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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Disney World Restaurants Bringing New Menus

 by Beth Keating



May 20, 2023


There’s a lot going on in the culinary world at Disney right now!  In addition to the continuing construction at soon-to-open places like The Cake Bake Shop on the BoardWalk, and Summer House on the Lake at Disney Springs, Disney has announced a few more updates. 


This is often the time of the year when many restaurants give a seasonal refresh to their menus, and Disney restaurants are no exception. Two fan favorite spots at Disney World – The Hollywood Brown Derby and Jaleo - are getting rather large updates to their current menus, and while some of the existing popular dishes are staying, there are a plethora of new (and drool worthy) options hitting tables. On top of that, one EPCOT restaurant will be getting a do-over, with the Japan pavilion’s now closed Tokyo Dining reopening later this year as “Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya.”


First up is one of our family’s favorite haunts at Hollywood Studios – The Hollywood Brown Derby. And for those of you who might be worried, let me note right off the bat that two of the most requested items on the current menu are staying put: the famous Cobb salad, and the grapefruit cake. Whew!


Now that that is out of the way, let’s take a peek at the interesting looking additions coming to the restaurant. 

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

The appetizer selection will be expanding with a half dozen new options! Crab Louie is built from a “crispy olive bread, citrus blend, fried capers, and Louie sauce.” Of course, fancy dining establishments always offer a shrimp cocktail plate, and since Hollywood Brown Derby is the park’s Signature Dining locale, there will be a Shrimp Cocktail with shaved fennel cucumbers and traditional cocktail sauce arriving on site. An Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad with shaved onions, Thai basil, and gremolata will be drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette, and is of particular interest to our household.  Also of great interest in our house is the new Charcuterie Board, with a chef’s selection of cured meats, cheeses, and accompaniments.  Many years ago, at a bed & breakfast in Vermont, we tried Escargot, and we enjoyed it enough to be looking forward to Disney’s upcoming take on the dish, with roasted garlic béchamel and crispy prosciutto.  Lastly, the chefs will be adding Roasted Bone Marrow, including braised beef, pickled mustard seeds, and a fig bread crostini. 


While these offerings alone are quite the undertaking, the Derby’s culinary team wasn’t done yet.  There are a few updates to the entrée menu as well.  Filet Mignon, paired with glazed carrots, potato pave, horseradish cream, and a peppercorn sauce will be appearing next to a Lamb Shank entrée with summer vegetables, harissa vinaigrette, and nasturtium chermoula. If those two dishes sound a little too over-the-top for you, a Free-Range Chicken and Dumplings might sound more middle of the road, but once again, the folks behind the kitchen doors are taking this dish up a notch – and adding lemon-ricotta Gnudi, shishito cream, and a gooseberry jus to the plate.  The Grilled Pork, not to be outdone in this department, will be served with a lavender-sage polenta and local corn salsa with a huckleberry barbecue sauce.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

But wait! There are still more new offerings. The Sustainable Fish will be plated with white bean ragout, derby summer vegetables, and a roasted tomato emulsion, and the Seafood Cioppino is a medley of shrimp, sea scallops, seasonal fish, and mussels, served in an aromatic tomato broth with a toasted baguette for dipping.  For plant-based diners, there is a new offering as well, a Shepherd’s Pie, combining roasted garlic mashed potatoes, mushrooms, peas, corn, and carrot Romesco.  Making a dining decision at the Brown Derby is certainly going to require a lot of thought! 


At Disney Springs, Jaleo by celebrity chef José Andrés, is stirring up a new list of summer dishes to add to their famous paellas and Spanish regional specialties.  (Chef Andrés was named as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2012 and 2018.  He’s been named a James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year;” and you may also know him from “World Central Kitchen,” where they have provided millions of meals for local residents in times of crisis and natural disasters.)

At Jaleo, entrées are prepared in an open kitchen, and when a new paella is ready, you’ll hear the bells ring! The kitchen’s wood fire is not only impressive, but adds great flavor to the meals, and the soaring, multi-level restaurant has a lively atmosphere.  


The new summer menu options include:  


  • Cono de Atún “Gilda”($8): Cone of Tuna Tartare, Modern Olive, Cantabrian Anchovy and Piparra Pepper
  • Gazpacho Estilo Algeciras ($10): Classic chilled Spanish soup made with Tomato, Cucumbers and Green Bell Peppers 
  • Ensalada de Aguacate y Mojo Verde “Spanish Diner” ($13): Avocado, Mojo Verde and Goat Cheese Salad
  • Piquillos Rellenos con Brandada de Bacalao ($16): Stuffed Piquillos of Bacalao and Potato served with Manchego cheese and a Bechamel Sauce
  • Mejilones a la Brasa con Mojo Verde ($16): Mussels cooked in Josper served with Mojo Verde
  • Lubina a la Pobre ($56): Whole roasted Branzino served with Potatoes, Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs
  • Ensalada de Tomate con Ventresca ($34): Heirloom Tomato Salad served with Red Onions, Piparra Peppers and 4 oz. of conserved Tuna Belly from Asturias 
  • Secreto Iberico de Bellota ($105): Secreto Iberico cooked on the basque grill and served with Pan con Tomate 
  • Pintxos Morunos de Cordero ($18): Basque Grilled Lamb Skewer with Andalusian Spices 
  • Berenjenas con Miel ($12): Fried eggplant with honey and lemon zest 
  • Atún Crudo con Aguacate ($18): Thinly sliced tuna served with avocado and a citrus dressing 


And while both The Hollywood Brown Derby and Jaleo are updating their menus for a seasonal twist, over at EPCOT, the new “Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya” in the Japan pavilion will be opening later this summer, with an emphasis on Japan’s seasonal festivals.  According to Disney, “Each month brings a new celebration to your table. From hanging tanzaku to celebrate Tanabata in July to savoring moon-viewing dumplings in September, a cultural representative from Japan will guide you through each unique festival experience, one bite at a time. The atmosphere also embraces the festivals of Japan, with the atmosphere featuring beautiful, hand painted artwork and lanterns highlighting some of the natural wonders that Japan offers as well. Each and every visit is designed to create unforgettable memories that capture the spirit of Japan’s vibrant seasonal festivities.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

In addition to the full menu, there will also be an open sushi bar and grill, preparing such treats as Kobore SushiTokyo Negi Roll, Funamori, and The Monster Roll. The freshly prepared selections will also have that famous artistic Japanese touch: The Funamori features sashimi and sushi arranged on a boat-shaped platter. Disney says, “This iteration of Funamori is even served with the festive pomp and the boat procession of the famous Tenjin Matsuri!”

As the restaurant name suggests, a particular feature of the new eatery will be Japanese Izakaya, a “type of casual pub-style restaurant,” with its emphasis on sharing plates of food. The small plate menu includes choices such as Karaage Chicken, Salmon Misoyaki, and Tomato Salad with Avocado.

The sushi bar will be creating beautiful fresh selections, but there will also be a grill serving traditional selections such as Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake.

The restaurant will make its new home on the second floor of the Japan pavilion, in the space occupied by the former Tokyo Dining, and its huge glass windows will be a gorgeous spot for watching people on the World Showcase promenade below, or especially for evening fireworks, if you are lucky enough to grab one of those special seats!

Pack your stretchy pants for your next trip to Disney… there are a lot of new food options coming your way!


Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

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