Todd English’s Bluezoo is a celebrity chef seafood restaurant at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in the Epcot Resort Area. In this review, we’ll share food photos from our meal here, thoughts on the atmosphere, and whether we recommend this as a fine-dining meal is worthwhile, particularly as an alternative to Flying Fish.
We dined at Bluezoo (technically, the name is “bluezoo” but I find vanity capitalization stupid, so I’m not going to indulge it here) as part of Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, something that several Walt Disney World table service restaurants are doing this year, including several at the Swan & Dolphin Resorts.
As with the name, Todd English’s Bluezoo has an ENTIRELY LOWERCASE MENU. PERSONALLY, I THINK IT’S OBNOXIOUS WHEN PEOPLE OR BUSINESSES DEFY CAPITALIZATION CONVENTION FOR THE SAKE OF BEING TRENDY OR DIFFERENT. SEE WHAT I MEAN? I’m guessing few others care, though, so I’ll spare you the rest of my irrational angst about this, and instead share some of the many highlights of Bluezoo…
In terms of ambiance, Bluezoo is reminiscent of the redesigned Flying Fish. Or perhaps Flying Fish is reminiscent of Bluezoo, given that it predates Flying Fish’s new look.
In any event, you’re immersed with the feeling of being underwater as soon as you enter the restaurant. Not in a literal sense, but the vibe is still clear. It’s reinforced with an abundance of blue in the color palette, along with water features and low-key lighting.
As with Flying Fish, you have some abstract stylization, dramatic lighting features, and some pretty details. I’d hazard a guess that this incarnation of the restaurant was designed some time ago, but it has aged rather well. It still feels crisp and modern.
One thing to note about Bluezoo in terms of ambiance is that it feels more sophisticated and upscale–even more than the average Walt Disney World Signature Restaurant. On our visit, we saw maybe one child in the entire restaurant, and many well-dressed adults.
Kids are welcome, but if you plan to dine here with kids on the more ‘energetic’ side, you might consider an earlier seating. Since Bluezoo is not a Disney Dining Plan restaurant, you’ll encounter a more adult clientele.
While I would not call Bluezoo stuffy, I would say that you’ll feel uncomfortable if you wear regular theme park attire to Bluezoo. I was wearing a button-down shirt and shorts and Sarah was wearing a (casual) dress, and we both felt underdressed. Whether this makes Bluezoo more or less appealing is probably a matter of personal preference.
The Magical Dining Month menu was a bit limited, so we decided to do a mix of that and the regular menu. Plus, I had just dined at Flying Fish two nights’ prior, so I wanted to compare the salmon dishes head to head.
Our meal at Bluezoo started with the bread basket, which was varied and spectacular. It included three breads: ciabatta, onion bread, and a crisp garlic herb flatbread.
These breads were all fresh and delicious, and the side of butter was so smooth and rich that I ended up eating it all. Easily one of the best bread baskets we’ve had at any Walt Disney World restaurant.
We started with the New England Style Clam Chowder, which is described as “light and brothy with salt cured bacon, house-made oyster crackers.”
Light and brothy is probably not how I’d describe this dish. It definitely didn’t have the typical consistency of chowder, but it was rich and flavorful, and the abundance of clams and the brothiness certainly made it on the heavier side. That’s absolutely fine by me, as this was probably the best chowder I’ve ever had. It was incredible.
For entrees, Sarah had the Simply Fish. This is described on the menu as “our daily selection of finest fresh fish selected from coastal waters around the world, simply grilled on our teppanyaki grill, served with your selection of sauce – warm crabmeat with dijon mustard and chives or sauce of the day.”
Sarah’s fish was a bit milder and on the lighter side, but that was perfectly offset by the crab and creamy sauce (which was added tableside). We appreciated that the fish was not smothered in the sauce, instead giving the fish some room to “breathe.” The name might indicate that it’s simple, but we found this to be a well-prepared and delicious dish.
I had the King Salmon, topped with quinoa, tri-color cauliflower, beet purée, and sorrel vin blanc.
This was fattier than the salmon I had at Flying Fish, and given that and the price, I’m betting it was farm raised. Frankly, I don’t take issue with farm raised salmon, as I enjoy when the meat skews a bit towards the fatty side on the marbling, but reasonable minds may differ on that.
This was $3 less than my Õra King New Zealand Salmon at Flying Fish, which I called a good real-world value in our review of that delicious dish. I’d say the New Zealand Salmon was marginally better in taste, with a more pronounced difference in quality and accompaniments. This was still really good, and I’d highly recommend it.
We also ordered a side of Lobster Mac & Cheese. This was the only mis-fire of the meal.
I’m a sucker for lobster mac & cheese, with there only being two kinds in my mind: good and great. This barely registered as good, with the cheese tasting like it was diluted and a surprisingly small helping of lobster. Given the price and the quality of everything else, it was quite the disappointment.
For dessert, we had the Warm Chocolate Banana Molten Cake, featuring “chocolate cream pudding, chocolate sauce, caramelized banana, banana ice cream.”
This somehow managed to surpass our high expectations. The description alone is a veritable laundry list of desser all-stars, to the point where one might even worry that it’s all “too much.” That is not the case. It’s an assault on your taste buds, but a wonderful, glorious assault. The warm cake…meeting the caramelized banana…meeting the banana ice cream. It was beyond amazing, and a can’t miss dessert. I’d go back to Bluezoo just for this.
Overall, our experience at todd english’s BLUEZOO was excellent. It certainly did not hurt that three of these courses (chowder, simply fish, and dessert) cost a grand total of $30 due to Magical Dining Month, which is a downright steal. Even had we paid full price for everything, Bluezoo would stack up very well with other Signature Restaurants at Walt Disney World. It also seems like a ‘safer’ pick for a date night, adults’ only experience, or for convention-goers who want to escape the normal high-energy atmosphere that tends to come with Walt Disney World restaurants, even the higher end ones.
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