The Grand Floridian is a beautiful place to celebrate, and Citricos was the perfect restaurant for my birthday dinner.
We were seated in an excellent location at a table for two near the exhibition kitchen and the private wine room/dining room. Our server, Naow, was very good. He was attentive and helpful, with some humor too.
The bread basket was first. It included some warm, delicious kalamata olive bread. A very tasty start.
Rich & Kathy
Watermelon and Goat Cheese<
Bell & Evans Chicken
Fregula Pasta, Mushrooms, Spinach, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Chicken Jus
Saffron Jasmine Rice, Clams, Calico Scallops, Chorizo Vinaigrette
Custard in a Cone with cream and chocolate
Rich & Kathy
Florida Key Lime Pie
Baked in a Graham Cracker Tart Shell served with fresh Strawberries and a Quenelle of Sweet Mandarin Sorbet
Kathy: Lafond Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County, CA
Rich: Kurt Russel’s GoGi “Goldy” Chardonnay
The amuse-bouche was a fresh start, well balanced between the sweetness of the watermelon and the tanginess of the goat cheese.
Kathy had the chicken. Who knew chicken could be so good? I had a taste with all the accompaniments, and it was amazing. Full-flavored, juicy, and smoky. The sun-dried tomato pesto was a perfect match.
I had the halibut. I love well-prepared fish, and this was no exception. It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The rice was creamy with the lovely semi-sweet taste of the saffron. Of course, I also love clams and scallops, and they paired splendidly with the fish. The chorizo vinaigrette tied it all together.
We both selected the suggested wine pairings for our entrees, although we were actually thinking of getting the opposite. In the end, the suggested pairings were perfect. Kathy’s California Pinot Noir stood up nicely to the rich chicken, and my Chardonnay added a brightness to the fish without overpowering it.
For dessert, we ordered the key lime pie (one of our favorite desserts) to share. Before we could eat that though, Naow brought out a birthday dessert for me — custard in a cone with rich cream and a chocolate that said “Happy Birthday” on it. Kathy and Naow serenaded me with a much-appreciated rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
The key lime pie was fantastic — just the right touch for ending a fabulous meal.
It was a fantastic birthday meal. The food, the service, the atmosphere, and the company of my beautiful wife made for a memorable evening. We will definitely be back to enjoy Citricos again.
Thoughts from Kathy:
After dinner, we sat down in Mizner’s but it was crowded and noisy and didn’t have the vibe we wanted that night. So we got up and walked over to the Poly, for old times’ sake. It was a very romantic stroll and, as usual, we enjoyed the grounds. However, the inside “renovation” – oh dear, it was pretty bad, in our opinions. We doubt we’ll be back there. It just looks so tired and why don’t they add a nice adult, upscale restaurant? It’s even more family friendly (family exclusive?) than before.
Even Trader Sam’s was in an odd location. We peeked into that, too, but the one at Disneyland is far better. So we headed back to the GF, picked up our car parked halfway between the two (or at least, it seemed) and drove home remembering every bite of the amazing food and awesome service. We’d put Citricos on the same level as Napa Rose at the GC.
Mizner’s Orchestra on the Mezzanine
Kurt Russell Chardonnay
Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Watermelon with Goat Cheese Amuse Bouche
Bell and Evans Chicken
Halibut with clams and scallops
Complimentary Birthday Custard
Key Lime Pie
The Grand Floridian
The Polynesian Village