We visit Wine Bar George to check out their new Wine Country Brunch, which debuted on March 30th, 2019, and is currently offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm. You’ll find the restaurant and bar sort of across from The Boathouse and Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar and to the left of Raglan Road.
All of the Main Plates and Sides are exclusive to brunch, along with the Kendall Brook Smoked Salmon from the To Start list:
The other Small Plates and Boards are available during the regular lunch or dinner service. Wine Bar George opens at 11am daily and closes at 12am from Sunday through Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here’s the regular menu:
The brunch offerings aren’t a substantial departure from what George serves throughout the day. A similar Burrata plate is typically available, for example.
You’ll also find three lunch specials, available on weekdays from 11am to 3pm:
The lunch Steak Frites is similar to what we’re going to see with the brunch Steak & Egg Frites.
Undoubtedly, the most hyped item on the brunch menu is what is now called the “Froscato Mimosa made with DOLE Whip Pineapple,” which originally appeared on the menu as simply the “Dole Whip Mimosa.” To confuse things further, the online menu mistakenly calls it a “Frozcato” with a ‘z.’ The drink enjoys the consistency of a wine slushy, fruity, smooth, and refreshing with a light effervescence backed up by the creaminess of the Dole Whip blended in. Without exaggerating, I think every single person had a glass of this in front of them and you probably will too. I was expecting something a little different from the presentation, but it probably ends up being a little classier served up here in a large wine glass. The portion isn’t unfair for the money.
Several more brunch-y drinks are available on the back of the menu:
The other frozen cocktails are similarly refreshing and on warmer days, quite welcome.
They’re also available to-go from The Basket next door. The seating upstairs is dedicated to Wine Bar George. When the weather is comfortable, you might request sitting out there with picturesque views of the water and the bloggers passing by. The Spritzes, along with the White Sangria, are exclusive to brunch.
I was pleasantly surprised by the $44 Aperol Rosé Spritz, which arrived in a carafe large enough to serve seven or eight large glasses full. Your server will deliver the carafe for all to see, along with the desired number of glasses, each filled with ice and a slice of orange, and then fill each glass, leaving the rest of the carafe for whoever can finish their drink first. With a significant amount of Aperol, what must have been a whole bottle of the Protocolo Rosé, some Prosecco for good measure, and topped with a little bit of unadvertised Soda Water, the drink was fruity and refreshing with any bitterness of the wine masked beautifully by the sweet orange flavor of the Aperol. Really refreshing and at only about $6 a glass, a great bargain. A bottle of the Protocolo Rosé runs $32 on the regular wine menu. Not that you asked, but if you stop by Wine Bar George in the near future, do yourself a favor and try a bottle of the Favia Rompecabezas Red Wine, which the restaurant lists as the “GSM.” It’s a $75 bottle that George is serving for $80 and you’ll never find the 2013 in stores. 2019 is probably going to be the best year to pop it. The full wine list is available during brunch.
First up, we’ve got the $16 “Kendall Brook Smoked Salmon – Ciabatta Crisp, Crème Fraîche, Fried Capers.” Sourced from Ducktrap River, where the fresh fish is trimmed and smoked by hand in Maine, the Kendall Brook Smoked Salmon enjoys a firm, satiny texture with the delicious woodsy smokiness continuing through each meaty, succulent bite. The beautiful, deep pink Salmon is served attractively on top of thin slices of crispy, buttery Ciabatta and finished with dollops of sour-cream-forward Crème Fraîche and plenty of salty Fried Capers, the majority of which I moved to the side. There’s no reason to add so much salt and vinegar to Smoked Salmon with such a delicate salinity. Given the quality of the fish, which costs around $40/pound, the price here is probably fair. The dish couldn’t be executed any better. At more than $5 per crisp, they are on the expensive side of things, though.
I added the only side that we won’t see as part of another dish with the $5 Potato Hash, which arrives in this small bowl. While the portion is far from overwhelming, I’m not sure how the blend of crispy, caramelized potatoes, bacon, and butter could taste any better. An incredibly delicious mixture. Still, it seems like the sort of item that could be served alongside most of the entrees and included in the price. You’ll see why as we move through the selections.
While not exclusive to brunch, you would be remiss to skip over the $12 “Crispy Mac & Cheese Bites – Tomato Nage and Pecorino.” The thin, impossibly-crispy breading quickly gives way to even-more-impossibly-gooey macaroni and cheese inside with just a little bit of the thin Tomato Nage sauce underneath and a generous sprinkle of the nutty, salty Pecorino. The first time I tried these, they ended up being a little soggy due to the thickness of the sauce, but that seems to be remedied. The Nage still brings that delicious tomato soup flavor and you won’t believe how cheesy the Mac and Cheese remains inside of the crispy fried casing.
First up on the Main Plates list, we have the $17 “French Toast – Brioche, Mascarpone, Caramel Sauce.” Truly rich and decadent, the French Toast is almost like Bread Pudding, stuffed with light, slightly-sweetened, creamy Mascarpone Cheese and finished with a smooth, sugary-sweet Caramel Sauce.
For $17, the portion is certainly on the small side, but the flavor is so rich that I’m not sure you’d be able to eat much more. I would argue that we’re missing a side here – the dish should be served with a choice of Chicken Sausage or Bacon, which would add some protein and help cut some of that richness. Of course you can add that side for another $6, but that would set you back a total of $23 – a pretty rough price point for breakfast. An incredible amount of time and care does go into all of these recipes, though. You certainly won’t find better French Toast at Walt Disney World.
Next up, we have the $25 “Steak & Eggs Frites – Skirt Steak, Eggs, Sriracha Hollandaise.”
There’s quite a bit of nicely-seasoned Skirt Steak, grilled to a perfect medium, hiding underneath the two Eggs and quite the plate of golden, crispy Fries. The yolky Sriracha Hollandaise adds just a little bit of a spicy kick to the buttery sauce that will tickle the back of your throat after every bite that it touches. I would have liked more of the sauce, but the runny egg also adds a nice creaminess to the dish. I preferred this preparation to the onion-heavy sauce used during lunch. Altogether, it’s a rich, hearty dish that would be among my top choices for brunch here.
The unexpected star of the show was the $22 “Burrata – Avocado, Bacon, Ciabatta.” Burrata, which “literally” translates to butter, is mozzarella’s creamier cousin because it’s stuffed with…well…more mozzarella and cream.
There’s a ton of it on top of the thick and crispy Ciabatta bread base. Then you’ve got several slices of thick, peppery, hickory-smoked candied Bacon. That’s topped with a ton of fresh, creamy slices of Avocado. Then there’s a bit of frisée lettuce before you get to several ounces of Burrata.
The olive-oil-and-vinegar-heavy Tomatoes are fresh and bright with a juicy quality that contrasts nicely with the creamy richness of the Cheese and the saltiness of the crispy bacon. The portion is probably much larger than it appears in the picture. This might be a departure from what most of us would ordinarily order for breakfast – none of the traditional flavors are necessarily here, but I’d try to get your brain on a path towards it. As temperatures rise, I think people will appreciate the cool and refreshing flavors even more.
The “Sausage Gravy & Biscuits – House-made Biscuits, Bacon” looks more like a seven- or eight-dollar side than the $17 price that it commands. The biscuits are still delicious, flaky on the outside and fluffy on the inside and smothered in a creamy, salty, meaty gravy. But there isn’t enough of the Bacon involved and the plate needs a couple of Eggs or something to round it out. The menu actually advertises a $6 side of eggs, but they should probably be included in the cost as is. These are good, but it’s certainly an overpriced proposition, even given the quality.
The $22 “Eggs Benedict – House-made Chicken Sausage, Hollandaise, and Crispy Polenta Cake” is up next. This was another highlight – the Crispy Polenta Cakes are exactly that, creamy and dense in the middle and surrounded by a satisfyingly-crispy shell. They’re a little different than your typical English Muffin, but I appreciated the extra heft, particularly considering how crispy the cakes kept underneath the buttery Hollandaise Sauce. Pepper helps bring out the flavors of the perfectly-poached eggs with the House-made Chicken Sausage adding some salt and spice. You’re definitely paying the Disney upcharge here…for $22 I would expect crab or lobster. But like everything else offered, they taste great. Whether or not they’re $8 overpriced may or may not be enough to keep you away.
Last and perhaps least, we have the $16 “Wine Country Omelet – Artichoke, Asparagus, Olive, and Tomato Medley,” which ended up being bitterness and acidity on top of bitterness and acidity with all of the Artichoke on top and little more inside the Omelet than a thin layer of cheese. For the eight of us, this was the only miss of the morning. You may well enjoy it more, though. It’s certainly not a lot of food for the money, either way.
Overall, Wine Bar George Wine Country Brunch is a lot of fun with some great-tasting food served in a classy atmosphere that “feels” far removed from a lot of the other Disney Springs restaurants. It’s perfectly casual, but there’s just something about eating Steak & Eggs among three or four different vintages of Chateau Margaux that elevates the overall experience.
Certainly, your money will go further at a number of other Disney Springs restaurants, including Homecomin’, where this “Fried Green, Eggs and Ham – Open-faced big biscuit topped with griddled country ham, fried green tomatoes, over easy eggs, shaved country ham, dressed arugula and rémoulade sauce with choice of side item” will set you back $18, which is $4 less than George’s Eggs Benedict.
You can pull up that review here with their current menu located here. Most of the items that we didn’t like from the original set of offerings are gone from the menu. Brunch is offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30am through 1pm, so you can get in 90 minutes earlier over there, but the meal service also ends two hours earlier.
Maria & Enzo’s offers brunch on Sundays from 10:30am to 2:35pm. It’s a buffet that costs $35/person, so you can be pretty sure that you’re going to leave satisfied. Pull up that review here, but note the menu changes as listed here.
Strictly on the amount of food that you’ll receive for the money, Wine Bar George comes in towards the bottom of the brunch options at Disney Springs. There are a couple of exceptions – The Burrata in particular is smart and the Steak & Eggs is also a reasonable portion for the money. But I enjoyed George’s attention to detail and the high quality of the ingredients used. A lot of thought went into creating the menu and the kitchen is among the most proficient on property at executing the dishes as intended. You might drink a Carafe of Aperol Rosé Spritz before the check comes. Not that I would know anything about that. Service was also casual, yet professional and attentive, which is a tough line to walk.
I really enjoyed myself.
Hopefully there are more brunches to review.