Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a table-service restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort. The restaurant serves a mix of Cajun and Southern Homestyle food and is only open for dinner. Boatwright’s takes part in the Disney Dining Plan as a table-service credit and also offers discounts through Tables in Wonderland and to Annual Passholders. This review will feature photos and our thoughts on the restaurant from our experience there.
Both Port Orleans resorts are themed wonderfully and exceptional places to stay. Boatwright’s furthers Port Orleans – Riverside theme acting as a boathouse along the Sassagoula River. As you enter the main dining room, the skeleton of a ship is above head. It’s an impressive sight and clearly the main piece of theming in the restaurant.
The rest of Boatwright’s is made up of small rooms that further the boathouse/shipyard feeling. There are tools throughout these rooms and some other light thematic elements that make Boatwright’s work.
That’s not to say the restaurant is a masterpiece in terms of ambiance. The ship is cool and there’s enough in the restaurant to see that the job wasn’t mailed it in. No should confuse Boatwright’s for a transportive experience. Instead, diners are met with a few cool details and a quiet meal thanks to the restaurant not being popular.
Without the hordes of people that other areas in Disney World offer, Boatwright’s is a nice change of pace in terms of atmosphere. We ate at the restaurant during one of the busier weeks of the year and the restaurant had plenty of empty tables. This made our meal relaxing and quiet. I’m sure the number of rooms throughout Boatwright’s would keep the noise down even if the restaurant was full (which doesn’t happen).
Moving onto the food, Boatwright’s has a diverse menu in terms of pricing. Entrees range from $19 to $35, making the restaurant appealing for those on the Disney Dining Plan or paying out of pocket. Along with the $19 Jambalaya, there are several other entrees in the low $20 range making Boatwright’s one of the cheaper table-service restaurants. If you are on the Dining Plan then the all-you-can-eat platter, steak and prime rib all offer a good value. Here’s a closer look at the menu.
Each meal at Boatwright’s start with cornbread. Melissa is a connoisseur of cornbread and was pleased with her findings here. I agreed with her assessment as the cornbread was moist, sweet and served hot. Making sure to save room for the meal was difficult with this right in front of me. While the bread service is complimentary, this was one of the highlights of the meal.
Moving on to the entrees, we both went with the more expensive options as we were on the dining plan.
I ordered General Fulton’s Prime Rib which came with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Horseradish Cream. The Mashed Potatoes were very buttery and creamy, making them delicious. The Green Beans tasted fresh but were nothing special. The obvious winner here was the Prime Rib. The meat was juicy and had a flavorful rub on it that wasn’t overly salty. I also liked the Horseradish Cream on top, adding some extra flavor to the meat. Prime Rib is a hit-and-miss meal for me, but this one definitely hit the spot and I would happily order it again, provided we were on the dining plan. At $35, the price is pretty high if you’re paying out of pocket. But you could do worse for a delicious slab of meat.
Melissa went with The Big Easy which was a 10 oz. New York Strip with Green Beans and Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese. She ordered this because we both wanted to try the Mac & Cheese but the steak was a pleasant surprise. It was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and had a good amount of flavor with it. The Blackberry Port Demi gave the steak a unique sweet addition if you’re so inclined. The Crawfish Macaroni & Cheese did not disappoint and was a fairly unique dish. The pasta was shells instead of the typical macaroni pasta. I appreciated that the sauce wasn’t overpowering. My only complaint was that the helping of crawfish wasn’t substantial. Overall, both entrees were excellent and well made.
Moving on to dessert, Melissa ordered the Red Velvet Cheesecake. This came with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream. Frankly, the dessert wasn’t quite what the name led us to believe. Instead of a Red Velvet flavored Cheesecake this was Red Velvet Cake with Cheesecake in the middle. The cake was average – decent flavor but not incredibly moist. The idea was interesting but the execution wasn’t great. We wouldn’t recommend this dessert.
My dessert was much better. I ordered the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake which is served with Bourbon Sauce and Toffee Brittle. The cake certainly fit the gooey name, being extremely moist and buttery. The Bourbon Sauce was a nice addition, adding a caramel and bourbon flavor to the cake. I enjoyed the dessert although it was pretty heavy, especially after eating Prime Rib.
I don’t typically mention this but Boatwright’s also had a nice drink menu. There were a number of cocktails and specialty drinks not offered elsewhere in Disney World. While this shouldn’t move the needle on whether you go to Boatwright’s or not, it’s a nice bonus.
Throughout this review, I’ve mostly praised Boatwright’s Dining Hall. I don’t want to oversell the restaurant though. While the restaurant could fall under the “hidden gem” category, I don’t think I’d recommend going out of your way to eat here. The prices are solid and inviting. Aside from that, Boatwright’s did everything well but nothing exceptional. There are more unique restaurants at Disney World that you should definitely try before this one.
On the other hand, if Cajun or southern food appeals to you then give Boatwright’s a chance. This restaurant also is a good one to try for a day-of reservation which is becoming more and more rare. For a quiet meal at Disney World, you could do a lot worse than Boatwright’s.
Overall Rating – 8/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews