On last year’s visit to WDW, we couldn’t wait to go back to the Grand Floridian’s Mizner’s Lounge for a dish we were introduced to the year prior by a long-time server. It was a dish we never would have ordered—and, in fact, didn’t, even when it was on Citricos’ appetizer menu: sauteed shrimp and feta (with tomatoes and a “hint of garlic). Admittedly, shrimp and feta: we just weren’t seeing it. But that evening two years ago at the Lounge, that energetic, genuine, convincing server (whose name, goshdarnitt we cannot recall), sold on the magic of this particular dish, a proprietary recipe from one of the longest-standing chef’s at The Grand, a dish so beloved by all it had been deemed untouchable, immutable, and indelible in the Grand Floridian stronghold of signature dishes. If we loved it, we could trust it, for it would never go away. So of course, we tried it, we loved it, and the very next year it was gone.
But what wasn’t gone was our fierce and fearless server who had guided us through our unease and skepticism (neither of us being all that partial to shrimp OR feta) to a mind-expanding food experience that shook our world and our palettes, and made us question every dish we didn’t order because we couldn’t quite get our heads around it. So of course, the first chance we got, we inquired as to why this Hall of Fame dish was no longer on the menu.
Our outspoken server was in full-throttle accord with our disappointment, so we sanctioned her to please voice our unrequited longing to the culinary powers that be: “This dish literally changed our lives and we’ve been looking forward to a reunion for an entire year!” We wanted it to be clear that we weren’t just snooty resort-goers whining about a subtle change to a dish we had liked, but were mourning the loss of what we thought was going to be a long and beautiful relationship. “It’s why we made a point of coming to Mizner’s Lounge,” we brought home the point. “That, and the live jazz,” we smiled with a wink. Yes, we were disappointed, but we were still happy people and didn’t want any heads to roll.
“I’m going to call the chef right now and let him know,” our staunch ally turned on a dime before we could order anything else.
The phone at the bar was within earshot and we could overhear the conversation: “I have two returning guests from Los Angeles [she emphasized], who came here specifically for the shrimp and feta appetizer, and they couldn’t be more disappointed to see it’s been taken off the menu. Is there any chance it could be made to order for them?”
We didn’t expect this to be possible, as there were no other dishes on the menu featuring feta, but it was worth a shot, and more importantly, our message was conveyed. We still had a wonderful time, were able to thank our enlightening server for the unforgettable experience she had facilitated, and the live jazz was worth the visit and worth staying for.
Then today—and thanks to one of us checking such things on a regular basis (Hint: It’s not Amy)—a change to the Mizner’s Lounge menu spoke loud and clear: Disney listens! No doubt, we weren’t the only ones who registered lament, but registered the lament was, and the shrimp and feta is back. Granted, it’s been given a bit of an update, but that’s also Disney. Now we can’t wait to go back all over again!