As we perused the tantalizing menu at Raglan Road, my eyes were drawn to a dish I’d tried in the past (and LOVED), “Kevin’s Heavenly Ham”, described as:
It sparked my fantastic curiosity to understand who “Chef Kevin” was; I mean, he has a signature dish at one of my favorite restaurants. Well, of course as any gourmands out there know, finding out a LOT about Chef Kevin (Dundon) is not difficult. A celebrity chef of the highest caliber, in addition to his signature “Raglan Road” restaurant in Downtown Disney; Chef Kevin has his name on the Dunbrody Cooking School and renowned Dunbrody Country House hotel. His restaurant at Dunbrody earned restaurant of the year three times from 2004 to 2006 (and it was in 2005 that he opened his first International restaurant venture – and Downtown Disney will always be the better for it!). So when Raglan Road boasts authentic Irish fare, and a dish listed as “Chef Kevin’s Signature …” – it has the chops to stand behind it.
On this particular afternoon with my party of 5 seated just beyond the warm glow of the atrium, we each delighted in a gastronomic creation that left indelible smiles and mouth-watering memories!
As my children scoured the menu, my most adventurous eater declared that the “Cluck Curry” would be his selection … he’d never had curry before this offering so I was hesitant at first. But how could I deny him the chance to come away from this meal with a new “first” under his belt (given that he’d already fallen in love with escargot earlier on this trip, I figured we likely didn’t have much to worry about).
My next son loves heat … anything spicy will be a sure crowd-pleaser for him. When we asked for more detail on some items, the server recommended “Beefy Murray” (a beef, curry pie) and added that it comes with a side of rich, spicy curry sauce that you can add “as you please” to make it increasingly hot. The creases of his smile (I swear) were touching his ears.
Last up in children, my daughter. She can be a bit less adventuresome, but is nowhere NEAR “picky” (yes, she’d also conquered the aforementioned “Escargots” challenge and came away a fan). She decided she wanted to go with the Fish & Chips. Yes, fairly traditional, but honestly, what better place is there to order this awesome faire?
Finally, my lovely lass Jamie (who, by the way, as of this writing – since Friday 3/29 to be exact – is now also my lovely Fiance!!!) chose the Raglan Road Risotto. As someone who loves Risotto, but rarely sees it “done right”, she was delighted to order this dish which has shiitake mushrooms (yum), garden peas, shaved parmesan, and rocket lettuce. Would this be the kind of risotto that makes you sit back from the table with that glossy eyed “OMG” look, or something that just misses the mark?
Oh wait, I guess I forgot someone … me! I opted to step away from Chef Kevin’s Heavenly Ham (oh but I WILL have you on my next trip little piggy) and grab THE singular dish our server said was her favorite on the menu. The Braised Beef with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and parsnips. Served in a small silver pot, this dish’s fragrance alone blew me away.
Before departing, let me give you a quick rundown of the meal’s impressions … and, of course, dessert:
Cluck Curry – Tender slices of white meat drenched in a buttery-rich, gentle curry sauce … this wasn’t an overwhelming sauce that pilfered the whole show, rather it struck a harmonious balance with the almond rice and allowed the perfectly done chicken to stand as the centerpiece … my son still talks about this dish with longing.
Beefy Murray – As my son broke through the flaky pastry on top and smelled the deep rich essence escape the crock, he looked at me and just began nodding. He poured the first bit of his special curry sauce over the dish and after one taste, left out some manner of selfish giggle/warcry before diving in nearly headlong. He ended up using the entire pitcher of curry and still counts this as one of his favorite meals … ever!
Fish ‘n Chips – This dish was huge … the “chips” were large, hot, and crispy … the fish had that outside layer of gentle crunch with a welcoming warm soft layer of spongy cakiness underneath; all enrobing perfectly flaky fish. This is “traditional” done with perfection.
Raglan Road Risotto – now honestly, did you think this dish would be anything less than stellar? One bite into the creamy, earthy, fresh perfection of this risotto and I literally DID see her eyes glaze over as she floated somewhere distant with a soft “mmmmmmm” as her mantra. She sincerely loved this, and that’s pretty much the theme of our meal.
Braised Beef with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes – ok, I don’t even know where to begin. I already mentioned the presentation – when I pulled the lid off this small pot of perfection, the melding of the rich beef, the sharp tang of the horseradish, and the perfectly chosen sprig of rosemary sent me to a place of olfactory bliss (is there an aromatherapy scent out there like this for purchase … anyone??). As I gently nudged the braised beef with my fork, it relented with ease as it shredded at my touch. A mouthful of the beef, with a small dollop of the mashed potatoes .. WOW … I seriously think they could put “heavenly” as an accurate adjective in front of any of their amazing dishes.
Speaking of amazing, I would be remiss if I didn’t leave you with a glimpse of dessert. Now understanding we were on the dining plan, each person at the table had a little something (I think the kids just chose ice cream) … but really, what we ALL ended up digging into (sadly, it was MY dessert – but I sort of willingly shared) was the “foodthatshouldbecalledanexperience” Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding. There are no words, no descriptions, no expressions to accurately capture this. It is simply … see, no words to put here. The picture makes a suggestion toward it’s deliciousness, but this is one aspect you MUST experience to believe.
So draws to a close our wondrous meal at Raglan Road in the Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney (soon to be part of “The Landing” at Disney Springs – but that’s a post for another time).
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