My birthday weekend was full of fun, friends, and fabulous food! Laura and I were lucky enough to be able to check out Paddlefish Restaurant at Disney Springs for my birthday dinner on Friday. Paddlefish Restaurant used to be Fulton’s Crab House (for the previous 20 years) and I’d been there before, but I was looking forward to checking out this new concept.
We arrived around 6:15 and headed up to the third level of the restaurant and the Rooftop Deck. Oh, did I mention that Paddlefish is a great big paddle boat? Well it is, and it sits on the water at Disney Springs with some amazing views – especially from the rooftop deck.
There’s some inside seating, a fabulous bar, and of course the outside seating on the deck. On Friday and Saturday nights they even have live music from 6 pm – midnight. We enjoyed a cocktail on the rooftop deck, but headed inside for dinner because the Florida heat was a little bit much for us. Thankfully the back part of the bar opens up and we were able to hear the live music all through our meal. Plus the whole inside area is floor to ceiling windows, so you can still enjoy some of the amazing views.
I started off the evening with the Southern Sangria. A few of my friends had tried it and I had spent the whole week thinking about this drink. It did not disappoint! It was Medley Bros. bourbon, peach liqueur, Tempranillo, and seasonal fruit. It was the perfect cocktail for a hot summer evening.
Deciding what to order off their extensive menu was a bit harder, but thankfully both Laura and I eat just about anything when it comes to seafood. We decided to start off our meal with the Lobster Corndogs and the Crab Fries. Yes, I said Lobster Corndogs! They are one of the most popular items on the menu and I can see why. The Lobster Corndogs are coated in a light cornmeal batter and then fried and they are served with a sweet chili aioli. Yum yum yum! How can you go wrong with fried lobster on a stick? The Crab Fries were amazing as well and you get a ton of them. Skin-on french fries, topped with lump blue crab and Louie dressing.
For our entree we decided to go with something simple and got one of their specialty boils. We went with the South of the Border boil that had tajin seasoned peel-and-eat shrimp, new potatoes, corn (from the Plant City farmer’s market), and corn bread. It was simple but amazing! It was the perfect choice for our main entree.
During dinner we had the chance to speak with Chef Steven Richard. In the late 1990’s, Richard moved to Florida and started his journey to becoming a chef. He began at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café as a pantry chef and worked there part-time while taking every culinary class available at Valencia College. For the next seven years, he quickly worked his way through the ranks and became an Executive Sous Chef. In 2007, Richard was named Executive Chef for Portobello Yacht Club. While there, Richard worked closely with James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano on the transformation of the restaurant into Portobello Country Italian Trattoria. Richard was named regional chef for Levy Restaurants in 2011 and now brings his talents to Paddlefish.
Chef Steven shared with us how they get so many of their products locally. They have someone that goes to the Plant City farmer’s market each week to pick up the freshest produce for their menu. The seasonal offerings change each week depending on what they are able to get at the market. How cool is that?
I’m so glad that I was able to check out Paddlefish this weekend and bring my bestie along. Disney Springs has come a long way since we were kids and it was so fun to check out it this weekend!
Want a little taste of what Paddlefish has to offer AND support two great charities at the same time? Check out Paddlefish and over 60 other restaurants and beverage vendors at Taste! Central Florida on August 19th. Tickets are still available!
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary meal at Paddlefish, but as always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.