Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (as of 12/2018) – This menu covers the top 8 common allergens (gluten/wheat, milk/dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish). Check with the restaurant for other modifications and/or other special dietary needs.
*This dining experience took place in December 2015.
Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is an intimate signature dining location that often gets overlooked by Disney guests. Serving Pacific Northwest inspired fare in a rustic setting, Artist Point truly reflects the theming of the Wilderness Lodge Resort and then some.
Dining here in the past, I’ve had hit or miss experiences. On my last visit back in April 2015, I dined with Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando after they had recently launched the allergy friendly menus at Disney restaurants. Both Alexis and I enjoyed the meal overall (you can read her full review on her blog), though I didn’t have a huge desire to go back anytime soon. However, that changed when I heard they had a new chef at the helm of the restaurant.
On this particular occasion, we dined at Artist Point in celebration of my boyfriend’s birthday. Brandon is originally from the Pacific Northwest, and so, we thought this was the perfect location to celebrate his birthday dinner.
After being seated, I was presented with the updated allergy friendly dinner menu at Artist Point. The menu lists a good amount of options on it, but I did ask to speak with a chef, as there were some menu items that sounded enticing that I was hoping would be easily gluten free and dairy free. I was in luck, as I was able to order the Pacific Seafood Cioppino which sounded delicious.
While waiting for our drinks, our server brought out Deanna’s Gluten Free Rolls (formerly known as GNI Brand Rolls). I was pleasantly surprised to find them well heated. Oddly, Artist Point in visits past have not heated these rolls well.
If you are a gluten free diner, you can indeed order the cheese plate gluten free. They will remove and/or place the gluten-filled accompaniments on the side to avoid cross contamination, which is a nice touch. If you’re able to tolerate goat or sheep milk cheeses, Artist Point offers several on their cheese board, which makes for a great non-cow’s milk option.
The Pacific Seafood Cioppino was a perfect entree for Artist Point. The black cod, which was the highlight of this dish, was cooked perfectly, as was all of the other seafood that accompanied it. The Carolina gold rice was delicious, and the pigeon peas were a unique addition to this version of cioppino. It was hands down one of the best entrees I’ve ever had at Artist Point, and I wouldn’t hesitate to order again!
Brandon’s entree was the Grilled Filet Mignon which came with crushed new potatoes, charred local eggplant, green onions, and herb vinaigrette. Listed as gluten free on the allergy friendly menu (not dairy free), he said the filet was excellent, as were the crushed potatoes. He wasn’t keen on the eggplant, as the texture wasn’t very appealing (and it tasted rather bland).
After our very filling meal, neither one of us really wanted dessert. I could have ordered the no sugar added berry cobbler as an option, though having had it in the past, I hadn’t been very impressed with it. Brandon opted for an espresso and was treated to a birthday macaron. And, our server also brought out two flutes of champagne to help celebrate the occasion, which was a wonderful Disney magic moment.
Overall, we both really enjoyed the meal at Artist Point, as well as our service. The restaurant’s atmosphere made our meal quiet and cozy, which was the perfect way to celebrate Brandon’s birthday. We both agreed that with the new menu we’d definitely be up for going back again for dinner.
Have you been to Artist Point since their new chef arrived? What did you think of the menu offerings?
*This dining experience took place in April 2015.
Artist Point, located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is a signature dining location with Pacific Northwest inspired food and decor. It’s been several years since I’ve been to this restaurant, and after reading Eating WDW’s recent review, I was hoping to go back soon. As luck would have it, my friend Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando had also been hoping to visit Artist Point, especially after reading about the new allergy-friendly dining menus being launched at signature dining locations at Disney in April. So, when she invited me for dinner, I of course said yes!
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is one of my favorite resorts. I adore the theming and the general look and feel of the resort. Each of the restaurants has a distinct theme to them, and Artist Point reflects the Craftsman style of the early 20th century. The decor is simple and understated, which I love given the sprawling window views of the lodge grounds.
After being seated, we were given the new allergy-friendly menu for Artist Point, which includes the top 8 common allergens: gluten/wheat, dairy/milk, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish. Our server noted that we could also order items not on the special diets menu and that the chef could work to create something delicious. Because of the new menu, the chef does not come typically out, unless we requested (which we did, to ask questions).
One interesting thing to note is that our server indicated that some dishes on the regular menu were indeed gluten free or allergy friendly but not listed on the new menu, which seemed a bit strange; however, my guess is the restaurant chose to feature the most allergy-friendly dishes on their new allergy-friendly menu, rather than just gluten free dishes.
I had been eyeing the Pho on the menu, which was not on the allergy-friendly menu. Pho is typically gluten free and dairy free, so I was curious as to why it wasn’t listed. Alexis and I also had some questions about the no sugar added cobbler.
When the chef came out, he mentioned that the Pho was gluten free & dairy free and that he could substitute rice for the rice noodles, if I wanted. I opted to get the pho with the rice noodles, since that is how it is traditionally served and how it was listed on the menu. I debated about getting the salmon but decided the pho sounded delicious (and after ordering the seafood hot pot the last time, I didn’t think I would be disappointed ordering it). Alexis ordered the salmon (which looked delicious) and you can read her full review on Gluten Free in Orlando.
First up, we were brought GNI brand rolls. I really like these rolls when they are properly heated, but on this visit (like the last time I went to Artist Point), they were not. In fact, one of my rolls was still cold in the middle. I was served extra virgin olive oil with my rolls, and I missed the version I had the last time that had turmeric in it.
When my entree arrived, I have to say that I was fairly impressed by the giant prawns in my dish. Like the last time I visited Artist Point, they were served with the heads on, which may be unappealing to some. Pro tip: ask for an extra bowl. Between the mussels and head-on shrimp, I needed all the extra room I could get.
The broth itself was very flavorful and a bit spicy. The broth was red curry based, and I loved that the dish contained fresh ginger and garlic. The seafood was cooked perfectly, and the shrimp were outrageously good. If only I could get those on a regular basis! My only complaint for this dish was the bowl in which it was held. It was a bit too fancy and oddly shaped for the rustic and messy deliciousness that is pho.
For dessert, I decided to order the berry cobbler. I had heard rave reviews of this, and I was excited to try it (though less thrilled that it was sugar free – I’m not personally a fan of sugar free substitutes). The chef said this was made using a product called “one to one” which I’d never heard of & the crust was made with Namaste.
I have to be honest in that I was disappointed with this dessert. It wasn’t very warm and the cobbler crust seemed almost stale to me. It was dry, crumbly, and not particularly tasty. The shining stars in this dessert were the berries (which I love regardless of what dish they are in) and the house-made sorbet that had huge chunks of fresh berries in it. It’s unfortunate that my experience wasn’t so great, but I’ve heard so many great reviews of this, that I’m hoping I just had an off day experience. I’m not sure I’d order it again. At $11, it was pretty steeply priced, and I think that I’d rather go make a trip to Port Orleans French Quarter for gluten free and food-allergy friendly beignets.
I enjoyed my meal at Artist Point, though I can’t say that I’d probably go there again anytime soon. There are loads of places on property, like Sanaa or Boatwright’s that I enjoy more. For signature dining, I would probably choose Jiko, Hollywood Brown Derby, or California Grill over Artist Point. It’s not that it was bad by any means, but my personal taste prefers those other restaurants. I also did just visit Portland, OR for a week where I had amazing Pacific Northwest fare, so my experience may have been a bit shadowed by that.
I will say that if you’re looking for a quiet and romantic signature dining experience, Artist Point fits the bill quite nicely. The new allergy-friendly menu is proof that the menu has a lot of offerings for those with special dietary needs.
Have you been to Artist Point? Will you go now that they have new allergy-friendly menus?
*This dining experience took place in April 2013. It also includes a gluten free & yellow food coloring review.
I recently asked blog readers for recommendations for a signature location (and one I hadn’t been to in a while) and Artist Point was heads and tails above the rest. And Chef Williere over at Wilderness Lodge has also been recommending that I visit, so I took their advice and made an ADR. The last time I visited was 3 years ago, so I was looking forward to a great meal.
I admit, I was bad on this visit and somehow spaced taking photos. Blame it on my afternoon tasting filled with desserts–I was sort of in a sugar coma by that point. But, if you’re interested in a great detailed review of the decor, I would recommend heading over to the Disney Food Blog for a good review.
On this particular visit, I was hoping to catch up with Chef Matt, whom I’d met a few ago through Chef Williere while dining at Whispering Canyon Cafe. We were greeted by Chef Marco, who was kind but not as helpful as I would have anticipated for the caliber of restaurant. Nothing wrong with his interaction per se, but I didn’t feel like he was really up for customizing dishes, which I definitely expect at a signature location. After going over the options, I asked if Chef Matt was around to say hi. I feel badly because I don’t think he was thrilled with me because he never did come back–Chef Matt ended up taking care of things.
When Chef Matt came out, he was willing to do more customization but I think we were all losing steam from the day, so we all ended up with simple dishes. I ordered the appetizer salad that came with blackberries, sunflower seed granola, and ice wine vinaigrette and for my entree I ordered the hot pot which came with crab, shrimp, mussels and pork belly. My friend who is GF and yellow food coloring actually ordered the salad because he’s not a big beef eater or seafood lover. The chicken was not gluten free, but they did offer to make him plain chicken if he wanted. He ended up just ordering the salad as an entree. My other friend who doesn’t have food allergies got the salmon which I almost ordered–looked delicious.
First up at the table were the rolls. Sorry to say, this restaurant did not at all know how to heat them up. And yes, GNI brand rolls need to be heated properly or they are nasty. It was even worse because the last time my friends were here for Valentine’s Day, they had to send the rolls back 3 times because they were frozen. Seriously. So, they were at least not frozen this time. But yes, they needed some heating assistance. Mine was served with extra virgin olive oil that had turmeric in it and my friend got butter with some type of sea salt on it. The oil was fantastic. The only thing that could have made it better was the proper heating of the rolls.
|GNI brand rolls|
Next I got my salad (and this is the same salad my friend ordered for his entree), so both of our thoughts on this are listed here. It was a very refreshing salad. Mine was modified to remove the Manchego cheese, but was on my friend’s salad. I loved that cheese pre-dairy free days, so I can imagine it paired quite well with the dressing, berries, and granola. Note that the granola on it was really not what you would think of as traditional granola. It was sunflower seeds, egg whites, and honey mixed and baked. It was delicious. The ice wine dressing was really nice and delicate and played well with the greens, berries, and granola. The two things that we both noticed about the dish: 1) it needed more granola! (yep, we really liked it) and 2) it felt really underdressed in terms of the vinaigrette–just a bit more of the dressing and it would have been perfect.
|Salad–the sunflower “granola” was out of this world!|
Then on to the entrees. This was really the star of the meal. I ordered the hot pot which had crab, shrimp, mussels, coconut milk, and rice..oh yeah and crispy pork belly. This was insane! It was actually the perfect meal for me that night–light, filling, and heavily protein based. The mussels were cooked to order and perfectly cooked (hard to do sometimes), the crab was tender and the shrimp was full-head on shrimp. That means TONS of flavor. Of course, I can’t do the creole/cajun suck the heads part but I appreciate the flavor that it imparts the dish. The sauce was very light and flavorful. Had some great fresh herbs in it and the coconut milk was perfect in terms of flavor. They included fresh limes and that was an excellent touch–the lime juice definitely added to the flavor of the dish. And then the pork belly. THE BEST PART OF THIS DISH. Ok, sorry for the all caps, but I just had to shout out how good it was. The pork belly was perfectly cooked and offered the best salty bite to the dish. Seriously, I’m still craving that pork belly.
|Hot pot. Check out all that goodness!|
Just for those who are interested, here’s a non-allergy dish, though the salmon could be made GF. Looked amazing.
|*Note this is NOT allergy safe–the salmon can be made GF/DF though–not the sides.|
We all opted for no dessert–we were over desserts at that point (and yes, for those interested the dessert tasting was for the upcoming special diets dessert party–more details to come!). It sounded like the were willing to customize something, but I definitely wasn’t feeling it–and we got spoiled by Disney’s catered events.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with my meal at Artist Point. I found the quality of the food to be exceptional–though there were a few things I’d like to see the restaurant work on. They need to learn how to cook those rolls better. Such good accompaniments shouldn’t go to waste on poorly heated GF carbs! The other slight criticism I have is that they didn’t seem to be willing to customize as much as some other signature dining locations are. Brown Derby, California Grill, Jiko, Narcoosee’s..they have all gone above and beyond to work with me (Brown Derby made homemade truffle mayo for goodness sakes!). I had a lot of choices because I enjoy seafood but for those who aren’t in to seafood or beef, this might not be a great location.
In general though I found the food to be excellent and the service was impeccable. Our server was on top of all of our beverages, dishes, silverware, etc. In that respect, they excelled above many restaurants. Additionally, the atmosphere is relaxing and gorgeous. I personally love the arts & crafts style, so I found it to be very appealing.
I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to visit again–that hot pot is now on my favorite dish list! I’d give this an 8 out of 10 due to the poor rolls and semi-lacking customization. But overall, would highly recommend this location.
Artist Point is a gorgeous restaurant, filled with arts & crafts movement designs and motifs. Upon entering, the staff confirmed that there was a food allergy in our party. We were then seated and the CM who waited on us also confirmed the allergy. When the chef arrived, I was a bit disappointed by his lack of enthusiasm or willingness to modify most of the items on the menu. He seemed like he more or less just wanted me to choose something easy and already GF/Dairy free. I don’t eat red meat, so I had been eying the salmon, black cod, or the scallops on the menu. The salmon seemed to cause more difficulty and the chef flat out told me he wouldn’t do the black cod, so I decided to go with the scallops. The only modification it required was removal of the corn cappuccino. I did not get a starter, as we’d eaten fairly close to dinner, and I wasn’t overly interested in the choices. The chef did bring out some extra virgin olive oil and some tapioca rolls. Maybe it’s been so long now since I’ve had real bread, but this trip they seemed tastier than the last one.
Tapioca Roll and olive oil
Overall, I’d give this restaurant a 10 for atmosphere, but a 7 for service and overall helpfulness for dietary restrictions.