We love eating at Walt Disney World. We love the food, the atmosphere, the Cast Members, everything. There is something about sitting down at one of the restaurants at Disney Springs, within one of the parks, or at a resort that just brings us to a happy, happy place. If you are new to Disney, or have not been in a while, Disney offers some of the best food around. I’m not talking good for a theme park. I’m talking just good. There are very few restaurants that we have not tried on Disney property, and there are even fewer meals that we would say that we did not enjoy. That is why we were excited to bring you our Sebastian’s Bistro Review.
Sebastian’s Bistro is one of the newest additions to the plethora of dining options at the Walt Disney World Resort . There had been a lot of mixed reviews about Sebastian’s Bistro, so we figured on one of our recent trips to Disney, since we were already staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, that it would be a great opportunity to try this new Disney dining option. So, if you’re curious about this new restaurant, and if you want to know if you should try it on your next trip, then you can check out our review right here!
Our Sebastian’s Bistro Review
Sebastian’s Bistro is located at Walt Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which, before it’s transformation, was formally the restaurant Shutters. It is located right behind the main check in area, Old Port Royale. It is also attached to the pool bar, Banana Cabana, which is a great place for pre- or post-meal drinks. The outdoor décor was very well done, and fit right into the resort theme. It looks like the outside of a beach house – a boardwalk, palm trees and pastel colors, but with the addition of your friend Sebastian included in the signage. It’s a fun way to welcome you to dinner.
We got to our reservation at Sebastian’s Bistro and after about 10 to 15 minutes we were seated at the first booth you see when you walk in – it’s kind of in the corner. My first impression of Sebastian’s Bistro was it reminded me of a beach house off the water in Southern Living – very classy looking, simple and homey, and it was much smaller than I thought it would be.
The large chandelier in the middle of the restaurant definitely helps with the classy vibe without giving it that ballroom at a hotel feel. Sebastian’s Bistro doesn’t scream Caribbean, but more like Carolina beach town. Except loud, very loud. The tables are wooden, and the ceilings are very high, so the noise carried. It was hard to hear the people even sitting right across the table. Sebastian’s Bistro was a lot more casual than we expected, too.
We felt that during our Sebastian’s Bistro review, it hit the perfect balance in décor and feel. It gives that initial feeling as being very nice place, one where you should be wearing a collared shirt and linen slacks, but, as it also has that beachy feel, you’re also perfectly fine wearing a t-shirt and shorts. You may even see someone in a bathing suit cover up since it is located near the pool area and the pool bar, Banana Cabana.
However, I wouldn’t suggest that attire, as the overall feel does not really lend itself to bathing suits and cover-ups. So, whether you have spent the day lounging by the pool, cruising Disney Springs, or hitting the parks hard, you will not feel out of place at Sebastian’s Bistro. Overall, the atmosphere at Sebastian’s Bistro was great and the food was PHENOMENAL.
LET’S TALK APPETIZERS
We are not huge eaters and, especially at Disney, we like to try as many items as we can, so we usually either get an appetizer and split an entree, or we get a bunch of appetizers to share. We hadn’t eaten much that day because we knew we wanted to try a lot of items, and boy am I glad we waited.
We asked our waiter, Rob, what he would recommend on the appetizer menu and he said the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake for $14.00. Now, being from Maryland, I’m very particular about my crab cakes, and usually disappointed in what I am served. Rob said there’s huge chunks of crab in it, which I thought was great, but then he mentioned that it also had watercress salad and herb mayonnaise in it – so I passed.
Why would Disney add a watercress salad and herb mayonnaise to such a classic dish? We may never know. What we did order was something I noticed a bunch of people were ordering, these Caribbean pull-apart rolls. We know that Disney knows how to do bread, and we were excited to try these.
We were served four buttery-looking fresh rolls – almost like Hawaiian rolls – with guava butter, a mango chutney, and Jamaican jerk oil for $12.00. I must say, the Caribbean pull-apart rolls were fantastic. They had a sweet taste to them and I would like to put guava butter on all food – it was our favorite of the 3 condiments!
We also ordered the raw sliced tuna with a bell pepper sweet potato puree and micro cilantro in an extra virgin olive oil for $14.00.1 It was five decent sized, thick pieces of raw Ahi tuna – raw, not seared – placed on the sweet potato puree, with thinly sliced red bell pepper and raw jalapeño on top along with an extra virgin olive oil drizzle and micro cilantro.
My first thought was “where’s the soy sauce? Then, where is this sweetness coming from?” This was one of the most surprising dishes I’ve ever had. The Ahi tuna was amazing, and tasted extremely fresh; you get the quick heat from the jalapeño; and the sweetness coming from the sweet potato puree. It was such an interesting and complex dish in ways I never expected, and was fantastic.
ENTREES AT SEBASTIAN’S BISTRO
Both our waitress, Autumn, out at Banana Cabana, and our waiter Rob, recommended the slow cooked pork shoulder which came with black beans and cilantro, rice, corn tortillas, and Moho sauce2. It sounded like a make your own taco dish, and it was priced at $25.00. This was their signature dish at the time, and I was almost sold on it until I looked at the rest of the menu, and all of the other meat and fish.
There’s jerk chicken with black beans and cilantro rice for $22.00. A coconut shrimp and grits (I’m a sucker for shrimp and grits), with charred corn and roasted pepper coulis for $26.00. A Caribbean vegetable curry with cilantro, rice, lime crema and crispy yuca for $19.00. With all of the choices, this place put the selection process to the test.
In addition to the delectable delights I’ve already mentioned, they offered a sustainable Mahi Mahi with coconut-orange rice, pickled onions, arugula, and lemon butter sauce for $25.00, which sounded really good. A grilled skirt steak chimichurri with crispy yuca for $28.00 was also available. And the most expensive dish is a grilled New York Strip Steak with sweet potato plantain mash, baby bell peppers, and chimichurri for $35.00 rounded out the menu. On top of it all, you can order a 4oz spiny lobster tail as an accompaniment to any entrée for $15.00.
Our waiter Rob then told us that they were also offering sustainable fish with mashed plantains in eskom sauce for only $25.00. The fish of the day was cobia, and that’s what I’m getting anytime it is served! Anytime I’ve ever had cobia it has been delicious – best fish I’ve ever had. I might even go so far as to say it’s better than some meats I’ve eaten, it’s that good! So anytime I see cobia on a menu, I just have to have it.
As good as the goat curry, jerk chicken, and slow roasted pork looked, I had to get the cobia. The sauce was basically a combination of peppers and onions sautéed and caramelized, mixed with oil and garlic, then poured over the cobia. It was served over mashed plantains which added the perfect balance of sweetness. I could have eaten the cobia by itself, and then the mashed plantains by themselves and it would have been a great tasting dish. But eating the two things together – the flavors were so cohesive and worked so perfectly. It was incredible!!! By far one of the restaurants best dishes in my opinion!
Perhaps the best thing we ordered was the steak chimichurri with crispy yuca. It was cooked perfectly and the yuca was incredible, crispy outside with a fluffy interior. And I have to say it…the steak here was better here than the one we’ve had at Jiko, at a fraction of the cost. The chimichurri added so much flavor and the meat was cooked to perfection. Add in the sweetness of the yuca and it was an outstanding dish.
Dessert at Disney is almost always a must. But, as you might be able to guess, we ended up skipping on dessert because we were so full, but there are a few options that we certainly want to come back and sample. Just another reason to visit Disney, right? To start, you can find warm chocolate pudding; their classic mile-high key lime pie, a mango-passion fruit panna cotta, and a trio of Caribbean fruit sorbets.
2 As of Dec 2019, this item is no longer on the menu, but part of the Taste of the Carribean.
HOW WOULD THE KIDS REVIEW THE FOOD AT SEBASTIAN’S BISTRO?
Disney generally has you covered when it comes to kids, and offering menu items that will appeal to them. However, this menu was not like most as it offered a few items that you generally do not see kids order. Like most kids can be, our kids are very picky about food, but they enjoyed what they ordered, especially the house salad appetizer.
We totally lucked out on the salad because the other appetizer items were seasonal tropical fruit (that could have gone either way depending on the fruit and if it was sitting in syrup); conch fritters with chili mayo (really Disney? Do kids really order this? If so, I want to meet them and have their taste buds tested.); and carrots and celery sticks (maybe they would have eat carrot sticks. Who actually chooses to eat celery?).
The entrees included whole grain penne pasta with zucchini in a roasted tomato sauce; grilled shrimp skewer (okay, not bad depending on the seasoning) but it was accompanied by cilantro and lime cream; a Jamaican meat pie (no chance); grilled jerk chicken; beef and mushroom blended burger; and slow cooked pork shoulder (again, depends on the seasoning). We were really worried about the kids menu at the restaurant because these weren’t items our children would traditionally eat.
Disney definitely came up with an inventive kids menu, one that I’m sure that those adventurous eaters will enjoy. However, our kids are more for simple foods rather than conch fritters, shrimp skewers and mushroom blended burgers. And with prices between $11.00 and $13.00, you want them to eat most of the food on their plate.
So we ordered them the whole grain penne pasta with the sauce on the side, however, we didn’t realize the zucchini was mixed in the pasta, so they ended up picking all of that out. You also get two sides with the entree and the choices were sautéed green beans (hit or miss); curly fries with carrot ketchup3 (not a chance – what is carrot ketchup, anyway?); black beans and rice (nope); jerk roasted butternut squash3 (seriously? Who’s kid eats that?); there was mac and cheese, but our girls only eat Kraft mac and cheese; yellow rice (yeah, right); a pizza biscuit3 (which sounded good – a biscuit topped with marinara and melted cheese – might need to go back and order a dozen of those); and apple slices, which is what they both got.
For dessert, kids could order either a yellow rice pineapple cloud with banana and orange3 or vanilla gelato with fruit and chocolate sauce. This is not the typical kid’s menu, and especially for a Disney restaurant, so if your kids aren’t very adventurous, or don’t eat food that doesn’t come out of a box, you might want to reconsider bringing them here.
3These items are no longer offered on the kids menu at Sebastian’s Bistro
TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST
In addition to the regular choices of soda, lemonade, iced tea, and coffee, Sebastian’s Bistro offers a wide array of beverages for guests of all ages.
For the kids, they offer their Specialty Character Drink for $8.00. This is Minute Maid light lemonade served in a souvenir cup with a glowing character clip on light. You can get this at just about any restaurant on Disney property.
Other non-alcoholic beverages include The Peachcomber, the Landlubber, and Munity Punch. Each of these items are $4.49 and are all combinations of different juices, soda’s and fruits.
Where Sebastian’s Bistro’s drinks really shine are with their adult beverages. The mixologists at Disney can get really inventive with their drinks as they get to play with flavors from all around the world, depending on the theming of the restaurant. We did not partake during this visit, but their bar menu does not take a backseat to any restaurant.
The beer list is eclectic, allowing you to not only choose from your typical American macro-brews, but micro-brews from around the world. Their international beers come from the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad & Tobago. Prices range from $7.75 to $10.00. The wine list includes wines for every taste and can be purchased by either the glass or by the bottle.
Most of the wine comes from California, but there are a few offerings from other parts of the world. Prices range from $10.00 – $49.00 (yes $49.00) per glass and $39.00 – $89.00 per bottle. There are a couple of options where only per glass or per bottle is the option. A wine spinoff, Sangria, is also on offer. Choose from either a Spanish red or Spanish white option for $11.00. Now to their specialty cocktails.
Here you’ll find your traditional Margarita, Mojito, and Mai Tai. You’ll also find some inventive cocktails such as the Marooned Pig Old-Fashioned, which takes your traditional old-fashioned and adds bacon-infused maple syrup. Other favorites include the Goombay Smash, the Caribbean Smuggler, and Barbados Lily. You would think that the international flair of these cocktails would raise the price, but they are all reasonably priced from between $11.00 to $14.00
OUR OVERALL THOUGHTS
If you can’t tell by our review, everything at Sebastian’s Bistro was amazing, one of the nicest experiences we have had dining at Walt Disney World. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very inviting. Just remember that it is very loud (like many Disney restaurants) and not exactly someplace you’d want to go for a nice, quiet romantic dinner. But the food is some of the best I’ve had at a Disney restaurant in recent memory.
Sebastian’s Bistro has entered very high up on my list of favorite places to eat. The overall atmosphere in which Sebastian’s Bistro is located adds to the experience, which includes the availability of pre- or post-meal drinks at the pool bar, to just walking around Old Port Royale and listening to the steel drums playing. Even though the menu has evolved (as most Disney menu’s do), many of the same delectable dishes are still available in addition to some new choices.
We were staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort at the time of this review. Both Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort are entering into a new Disney resort category of what we like to call Moderate Deluxe. To tell you the truth – as much as we love Disney’s Coronado Springs, that night I wish we had been staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach because between the food and the outdoor atmosphere Sebastian’s Bistro and the resort offered, it was a near perfect night. We will definitely be back to this bistro!
If you enjoyed our Sebastian’s Bistro Review, you should check out some of our other articles like our Kona Cafe Review!