If you’ve been following our Disney Dining Show, you’ve probably heard us talk about Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We have mentioned how the restaurant has been disappointing, and we aren’t the only ones thinking that way. Several Disney fans have come forward and said that the quality of food here has gone down since the dining location opened. Steakhouse 71 opened and replaced The Wave on October 1st, 2021.
Let’s look at how Disney describes the vibe and aesthetic of the restaurant!
Named for the year Disney’s Contemporary Resort first opened, Steakhouse 71 harkens back to the design style of the 1970s, reimagined in a contemporary, comfortable and sleek way. You’ll even notice some Florida flair—such as Orange Bird and citrus groves—mixed in with the décor.Walt Disney World Website
According to the Walt Disney World website, the food here is inspired by some of Walt’s favorites dishes like The Steakhouse 71 Feast or Walt’s Prime Rib Hash for breakfast and French Onion Soup, Prime Rib, 6-oz Filet Mignon or Dry-aged Bone-In Pork Chop for lunch or dinner. I have only dined here once, and it was back in 2021. Since then, the menu has made some minor changes, and so have my dietary restrictions.
I do remember what I ordered, I got the Gourmet Grilled Cheese, and I recall enjoying the meal but feeling underwhelmed. Last time I went in with very high expectations due to reviews I had watched, but this time I am going with low expectations. Anyway, let’s jump into the dining experience!
Craig, Ryno, and I ordered three appetizers for the table, it was hard to pick them, but we tried to pick the ones that we thought would be the most popular or represented the restaurant adequately.
I ordered the Steakhouse 71 Onion Rings ($10), which are plant-based, meaning its safe for dairy allergies. These are hand-breaded and are served with a spicy ranch dipping sauce. I was pleasantly surprised with these onion rings.
This dish is also safe for eggs, fish/shellfish, milk, peanut/tree nut, and sesame allergies.
I love onion rings, but my biggest pet peeve is when they aren’t cooked properly and the onion portion falls out onto the plate. That did not happen with these. These onion rings were cooked perfectly, which made me happy, but they lacked seasoning. Thankfully that’s where the spicy ranch dipping sauce comes in to save the day.
Craig and Ryno ordered the Bacon and Eggs ($15) and the Sea Salt-dusted Potato Brioche ($12). The winner was the Sea Salt-dusted Potato Brioche; this bread dish comes with butter and a roasted garlic-tomato spread.
This dish is safe for fish/shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, and sesame allergies.
The Bacon and Eggs came in second place. This dish has maple-lacquered pork belly, smoked cheese grits, and a perfect egg. It didn’t win them over. They both mentioned that it lacked flavor, which was surprising because we’ve heard such great things about this dish. Craig specifically said that the pork belly needed more seasoning and flavor. Ryno thought the flavors didn’t blend well together and didn’t expect that.
This dish is safe for gluten/wheat, fish/shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, and sesame and soy allergies.
I ordered the only plant-based entree, the Vegetable “Wellington” ($26). I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a full plate of fresh vegetables. This dish is served with mushroom duxelles and fire-roasted artichokes wrapped in a puff pastry, romesco, and Brussels sprouts. If you hate mushrooms, avoid this dish because it’s very heavy in that mushroom flavor. My favorite part was the puff pastry, it added a texture that was missing, and it added a different taste.
The vegetables that accompanied the main part of the dish were delicious. They were fresh, seasoned perfectly, and cooked amazingly. I enjoyed this meal, but I think it would be even better if they reduced the number of mushrooms.
This entree is safe for egg, fish/shellfish, milk, peanut, and sesame allergies.
Craig ordered the Salisbury Steak ($22), accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and fried onions. He said that this was a classic Salisbury Steak and would come back here to eat this if he was ever in the mood for that dish, but he wasn’t blown away.
This dish is safe for peanut/tree nuts, sesame, and shellfish allergies.
Ryno ordered the Stack Burger ($21), and it’s made with their signature blend of beef, pork belly, American cheese, lemon aioli, red onion, and house-made pickles served on a brioche bun. This burger also comes with a side: a petite Caesar salad, parmesan fries, or pasta salad. He asked our server if the pasta salad came with olives, and it was confirmed that it did. Ryno doesn’t like olives, so he got the petite Caesar salad. Overall he wasn’t impressed with this burger that has been claimed to be the best at Disney World.
This meal is safe for gluten/wheat, fish/shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, and sesame allergies.
We only ordered one dessert because we were so full after eating all this food, but I wanted to try the plant-based dessert. The Apple Tart Tatin is made with caramelized Granny Smith Apples, puff pastry, and blackberry gelato, and as I mentioned, it is plant-based, so it’s safe for guests with dairy allergies. When they brought out the dessert, I was very impressed. The presentation of this dish was beautiful. We were all taken aback because nothing else we ate had that presentation. I really enjoyed this dessert, and so did Ryno. To me, this was the highlight of my meal.
Overall it was a good meal, but it didn’t match the hype that surrounds the restaurant. I am writing this a few days after the review, so I have had some time to reflect and concluded that I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here. I would rather eat at Grand Floridian Cafe or Kona Cafe; I prefer the food over there. I came into this with very low expectations, and when I left, I didn’t feel disappointed, but I didn’t feel impressed either.
None of us walked out of there impressed. We all said, “It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either,” and we all gave it a middle-of-the-road rating. I suggest checking it out and forming your own opinion. We were told that breakfast is a better experience, so maybe one day we will be back to check out the breakfast menu, and perhaps that will win us over. Currently, this isn’t the worst or best restaurant I’ve been to at Disney World. It just falls in the “it’s good” category for me. If you’ve dined here before, please leave your review in the comment section.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.