Saturday, December 20, 2014

Palo - Disney Magic

On our recent cruise on the Disney Magic, my husband and I dined at Palo for brunch and dinner.

Palo is an adults only restaurant that serves Northern Italian cuisine.  The charge is $25 per person for both brunch and dinner.  Reservations are required, and can be made online when your booking window opens, or onboard the ship.  

Brunch started with complimentary champagne cocktails.  

After touring the buffet with a chef, I was very concerned that there were bread items all over the buffet that could be dragged over the gluten free items, causing cross contamination.  I asked the chef if he could make me a plate of the items I was interested in in the back, which he gladly agreed to do. 

Another chef brought me a plate full of gluten free bread, which I enjoyed with my mozzarella, tomatoes, and prosciutto on top.   The bread on the right was made with Udi's pizza crust and pesto.  The one on the left was a corn product, but the chef did not mention the brand.  

My favorite brunch dish at Palo was the cold strawberry soup, which tasted like strawberry mousse.  It was heavenly!  

For brunch, Palo has a large selection of food set up buffet-style, but you can also order pizzas, pasta, and entrees from the kitchen.  

I ordered a margherita pizza on an Udi's pizza crust, which my husband thought was good, but I didn't enjoy it because of the tomato sauce.  If I had know it had tomato sauce, I would have ordered the pizza without it.  

Our pesto pasta dish was excellent, and you would never have known the noodles were gluten free.  

Our final entree was a tilapia dish with risotto, which we both enjoyed.  

For dessert, I was presented with a plate full of gluten free desserts.  My favorite was the berry panna cotta in the back, which I could have eaten several of, but I resisted ordering more.  

Our table overlooked the ocean, and it was nice to have some quiet time away from the kids.  

Two days later, we dined at Palo for dinner.  We started off with a plate of Italian meats, cheeses, roasted peppers, and olives from the antipasti cart.  With some rosemary garlic olive oil and aged balsamic drizzled over the meats and cheeses, my husband remarked that he loved being Italian.  We do love our Italian food!

I enjoyed the gluten free bread, but my soup was disappointing.  I have eaten the Tuscan white bean soup with prosciutto and parmesan cheese several times on the Disney Dream, and loved it, but my soup on the Disney Magic was tasteless.  

My husband and I also shared the Sicilian pesto marinated grilled shrimp on a mussel, crab, and cherry tomato ragu.  It was missing the pesto that was drizzled all over it when we ate this dish on the Disney Dream.  Again, it was a little disappointing compared to our meals at Palo in the past.  

Lemon sorbet is always a great palate cleanser before the main course is served, especially when I have been eating seafood.  

My wild mushroom risotto with fresh-shaved parmesan and a chianti reduction was amazing, and in this case, was better than the risotto I had on the Disney Dream.  The chianti reduction was so good, I could have licked it off the plate.  The risotto is an entree, but I ordered a small portion of it as a side dish to go with my beef tenderloin.   

The beef tenderloin "Palo" is usually topped with gorgonzola cheese, but not being a fan, I asked for it to be left off the dish.  My beef was incredibly tender, and it was seasoned well.  I ate each bite with the delicious barolo red wine sauce it was served with, and it was paired well with mashed potatoes.  

My biggest disappointment at Palo on the Disney Magic was that they were not willing to make me their chocolate souffle without 24 hours notice.  I have had this dish several times on the Disney Dream without any notice.  

My disappointment was lessened by the fact that they had three gluten free dessert options, panna cotta with strawberry-basil sorbet, zabaglione with sangiovese-infused berries, and warm orange almond cake.  My friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW loved the orange almond cake she had at Palo on the Disney Dream, so I decided to give it a try.  

Our server Jane brought me a side of the vanilla bean sauce that is served with the chocolate souffle, which made the dish for me.  I am not sure I would have enjoyed the cake without the sauce, but together, they were pretty incredible.  In hindsight, I wish I had tried the other two desserts as well, but I was pretty full that night, and didn't want to go overboard with dessert.  

Our meal at Palo ended with a complimentary glass of brandy, lemon sorbet, and sparkling wine.  The combination was amazing, and not overpowering at all.  I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it, because I rarely drink alcohol, but it was a great palate cleanser after a big meal.

Overall, I enjoyed both of our meals at Palo on the Disney Magic, but I preferred brunch and dinner at Palo on the Disney Dream.


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