Beneath the Marine by mrobin5490



                                                                                                                                      Under the Sea
                                                                                                                                      In the Sunny Depths of Florida’s Disney World,
                                                                                                                                      Our Critic Finds a Last Bastion for a Good Meal

                                                                                                                                      I have been scoping out Central
                                                                                                                                        Florida’s restaurants for roughly
                                                                                                                                      three months, and for the most part,
                                                                                                                                                                                     Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
                                                                                                                                      dining alternatives have been con-                 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
                                                                                                                                      fined regretfully to the usual plethora              Lake Buena Vista, FL
                                                                                                                                      of fast-food chains, synthetic upscale                   407-934-1111
                                                                                                                                      shams such as Applebee’s or Dillon’s, 
                                                                                                                                      all-you-can-eat rib joints, fried-food                     bluezoo
                                                                                                                                      dives, and Chinese emporiums whose                    Entrées: $18 to $34
                                                                                                                                      buffets are beneath contempt. Most are                ### (out of four)
                                                                                                                                      incredibly cheap but not worth it.
                                                                                                                                         The one anomaly in this area is
                                                                                                                                      Cockadoodle’s Café (200 W. Tompkins          (for sharing) from the immense selec-
                                                                                                                                                                                   tion proffered by the raw bar.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Main courses of a particularly out-
                                                                                                                                                                                   standing nature are succulent, flaky
                                                                                                                                      SHELDON                                      spit-roasted block of swordfish, fash-
                                                                                                                                                                                   ionably embellished with tomato-
                                                                                                                                      LANDWEHR                                     pepperoncini salad tossed in black
                                                                                                                                                                                   olive orzo and toasted garlic bread
                                                                                                                                                                                   crumbs or any of the daily, simply
                                                                                                                                                                                   grilled fresh fish, such as plump and
                                                                                                                                      St., Inverness, FL), which closes at 2       juicy red snapper.
                                                                                                                                      p.m. daily.                                     Meats served generally lean toward
58 • NEW YORK R E S I D E N T The Week of March 1, 2004 • w w w . n e w y o r k r e s i d e n t . c o m • ( 2 1 2 ) 9 9 3 - 9 4 1 0

                                                                                                                                         It would be a reckless overstatement      rare. The menu boasts a fork-tender,
                                                                                                                                      to infer that Cockadoodle’s is an epi-       pan-roasted, bone-in fillet of beef that
                                                                                                                                      curean experience, but the welcoming         starts out masterfully, teamed with
                                                                                                                                      owner, Art Green, is cheerfully civilized,   wild mushrooms and bacon-wrapped
                                                                                                                                      and the breakfast and lunch foods            asparagus, but the starchy, greasy top-
                                                                                                                                      emerging from the tidy kitchen have a        ping of Roquefort rösti damages an
                                                                                                                                      sense of flow, plus carefully prepared       otherwise promising entrée.
                                                                                                                                      and generous portions, which are very           As in any of English’s restaurants,
                                                                                                                                      much worth the modest prices charged.        desserts here are sweet and tempting.
                                                                                                                                         The white-hot regional buzz, how-
                                                                                                                                      ever, is Todd English’s first venture in
                                                                                                                                      Florida, coming to Walt Disney World’s
                                                                                                                                      Dolphin Hotel, where the chef dazzled
                                                                                                                                      all with his shimmering, newly
                                                                                                                                      opened, Titanic-size 300-seat bluezoo
                                                                                                                                         The mammoth open kitchen offers a
                                                                                                                                      broad range of coastal cuisine with in-
                                                                                                                                      ternational and New American culi-
                                                                                                                                      nary influences, and it is the first
                                                                                                                                      restaurant in Florida to introduce ex-
                                                                                                                                      cellent skewered spit-roasted seafood
                                                                                                                                      and vegetables done on a dancing-
                                                                                                                                      wheel grill revolving around an open               It’s All Happening: At bluezoo
                                                                                                                                      fire pit.
                                                                                                                                         If you’ve never tasted uncorrupted        Deserving of a visit on its own due, we
                                                                                                                                      New England clam chowder, the                found the caramel-pecan-espresso cake
                                                                                                                                      creamy, rich, yet buoyant version of-        crowned with frothy whipped cream
                                                                                                                                      fered here is indisputably the best, im-     markedly bodacious. A comprehensive
                                                                                                                                      posing in a large, gleaming white bowl       and costly wine list supports the meals.
                                                                                                                                      floating salt-cured bacon and home-             Conceived by accredited designer
                                                                                                                                      made oyster crackers.                        Jeffery Beers, the dining room offers a
                                                                                                                                         In fact, appetizers are one of blue-      lissome, vibrant underwater theme,
                                                                                                                                      zoo’s most convincing strong points.         hosting such highlights as a school of
                                                                                                                                      Another among the best is yellowfin          metal fish swimming above a glowing
                                                                                                                                      tuna tartare enticingly seasoned and         blue-glass bar, blue carpeting with a
                                                                                                                                      ideally paired with sushi rice, root gin-    pattern of water droplets, and whimsi-
                                                                                                                                      ger, and toasted sesame. It’s so accom-      cal bubble lighting.
                                                                                                                                      plished that one’s palate can identify          Servers do quite well handling large
                                                                                                                                      every ingredient.                            crowds but are somewhat ill informed
                                                                                                                                         Jaded diners may also go for the re-      about the menu.
                                                                                                                                      freshing avocado salad, pan-seared              All told, bluezoo certainly provides
                                                                                                                                      jumbo        scallops,    lobster-chive      a much-needed alternative and relief
                                                                                                                                      dumplings, seared crab cakes, blue-          from the boundless plastic strongholds
                                                                                                                                      zoo’s clam fry, or a cool mixed platter      of this region’s fast-food mongers.

To top