Dining at Disney: Cinderella’s Royal Table

For those of you who didn’t know, my husband and I are DISNEY JUNKIES.

Seriously, we’re at the parks almost every weekend. Epcot is our favorite – especially during the Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals – but we’ve been recently rediscovering the cuisine of Magic Kingdom and I have to admit we’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Last week was our ninth wedding anniversary (cue the “Awwwwws!”), so I surprised him with reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table, located in the beautiful castle the park is so famous for!

Let it be known, Cinderella’s Royal Table is not something you can do impulsively: you have to book reservations MONTHS in advance, and even then you can’t guarantee you’ll get an ideal time slot. I booked almost three months in advance, and managed to get a 10:15pm reservation for dinner. Not ideal dining time, but beggars can’t be choosers.

There are some caveats to keep in mind with dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table:

  • You pre-pay for dinner. It’s roughly $75 per person, but that covers a soft drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert, plus tax and gratuity.
  • It’s a pre-fix menu, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  • If you don’t like being visited by Disney princesses in full costume throughout your meal, this is not the place for you.
  • NO ALCOHOL. (boooo)

That being said, I was very impressed by the food quality, presentation, and overall experience!

The Menu at Cinderella's Royal Table

The Menu at Cinderella’s Royal Table

The appetizer selection was a bit small – but the cheese tray was scrumptious and my husband said his sea-scallop compote was very nicely plated and surprisingly flavorful.

The dinner entrees, however, were STELLAR. We both enjoyed the filet and shrimp and, though again small portions, they were perfectly cooked and the tenderness of the steak was downright impressive.

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Seriously, this may be small, but it packed a ton of flavor. And the shrimp is almost as wide as the steak!

I was so tickled to see how many gluten-free and allergy-sensitive options they had! They offered vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and diet conscious choices, which was honestly very impressive.

Of course, since we were celebrating our anniversary, we didn’t really follow our normal diets (we both stick closely to Paleo), but rather we enjoyed the bread basket (so delicious!), and got whatever dessert sounded best.

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Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I tried the flourless chocolate cake (I can’t resist chocolate) and he tried the seasonal dessert, which turned out to be a delicious strawberry cheesecake I ate too quickly to take a picture of – whoops!

All in all, I would definitely recommend Cinderella’s Royal Table to anyone looking for some fine-dining on Disney property with all the fun of a character meet-and-greet. The food was worth the expense (unlike some of the other dining options, which are egregiously overpriced), and the ambiance was lovely.

Naturally, we took lots and lots of photos with the princesses.

 

P.S. It’s probably not a surprise (based on these photos), but we did enjoy a few drinks at Epcot before heading over. Hey, we were celebrating, so it’s 100% acceptable.

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Easiest Eggplant Recipe EVER!

One of my favorite dishes in the WORLD is Eggplant Parmesan. Of course, that’s basically one of the least healthy preparation methods for vegetables you can think of.

My alternative to that is the following recipe, which tastes DELICIOUS, is super cheap (under $5), and super quick.

Ingredients:

  • Giant, fresh eggplant, sliced about 1 inch thick.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Kraft Romano Parmesan Shaker
  • Sliced cherry, Roma, or beefsteak tomatoes (your preference.)
  • Breadcrumbs (optional)

As a VEGAN option, replace regular Parmesan with a soy or almond-milk alternative. There are several to choose from!

The night before, slice your eggplant and throw it into one of those giant (gallon) plastic bags. Add the olive oil (I use roughly 2 tbsp) and the balsamic vinegar (roughly 1 tbsp) to the bag. Target also makes an awesome mixture of the two which is only 90 calories per serving, great for those of us who find using two bottles of sauce too complicated.

Shake well to evenly coat the sliced eggplant, then add the garlic powder, basil, and oregano. Allow to marinate overnight.

Ignore the broccoli. I was prepping another meal simultaneously. I'm nothing if not a multi-tasker!

Ignore the broccoli. I was prepping another meal simultaneously. I’m nothing if not a multi-tasker!

The next day, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

While it’s preheating, lay out the marinated eggplant on an un-greased cookie sheet. Cover each slice of eggplant with tomato (I prefer beefsteak, as they create a nice silhouette on the eggplant) and then shake some Parmesan over the top. If you like breadcrumbs, now is the time to add them, as well. In addition to this, I normally sprinkle on a little extra basil, salt, and pepper – totally optional.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until desired softness. If you’re feeling crazy, feel free to add some 2% mozzarella cheese (or Daiya, if you’re Paleo like me!) and broil at 500 degrees for an additional 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.

I eat these as is but I serve them alongside marina sauce for my husband, who likes to dunk everything (including babies, I’m sure) into some sort of sauce.

Each slice of eggplant is roughly 65-75 calories if you DON’T add the extra cheese and breadcrumbs. With the additional items, each is probably increased to 90-100 calories. Which is totally worth it, considering two big slices fills me up and a third slice makes me STUFFED.

A great dinner or side dish and perfect for those on Paleo, vegetarian, or calorie-cutting diets! 🙂

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

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