Laurie had THE Perfect meal! See where she went for that meal. Sounds delicious to me!
I parked next to the Pro Shop at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course without knowing what was in store for me. I had been exploring WDW and wanted to see the Pro Shop. I was told about a very nice restaurant upstairs so I went out the door, past the snack stand, up some stairs, and finally up a long winding ramp to a building full of windows and a patio where I found at lounge and a seater’s podium. I was in The Turf Club at Saratoga Springs which is a DVC resort themed after Saratoga Race Course and Saratoga Springs in New York. The horse racing theme can be seen in the restaurant’s hunter green carpet with leaping steeple jumpers and winner’s wreaths as well as the numerous framed ephemera, memorabilia, and jockey silks. As early as the 1830’s the rich headed to Saratoga for gambling, dining, posh resorts, and vacations from city life. The society column, potato chip, and club sandwich were born there. The restaurant has clean low pile carpet with a horse theme, wood chairs, banquettes, and decorations that give this restaurant a warm, comfortable feeling. Most guests will not have a problem with the seating, lighting, noise, or access.
I had a two top table against the glass so I could look out at the heated patio, lawns, water, and ferry boat. On the walls are picture frames with various horse racing memorabilia. The seating is wood chairs without arms and booth type seating at tables that are spaced sufficiently to not feel crowded. Chef Omar came out to speak to me about my dinner. Turf Signature Grilled Romaine Salad with lightly grilled hearts of romaine with Caesar dressing, balsamic vinegar reduction, roasted cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Everything in this salad is dairy, soy and gluten/wheat free. They offer gluten/wheat free rolls with real butter or margarine if you prefer. The balsamic reduction with its sweet and tangy notes was thick and gooey like honey. The Caesar dressing has flecks of a hard cheese which is imitation cheese that is dairy, soy, and gluten/wheat free. It is so yummy and creamy with Italian dressing notes that make me want to come back for more salads.
They brine their pork chops for 24 hours in root beer. Out came a perfect pork chop with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and root beer brine. OH MY, it was delicious tender white meat with earthy root beer notes and just a tiny touch of sweetness. The sweet potato hash was soft cubes of sweet pure bliss. I stared at a round yellow disc not knowing what to expect from the polenta cake. I could not stop eating the polenta cake as each bite had notes of thyme, onion, corn bits, and very finely ground polenta. The polenta was so smooth that it could have been used as a spread on bread. Three of my favorite foods on one plate put me into a euphoria of sheer joy. The chef used to work at Kona Cafe and has been in the business long enough to know how to turn fresh ingredients into mouth watering taste sensations.
The one sour note in the entire meal was the port wine ice cream. I have never been a fan of alcohol not even before my religion and stomach said no to alcohol. I was repulsed by the ice cream but that is me not the restaurant. There was a very dark wedge of flourless chocolate cake with chocolate sauce on bright red raspberry sauce that was topped with half a ripe strawberry and whipped cream. I started with the cutest little cup of port wine ice cream then went for the whipped cream to cleanse my palate. On the cake were blueberries and bright red raspberries that gave a change of pace to my palate. The cake was like a thick, rich mousse that made for one of the best desserts I have had in a long while. The combination of berry tang with sweet decadent chocolate made for one happy diner.
The menu is small but the food is big in taste. They offer lamb, chicken breast, pork chop, prime rib, salmon and pasta. The fish of the day was corvina that was right off the docks. They offer no sugar added Berry-Misu as well as buttered toffee pot de creme and cheesecake. The chef will do substitutions such as mashed potatoes instead of broccolini. Babycakes will deliver a gluten and soy free vegan cake to the restaurant for a fee. The chef can offer vegans sweet potato hash, asparagus, romaine salad, coucous, rice, broccolini, sauteed greens, seasonal vegetables, sorbets and other dishes but most important was that the chef wants to please guests even if he has to make a dish from scratch. With advanced notice they can offer vegan cheese and tofu as well as other special diet items.
On your right as you enter The Turf Club there is a window that serves drinks to guests in the lounge. They have a sports channel on the television, a pool table, and comfortable seating. Guests of the retaurant can order anything from this full bar right from their seat. They feature Blue Point Toasted Lager that comes from Long Island just 200 miles south of Saratoga Springs in New York. They offer mint juleps as well as themed drinks such as Travers Stakes, Three Minutes to Post Time, and The Preakness Cosmo. Down the hall from the restaurant and lounge is Artist’s Palette that has quick service food, a DVC type market, and a gift shop.
At this point I sum up the good and bad points of a restaurant. Except for the port wine ice cream and the ramps I have nothing bad to say about this restaurant. I hate alcohol most of the time and hate ramps so that is my issue not the restaurant’s issue. PERFECT DINNER, GREAT RESTAURANT, TOP RESTAURANT IN FINE DINING!!!