by Beth Keating
September 14, 2021
We had family in town recently, and they had been dying to try Wine Bar George. Since only half of our group consisted of wine drinkers, with a few not even of drinking age, we weren’t sure it was the best selection for us for the evening. We’d always thought of it as more of a “date night” destination. And, as folks who don’t drink wine all that frequently, we weren’t even sure we were up to the challenge of a wine-centric eatery. But since they made the reservations, we bowed to their decision, and off we went.
And, as it turned out, we were very glad we did. Wine Bar George lived up to the hype. For example, it recently ranked as the 4th best restaurant to eat at Disney Springs, according to the readers at AllEars.net. (See “The BEST RATED Restaurant in Disney Springs” August 16, 2021.) While it surely is a date night locale, plenty of families with kids were enjoying the ambience as well, and more than a few groups of friends were gathered on this particular summer night.
The setting was relaxing, with our table located on the second floor, where we were able to watch the activity going on at the street level below, and there was certainly no pressure to be “wine aficionados.”
You can order wine at the restaurant by the bottle, glass or even the ounce, if you just want to try a particular wine, and one of our diners chose a wine flight to sample. After selecting a flight, he inquired about one of the wines in particular. This was the point at which we realized that Wine Bar George was truly a different kind of experience. Instead of just bringing the pre-selected wine flight, our waiter took the time to explain the various wines in the flight, offered some suggestions, and made his own adjustments to the wine list to accommodate preferences. He even offered up a few of his favorites, along with the backgrounds and stories behind them. What we ended up with was a completely personalized and well-curated wine flight. What a marvelous encounter!
Some of our other diners chose the Frozcato, made with pineapple Dole Whip... this is Disney after all! It was ice cold, creamy, and a lovely summertime drink, a tasty way to enjoy a hot summer evening for the non-wine drinkers in the group.
Another way that Wine Bar George is a bit different from other restaurants is that there aren’t many entrées… at least not in the traditional sense. The menu is made up predominantly of small plates, meant for sharing while you are sipping your way through an evening with friends. We tried a variety of enjoyable selections, and would indeed come back again to try a few of the others, and repeat one or two of the ones we’d feasted on that night.
The Crispy Mac and Cheese Bites were a big hit. We should have ordered more of those excellent little snacks, they disappeared so quickly! We also tried the House-Made Hummus, a smooth, delicately spiced blend.
The real fun, though, came with the Saganaki on Fire.... a flaming plate of cheese! What's not to like? Our waiter brought the flaming plate tableside, dowsing the flames with a squeeze of lemon, leaving behind a gooey, melty plate of goodness to scoop onto the soft ovals of crostini. That dish alone was worth the trip!
One of our diners also ordered the house made meatballs, which were served on a bed of triple cheese polenta, a nice offset to the 3 large, somewhat dense tomato sauce topped meatballs. The forkful of the polenta with a bite of meatball on the end of the fork was a nice combination.
In addition to our small plates, several of the fish-loving diners in our group branched out and split the grilled whole Greek Sea Bass, one of four entrées on the menu. (It was meant to serve 2-4.) While the sea bass itself was delicious – light, tender and done to perfection – the dish was also part theater, as our very talented waiter cheerfully deboned and served the fish tableside for us, all the while regaling us with stories.
We left the restaurant stuffed, despite the fact that we had ordered mostly a handful of "small plates" for our group of 6.
Wine Bar George is a pricey evening, to be sure, but the food is well worth the visit, and the service and attention is amongst the finest we've had in Disney. It is mostly small plates for sharing though, with only a few larger entrées (also meant to be shared) on the docket. With so many delicious small bites to share, you probably won't notice that you didn't order an entrée of your own. Go, and have a relaxing evening with your friends or family.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.
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