Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Magic-al Brunch! by Fran Cassano

If you have been to Palo, there is something about it that stays with you. Is it the wafting aromas from their kitchen as you are greeted “Buona Notte”? Or tasting their famed chocolate soufflĂ©? Sure! But hands down, it’s got to be the Palo Champagne Brunch. Last autumn, I was on the Disney Magic with my husband and we were able to partake in this food "Abbondanza". It was one of the best Disney dining experiences I ever had.

Though known for its Northern Italian cuisine at dinner, Palo's Champagne Brunch boasts a wider variety of special offerings, late mornings/early afternoons during "at sea" days on the Disney Cruise Line.

When you walk in to Palo, you are brought to your table by way of the centrally-located buffet. You are seated and you order your included cocktail beverage. While the Mimosa was tempting, I chose the Palo Prosecco. Then your server takes you on a “tour”~a collection of cocktail tables which showcase the different delights: cheeses, cruditĂ©s, cured meats, breads, seafood, salads, pastries, and sweets.

Save room, because it doesn’t stop there. The open kitchen puts out their hot breakfast and lunch items for view including Palo’s house-made pizza and Disney’s famous Strawberry Soup. You order these at the table with your server.


One of my favorite aspects of this brunch is that the portions are just right. Some come in little cups, ramekins, shot glasses, or tasting spoons. Items to be ordered at the table are perfect for sharing. The standouts the day we were there were: Cajun spiced rare tuna, bresaola, whitefish mousse, bloody mary shrimp shooter, shrimp cocktail, gorgonzola bread, mini focaccia, roasted cipolini onions, stollen bread, and almond croissant...Or, pretty much everything you see in my accompanying pictures. (Because of the Brunch's popularity, it was too crowded to get decent shots of our buffet's set up itself).

At our table, we ordered the grape and gorgonzola pizza with balsamic drizzle, Strawberry Soup, and the special pancakes. And, while most people rave about the chicken parmesan, we went with the veal saltimbocca instead and were not disappointed.

This delectable experience could only be "plussed" by Palo's fantastic team of servers and chefs . While all the servers in Palo are among the best on DCL, we were privileged to have the incredible Andreja (from Croatia).


The following is courtesy of the Disney Cruise Line website:
Palo is part of Disney Cruise Line Adult Exclusive restaurants. Palo is located on Deck 10, Aft aboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, and on Deck 12, Aft aboard the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy.

Brunch is served while the ship is out at sea during Disney 4-Night and longer cruises.
Brunch: an additional $20 dining charge, per person. Reservations are required and can be made online or onboard the ship.

Online reservations are available at the following times:
  • Platinum Castaway Club, Suites/Concierge, Weddings/Vow Renewal, VIP, Media and Make a Wish Guests: 120 days in advance
  • Gold Castaway Club: 105 days in advance
  • Silver Castaway Club: 90 days in advance
  • All Other Reservations: 75 days in advance
For more information, go to Disney Cruise Line and click on "Ships & Activities", then "Onboard Activities", then "Dining". Or call (800) 951-3532.
If you can reserve a spot for Palo's Champagne Brunch, you are in for a real treat. It's an experience you will not soon forget. Enjoy! Si mangia bene qui!

*Quick fact: Named after the poles gondoliers use to move gondolas in the canals of Venice, Palo is also a nod to the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder's shipbuilder in Northern Italy.

From collecting Park brochures as a child, to planning her Disney Fairy Tale Wedding, Fran Cassano keeps the magic of Disney a part of her everyday life. She writes the beginning crafting blog, Practically Perfect DISNEY Crafting over at Lou Mongello's Fran also blogs for her local and appears elsewhere as a guest blog writer and contributor.

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