The BOATHOUSE touts itself as having “Great Food. Waterfront Dining. Dream Boats”. The newly opened Downtown Disney restaurant, soon to be located in The Landing of Disney Springs is an upscale casual restaurant located on water.
For our first trip, we were joined by Tony Caselnova of Disney By The Numbers. Tony had already been on one occasion, but was excited to be joining us on our first visit.
If you ever wanted to know about the United States flag during maritime, you can read all about it before you enter the restaurant.
One of the most unique qualities of this restaurant are that all of the dining rooms are on the water or have water views. With 400 indoor and 200 outdoor seats, there is plenty of space for dining and relaxing.
Guests can take a ride on one of the amphicars for a fee. We’ll tell you more about this later.
The BOATHOUSE is massive, but you’d never know for viewing it from the front. It’s so expansive that it backs up to Fulton’s Crab House on the Marketplace side.
The main bar is located as you enter the restaurant. The first thing you’ll notice is the showcase of beautiful, fresh seafood. It’s at the front of the dark, wooden bar that has plenty of seating. This bar definitely sets the tone for what you’re about to experience at The BOATHOUSE.
In addition to the seating at the bar, there are some hi-top tables that seat four on one side. On the other, there are lower tables in front of the stage for guests to relax, fill up on food, quench their thirst and listen to some live music.
The entire restaurant has a nautical theme with boating pictures, motors, small ships mounted to the walls and boats that have been turned into tables. You’ll definitely feel like taking a ride on the water after being here.
So who doesn’t want to sit in this boat table? Isn’t this one of the coolest tables you’ve seen in a restaurant? The boat itself is beautiful! Those little rubber duckies you see in the Capatin’s chair… you can pick those up in the gift shop. There are more than 30 styles of them.
The first dining room has to round booths that look like a boat from either end. The rooms is decorated with metal fish and clear teardrop lighting.
The second dining room is decorated with beautiful black and white photos, teal walls and glass blown animals. You’ll be thinking about a beach house in this room.
There is also a second bar located here that can accommodate about 10-12 people. It’s full stocked like the main bar.
The third dining room has large, elegant wine cases that show off the restaurants extensive list. This room is decorated with lots of dark woods and burnt orange with pictures of boats.
Located on the backside of the restaurant, along the marina are several tables and seating for guests wanting to enjoy something a little lighter. It has a much more laid back feel than the dining rooms.
Outside on the marina is Dockside Bar. It’s a good size bar for being one of three located at The BOATHOUSE. It’s full-service and has a four TVs located around the bar for sports fans.
The menus are printed daily, so you’ll notice that the menu has the current date in the top right. You’re given two menus – one is the dinner menu and the outdoor menu. The outdoor menu has lighter menu items on it like sandwiches and beach buckets. We decided to order our meals from the dinner menu.
The outdoor menu consists of raw bar, launch (appetizers), field day (salads), square meals (sandwiches) and beach bucket bingo (fried). On the dinner menu, you’ll find the raw bar, launch, field day, stem to stern (specialties) and steaks, chops and provisions. For those who are 21 and up, there is an extensive wine list, specialty drinks and 30 bottled beers.
The BOATHOUSE is very proud of the quality of their ingredients. The menu has a Quality Statement that says, “Thoughtfully Sourced Products. Day Boat Line Caught Seafood. Marine Stewardship Council Support. Proprietary Product Partnership.” They also serve Certified USDA Gibsons Blue Star Heritage Angus beef.
Food and Drink
This is what you really want to know about, the food and beverages! Since this was our first visit to the newly opened, The BOATHOUSE, we asked the server to tell us a little bit about the restaurant and the menu. Our server told us how everything is brought in fresh every day. That’s right, EVERY DAY! What you are eating today, was swimming in the water yesterday.
Upon being seated, your server will bring you fresh dinner rolls and butter. Who doesn’t like to be greeted with some bread?
The BOATHOUSE has a nice selection of beers, wines and specialty cocktails. Normally, we each get something different to drink so that we can try each others, but that didn’t happen. Everyone ordered the Terrapin Liquid Bliss – chocolate peanut butter porter. With a description like that, it’s hard to not want to try it.
I know you’re looking and wondering… why is there only one Blue Point oyster and one wild caught Baja cocktail shrimp? Well, we wanted to make sure that we had enough room to eat what we were about to order and I just had to try the oysters and shrimp. Rather than filling up, I ordered one of each.
If you enjoy cocktail shrimp at all, you MUST try theirs. The Wild Caught Baja Cocktail Shrimp (4 each) is served with cocktails sauce. It’s the plumpest, most delicious shrimp that I’ve ever had.
The Oyster on the Half Shell (3.50 each) is accompanied by Cucumber Mignonette. These are the freshest and easiest to eat oysters I’ve had. I’d recommend if someone has never had an oyster, but is considering on trying one, this is the place to do it. They have a variety of oyster to offer and you can choose which ones you’d like to order. Don’t hesitate to ask your server about them. They are very knowledgeable about what is being offered.
Visually this dish isn’t appealing. However, it tastes great! The Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (24) is served with coleslaw and a side of tartar sauce. If you love crab cakes, this one is sure to please. It’s not full of breading, there is plenty of jumbo lump crab in it.
With a name like “Sandwich King” how could a burger lover not try this! The Gibsons “Sandwich King” Burger Hop Champion (20) has Crispy Cherry Peppers, Jalapeño Havarti, Sliced Tomato, Crispy Lettuce and Spiced Mayo and is served with fresh cut fries and a pickle spear. The burger was served at the exact temperature ordered – medium. It was one of the best burgers we’ve ever had. If you thing is fries, or your particular about your fries, you’re going to love these! They are those fantastic, starchy, fresh cut fries that are hard to find. You know, the kind that you could sit and eat only them. Yes… that’s these fries.
We also ordered the Grilled Line Caught Florida Mahi-Mahi Tacos (21) topped with Pickled Radishes, Serrano Mango Sauce and Cojita Cheese. Served with a lightly dressed Arugula Salad. The grilled fish was nice and light with the perfect amount of seasoning. The Serrano mango sauce added a nice touch with just a hint of spice and sweetness. Often you see something like a coleslaw served with fish tacos, but I really enjoyed the salad. It was a perfect accompaniment to the tacos. We really liked the sweet corn and light vinaigrette that was served with it.
The price tag for the Gibsons S’mores Baked Alaska might scare you just a bit, it’s $40. However, this dessert for four can easily feed 8. It’s made with Häagan-Dazs rocky road ice cream, covered in marshmallow, then toasted with pieces of rich dark chocolate added to the outside. It’s sinfully sweet! Chocolate lovers and ice cream lovers alike will enjoy this dessert.
The service here was top-notch! The waitstaff is very attentive. If you’re in need of something, you won’t have to flag someone down to get it. From the time we sat down, until the time we left, Jon (our server) made sure we had everything we needed, when we needed it.
You won’t be disappointed by the service. It really is extraordinary!
The BOATHOUSE is more than just a restaurant, there is plenty of ways to be entertained as well.
At the main bar, there is a small stage. Guests can enjoy live music nightly.
There are 19 rare dream 1930s – 50s boats that are kept in dock at The BOATHOUSE. Currently, only two of boats are operational – Lady Rose, an antique steamboat for two and The Venezia, a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi.
Lady Rose is a replica of an 1889 24′ Saloon Launch with a steam engine. Couples can take a Captain guided tour that includes chocolate-covered strawberries and a champagne toast. The price tag for this excursion is $150 per couple.
The Venezia can accommodate up to eight guests and comes with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. The cost is $75 per person ($50 per child 12 and under). Guests who are looking to host a very small, intimate party can book the water taxi by contacting the restaurant.
The Venezia and Lady Rose tours run hourly from 10 am to 10 pm. At this time they are only accepting walk-up reservations.
Guests can enjoy a ride in the amphicars. There is a ramp located next to the restaurant where guests enter and exit for their floating car ride. For a 20 minute cruise with three guests it is $100. Cruises can be purchased inside Ship’s Store.
In case you’re wondering how in the world you get in and out of the car without it rolling away since there are no breaks, we’ve got the answer. Once the car is pulled into the circle, one of the captains puts rubber breaks underneath the wheels to prevent the car from rolling down into the water. Once the cars in place, guests are helped to exit the amphicar.
Normally we don’t including shopping in our reviews, but this is an exceptional… and you’ll see why.
For guests looking for a souvenir as a reminder of their visit to The BOATHOUSE, there are plenty of options. Tervis tumblers, shot glasses, t-shirts and plastic wine glasses are inexpensive options.
There are some really unique items available in the Ship’s Store. One of the most unusual items – boat motors. They range for very small ones that you could attach to a bathtub size boat for $300 to large ones that you’d use on a fishing boat. We loved the personalized paddles for $60. What a perfect gift for someone who lives on the beach. The wine bottle board that holds two wine glass and the beautiful wooden salt/pepper shakers (around $800) were some of our favorites.
We loved this restaurant. It’s definitely pricey, but the food and atmosphere make it worth the price. We’ll most certainly be returning to The BOATHOUSE soon! We’ve even already made a list of some of the items that we must try next time – BOATHOUSE Gumbo, BOATHOUSE Lobster Cocktail, Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Steak Sandwich, Beach Bucket Bingo, The BOATHOUSE Surf and Turf Table, Berkshire Pork Chop and Key Lime Pie in a Mason Jar. OK… well, maybe it’s going to be more than one more trip. 🙂
The restaurant is open 11 am to 2 am daily with food available until 11 pm. For reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE or book online.