We recently experienced, A Taste of Bull and Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. This special dining experience takes place during their Food and Wine Weekends. It’s a five-course meal with perfectly paired wines. Take a look at our culinary journey at this delicious event.
Bull and Bear is an award-winning fine dining restaurant that features steakhouse classics and innovate fare. As guests enter the restaurant, they are greeted by the staff. If your table isn’t available yet, you’ll be shown to the lounge where you may take a seat, wait and enjoy one of their fine wines or unique cocktails.
The lounge and dining room have a warm, classic club feel to them, without feeling pretentious. The restaurant’s decor is classic, yet contemporary with rich, dark woods.
The fine dinnerware is made by Bernardaud and is imported from France. Everything from the plates to the wine glasses have a contemporary look to them.
These unique candle holders come in more than 300 different designs. Waldorf Astoria has these imported as well. Guests who have visited the Christmas markets in Europe may recognize these. They are sold throughout the Christkindlesmarkts in Germany and Austria.
Bull and Bear is the first restaurant to use iPad menus. Their entire menu is on an iPad, giving you the ability to not just see the dishes, but to view wine recommendation for each dish. We love these menus!
Since we were enjoying The Taste of Bull and Bear, we didn’t order off of the menu. All of the dishes and wine pairing were pre-selected. Here is The Taste of Bull and Bear menu that we enjoyed:
Potato Cappuccino (Beginning)
Oregon Truffle Jus, Mushroom Salt
Wine: Jaffurs Viognier, Santa Maria Valley, CA
Maine Lobster Salad (Salad)
Herb Emulsion, McGregor Farm Petites, Aioli
Wine: Elk Cove Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, OR
Chilean Sea Bass (Catch)
Spinach, Mushroom Duxelle and Tomato Encrusted Chilean Sea Bass, Sorrel Sauce
Wine: Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay, Russian River, CA
8 oz. Filet of Beef (Pasture)
Beef Tallow Candle
Potato au Gratin
Sautéed Seasonal Mushrooms
Wine: 1000 Stories Red Zinfandel, Mendocino County, CA
The Big Reveal (Dessert)
Lemon and Berries Pavlova, Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream, Meringue
Wine: Alvear Solera, Pedro Ximenez, Spain
Price: 110 per person, includes five-courses with wine pairings, plus tax and gratuity
The hand-crafted cocktails feature classic prohibition-style libations and twists on some favorite classics, such as New World Gin and Tonic.
Food and Beverage
Onto what you came here to read about… the food and beverages!
Once seated and settled in, we were presented with a Amuse Bouche (a bite-size appetizer compliments of the chef) – cured sirloin topped with creme fraisch and crystallized fennel. The cured sirloin was flavorful and the crystallized fennel made it pop. The fennel lingers on your palette a bit.
Our beginning course was Potato Cappuccino made with Oregon Truffle Jus and topped with Mushroom Salt. Since it was layered with the crème fraîche on topped with the mushroom salt, to get the full effect, you needed to take a sip, then mix it and finish the dish. This dish was incredible! The crème fraîche added a nice creamy richness.
Jaffurs Viognier went perfectly with the potato cappuccino. The lightness of the wine complimented the richness of the cappuccino.
For our salad course, we were served Maine Lobster Salad with Herb Emulsion, McGregor Farm Petites, and Aioli. The lobster was perfectly cooked! Very tender. Many times, lobster is slightly chewy from being overcooked, but this was not. It melted in your mouth. The herb emulsion is done with lobster roe, just adding an additional hint of the lobster to the dish.
The salad was paired with Elk Cove Pinot Gris. It’s similar in flavor to Chardonnay, oaky but lighter and crisp. For a Pinot Gris, it was excellent. I’m often not too fond of Pinot Gris. If I’m drinking white wine, it’s usually a Chardonnay. Elk Cove was named for the 100 elks located on the property.
Our catch course was Spinach, Mushroom Duxelle and Tomato Encrusted Chilean Sea Bass with Sorrel Sauce. The plate is painted with the sorrel sauce, which is a member of the spinach family. Then a ring of butternut squash is placed around it. The Chilean sea bass is baked, then it’s topped with the spinach, Duxelle mushroom, Roma tomatoes and panko bread comes, and baked a second time. The sea bass was extremely delicate, tender and moist. The sorrel sauce added an earthiness, while the butternut squash added some sweetness to the dish.
If was paired wonderfully with the Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay. The wine had a creaminess to it, with a hint of oak.
For our pasture course, we were presented with an 8 oz. Filet of Beef served with Potato au Gratin, Sautéed Seasonal Mushrooms, and Roasted Garlic Clove. The potato is pave-style. They slice up the potatoes paper thin and put it back together. When baked, it’s crisp and soft and allows the mild cheddar flavor to come through.
We ordered the steak medium-rare. I’m an extremely picky steak eater. If it’s undercooked, or overcooked, I don’t want to eat it, so I rarely order it. This filet… it was cooked perfectly! It was so delicious, there wasn’t a bite left of it. The mushrooms added an earthiness to the steak. It was a perfect accompaniment.
1000 Stories Red Zinfandel was paired with the filet. The wine is unique in that it’s aged in rinsed Four Roses Bourbon barrels. It’s a sweeter zinfandel, but still dry.
Of course, you can’t end a meal without a dessert course. The Big Reveal – Lemon and Berries Pavlova with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream and Meringue. The pavlova is hidden under a dome of dark chocolate. To melt the chocolate dome, hot mint water is poured over it to reveal the lemon and berry pavlova inside. This dessert was delicious! Sweet, but not too sweet.
Alvear Solera Pedro Ximenez was paired with The Big Reveal. It’s a full, sweet wine.
The service here is impeccable! The service here isn’t like your typical restaurant service, or even like one of the signature dining restaurants at Disney. It’s much more personal.
Our server, Tim, was very attentive and explained every course and wine pairing as they were presented. He was extremely knowledgeable about the ingredients, preparation and taste. We never need anything. If our water glasses were even about half way full, someone was there to fill it back up.
This is one of the best dining experiences we’ve ever had. The service was exceptional, the food and wine pairs were exquisite, and the atmosphere was elegant. For those who like the finer things, this is a MUST-NOT miss restaurant. Even if it’s too late for you to try The Taste of Bull and Bear this year, make a reservation to enjoy their fantastic dinner menu… and make plans for this experience next year.
For guests trying to equate it to a dining experience at Disney World, if you’ve been to Victoria & Albert’s, it’s along those lines. However, it’s more laid back and the dress is business casual.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with exceptional cuisine and service, or a place to celebrate a special occasion, then Bull and Bear is where you need to head.
To make a reservation, call (407) 597-5413 or reserve via Open Table.
Please note, we did receive this dining experience complimentary of Waldorf Astoria Orlando. However, as with all of our reviews, that does not guarantee a positive review.