Southern Nuevo Cuisine Goes Greek at Kouzzina on Disney’s Boardwalk

Goat Cheese Sto Fourno

It was the last dinner of our trip. That’s always an unfortunate time (at least for me) to visit a great restaurant, because by then I’ve had my fill of rich restaurant food, and the mere thought of eating yet another heavy meal has me turning slightly green.

But here we were at Cat Cora’s Greek-Southern U.S. fusion restaurant, Kouzzina, in the Boardwalk Inn complex. We’d been here once before under similar circumstances, and you think I would have planned it better this time, but alas. A number of delicious-sounding entrees caught my eye, such as the cinnamon-stewed chicken and tomatoes, braised short ribs, pastisio, or a trio featuring most of the above. But my appetite (or lack thereof) won out over my taste buds, so I ended up choosing a smaller appetizer and side dish for my meal instead.

I ordered the goat cheese sto fourno from the appetizer list, a baked goat cheese that’s studded with marinated artichokes, olives, and peppers and drizzled with Greek olive oil. The creamy, earthy cheese and briny vegetables were a delightful combination, especially when paired with the small portion of olive bread served on the side. I was left with a good amount of extra goat cheese after finishing the olive bread, so I supplemented it with some of the bread from the house bread service.

Speaking of the house bread service, I should take a step back. After taking your order, Kouzzina’s servers stop back with bread service. The first time we dined here two years ago, the bread was served with butter that had been dusted with black Hawaiian sea salt. A nice condiment to be certain, but it paled in comparison to the current bread service.

This time, our server placed a large basket of sliced bread on the table and a small dish meant to serve a trio of dips. One section was filled with marinated olives, which elevated the bread service all by itself. But then, from a wire carrier, the server produced two bottles of olive oil that she poured into the other two sections—one a strongly flavored, peppery oil that I didn’t catch the growing region; the other a mild, buttery oil from the Kalamata region of Greece. I don’t tend to like peppery olive oils, and this one was no exception, but I simply adored the Kalamata oil. I need to try to find a similar variety that I can use at home.

Kouzzina's Brussels SproutsBut back to our meals. After spending three and a half days eating mostly carbs and meat, I was craving vegetables. So in addition to the cheese and bread, I figured I should order something green and ended up selecting the Brussels sprouts. The sprouts were sliced in half, pan roasted, dressed with a brown butter vinaigrette, and topped with some sort of cheese. After digging under a few sprouts, I found a treasure trove of capers and crispy onion bits waiting for me at the bottom of the plate. The sprouts were al dente, perhaps slightly more so than I would have preferred, but their cut sides were beautifully caramelized. My husband and I joked that in a theme park that caters to kids, I’m probably the only one who orders Brussels sprouts, but when we asked our server about their popularity, she said they were actually a great seller.

My husband, who you may remember has actually been to Greece, ordered the pastisio, a sort of Greek lasagna or baked pasta dish consisting of cinnamon-spiced ground beef, tubular pasta, and a creamy béchamel topping. Having sampled authentic pastisio in Greece, he deems Cora’s version is pretty accurate. Every time I try this dish, I love it—there’s something about the savory meat and sauce and the sweet spice that is both comforting and alluring.

We like dining at Kouzzina and other Boardwalk-area restaurants for several reasons. First, there’s the setting and ambiance. Even how you arrive sets the stage: the Boardwalk can be reached by Disney bus, but a boat ride from Epcot or Hollywood Studios adds to the fun. Then there’s the Boardwalk itself. The sprawling promenade is beautifully lit at night and usually is frequented by some of Disney’s street performers, so even if you have to wait for a table, the entertainment and spectacular scenery keep you occupied. Which brings me to my final point: Disney’s hotel restaurants are often not as crowded as the ones in the parks, especially if you time it right.

Other Walt Disney World posts from The Girl in the Blue Apron

Why Foodies Shouldn’t Shy Away From Walt Disney World
Take a Culinary Trip to Northern Africa at Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion
Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Now Serves Waffle Sandwiches
My Favorite Thing to Eat at Walt Disney World Is a Simple Chocolate Muffin
Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons Offers Quick, Affordable, Healthy, Sustainable, and—Yes—Tasty Fare

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