off the vegetable slaw, as it included vegetables on my list of allergens in case we wanted to share. The calamari was cooked well, although the breading became a bit soggy as it cooled. The Asian inspired dipping sauce was a nice change to the typical marinara that is served with calamari, and overall this was a very good dish.
While we were waiting for our entrees, I took notice of the kid’s meal a little girl sitting next to us was having. It was your basic grilled cheese and French fries, but the fries were served in a mini fryer basket. How cool! It almost made me want to change my order to get some fries…almost.
Once our entrees arrived, I glad I stuck with my order. I had the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper, which is another signature dish of the restaurant. It was served over a bed of sautéed leeks and surrounded in a deliciously decadent red wine and butter reduction. The fish was a tad dry, but that didn’t stop me from eating every bit of it because it was so flavorful. The dish was paired nicely with Deloach Pinot Noir, which I normally wouldn’t have with fish.
Another wonderful entrée was Barry’s Oak-grilled Maine Diver Scallops. They were set over a cheesy risotto full of squash, artichoke, eggplant, peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes. The scallops were nicely grilled and seasoned perfectly.
We were pretty full after our meal, so we decided to split a dessert. Barry is a chocoholic, so I was surprised when he chose the Caramelized Banana Napoleon. This was definitely right up my alley! The banana mousse was light, creamy, and melted in my mouth. The crisp phyllo layers and bitter chocolate went perfectly with the mousse. As an added surprise, not only was our dessert topped with a piece of chocolate that said Happy Anniversary, but also our waiter brought us complimentary glasses of champagne!
The Flying Fish Café definitely redeemed itself on this visit. Not only was the food fantastic, but also the service was unparalleled. This was Disney hospitality at it’s finest. We will definitely be returning for another meal here. Have you eaten at the Flying Fish Café? Let me know what your favorite dish is…I need some tips for next time!