Back in 2017, the table service restaurant located just off of the lobby at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Captain’s Grille, received a makeover. It was a stem to stern refurbishment, and, as part of a media resort preview earlier this year, I had the chance to see (and taste) the changes up close during a breakfast seating at the Ale and Compass Restaurant.
Let’s start things off by taking a peek at what the restaurant looked like in its days as the Captain’s Grille. It was a bit dark and dated, and was not terribly noteworthy. I had a meal there, and, while it was fine, there wasn’t a unique quality to the space and the food. It was good, but not a location to which I felt the need to return.
Fast forward a few years, and the new space, while being clad in darker colors, gives off a fresh, sophisticated and modern vibe. Lighting fixtures have been added and updated, and carpet and furnishings were replaced.
Muted tones of gray and blue create a warm atmosphere, and the use of molding on both the walls and ceiling reflect the design aesthetic of the Yacht Club’s lobby.
Let’s take a tour of some of the breakfast offerings available at Ale and Compass. As a member of a media preview, I didn’t pay for the meal, so I won’t go into detail about my opinion of how the food tasted, but I can share my overall thoughts with you and give you a look into the choices that might be available to you should you decide to stop by.
The restaurant boasts an expansive breakfast buffet featuring all of the items that you’d expect, as well as some you may not, like the restaurant’s signature Parker House rolls. Included in the cost of the buffet ($23/adult and $13/child) is an entree and juice, soda, coffee, milk or tea.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what becomes of the breakfast buffet after the reopening of Ale and Compass. The breakfast choices here may go the way of the buffet at The Wave. As announced earlier in the week, the breakfast menu at The Wave will be a la carte only upon reopening, at least for the time being.
As for the entrees, it’s clear that the team at the Yacht Club put great care into crafting a menu that departs from the norm. Guests will find dishes that they won’t find offered at other Disney resort restaurants, and the choices are intriguing. The Dark Chocolate Waffle ($13), featuring a Dried Cherry Compote and Espresso-Mascarpone Cream, is a perfect example. A choice of sausage or bacon is included with the waffles.
If you’re someone who enjoys a little steak with your breakfast while you’re on vacation, you’re in luck at Ale and Compass. The Open-faced Skirt Steak Sandwich ($19) feels more like a brunch item as it is paired with a fennel, watercress, and tomato salad. If you’re a fan of caramelized onions, you’ll find them in this dish, and Ale and Compass’ breakfast potatoes are on the side. A tablemate ordered this dish, and now I’m wondering how the poached egg stands up against the poached egg found in The Wave’s Bacon and Eggs appetizer. I might have to return when the restaurant reopens to find out for myself. For research purposes, of course.
The Breakfast Flatbread ($14) sports a sunny-side egg (although you can get the egg style of your choice), ham, arugula, Applewood-smoked bacon, and provolone. The creativity of the food and beverage team is seen in this dish through the use of elevated ingredients, as well as in the presentation.
I chose to stick with an entree that would be comparable to what you and I might find on the breakfast menus at the other Disney resort dining locations. The American Breakfast ($15) was fresh, came with my choice of bacon or sausage, and I liked that the breakfast potatoes featured the welcome addition of sweet potatoes. Guests may choose fresh fruit instead of the potatoes.
What would a breakfast menu be without a french toast option? Ale and Compass’ Salted Caramel-Apple French Toast ($12) comes with your choice of bacon, sausage, or fresh fruit, and, again, offers a different take on a morning time standard.
If you’re someone who enjoys an adult beverage to help kick off your vacation day, Ale and Compass offers four cocktails. Pictured on the right, above, is the Agua Fresca Libation ($12). This signature drink features Paul Cheneau Cava with Agua Fresca Strawberry and Hibiscus. I asked the server if there was a non-alcoholic version of the Agua Fresca Libation, and he took great care working with the team behind the scenes, and came back to the table to let me know what they could create and asked me if I’d like to try it. I affirmed that I would, and what arrived to the table was perfect. In fact, after the arrival of my drink to the table, several of my fellow diners ordered one. I appreciated the thought and care that went into crafting a special drink that I could enjoy.
As I mentioned earlier, the restaurant echoes themes and stylings found in the resort’s lobby. The coffered ceilings and warm furnishings found upon entering the resort make for a welcoming space to sit and relax with friends and family.
Have you stopped by Ale and Compass for breakfast? If so, what did you think of the offerings and the atmosphere? Is Disney’s Yacht Club Resort a favorite of yours? Please let me know in the comments section below.