April 10, 2014

The Victoria Room For Our 25th Anniversary Part 1

To celebrate our 25th Anniversary in style and elegance we returned to Victoria & Albert.  To separate this from last year's visit we dined in the exclusive Victoria Room. 

Before I share our wonderful evening, you need to grasp how difficult getting a reservation in The Victoria Room is.  There are only 4 seatings a night.  Reservations are available 180 days out UNLESS you are staying on property then you can make a reservation up to 190 days out.  I was determined to eat there on our Anniversary, April 8th, so 12:01 on October 10th I was on Disney Dining trying to get a reservation only to learn you have to call for reservations in The Victoria Room.  The reservation lines open at 9am.  By the time I got through there was only one table left for the night, the 5pm seating.  Should you really want a specific date I did learn you can be put on a wait list as there are cancellations, there was one our evening for the Chef's Table.

It was wonderful to be greeted by Israel, the Maitre De Hotel with “Welcome back, we’re so glad to have you with us again for such a special event”.  Yes I’m well aware that he didn’t actually remember us but ~ don’t ruin my moment.  Vivianne, Israel's assistant, first started seating us in the main dining room and I felt my countenance drop but we were quickly rescued by Israel who made a grand gesture out of our proper seating in Victoria’s Room.

The Victoria Room is very cozy, with each of the 4 tables in a corner.  The harpist is just outside the doors allowing her melodies to drift in; have you heard Disney favorites on a harp, they’re quite beautiful.  Over the fireplace is a beautiful portrait of Queen Victoria and her Albert.

Sharon & Aaron were our servers for the night.  While I have no complaints I wish I had thought to request Jack & Sherry from last year.  Sharon started the evening off by handing Hubby the drinks menu.  We didn’t choose to do the wine pairing offered ($110 per person) and were quite happy with water for the night.  But what kind of tap water would we like? YES they had choices ~ the triple filtered worked just fine for us. Another lesson later learned ~ you can share the wine pairing.

The menus are enclosed in a 4 inch thick leather bound presentation book.  Inside the front cover was a beautiful announcement welcoming us for our 25th Anniversary. The dinners in Victoria Room are preset so this is truly just to give you a heads up as to what’s coming.  Sharon walked us through what was ahead to make sure we did not need anything changed.  I had actually received a call from the restaurant a week earlier to make sure there were no any allergies or food aversions they needed to be aware of.  We were presented with our copies of the menu at the end of the meal to take home just like last year.

Onto the food
Starting the meal with caviar held sweet memories as we had it served 25 years ago during our cocktail hour, though I don't believe Mother of Pearl spoons were used.  I love how caviar bursts in your mouth filling every corner with its flavor.  Combined with the Lobster underneath this definitely announced that tonight's dinner would be glorious.
The octopus salad that followed was served with  baba ganoush and paprika that we were instructed to dab the octopus in.  I felt a bit bad for the octopus having to follow the caviar and lobster.  It was a bit like Anne Murray having to follow Barbra Streisand.

I have always said presentation is everything, this course is one that sets the presentation bar high. As Aaron lifted the smoke filled dome lid the twirled smoke reaches your nose before you see what awaits. This smell stays with you for a while. Instead of it being a lingering scent left behind it actually becomes a vaporous reminder of what I thought was one of the best courses. I enjoyed experiencing it three more times when the other guests were served. I was so amazed by the tiny apple balls centered in paper thin radish slices. I can barely make melon balls perfectly round forget try to make ones less than 1/2"

Each bread course has its own butter. For the Herbed Brioche Aaron wheeled out this beautiful butter Chef Toque. Irish butter mixed with dill, lemon balm and chervil is freshly molded every day. The tall bowl on the right holds hot water which warms the spoons used to curl the butter for each guest. Used only in the Victoria Room this culinary masterpiece is molded fresh every day.  I forgot to take a picture of the third bread course which was a multi-grain bread based on  Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek's  grandmother's recipe.

The Diver Scallop is served on their original shells. The Scallop is sitting atop a Fennel and Blood Orange reduction.  The beautiful bowl is laser crafted from Himalayan Salt and served warm. Under the Diver Scallop Shell was this beautiful pile of salt (that I was caught playing with).  Kosher Salt, Bay Leaves, Fennel and Celery Seed is roasted. The warm bowl allows the roasted salt's perfume to add another flavor to this dish.

We have another six courses to go.  I'll see you for Part 2 tomorrow
Remember Always Be Glorious
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