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Without a doubt there is excitement for myself and my wife, Cheryl, every time we book a vacation for ourselves with Disney Cruise Lines. It’s very exciting and something we try to do now at least once, if not twice a year. In a prior article I discussed our Anniversary cruise last year and eating at Remy. We also took a second cruise on the Disney Dream to celebrate my birthday in October, and we again wanted to do something special. It was decided that since we had been to Remy on the last cruise, this time around we would go to Palo.
Existing on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy, Palo is the staple fine dining restaurant of the Disney Cruise Lines vessels. Palo takes its name from the poles gondoliers use to push and pull boats around the canals of Venice, Italy. Both the cuisine and the design of the restaurant draws heavily on Northern Italian influences. Beautiful artwork of Venice adorns the walls of the restaurant. which is laid out in a way that no seat is a bad seat for an ocean view – with slightly raised booths along one side, and tables along the windows. Outdoor seating is also available. You should take care to look up as you walk into this restaurants as it has one of the most gorgeous hand blown glass chandeliers you will ever see.
The restaurant is for Adults only, and costs $20 per guest for either Dinner or Brunch. It’s important to note that, like Remy, it has a dress code that will require men to wear dress trousers and dress shirt or jacket. Women will need to wear a dress or pant suit. Anything less will not be permitted. As with most fine dining establishments, jackets can be provided for men at the front of the restaurant should they need them.
As a quick comparison between Remy and Palo, I feel that Remy is closer to fine dining while Palo is a bit more upscale. If anything I felt that the wait staff at Palo is a bit stronger and more attentive. While I loved every bite of food I had at Remy, Palo to me is just a more gladdening experience because it’s more of the sort of food that I enjoy. It was also much more accommodating and understanding to Cheryl’s dietary needs – her meal was very well thought out.
Cheryl and I scheduled an early meal on my birthday which happened to be a day we were at Castaway Cay. The reason for this is the view provided at Palo of the ocean, and I wanted to take advantage of that view by getting to dine while watching the Dream set sail from the island. The meal starts off with an excellent assortment of bread and breadsticks. I was also presented with a plate of antipasto and Cheryl a specially made Artichoke “antipasto” – both were an awesome way to start the meal (I did not eat the meats).
This was followed by what I like to describe as the “Pizza Course”. I got the equivalent of a Quattro Formaggio, and for Cheryl they made her a special gluten free tofu and spinach pizza that she thoroughly enjoyed. This pizza is amazing every time I’ve had it across both the Wonder and the Dream. For the appetizer, as they had made Cheryl a special vegetable soup that looked amazing with very fresh vegetables, I also decided to go with soup and chose the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese (leaving out the Prosciutto). This soup was extremely satisfying.
For her main course, Cheryl was provided with a special Pasta Primavera that was made with noodles that were gluten free. I asked for a the Grilled Tuna Piemonte, but asked if they could leave out the Tarragon Veal Jus. This dish came with Truffle-infused Potato Risotto that was spectacular base to sit under the Tuna. The Tuna itself was cooked to perfection, by this I mean that it only required a fork to eat – and I loved every bite even more because of that. I had also requested a side of ziti as I sort of feel you need to have at least some pasta in an Italian restaurant.
Before dessert we were both provided with a shot of frozen Limoncello that was both tasty and a great palette cleanser. Cheryl had a fruit plate for her dessert, however I had what I like to refer to as “the only dessert that matters” – the Chocolate Soufflé. This dessert takes some time to prepare so they will ask you if you are interested most likely before you receive your main course. It’s sort of like a lava cake, only you get to control the lava. And that lava comes in two different flavors: chocolate and vanilla. The recommended way to eat it is to break the top opened with your spoon and pour both sauces inside. To be honest, I prefer only the vanilla sauce as I feel that the soufflé itself already contains such a strong chocolate flavor that the chocolate sauce is too strong. Oh, and it’s super yummy.
Overall it’s a great way to spend an evening eating with friends, or a loved one. The cost is fairly reasonable, especially if you’re not finding a way to justify the cost of Remy. At Palo there is also the option of going to a Brunch that is only available on cruises that are 4 nights or longer. I’ve been to this brunch as well in the past if you are a lover of brunch-type foods like I am you will really enjoy this meal as well. Palo is a great choice if you’re looking for something beyond the regular on board food fair, or just a more intimate setting than the other on board dining rooms.
What about you? Do you like the more upscale dining options on the Disney Cruise Line vessels? Have you been to Palo? Remy? Neither? Do you want go? Do you have a meal at Palo booked for an upcoming Disney cruise? Which vessel? Which meal? No one knows what is cooking in the pan better than the one doing the stirring.