03 July, 2013

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge Review

It's just under the 60 day mark for everyone heading out to Disneyland and while looking at which restaurants to make reservations, as well as looking through my Disneyland pics from last September and reminicing, I realized I never wrote a dining review of my new all time FAVORITE place to eat at Disneyland!  Although Napa Rose comes in a verrrrry close second, we had such an amazing dinner at Carthay Circle, it just barely edges Napa to take the top spot. 

** I appologize that some of the pics are slightly blurry or have funny lighting.  That's what happens when the restaurant is so dark, I refused to use an annoying flash, and my friends helped out by providing some light from their iPhones.  

Patrick and I headed to the restaurant and met up with our friend Kevin and a few of his friends.  In total there were about six of us.  We were quickly ushered upstairs and sat at a nice quiet table near the balcony leading outside.  

First order of business was drinks.  When we saw the Lassetter Familiy Vineyard wines on the menu, we knew we had to try one.  Yes...Lassetter as in John Lassetter...the CCO of Pixar.  After discussing what type of wine we all enjoy, some of us chose to share the Paysage.  And we loved every sip of it.  Definitely not too dry and had a nice deep berry flavor.  

Since there were so many of us, we decided to order a bunch of different appetizers (and desserts later!) so we can all try a little bit of each.

First up were the duck wings that I've been hearing everyone rave about!  I really enjoyed them.  They had a nice kick to them and were a little different than your average chicken.  The soy and lime balanced out the sriracha nicely.

    Signature Fire Cracker Duck Wings - With Soy, lime and Sriracha Chili sauce

The next pick was probably mainly my idea.  Anything with goat cheese I love.  However, I forgot that, even though I'm Greek, I don't like grape leaves.  I think the actual leaf is too bitter for me.  So I just picked out the goat cheese and ate it with the garlic and fresh bread.  Nom nom.  (And unfortunately I don't see this on the new menu I looked at)

Chenel Goat Cheese Stuffed Grape Leaves with Roasted Garlic and Kalamata Olive Red Pepper Vinaigrette (no longer on the menu)

We also had to try the now infamous House Biscuits.  EVERYONE that goes here raves about these little babies.  They were pretty darn good too so they lived up to the hype.  I don't see these on the menu any more either but I can't imagine that they've been removed.  I'm assuming that they're now part of the normal bread service?  Can anyone confirm?

Carthay House Biscuits Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon, and Jalapeno

When I saw the salads on the menu I knew I also had to splurge and stuff myself silly with just a little more food than everyone else.  I LOVE the combination of watermelon and feta in a salad.  If you guys haven't had it, go make it or find it!  It's UHH-MAAAA-ZING.  Yup, it is.  This was pretty perfect, although I didn't really need all the green stuff.  Just give me watermelon and feta please.

Summer Watermelon Salad

I'm not 100% sure what everyone else ordered for their main meal.  I didn't get a chance to take photos before everyone dove in, sorry!  But I ordered the rack of lamb.  They sold me on the fennel puree.  The lamb was seasoned and cooked perfectly and went well with all of the accompaniments.  I wasn't a huge fan of the zucchini blossom but it was the first one I've ever tried so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Colorado Rack of Lamb - Fried Zucchini Blossom, Fennel Puree, and Summer Succotash

And now.... on to desserts!  Again..remember there was 6 of us (at least) so the servers insisted we try a few different options.  :)

People had been raving about the Peaches in All Their Glory since the restaurant opened so we definitely ordered one of those.  It was good but after awhile the peaches got a little overwhelming.  Plus I was WAY too mesmerized by the other desserts.

Peaches in All Their Glory - Peach & White Choc Mousse Cannoli, fresh grilled peaches, peach sorbet

I love anything lemon so this choice might have been based on my urging.  The berries with the lemon curd was awesome.  I could have eaten a bowl of just that combination.

Toasted Lemon Pound Cake - Marinated Blueberries, Lemon Curd Cream, and Tahitian Vanilla Chantilliy

And the BIG winner of the night... the Fried Banana Split Monte Cristo Sundae.  I actually think we MIGHT have ordered two of these because the waiter knew we would need them.  And woah.  Definitely my favorite of the night.  I mean deep friend bananas and stuff?  Heaven on a plate.

Fried Banana Split Monte Cristo Sundae - Raspberry and Choc Fudge Ice Cream, Toffee Nuts, and Warm Caramel Rum Bananas 

Oh!  Before dessert started (I think...), the server came by and told us that if we head out to the balcony, we could watch the fireworks from Disneyland (we were in Disney's California Adventure).  It was definitely not the best view by any means, but it was still really cool.

After the fireworks, we headed back and finished our meal.  Then headed back into the parks to go check out World of Color.  My belly was full and happy!  I can't wait to go back for dinner this year!  

The service the entire meal was perfect.  Not too intrusive but very knowledgeable and friendly.   And did I mention the art and photos on the wall is amazing to walk around and look at?  Esp for Disney fans like the gang I was with.  :)  

As for the Carthay Circle Lounge, Patrick and I headed there a few times during our trip.  Here's just a few of the photos.  There's not much else to say other than I love the ambiance, I love the drink and beer menu, the service is amazingly friendly, and it's SUCH a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the theme park right outside.  

Oh, and if you want a mixed drink, make sure you get the Manhattan with the ice sphere!  Very cool.  

For my review of PranQster, you can check out my Beers and Ears review here

We enjoyed all of the food we tasted in the Lounge so I'm not going to go into a more detailed review other than to say we love it all.  


Warm Barbecue Pork Roll - with Crispy Onions, Pea Shoots, Daikon, and Sesame Paper

Roasted Moroccan Lamb Meatballs - with Tzatziki and Pepperoncini

Double Pear Martini - Double Cross and Absolut Pears vodka, pear nectar, and fresh lime juice complemented with a marinated baby pear, served up


  1. I can't wait to eat here!! I've already made a reservation for the first day I arrive for DL Half Weekend :) Did you do the World of Color prix fix?

    1. Honestly? I couldn't 100% remember and forgot to ask Pat and Kevin before we posted this. I THINK we did. I do remember we went to see WOC right after this and had great spots. :) *sigh* this is why I need to write reviews right after I come home. Funny though how I remember all of the food! #foodaddict

    2. oops..before I* posted this!

  2. Oh my gosh I'm drooling!! I loved Carthay Circle the one time I ate there. I really don't think there is a bad thing on that menu. Looking at your picture, I really need to try the fried banana split!

    1. It was SO good! I think I need to get it again when I go!

  3. Oh no! Now I'm torn! The last time I was in Disneyland (10 years ago :/) I ate at Napa Rose, remember the food being DELICIOUS and so was going to have that be our "nice" dinner while we were here, but now I don't know! This all looks so amazing!

    1. I don't think you can go wrong with either option. Napa Rose is my other favorite in Cali. They're both SO GOOD!