For my birthday this year, I choose to experience the Visit Orlando Magical Dining menu at Amatista Cookhouse at Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort, and my guest and I tried nearly everything off the MD menu.
Amatista Cookhouse is located just off the lobby on the lower level of Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort, and offers a menu of Caribbean-inspired cuisine.
It features an open kitchen area as you first walk-in.The seating is distanced, with a variety of table and booth set-ups.
The star of the dining room design was the floor-to-ceiling windows which offered views of the resort’s waterfall, as well as the canal and boat dock for the Universal Orlando water taxi. Luckily we got there before dark to enjoy the view, because once it’s dark out, the windows reflect the dining room. Not a bad thing, just something I noticed.
The meal began with a bread service, which we nibbled on as we waited for our appetizers. One roll was a garlicky cheese biscuit, and the other was like a steakhouse bread roll. I enjoyed both, but my guest enjoyed the biscuit more.
Our appetizers came at the same time. My guest ordered the Queso Fundido, which featured Mexican chorizo sausage, artichoke, mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and roasted Poblano chiles, with blue corn tortilla chips for dipping.
It was very rich and cheesy, but I’m not sure I enjoyed the artichoke in it. My guest liked it more than I did.
I ordered the Ancho Chile Chicken Empanadas, which came in a pair, featuring braised chicken and black beans on top a smear of ancho pepper aioli. I really loved the flaky cripy crust the empanadas had. It was almost like a pie crust. The dish had a lot of flavor, and I would definitely get this again on a future visit.
For her entree, my guest went with the Char-Grilled Ribeye served with mashed potatoes, broccolini, wild mushrooms, and herb garlic butter. She said it was a good dish, with the steak cooked to order. She said the mashed potatoes were a stand-out, too…so of course I had to steal a fork-full. They were very creamy and not too salty.
I went with the Mojo Marinated Rotisserie Chicken, which featured a half rotisserie chicken accompanied by garlic sauce, spicy cilantro sauce, and three sides. The chicken was ok, but all the flavor was on the skin. The garlic sauce was a great match for the chicken, but you need to really like cilantro for the other sauce.
For my sides, I went with Yuca al Mojo, a Dominican dish featuring cooked Yuca cubes in a lemon and olive oil sauce, very similar to an Italian gremolata. I would’ve enjoyed it more if the Yuca were fully cooked, but I encountered a few semi-raw hard spots.
I also had black beans & rice, which were served separately. I enjoyed the flavoring of the beans the most of the dish. I also enjoyed my third side, Platanos Maduros. The sweet fried plaintains were a nice complement to the savory notes of the rest of the dish.
For dessert we both went with the Caribbean Rum Cake, a vanilla cake soaked with spiced rum and coffee, crispy pecan crunch, house churned vanilla bean ice cream. The cake was much denser and richer than I expected, but good. We enjoyed it, but didn’t finish it because it was just too heavy after a full meal.
Overall, the service was good, and the overall meal was a delicious tour of the Caribbean tastes. There were just the few issues listed above that brought the meal from great to just good for us. Maybe I was just too excited to finally try the restaurant that I had higher expectations.
I would still recommend trying Amatista Cookhouse, especially during Magical Dining, which has been extended to October 17. It’s a great deal, the food is good (definitely get the empanadas!), and there are also other options to try.
If you go, they will validate self-parking. Just ask your server. It should also be noted that while Magical Dining is $37 per person, tax and gratuity are additional.
Thanks to Visit Orlando for their assistance with this visit!
Disclaimer: CitySurfing Orlando was hosted for this Magical Dine. As always, my opinions are my own, and honest.
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