Walt Disney World restaurant awarded Michelin star

April 18, 2024, 8:44 PM · A Walt Disney World restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star, a coveted award for excellence in the restaurant industry.

Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort won the honor, making it one of fewer than 200 restaurants in the United States with a Michelin star.

"Chef Matthew Sowers cooks with contemporary verve and draws on influences spanning from Asia to the Nordics," the Michelin review said. Think delicate tarts set with New Zealand langoustine, striking 'sandwiches' made with venison carpaccio and red cabbage, and bold sauces like cherry-cola bordelaise. Other details like water lists, an ornate coffee and tea service, and a serious wine program further impress."

In addition to the Michelin star honor, Michelin awarded Victoria & Albert's Maître d’Hôtel Israel Pérez with the 2024 Florida Service Award.

Russell Meyer reviewed Victoria & Albert's Chef's Table - the most exclusive reservation at this notoriously hard-to-book restaurant - for us a while back, and you can read his post in our archives: Where to Eat: Dinner at the Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table.

For what it's worth, I cannot recall a restaurant at any U.S. theme park resort receiving a Michelin star before, and I did not find one in a search of the Michelin website, so this honor appears to be a first for a U.S. theme park.

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Replies (6)

April 19, 2024 at 7:28 AM

interesting...i had read recently that it had gone downhill and after an absolute disaster i had in october at california grille and shortly before that, another major misstep at skipper cantina, i have sworn off fine dining at disney indefinitely.

April 19, 2024 at 9:15 AM

This is obviously a massive honor for the elite establishment, but I do think it's worth noting that the roster of Michelin-starred restaurants has dramatically expanded over the past decade (partially due to the explosion of attention fine dining has received on TV and the internet) that has led Michelin to add a new rating category called the "Bib Gourmand", which is somewhat of a "watch list" for restaurants on the verge of receiving a "star" or establishments that are really good, but are more value focused in their offerings.

That should not minimize V&A's accomplishment, but the rating that used to be reserved for a few dozen of the best European restaurants has finally crossed the Atlantic to start recognizing more US restaurants in the past 10-20 years. FWIW, V&A was already recognized as one of only 3 Florida restaurants to have a 5-Diamond rating from AAA.

I'd also note that given the transience of the restaurant industry, it can be extremely difficult to earn a "star", because the honor also recognizes a level of consistency and longevity that can be extremely difficult to maintain. For example, we recently dined at a new fine dining establishment in the DC area for our anniversary opened by a chef who once led the kitchen at the nearby Inn at Little Washington (3 Michelin stars), but despite how good this new restaurant is, it probably won't sniff a star for another 2-3 years (if it does ever get rated).

As far as the recent decline in quality, I did read that there were some issues after the restaurant had reopened from the pandemic, but that was probably because the entire team was out of practice - the restaurant had not operated for nearly 2 full years. However, recent observations have noted that the experience had returned to at or near pre-pandemic levels, though the price has gone up to nearly $300/person for the tasting menu - though to be fair, most fine dining restaurants in other regions have reached similar price points because of increasing food and labor costs.

April 19, 2024 at 10:36 AM

I’m aware of this history of this rating, but my tiny brain always has a hard time marrying a tire company with one of the most prestigious culinary honors out there. Especially as cartoony as the Michelin Man is as a corporate icon.
“In hospitality news today, the Olde Blue Horse Bed & Breakfast was awarded the elite Tony the Tiger Paw of Excellence for their peerless and consistent level of service.”
Anyhow, I digress. Congratulations to V & A. As a longtime and still current worker in the Hospitality Industry, I recognize how fleeting any sort of sustained quality can be at any level given so many different and ever-changing variables, not the least of which may or may not include a pandemic. So good on ‘em.

April 19, 2024 at 1:00 PM

It is now one of my life's missions to make the "Tony the Tiger Paw of Excellence" a real thing. Bravo.

April 19, 2024 at 1:06 PM

"Tony the Tiger Paw of Excellence" - you made me laugh. But curious, is that the Exxon Tiger or is that the Frosted Flakes tiger?

April 19, 2024 at 1:20 PM

I’m keeping with the Thurl Ravenscroft theme park synergy, it’s the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes version

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