Over the weekend, Matt and I made our way to Magic Kingdom to enjoy some holiday magic. Of course, we needed some dinner first, so stopping by California Grill was a top priority. We managed to squeeze in after the initial “we’re at capacity at the bar” settled down, and we kicked off our meal with some cocktails.
I thought the Blood Orange Mule sounded interesting, so I ordered one. It’s a combination of Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Belvedere Vodka with Ginger Beer, and Blood Orange and Lime Juices. While I’m typically not a fan of ginger, the ginger beer here was nicely balanced with the fruit juices.
Matt kept it simple with a double Maker’s Mark.
For his dinner, he ordered the Handcrafted Charcuterie. We’re always fans of Charcuterie Boards, and this one was one of Matt’s favorites to date. The board currently features Orange-Honey Picnic Ham, Pork Belly Rillettes, Bison Terrine, Smoked Turkey Sausage, and Duck Liver Pate.
First up we have the Pork Belly Rillettes, which feature Slow-braised Pork Belly that has been shredded and whipped with Duck Confit and Duck Fat. It is served with spicy Mayonnaise and Tempura Crunch. This was incredibly indulgent and liked the contrast of the crunch on top.
When it comes to ham, I typically avoid it unless it’s on a sandwich with other meat. The Orange-Honey Picnic Ham, however, impressed both Matt and me (this was his meal, after all! 😉 ). The cut is Pork Shoulder cured with Sonoma Sea Salt and Orange Blossom Honey, hot smoked and served chilled. House-made Pickle Chips accompany the ham. I liked the slight citrus taste here.
I’m a fan of mustard, while Matt is not. The spicy Beer Mustard that accompanied the Orange-Honey Picnic Ham was a miss for me. It was a bit too watery and there was a bitterness I didn’t care for.
The Bison Terrine features Great Plains Buffalo, house cured Bacon, Chestnuts and Onion. It is paired with a Cumberland Gelee. The terrine was quite hearty, and we really thought the gelee had a great flavor that helped to mellow the terrine a bit.
The Smoked Turkey Sausage is enhanced with Dried Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds and served with a Cranbery-Almond Conserve. Our Conserve, however, featured Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds instead, which was fine. The turkey had a great smokiness to it, and we both thought it was really well made.
The Duck Liver Pate is a classic Liver and Onion Pate, whipped light and airy. The description did not lie. It was probably the lightest pate I’ve ever had. It came sprinkled with Black Cyprus Sea Salt and Red Onion Confiture. Even Matt, who is typically on the fence with pate, thought it was great.
I’m a sucker for the flatbreads at California Grill, and I made the game-time decision to order the Spiced Capocollo Flatbread. It features Two year Aged Black Diamond Cheddar, Baby Mixed Tomatoes, and Lemon Vinaigrette. The House-smoked Pastrami Flatbread was a contender, but I wanted to share with Matt and the horseradish and mustard would have turned him off from it.
Our bartender noted that he believed the Capocolla was made in house. Whether it is or not, it was delicious. If we had still been hungry after our meals, Matt would have ordered a second one. There was a good balance of salt from the meat and cheese paired with the sweetness of the tomatoes. With an ever-evolving menu, I’ll be sad when this flatbread disappears.
Here are the menus from our visit:
Once again, we had a great experience at California Grill. I wish we were brought some of the Herb Focaccia like on our last visit, but I neglected to ask. I think we need to head back before the next menu change. There’s a Spiced Capocollo Flatebread calling our names, and the Charcuterie was on point. Of course, we’re always excited to see something new. California Grill always keeps us coming back!
What have you enjoyed at California Grill recently? Do you prefer to stick to old favorites, or venture out and try new items?