December 9, 2009
Raglan Road is one place that we have been interested in trying for quite some time but could never just seem to get to Downtown Disney for dinner. We specially planned this whole day around our dinner reservations.
Raglan Road is modeled after an Irish Pub and then Disneyfied.
We arrived 15 minutes ahead of our reservation time and they had a table for 6 open so we walked right into the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was all the hardwoods and how between the floors and the lighting everything seemed to glow with golden tones. The first room was extremely large with high ceilings that allowed every sound to reverberate through the room. It was fairly crowded and I prayed we would not be seated in here. I was in luck. We were in a smaller dining room off to the side that felt very warm and cozy. The ceilings were lower and the feeling not as frantic as it was in the previous room.
We settled into a large heavy dark wood table with large sturdy chairs. Our server arrived with in just a few moments of our being seated to take our drink order. There were several orders for Guiness among the drinks.
We first ordered the Appetiser D’Lirrah for Two and an order of chips for the table. We figured we could each taste one or two things prior to our meal. When the dish arrived we were surprised at how plentiful it really was.
There were six George Bank Scallops speared individually on forks standing in the right of the photo. These were heavenly. The scallops were moist and perfectly cooked. The batter was light and airy and not greasy. I would return to this restaurant just to eat the scallops again.
The Chicken Licken Skewers were extremely dry and over cooked. Even adding a good dollop of the Key Lime Dip (which had more of a sour cream flavor than Key Lime) or the slightly spicier dip (which appeared to be a basic Honey Mustard Dip) did little to help the skewers. Trying to cut the chicken into bites for the children was near impossible as it was so dry.
The Guinness Glazed Baby Ribs were sweet and sticky and had almost no discernable Guinness flavor. My daughter loved these in the Honey Mustard Dip. I thought they were mostly honey flavored and slightly dry. But, I did eat several unlike the Chicken Skewers where I could only swallow a bite.
The Dalkey Battered Sausages were plentiful. There were 2 dishes of them on the plate. They are a rather mild sausage battered and fried. These were best eaten with the Honey Mustard Sauce.
Our entrees began to arrive just as soon as the last bite of appetizers were finished.
Serious Sirloin Steak
My entree was first out. Though the picture looks like the steak has spaghetti on top of it those are supposed to be crispy fried onion straws. I do mean supposed to be as they were fried and they were onion straws but they were more greasy mush than crispy. My steak was perfectly cooked to the medium-rare that I had ordered. I really could not taste the Whiskey glaze or fresh basil oil on the steak but I did try to soak some of the oil that was on the bottom of the plate with the mashed potatoes to give them some flavor. The potatoes were some of the worst I have ever tasted. They were literally mashed potatoes. No flavor. Very, very bland. I LOVE mashed potatoes. I would eat them for every meal if I could but after 3-4 forkfuls I gave up on these and left them to harden on the plate.
Keen Eye for the Shepherds Pie
My partner ordered the Shepherds pie. It is described as having a contemporary twist. It was beautifully presented. You could smell the Guinness that the meat had been cooked with the minute the plate was set on the table. The Guinness flavor did come through most of all with a hint of onion in each bite. Though the portion looked fairly small she was struggling at the end to finish and left a few bites on her plate even after sharing a bit with our son. For her the mashed potaotes were okay as she had something to eat them with to add flavor. When she tried them separately she did mention they were rather bland.
My sister-in-law ordered the Goats Town. She loved the mixture of the mushrooms with the berry compote. She was unsure of how the mixture would be but claimed that the berry mixture added just a hint of sweetness for what she deemed a perfect combination.
Now these were delicious. My brother-in-law offered them up to the table and still had enough for a full meal. The pieces of garlic were plentiful but not overwhelming the flavor of saffron and leeks. The strangest part of this meal was that there was no side dish. It was a bowl of mussels. No starch or vegetable. Nothing. Very strange.
Macaroni and Cheese
When my daughter who LOVES macaroni and cheese ordered this I was a bit hesitant. She loves homemade macaroni and cheese not boxed Kraft macaroni and cheese. The server assured us this was delicious with a hint of garlic and a blend of several cheeses. We are a garlic loving family so she ordered it. I should have known better.
She ate two bites before declaring she did not like it. That was fine as I ate it in place of my mashed potatoes. I thought it was absolutely delicious. I could not taste the hint of garlic but could definitely taste the tang of the parmasan cheese. She ended up eating off from everyone’s plates including a healthy dose of mussels from her uncle.
Fried Shrimp and Green Salad
This childrens’ meal was slightly disappointing to my 6 year-old son in its size. There were 5 fried shrimp and a very tiny green salad. He loved the shrimp and the green salad was mostly Romaine lettuce, a few carrot shavings and a grape tomato. This is a child who can eat so he also ate some of each of the adult dishes.
The music started in the other room. Both children went out by the archway to see the musicians for a song. We sang along and clapped to a few of the Irish ditties. It was nice to be in the little side room as the music was not too loud but if you really wanted to be “part” of the entertainment and sing along you really needed to be in the larger room.
Shortly after the Irish dancer began to perform on a small stage in the center of the main room. As our daughter usually has Irish Dance lessons on this night we thought it was perfect that she was able to go out into the main room and view a real performance.
Berries and Creme
I can not for the life of me remember the name of this dessert and it seems to have been left off my notes! But this is the dessert that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were most looking forward to all evening. They had eaten this dessert each night while they were in Ireland and had such fond memories of the sweet berries and the fresh cream eaten each evening at dusk. Though they felt this was good it did not live up to their memories of Ireland. They wished it had been fresh cream and not a dollop of whipped cream.
This sounded like everything I could ever want in a dessert- chocolate, chocolate and then more chocolate. The outer layer was a creamy chocolate coating, not the crunchy chocolate candy coating I was expecting. Underneath was a layer of light as air chocolate mousse. Underneath the mousse was what appeared to be some sort of chocolate crust. Thinking it was going to be an Oreo cookie crust or something similar I took a big bite. I could not chew! It was plasticy and tough. I actually spit it into my napkin thinking that I had accidentally received part of the plastic packaging or something in with mine. I looked and nothing appeared off so I took a much smaller bite. Again, I can’t chew this.
When the waitress returned I asked her about the crust. She was so excited, “Oh, that is made from melted Snicker bars mixed with corn flakes and then formed into the crust. Isn’t it delicious?” No. I told her how perfectly inedible it was. She thought maybe it was from the carmel and the corn flake mixture. I think the corn flakes were stale and the carmel just solidified it into a gooey plasticy mess.
Bailey’s Créme Brulee Tart
Okay. I am not an educated food critic. I know what I like. I love to cook and I know what flavors and textures seem to go well together. But is this a Creme Brulee Tart? It was cheesecake. Though my partner said it was delicious as a cheesecake and had a nice light hint of Bailey’s it was not Creme Brulee.
Where the restaurant made the most points with us though was in the childrens’ dessert. Their choices were ice cream sundaes or a chocolate chip cookie. We really did not want the children to have either as they were going to have a treat later at Goofy’s Candy Co. and we really try to limit sugar. We asked if a child size version of the adult fruit cup could be substituted for the childrens’ dessert. The waitress came back and said the manager was happy to do that and in fact wished he could add it to the menu as he would rather children have fruit than ice cream or cookies. Two delicious bowls of mixed fruit (pineapple, honey dew melon, canteloupe, grapes and apple slices) were placed in front of the kids. The fruit was gone in minutes and both children thought it was the best dessert they had had so far.
So in the end we left completely full and mostly happy. Was our meal perfect? No. But we decided we would definitely try this restaurant again even if only for the Scallop Appetizer and the manager’s allowing the children to have fresh fruit for dessert.