LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There’s a delightful sense of anticipation as you walk through the distinctive black iron gates at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Surrounded by the turn-of-the-century splendor of the resort, the spacious restaurant is an unexpected pleasure — sun-drenched Provençal colors, an open-air kitchen and a personality all its own.
The warm interior borrows from the Mediterranean to create an exciting and energetic look that fits perfectly with the cuisine: stylishly simple, market fresh and evoking a sense of nature’s basics — the sun, earth and sea.
Meals are orchestrated in an on-stage kitchen with a rotisserie that is visible from the 190-seat dining room. Modern, flavorful dishes that change with the seasons are on the menu, such as artisanal greens and peach salad. Starters are especially delightful, like the simple sautéed shrimp with white wine tomato, lemon and feta cheese; crispy arancini (balls of risotto); and lump crab with capers, lemon, fennel-celery salad, avocado and olive tapenade.
The food is light and emphasizes flavors and fresh herbs. Especially popular is the braised veal shank with roasted vegetables. Lighter appetites tend toward the pan-seared red snapper or seared tofu with zucchini and eggplant ratatouille. Every menu offering is accompanied by a suggested wine from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Sommeliers love to share their knowledge of the grape, and will happily pair a wine with any course from a list of nearly 200 vintages.
Desserts from award-winning pastry chef Erich Herbitschek, from a decadent lemon-scented cheesecake to a warm chocolate banana torte with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, get an artful flourish in the finishing kitchen that’s part of the dining room.
The spacious restaurant includes the Chef’s Domain, a glass-walled dining room that offers up to 12 guests a private dining experience.
Cítricos is located on the second floor at the Grand Floridian next door to Victoria & Albert’s restaurant.