REVIEW: This Hotel Restaurant Left Me Gobsmacked 😲 in Disney World

By admin Apr6,2024

If you’ve been to Disney World in the past, you’ve probably tried many of the restaurants in the parks and a few in Disney Springs, but sometimes, the HOTEL restaurants are where it’s at!

Port Orleans Resort — Riverside

Some of the best food in all of Disney World is located at the resorts, and we’ve got a long list of hidden gems that are often overlooked. During your next trip, you might want to venture outside of your typical dining comfort zone, and if you’re interested in trying something new, then you need to check out this dining review!

Atmosphere

Welcome to Boatwright’s Dining Hall! This restaurant is located in the main building of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — Riverside, and I made a recent visit to check out some of the new menu offerings!

Boatwright’s Dining Hall

You can enter the restaurant either through the lobby by walking down the hallway or around the back by the Sassagoula River.

Boatwright’s sign inside

When you first walk in, you’ll come to the host’s podium. This is where you can check in for your reservation if you haven’t already done it through the My Disney Experience app. It’s not terribly difficult to get a reservation here — they often have Walk-up Waitlist or last-minute availability.

Host’s stand

The restaurant has three different dining areas. There’s a main room right as you enter with an upper balcony-like area…

Main dining area

…one room immediately after you go up the stairs…

The first upstairs room

…and then a third, quieter room in the back of the restaurant.

The back room

As fits the name, Boatwright’s has a boat-building theme. You’ll noticed pieces of partially-finished boats, as well as various boat-building tools hanging on the wall throughout the restaurant.

A boat in progress!

It’s a very rustic and workshop-like vibe in here. If you like warm lighting, wood, and brick accents, you’ll feel cozy and at home.

You’ll see all kinds of tools on the wall

There are all kinds of circular saws, corkscrews, and various tools mounted to the walls. Your handyman dad would probably find this restaurant fascinating!

More tools

Now let’s dive in to the menu!

Menu

Since it’s located at Port Orleans Resort — Riverside, the menu is inspired by both Louisiana and southern favorites. On the appetizer list, you’ll find options like French Onion Soup Au Gratin, Pimento Cheese Fritters, Louisiana BBQ Shrimp, and Jambalaya Farro Salad.

Appetizers Menu

If you’re a little-bit-of-everything kind of person, you might want to try the Taste of the Bayou platter. For more specific tastes, they have choices like Seafood Boil, Roasted Prime Rib, jambalaya, Cajun chicken, Shrimp and Grits, and fish.

Entrees

Of course, like many Disney restaurants, they have several specialty cocktails. You could try the Bourbon Peach Tea, the Whiskey Sour, or the Hurricane, to name a few. They also have draft beer, mocktails, and soft drinks.

Beverages

On the dessert menu, we’ve got four new treats available! These arrived recently and include the Cafe au Lait Pot de Creme, Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake, Praline-Bourbon Bread Pudding, and Pecan Pie Tart.

Desserts

Boatwright’s also has a selection of dessert cocktails and specialty hot beverages for you to pair with the end of your meal.

Dessert beverages

Now it’s time to eat! Let’s get some food!

Eats

To start the meal, they brought Cornbread with Honey Butter to my table! I love a restaurant with a complimentary bread service, and I was very excited to try this one.

Cornbread with honey butter

The cornbread was nicely sweetened and had a good corn flavor. The butter was smooth, and the honey really complemented the bread. My one complaint is that the cornbread was a tiny bit dry, but the butter helped alleviate some of that.

Looks delicious!

While I snacked on my cornbread, I ordered my first course, and it arrived shortly after. I got the Pimento Cheese Fritters for my appetizer, and the Shrimp and Grits as the entree.

Let’s eat!

First up, I had the Pimento Cheese Fritters for $12, which are house-made. They’re essentially fried balls of pimento cheese topped with pepper jelly, and they were DIVINE.

Pimento Cheese Fritters

They were SO cheesy on the inside, and the pepper jelly added both a sweetness and a spiciness to the overall flavor profile. I only wish I’d gotten more fritters with my order because three was too few and a bit small on the portion size for the price.

Inside the fritters

Next up was the Shrimp and Grits for $26. It’s made with sustainable shrimp and andouille sausage served with spicy cream sauce over creamy Charleston-style grits. As both a shrimp and grits connoisseur and a South Carolina native, I was incredibly intrigued.

Shrimp & Grits

And I’ll be honest with you — these were some of the best shrimp and grits I’ve eaten in Disney World! The grits were smooth and cheesy, and the shrimp were peeled and deveined (it’s a big pet peeve of mine when they don’t do that with this dish). The sauce was creamy, and there was a decent portion of meat throughout. I would 100% come back to order these again!

YUM!

Wrapping up the meal, I wanted to try out two of the new desserts! I got both the Praline-Bourbon Bread Pudding and the Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake.

Dessert spread

The Praline-Bourbon Bread Pudding was the one I was more excited about. It’s $9 and made with pecan praline sauce, bourbon-soaked raisins, and vanilla ice cream. I recently had a similar dessert at House of Blues in Disney Springs, and I was interested to compare the two.

Praline-Bourbon Bread Pudding

As far as bread puddings go in Disney World, this one is landing VERY near the top of the list! It was soft with just the right amount of chew, very moist, and full of delicious, rich flavor from the praline sauce and the bourbon raisins. The ice cream cooled it down a touch and added a lightness to it all. Phenomenal, and honestly topping the House of Blues version by just a little bit! (That one is very delicious as well!)

A scoop of bread pudding

The Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake is made with toasted meringue, caramelized bananas, and caramel sauce, and it was a winner as well! You can get it for $11.

Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake

The cheesecake was incredibly creamy and had a nice, light banana flavor. The caramelized bananas had a fun chewy texture that worked well with the smooth parts of the rest of the dessert, and the meringue on top added some sweetness. This doesn’t quite top the bread pudding for me, but it’s a very close second.

A scoop of cheesecake

Let’s round out this review — what did I think?

Overall

If you read through the rest of the review, you won’t be surprised to know that I LOVED this meal. Honestly, I was shocked! I’d dined at Boatwright’s in the past and my party had only been moderately impressed, but this time it blew me away. Everything I ate was phenomenal.

Boatwright’s sign

My top two dishes of the night were the Shrimp and Grits and the bread pudding, but I would re-order any of it again! And if you’re in the area or have extra time on your vacation, I definitely recommend Boatwright’s.

Nosh or Not?

Dine under a deconstructed boat if…

  • You’re staying at Port Orleans Resort. This restaurant is a MUST if you’re staying at Port Orleans — either the Riverside or French Quarter sections. There is boat and bus transportation between the two hotel areas, so I would suggest dining here on a resort day or after a park day.
  • You love southern comfort food. There are plenty of places to get southern comfort cuisine and seafood in Disney World, but if you’ve already tried other spots, this is a great choice! I might not pick it over easier-to-get-to spots at Disney Springs, but it’s a great option if you’ve got your own vehicle or want to ride the boat down the Sassagoula.
  • You’re a dessert person. Very rarely do we recommend desserts highly at table service restaurants, but I wouldn’t skip it here at Boatwright’s!

Float on past Boatwright’s if…

  • You have a party of picky eaters. This isn’t your classic burgers and chicken tenders kind of place, so you’ll only want to come here if you’ve got people who are open to the more adventurous menu.
  • You’re on a budget. The options here aren’t too expensive for a table service, but since I recommend getting appetizers and dessert here, you might want to wait until you have a bit more saved to dine here.
  • You’re not going to be in the area or don’t have transportation. It can be difficult to get to other Disney World hotels during your vacation if you’re not staying there. Even though you can get to Port Orleans from the Disney Springs area or by taking a bus from one of the parks, this might be a challenge if you’re limited on time during your trip.

Boatwright’s Dining Hall

That’s a wrap on my visit to Boatwright’s — thank you for coming along with me! I’ll keep you updated with more dining reviews from Disney World and all the Disney news you need to know, so stay tuned to DFB.

The Best (and Worst) Disney World Hotel Restaurants — Click Here!

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YOU CAN, TOO.


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Would you dine here? Let us know in the comments!

By admin

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