*This post contains two dining reviews that took place in December 2019. It includes information about gluten free options, in addition to dairy free, fish/shellfish free, cabbage free, peanut free, hazelnut free, and chicken & turkey free options.
Dinner at The BOATHOUSE
The BOATHOUSE is a table service restaurant that is one of our favorites in Disney Springs. We often dine here with family & friends visiting or for special occasions, like birthdays. It’s definitely become a popular dining destination for us because it has a lot of variety and accommodation for guests with special dietary needs and the quality of the food & service is top notch. Recently, we had dinner here twice — once when a dear friend was visiting and another for Brandon’s birthday celebration with his family.
We love the theme of The BOATHOUSE, which is, of course, nautical in nature.
From the moment you walk up to The BOATHOUSE, you’ll find lots of boats and waterfront decor.
I love that even during the holiday season they decorated with nautical elements.
Even inside the restaurant, the theming had a holiday flair.
The BOATHOUSE has several different dining room areas — each with a different look and feel. On Brandon’s birthday, in particular, he requested that we dine near the back of the restaurant in one of the rooms that features a fireplace, dark wood, and dim lighting. As he refers to it, it resembles a much more modern version of the classic 1980s and 1990s look of a Red Lobster chain restaurant.
Though The BOATHOUSE is not owned and operated by the Disney Company and does not carry an allergy-friendly menu, we have been really impressed with their attention to special dietary needs accommodations.
I have to admit, I’ve heard a few horror stories from blog readers about their experiences here, but for us, our experiences have always been excellence. I do highly recommend speaking to a chef directly — even if a server encourages you to just order from the menu. The chefs there are always very helpful and knowledgeable.
On both occasions, our server and the chef offered me gluten free “rolls.” Really, these are just Udi’s gluten free buns heated up and served as a roll. The buns are both gluten free and dairy free, but the restaurant doesn’t currently offer a dairy free buttery spread. You can get extra virgin olive oil instead. While these aren’t the best bread service I’ve ever had, it is nice to have on occasion.
When my dear friend Kate visited, she and I both got the Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos served with Cabbage Slaw, Chipotle Crema, Pickled Red Onions, and Avocado Salsa. This dish is naturally gluten free (and can be made dairy free by omitting the crema). It was also peanut free and sesame free too based on Kate’s allergies, as well.
I really love these fish tacos. Currently being made using swordfish, the flavors were outstanding, and the quality of the fish was excellent. I especially love the chipotle crema and avocado salsa, which our server brought us extras of on the side. This is a dish I’ve had several times and one I’ll keep ordering for sure.
Brandon ordered the Filet Mignon Sliders with a baked potato on the side. Unfortunately, the restaurant does not offer a dedicated allergy fryer, so fries are out for both of us. But, Brandon really enjoys the baked potatoes they serve at the restaurant. This dish was fish/shellfish free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, peanut free, and chicken & turkey free.
For those who have nut allergies, we were advised that there is potential cross-contamination for the rolls and buns served at The BOATHOUSE due to peanuts being in the same space where the rolls and buns are made. Both Kate and Brandon have peanut allergies and both felt comfortable eating these. But, those with peanut allergies should take care when consuming any bread products from The BOATHOUSE.
I don’t normally get dessert at The BOATHOUSE, but I couldn’t turn down the seasonal Chocolate Peppermint Mousse. This is gluten free but does contain dairy (and cannot be modified). Holy cow was this good! If you can eat dairy, this seasonal dessert is worth ordering. I absolutely loved the rich chocolate mousse and peppermint flavor. It was even more festive with the crushed candy cane on top. It was so good that I wish they had it year round!
During Brandon’s birthday visit, I ordered the Broiled Wild Caught Swordfish Steak with Blackening Spice, Jambalaya Style Rice, Andouille Sausage, Crawfish Tails, and Louisiana Hot Sauce Butter. This is gluten free but does contain dairy and cannot be modified. The chef advised me that this is a newly GF dish too, as it used to contain gluten. But, they got so many requests for it to be gluten free, that they modified the recipe to make it naturally gluten free, which is great!
I was very impressed with the flavors of this dish. The swordfish was cooked perfectly, and the rice was excellent. If you like spicy food, this is definitely one to get. While I wouldn’t get it all the time, this was a nice treat to enjoy on a special occasion.
Because it was Brandon’s birthday, he went with a Petit Filet Mignon with salt crusted baby potatoes. His dish was not only gluten free but also dairy free, peanut/tree nut free, fish/shellfish free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, and chicken & turkey free. Brandon raved about the quality of the steak. It was definitely a great dish to celebrate his birthday with!
Brandon also ordered the mac & cheese, which is one of his favorites. This dish is fish/shellfish free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, peanut free, and chicken & turkey free. If you can have gluten and dairy, this is a great cheesy decadent dish that Brandon always raves about.
For dessert, Brandon was served a birthday cupcake. This does contain gluten and dairy and to my knowledge, guests who are gluten free & dairy free do not have a birthday cupcake option. The chef assured us there were no peanuts or hazelnuts in the cupcake. Brandon said it reminds him of a hostess chocolate cupcake, so if you enjoy those you’ll really like this birthday cupcake.
With lots of options, excellent seafood and steak, and attention to special dietary needs, The BOATHOUSE continues to be our go-to restaurant in Disney Springs. We both really love the food and have enjoyed our meals whether it was a light lunch or a birthday celebration. We’ll definitely continue to frequent this restaurant with our friends and family.
Have you been to The BOATHOUSE? What has your experience been with special dietary needs dining there?