August 2004 - by Kevin Klose
recently found ourselves in Disney's Contemporary Resort on
a very rainy Friday evening. Not wanting to leave the hotel
due to the weather, we decided to have dinner there. We went
through our mental list of options. We were looking for something
more than what’s available at the Food and Fun Center. The buffet at Chef Mickey’s sounded good, but due to it’s great popularity, there was too long a wait and Chef Mickey’s gets a bit raucous. The California Grill was not taking any further guests for the evening. It seemed our decision was narrowed to the Concourse Steak House.
Being a local resident, and having our choice of quality steak houses, we had never considered the Concourse Steak House as a dining option. We also remember the very early days when this location was cafeteria style eatery. Let me start by saying that things have changed greatly since the very early 70’s.
Having made the decision to give it a try, we called Disney dining and made priority seating.
The Concourse Steak House is located next to the escalators to the monorail station in Disney's Contemporary Resort Grand Concourse (4th
floor), making it a very convenient stop for everyone on Disney property. The restaurant is open to the rest of the Concourse giving diners the opportunity to watch the monorail glide in and out of the hotel. Imagineer Mary Blair’s beautiful 11 story mural, the centerpiece of the Grand Concourse is also on display ( Look for the 5 legged goat in the mural…….I’ll let you in on where it is at the end of the review) In other words, there is not another steak house anywhere with this kind of ambiance.
We arrived at the prescribed 5 minutes before our priority seating to find that there would be a short wait for our table. We took our beeper and walked around a bit. For those looking for a cocktail, the Outer Rim Bar is across the walkway. Bay View Gifts is nearby and if you just want to sit and wait, the view of Bay Lake
is spectacular. The island that is visible is what was once Discovery Island
After a short wait, our beeper let us know that it was our turn to get a table. There were two of us and we were escorted to a very nice semi-circle booth with a nice high back, very intimate. The menu at the Concourse Steak House is divided into 6 sections. There are Starters, Side Dishes, Steaks >From the Grill, From the Ovens, From the Stoves and Dessert Samples. As the name implies, the menu is heavily weighted with beef entrees. There are 5 beef choices, 2 seafood choices and one each of pork, chicken and pasta.
We each decided to start with the Shellfish Bisque. We would split a salad and then each order an entree. My dinner companion decided on the large portion of filet mignon (8oz. For $27.99) and I ordered the USDA Prime Sirloin (10oz for $18.99)
We were served a bowl of wonderfully, creamy bisque which was well stocked with various types of shellfish. It was a very nice way to begin our meal. It is also at this point that we had the only mis-steps in a terrific meal. Just after our soup was served, our server also delivered our salad and some uninspired dinner rolls. Sensing that we were not ready for it, she offered to keep the salad chilled while we enjoyed our bisque. Finishing every drop of the wonderful soup, our server returned with our salad. The salad that was served did not deserve to carry a $5.29 price tag. The varieties of lettuces were turning brown and limp. We decided that we would not keep the salad as served and were going to ask for a replacement. Just as our server approached the table, our entrees were delivered. After explaining our feelings about the salad, a manager approached us asking if there was anything he could do. We asked that the salad be removed from our bill and questioned the timing of the meal. He explained that the restaurant had just recently changed serving styles and that some of the changes needed adjustment. Armed with this knowledge, at the beginning of the next visit I would let the server know how we would like the meal to be paced. This should alleviate any confusion.
this minor challenge, the Concourse Steak House delivered the best steak I have ever eaten. Each of our entrees were served with roasted garlic smashed potatoes topped with onion frizzles. The steaks were each accompanied by a Cabernet sauce and topped with Red Wine Butter. The steaks were impressive and cooked perfectly. The Cabernet sauce was puddled on the plate and was delicious, especially when it mixed with smashed potatoes. The melting red wine butter added the perfect counterpoint to the grilled beef. The steaks served to us that evening, justified the cost. This was a great meal served in a great location. Our server was attentive to our needs.After cleaning our plates, our server asked about dessert. We were at the point where a heavy dessert would have proved too much, however, dessert is done differently at the Concourse Steak House. Our server showed us a selection of Dessert Samples. These are small 2 or 3 bite dessert selections. We chose a small terrine of chocolate hazelnut mousse and a small citrus cheesecake. This was the perfect end to a great meal.
In my opinion, the Concourse Steak House is a great choice for dinner. It’s got a great location with easy access. The prices are a bit steep, but not by theme park standards and after all…..you are on vacation. Go ahead…..splurge.
By the way, when looking for the 5-legged goat, you must take the escalator (located on the 4th floor) up to the monorail platform. During your ascent, look at the mural facing the monorail. Follow up the left side and you should find Imagineer Mary Blair's fanciful 5 legged goat. Happy Hunting.