*This dining experience took place in May 2017.
Dinner at The Wave
The Wave, located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is a table service restaurant located on the main floor of the resort. It’s a little tucked away, but that’s definitely one reason why it can be a great dining option for guests looking for a last minute reservation or someplace a bit more quiet. We have dined at the Wave twice recently for dinner after I had a really great breakfast experience here. We’d both never been for dinner, so we wanted to check it out. And, we were really glad that we did because the restaurant really surprised us.
The interior of the Wave always seems to get mixed reviews. I find the theming to be a bit basic, but it does really represent the “wave” theme.
You’ll see touches of the wave motif everywhere — from the menus to the lighting.
The restaurant itself isn’t that large, but it can have some really nice cozy seating. I’m not a fan of sitting smack dab in the middle of a restaurant, but I love the side seating they have and booths a lot.
As you can see, the wave theme is subtle but visible in every detail — even the chairs.
We also got a chance to see one of the side rooms that is used during busier / peak dining times. Our server Jim showed us some of the cool food art in there, as we were mentioning that we liked the food art on the walls in the main room.
I have to admit that the Wave hasn’t always been high on my list of dining options. I’ve had some really lackluster experiences and some really not so great meals. But, over the last few years, I’ve found that the options have expanded and that the food quality is really great. This is definitely one reason why we came back to the Wave twice recently (that and 20% off our meal as Disney annual passholders helps too).
The second night we went, it was really busy, so we went to the bar to get drinks. I love the bar area at the Wave, and it’s nice that you don’t have to make reservations to go there or to even order food. The bar was jammed though when we went on a weekend night.
As always, I tend to order my favorite — a gin and tonic. A word on gluten free and alcohol, according to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease and peer-reviewed scientific research, “in pure spirits, the distillation process makes these beverages safe because the protein is removed. However, flavored spirits may contain malt, and should be avoided.” With this in mind, I do drink gin and I feel no adverse reactions.
Know that if you don’t feel comfortable drinking different kinds of spirits, Disney does carry hard cider and some gluten free alcohol options. I would, however, avoid Omission Beer served at Disney (a gluten-removed beer, which has been the subject of some major studies recently showing that the gluten, in fact, is not removed). Of course, trust your own gut and judgement when consuming alcohol.
After being seated on both of our visits, our servers brought me Udi’s Gluten Free Bread and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, which I requested (the buttery spread, not the bread). I will say, I was bummed they didn’t have Deanna’s Gluten Free rolls on hand. The Udi’s bread is OK but the first visit, it was not heated and extremely dry and crumbly.
On our first visit, Brandon ordered the Cheese Plate and requested it be made gluten free. Because I’ve reintroduced dairy back into my diet, I definitely have become a fan of the cheese plates at Disney, and this one was a really good one. It included a blue cheese, a goat cheese, and a cheddar. We’d definitely get this one again. Note, it is not listed on the allergy-friendly dinner menu, but can be made gluten free if you ask.
On our second visit, we ordered the Bacon and Eggs appetizer which is Gluten Free, Fish/Shellfish, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Free. It does contain dairy.
Holy moly! Was this good!
The dish is composed of Maple-lacquered Pork Belly with a Poached Egg and Tillamook Smoked Cheddar Grits. Talk about decadent. The pork belly was super rich and tender, and the grits were so creamy. All in all, this was an outstanding appetizer choice that we both gobbled down quickly.
On our first visit, I ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Glazed Root Vegetables, Fingerling Potatoes, and Red Wine Reduction. This was listed as Gluten Free, Fish/Shellfish, Milk, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Free.
Overall, I really enjoyed this but found that the potatoes were under-seasoned and the steak was a bit overcooked. Next time, I’d probably request it be cooked to medium to ensure it wasn’t too overdone. The steak itself had a great char on it, and the flavors were nice. I would have loved more red wine reduction on this too. It was my favorite part of the dish.
On our second visit, I ordered the Grilled Pork Chop with Sweet Potato Puree, Winter Greens, Pancetta, and Autumn Spiced Fruit Preserves. It is listed as Gluten Free, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Free (it contains dairy in the puree).
This was outstanding!
I’m so glad I ordered this entree, as it was super flavorful. The pork chop was cooked perfectly to medium and was very moist and tender. The sweet potato puree was really smooth and creamy and mixed really well with the bitter greens, pancetta, and the fruit preserves. All in all, this was a really solid and composed dish and one I’d order again.
We really loved the Wave on both visits. While there were a few tweaks here and there to the food, we really found the appetizers and most of our entrees to be extremely well prepared and flavorful. To add to it, we had some of the best service we’ve had at Disney on both occasions. The manager Oliver was excellent and remembered us on our second visit, and we highly recommend both Jim and Alan as servers. We’re both still talking about our dinners there, and we will definitely be going back again soon.
Have you been to the Wave? What did you enjoy when you dined there?