While in town for the Type A conference, The JetSet Family dined at Executive Chef Steven Mary’s Catal Restaurant located in Downtown Disney® District. I write about ‘the best’ for a living, and I do not take the phrase lightly, but believe me when I say, I’m confident in sharing with readers that Catal falls into this category. This Mediterranean grill is very special, and very serious about each and every dish it serves.
At first, it was difficult for me to imagine that something so extraordinary was in the center of the Disney chaos, high above the crowded foot traffic. Catal is a colorful culinary oasis with some of the most beautiful dishes you will ever feast your eyes on. I love that my family can quickly escape the parks for a proper fine-dining experience, and still make it back in time to use our Fast Passes. Or better yet, make a dinner reservation for around 8:30 pm on the balcony and enjoy a panoramic view of the Disneyland fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. I’m telling you, Catal is very special.
What to Eat at Catal Restaurant
So I’m going skip right to the good stuff, what we ate and why we loved it so much.
Let’s begin with these perfect Spanish Tortilla Frites bites. To say they are tiny pieces of heaven would not be an exaggeration. Tot was a big fan and Dad scooped up these fancy dancy tater tots like it was his job. I’m so relieved they saved me two so I could enjoy as well. I loved the garlic aioli and JetSet Dad couldn’t get enough of the Romesco dipping sauce.
Speaking of Heaven, JetSet Tot was in her glory when Chef sent out the Spanish Octopus to try. I’m fairly certain this will be her main entree the next time we visit because she loved it so much. What can I say, this kiddo really loves her octopus. She ate every last bite of the white beans, fennel, cauliflower gardiniera, citrus, aji panca purée and garlic migas. Visually, this dish was outstanding.
Even though it is considered a small plate, Tot ordered the PEI Mussels as her entree since it is a very generous portion. The dish was prepared with garlic, shallots, Spanish chorizo, fingerling potato coins, harissa, white wine and garlic migas. It was a big hit and the presentation was stunning.
I opted for the Seared Jumbo Diver Scallops with parsnip cream, Vadouvan parsnips, blistered grapes, spinach and bacon-sherry vinaigrette. It was absolutely delicious. And the parsnips – my goodness, were they good! I also enjoyed the blistered grapes. They added such a nice unexpected touch to the dish.
However, the star of the show was the Angus Filet Mignon with Romesco sauce, beer battered onion ring and seasonal vegetables. Wow. Just WOW! And to think we almost passed this dish up for the Lobster Paella or Australian Rack of Lamb. As I mentioned above, I can confidently say, the filet at Catal is the best filet mignon in Orange County. It is rare gift when you order a filet and it leaves an impression like this. The combination of flavors explode with every bite and I don’t know how I’m ever supposed to eat another filet again without comparing it to the one at Catal.
Another superstar of the night was the Chocolate ‘Ardiente’ Ganache Cake with orange curd and pistachio créma.
Our experience at Catal has made us want to revisit Downtown Disney for dinner even when we are not spending time at Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom, California Adventure or Cars Land – that says a lot! Overall, a true fine-dining experience in the heart of Downtown Disney, Catal, is everything a Mediterranean grill should be and more. The kids will love it, too! We promise.
Catal Restaurant | 1580 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802 | (714) 774-4442
Nicole Standley a.k.a. JetSet Mom, curates luxury travel and fine-dining with a sprinkle of fashion & pop culture. Follow her latest travels, and first hand look at her behind-the-scenes antics visit Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.
Photo credits: Nicole Standley
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