Walt Disney World simply gained’t cease constructing bars! Earlier than you seize the pitchforks and take to the feedback, we expect it is a good factor. In contrast to many followers who bemoan the various lounges which were added and complain that Disney not caters to households, we like this improvement.
We additionally suppose that that is not a good criticism, and hasn’t been for some time. Positive, when Dealer Sam’s Grog Grotto, Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, The Edison, and a handful of different areas that have been very clearly aimed toward adults–and solely adults–it was true. There was additionally validity to the grousing when extra bar kiosks have been popping up or a better emphasis was positioned on alcohol on restaurant menus.
That hasn’t been the pattern of the final a number of years, although. As an alternative, Walt Disney World has added a slew of family-friendly lounges which can be extra food-forward. These are extra pretty categorized as eating places than bars (or not less than “and grills”), and are oozing inviting environment and have strong meals menus that arguably surpass a few of the common eating places at their respective resorts.
This contains Geyser Level Bar & Grill at Wilderness Lodge, Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Coronado Springs, Nomad Lounge at Animal Kingdom, and the reimagined Banana Cabana at Caribbean Seaside. Our newest entry to this record of a few of our new-favorite hidden gem eating choices is definitely proper subsequent door to the final one, additionally positioned close to the shore of Barefoot Bay.
Right here, we discover the proliferation of one of these eating idea at one other factor that has proliferated at Walt Disney World within the final decade-plus: Disney Trip Membership expansions. The latest exemplar of this pattern is at the newest DVC enlargement (for now): Disney’s Riviera Resort.
We’re speaking about Bar Riva, which is the open-air pool (adjoining) lounge that’s proper subsequent door to the lodge’s counter service restaurant, Primo Piatto. Like the remainder of the resort, Bar Riva attracts its inspiration from the Mediterranean, serving up mild European and Mediterranean-inspired delicacies together with quite a lot of cocktails.
Admittedly, we’ve largely ignored Bar Riva on this weblog’s protection of Disney’s Riviera Resort. Partly, that’s as a result of we love(d) Primo Piatto. That’s nonetheless current tense, however we don’t like it fairly as a lot as we used to–and our endurance within the full menu not being restored is truthfully sporting skinny. Partly, it’s additionally as a result of my favourite factor on the unique menu at Bar Riva, the Monte Cristo, is lengthy gone and seemingly by no means coming again. However that’s okay, for the explanations we’ll get into within the meals evaluate!
For sensible functions, Bar Riva is a couple of 5-minute stroll from the Skyliner station at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Which means you could simply take the “Most Magical Flight on Earth” from two Walt Disney World theme parks (Hollywood Studios and EPCOT) and two different resorts (Artwork of Animation or Pop Century) and be right here in a matter of minutes. It’s additionally simply walkable from Caribbean Seaside Resort.
That makes Bar Riva a pleasant escape from the crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, a pleasant sit-down eating choice for these staying at Artwork of Animation or Pop Century, and an awesome cease for these doing the Skyliner Sip & Snack ‘Stroll’ or Disney’s Gondola Gastro Glide itinerary!
Easy however fashionable, Bar Riva is a beautiful location. The indoor-outdoor lounge is a visible feast of vibrant blues and stark whites, which give a pointy and gorgeous distinction. We’ve been important of Disney’s Riviera Resort for being under-themed as in comparison with the precise French Riviera, however that is precisely the kind of stylish beachfront venue you’d discover at a contemporary lodge in Good or Cannes.
Not all the pieces must function a surfeit of ornamentation or thematic prospers. On this case, a less-is-more design is embraced to nice success, just like the opposite aforementioned open air bars. Bar Riva is smooth and fashionable, whereas additionally managing to look stylish. If it have been alongside the French Riviera (and never a resort constructed ~4 years in the past), you’d wonder if it’s brand-new or was constructed within the Nineteen Sixties.
The wooden ceilings and furnishings are lightly-stained, and imbue the bar with a way of heat and intimacy. That contrasts with the tilework all through–on the ceiling, ground, and columns–giving Bar Riva a crisp and funky sensibility. Talking of which, there are many ceiling followers that actually maintain the house cool.
I dined at Bar Riva on an extremely scorching day, and the open-air location was completely comfy. (To every their very own, however I really want this to the jarring distinction of an hour in icy air-conditioning again to sticky scorching and humid climate.) On the different finish of the climate spectrum, house heaters are used for the promenade seating space on chilly evenings.
The defining visuals of Bar Riva are, after all, the murals that run the size of the wall. This depicts a sunny scene of a nondescript stretch of shoreline within the riviera (French or Italian is unknown), which has been reimagined to function Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney Cruise Line ships.
This artwork is sharp and, regardless of not being of anyplace particularly, is definitely paying homage to retro Artwork Deco journey posters which can be far and wide within the French Riviera. It’s a pleasant assertion piece, punctuating Bar Riva and giving it much more persona. (As an alternative of Pixar and WDAS posters from France, I want Imagineering would’ve made extra like this for contained in the lodge. Think about a stylized poster of Lillian and Walt Disney excessive up within the hills of Èze.)
In brief, Bar Riva is an easy house, however a extremely efficient one. It nails the look and ambiance, and the top result’s an inviting place the place you need to calm down. Now let’s flip to the meals, to see whether or not it’s additionally a spot the place you’ll need to refuel…
We’ll begin with the Burrata Salad served with Heirloom Tomatoes, Contemporary Pesto, and Focaccia Bread.
Every part about that is improbable. The burrata itself is sizable, smooth, creamy and top quality. The pesto base beneath mixes with olive oil to supply a flavorful and savory base. The tomatoes weren’t one of the best I’ve ever had, however they’re greater than adequate together with the greens, pesto, and olive oil.
Unsurprisingly, the spotlight of the Burrata Salad is the burrata and the focaccia. Cheese and bread is never a shedding mixture, and this salad saved the duo profitable.
All in all, the Burrata Salad is a very refreshing and scrumptious dish. It’s additionally surprisingly filling, presumably owing to the big items of bread and cheese. We extremely suggest this for anybody wanting a salad or one thing not as heavy, however nonetheless filling. It’s additionally simply shareable and good to pair with one thing that’s heavier (that’s what we’ll be doing sooner or later).
For our second dish, we now have the Mushroom Arancini: Risotto, Mushroom, Cheese, and Truffle served with Home-made Marinara.
These deep fried balls of mushroomy goodness are, unsurprisingly, taste-specific. Do you dislike something on the above record of elements? Then you definitely nearly actually gained’t benefit from the Mushroom Arancini!
For our half, we love actually all the pieces on that record and, much less surprisingly, we additionally cherished the Mushroom Arancini.
The feel is ideal, with a crisp exterior offering crunch however giving technique to a smooth and chewy inside that’s completely jam-packed with mushrooms, risotto, and cheesiness.
My solely quibbles with the Mushroom Arancini can be that the house-made marinara didn’t add a lot and the dish was mild on truffle taste. In equity, although, I didn’t anticipate to make use of the marinara a lot (and was right in that assumption) and I do know some folks lament the overuse of truffle in dishes have been it’s pointless. I don’t suppose that will’ve been the case right here, however can recognize a light-weight contact with the truffle.
Regardless, the Mushroom Arancini at Bar Riva is improbable and we extremely suggest it. When you get pleasure from these elements, that is good execution on the idea. When you don’t, nicely, you most likely already comprehend it’s not for you!
For our last entree, we now have the Salmon with Orzo: Seared Salmon with Pomodoraccio Tapenade and Lemon Orzo.
That is the costliest dish on the menu at Bar Riva, costing simply over $20. It’s nicely price it.
Salmon is a kind of entrees that Walt Disney World does very well (even at EPCOT festivals), and this entree isn’t any exception to that. The fish is a large fillet, and completely ready–crispy pores and skin, flaky items, moist inside, and fantastic taste. This salmon would’ve been improbable by itself, however the Pomodoraccio Tapenade supplied a tangy and wealthy punch that elevated the fish even additional.
I’m additionally an enormous fan of orzo, and love that the pasta is paired with the salmon to make for a hearty and filling dish. I might simply see a pair ordering the Burrata Salad and the Salmon with Orzo to separate and having an extremely satisfying and wholesome (by Walt Disney World requirements) meal. That is the kind of meal I might see Sarah making at residence. Very Mediterranean!
This Lava Cake wouldn’t be a part of Sarah’s home made meal. However when the cat’s away, the mice will play…or one thing like that.
Look, I’m by no means going to negatively evaluate a Lava Cake. That’s simply not going to ever occur, and I’m not going to begin right here.
What I’ll say is that, so far as Lava Muffins go, it is a pretty low cost and low high quality one. There’s not a ton of daylight between this and the Dealer Joe’s Chocolate Lava Muffins (discovered within the freezer aisle).
Nonetheless, I wouldn’t say this disenchanted…simply as these don’t disappoint! It’s wealthy and decadent, and the melty chocolate and gooey goodness on the within will depart a smile in your face. It’s additionally not terribly costly, making it a superb decide as long as your expectations are acceptable.
In the end, the environment is inviting and the meals is phenomenal at Bar Riva. We by no means did a deep dive into the menu right here when it first opened, however my impression primarily based upon a cursory evaluate is that the present menu is definitely superior to the unique one. That could be a sharp distinction to the next-door Primo Piatto, which continues to be good–however a shadow of its former self.
Past what we’ve been in a position to attempt thus far, there’s a deep menu of dishes at Bar Riva that sound improbable to us. This contains (however is just not restricted to) the Baked Brie, Grilled Hen Sandwich, and Sticky Hen Wings. We’ll completely be again (time and again) to attempt these further dishes, as one of these restaurant is correct up our alley. In contrast to different Walt Disney World followers who bemoan extra bars being added, we love this open-air bar & grill combo, and hope Disney makes use of this formulation for future expansions.
Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about inns on our Walt Disney World Inns Evaluations web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations. To save cash on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets publish. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys publish takes a novel take a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Experience Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for all the pieces you must know!
Have you ever loved a soothing respite from the climate or crowds in EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Bar Riva? What are your favourite or least favourite dishes on the menu? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation that one of these “and grill” open-air lounge is admittedly extra restaurant than it’s bar, and is a good sort of addition to Walt Disney World? Is it someplace you’ll make some extent of testing subsequent time you’re staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort or doing a Skyliner crawl? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even whenever you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!