Disney Springs: The Boathouse Restaurant

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The Boathouse restaurant review
By: Leigh Jenkins

Changes are coming to Downtown Disney. With its morph into Disney Springs, Downtown Disney is opening its doors to dozens of new shops and restaurants and shifting the entire feel of Downtown Disney to a much more upscale retail and dining experience.

The Boathouse at Disney Springs - Downtown Disney

The Boathouse at Disney Springs – Downtown Disney

Amidst the construction is a new restaurant, The Boathouse. To those of you from Chicago, The Boathouse is owned by the same company that owns Gibson’s Steakhouse. To those of you not from the windy city- The Boathouse is owned by the same people who have been voted best steakhouse by Yahoo Travel and Travel and Leisure magazine. Needless to say, I was in for a fantastic meal.
From the outside The Boathouse looks small, but looks can be deceiving. This restaurant can seat up to 600 guests; a third of those seats are outside on an extensive patio. The entire restaurant overlooks the water—and a number of water craft brought in especially for The Boathouse. Everything from an 1880’s gondolier to amphibious cars that can take guests out for a spin!
The Boathouse specializes in two things—great seafood and outstanding steaks. For an appetizer, the oysters on the half shell were a particular favorite of mine. And the crab legs came pre-cracked, a nice touch for a landlubber like me. My favorite was the cream sauce that I ended up dipping bread into once I ran out of seafood!
But the real stars of the show are the steaks. The filet mignon was perfectly cooked and melted in your mouth. When I fed it to my two-year old, she kept asking for “more, more steak!” until we ran out. A particular treat was the dry aged long bone rib, intended for two. It is the first steak I’ve ever had that was so flavorful; I preferred the fat to the meat. On the side, my favorites were the grilled asparagus with hollandaise sauce and the mac-n-cheese with shrimp.

Lovely food at The Boathouse!

Lovely food at The Boathouse!

I thought I couldn’t eat another bite when the waiter brought out desert—Gibson’s S’mores Baked Alaska. Towering over a foot high, it’s rocky road ice cream with toasted marshmallows as the icing. Finish it off with a graham cracker crust and it is the ultimate desert. It’s intended for four, but looks like it could feed an entire baseball team!
As an upscale restaurant, expect to pay a pretty penny for the meal. This certainly is a spot for parent’s night out. Though a kid’s menu is offered, the dining experience is long and the entire restaurant feels adult.

Who will say yes to this Boathouse treat?

Who will say yes to this Boathouse treat?

If you’re looking for an experience for the whole family, consider sitting outside and ordering appetizers and drinks along with your kid’s meals.
As of right now, The Boathouse is not on the Disney Dining Plan (don’t expect that to change) and it does not accept reservations (that might change, so always call and check for when you’ll be in town). To avoid crowds, consider visiting at lunch or later in the evening—they’re open until 2 a.m.!
Overall, it’s the perfect restaurant for a special meal or date night. I look forward to returning for a meal again soon.

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