*This dining experience took place in December 2014.
It’s no secret that Boatwright’s Dining Hall is one of my favorite restaurants on Disney property. Since my birthday visit last February, I have dined at Boatwright’s more times than I can count and each meal has been amazing. That’s a testament to how great the restaurant, chefs, and menu are there.
When it came to a birthday dinner for my mom, I asked her what her choice would be, and to her it was no question – Boatwright’s. It just so happens that my mom’s birthday is also Christmas Eve, so we were celebrating both the holiday and my mom’s birthday that evening. The restaurant was definitely pretty busy, so as with any Disney dining, I recommend making ADRs anytime you want to dine at a table service location.
We were greeted by Chef Paul, who has prepared many of my meals at Boatwright’s and at other Port Orleans restaurants like Riverside Mill. I knew that I wanted to get the crawfish bites (of course) and the sweet-tea brined pork chop (now known on the menu as the Louisiana Lugger). You know you go to a restaurant a lot when you know what items you want to order before you even get there.
First up were GNI brand rolls with some extra virgin olive oil. I know I’ve said it before, but I will say it again – the Boatwright’s chefs really know how to heat these rolls up. Not heated up properly, these rolls can be less than great, but the chefs here always make sure they are well heated. The extra virgin olive oil is always a nice way to enjoy the rolls too.
Up next came my favorite crawfish bites. As always, these were outstanding. Crispy and delicious, I love the light batter and the freshness of the crawfish. And they are always perfectly seasoned at Boatwright’s. I have to hand it to Chef Paul; he really has the gift for salting his fried foods perfectly (as does Chef Tony). Some restaurants tend to under-salt their fried foods (Raglan Road never salts or grossly under-salts their fried foods), so this is just another testament to how great this culinary team is.
The portion size of this appetizer is pretty generous, so I always recommend sharing it with your dinner-mates. My family adores the gluten free version as well as the glutenous one, so regardless of your special dietary needs I can highly recommend them as a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
One important note about the gluten free (and dairy free) crawfish bites. The current menu version is more of a crawfish cake not the previous version of crawfish bites. If you would like to order the crawfish bites, I recommend contacting Disney’s Special Diets Department ([email protected]) at least 2 weeks in advance to request them. The restaurant can still accommodate with advance notice.
One of my favorite entrees at Boatwright’s is the sweet-tea brined pork chop with sweet potato hash. With the perfectly grilled pork chop to the sweet potato hash topped with crispy fried gluten free and dairy free onion straws, there’s nothing about this dish I don’t like. The onion straws absolutely make the dish (how can you not like an onion straw?!) and the chefs here know all too well that I love them (hence the heaping piles on my plate).
Like the crawfish bites, if you are interested in onion straws you’ll want to contact Special Diets at least two weeks in advance to request. And trust me, you’ll want to. They are worth the extra email or two!
I don’t tend to get desserts at restaurants, and this night I had a homemade gluten free and dairy free German chocolate cake waiting at home for my mom’s birthday, but Boatwright’s does carry several options for gluten free and dairy free diners.
Overall, my mom was really excited to spend her birthday at Boatwright’s (she even got a special dessert for the occasion) and spending our Christmas Eve there was even more special. Thanks to Chef Paul and the entire culinary team for a wonderful holiday meal!
Have you been to Boatwright’s Dining Hall? What’s your favorite menu item?