Tuesday, April 17, 2012
One of my most memorable meals took place at Artist Point, a Disney signature restaurant located in the Wilderness Lodge. Artist Point is the type of restaurant that doesn't get a lot of attention, possibly due to its out of the way location but also due, at least in part, to the inconsistency of the kitchen, which turns out gems and duds in equal measure. This works to your advantage, because the kitchen isn't overwhelmed with heavy crowds and you can almost always get a reservation. Stick to the basics--simply cooked steaks and salmon--and you'll have a great meal. Salads are a fine way to start your meal and the chefs here are inventive in their approach to greens, but as an alternative, you might want to try the delicious Smoky Portobello Soup.
It's hard for soup to compete on a restaurant menu as most places offer a dozen or so alluring starters, each one more tempting than the next. Don't make this mistake at Artist Point. This soup is incredible, made from mushrooms, broth, and a bit of cream pureed to a smooth consistency. On its own, this combination makes a hearty, satisfying soup, but add the meaty smoked mushrooms and a drizzle of creme fraiche and chive oil, and it manages to transport this soup from humble to otherworldly. You'll remember it long after you've paid the check.
I had this meal with a friend of mine who's a vegetarian and we had to ask our server if the meaty bits of mushroom were actually bacon, they were that salty-smokey. They weren't of course, but vegetarians take note: The soup does contain chicken broth. We didn't find that out until after our trip when I went searching for the recipe. She felt bad for consuming chicken broth, but even knowing this, she still said "That soup was really, really good." Yes it is.