A steakhouse doesn’t need to be inventive. It only needs to have two things: quality ingredients and great execution. Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club had both of these things in spades.
When our family of four dined there recently, it was our first time at the restaurant, something that can’t be said for most locations in the Disney area for us. It’s one of the oldest restaurants at Walt Disney World and has been serving the same high-quality steaks for more than 30 years. They are also the only restaurant still in the Walt Disney World resort area that still dry ages its meat on-site.
Designed to look like the inside of a yacht, the warm wood tones were pleasant, but almost looked dated to me. I could appreciate it but, to be honest, I am more used to the high-end decor from places like Jiko, California Grill, or Victoria and Albert’s. By contrast, Yachtsman almost seemed shabby.
We ordered an array of appetizers, steaks, and sides, and were pleased with all of them (to varying degrees). The bread (sourdough rolls and onion pull apart bread) was served with roasted garlic and butter that harkened back to the garlic they used to serve at Portobello at Downtown Disney, which is now Terralina in Disney Springs.
My husband’s carpaccio was nicely executed with briny capers and vinegar, but he found the meat a little boring on its own. There just wasn’t a “wow” factor to it. My shrimp cocktail was really great, mostly because the shrimp were huge and very fresh and the cocktail sauce was super horseradish-y – just the way I like it. It was clearly house-made. My son was pleased with his lobster bisque, but was weirded out by the croutons that were in the center and I have to agree, it didn’t quite fit the soup.
Eight-ounce filet mignons were our main entrees, served with a cognac truffle butter. The steaks were incredibly high-quality and beautifully cooked. The cooking temperatures were perfect. My seven-year-old’s steak kebabs were cubes from their adult New York Strip. Sides and accompaniments included mashed potatoes, broccolini, and more. There are optional add-ons and family style sides you can choose from, but we skipped a lot of those.
The wine list was pretty basic – it lacked the uniqueness of Jiko’s African wines or the volume of California Grill extensive tome, but it provided all the basics you need to pair with steaks and seafood. We opted for the Stag’s Leap Petit Syrah, which I’ve had several times, but is always a great, drinkable red wine.
We finished our meal off with the Oreo Chocolate Brownie Something – a lovely blend of brownie, Oreo mousse, peanut gelato, and more (though we swapped our peanut butter gelato for chocolate). Our daughter opted for the chocolate puzzle, edible white chocolate broken into puzzle pieces with edible “paint” and a paint brush. These desserts, found throughout the resort, are so wonderful for kids. They’re interactive, edible, fun, and magical.
Overall, we found Yachtsman to be a really great meal that was filling and very easy. If you have picky eaters but want an upscale meal, this is a great way to enjoy the fine dining experience without worrying about whether or not the kids will eat. If they like steak and mashed potatoes, they’ll eat very well.
The Nitty Gritty:
Food Quality: ****
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