New Chef Stirs Things up at Artist Point

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Disney’s Wilderness Lodge takes guests on a journey to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with  a design inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges.  The resort’s signature restaurant, Artist Point, carries that theme into the dining room with dramatic murals, timbered columns and pretty views of Bay Lake and Silver Creek Falls.apwapw879771

New head chef  to Artist Point, Chef Michael Gonsalves, is adding new selections to the menu that are  inspired by America’s Pacific Northwest. “We are looking to convey the wonders of nature through food,” says Chef Michael.

Regional dishes such as Dungeness crab cakes, steamed mussels, cedar plank salmon and wild-caught prawns and halibut are on the menu, and  Chef Michael is whipping up some new tastes like dashi-braised short rib starter is served with kombu turnip pickles, daikon and wild greens. Charred field asparagus with Berkshire prosciutto, mustard vinaigrette, and foraged greens also appears on the  the menu.  Produce from the “Land” at Epcot is used in menu items  such as the “Land” Greens Salad featuring Masumoto peaches, and seed granola.apwapw667992

Favorites such as the smoky portobello bisque with crispy shiitakes remain on the menu, as well as the buffalo strip steak from North Fork Canada. For summer, Chef Michael is adding a new cheese and house-made charcuterie board.

“We’ll be offering Pacific Northwest cheeses with house-made seed lavosh and crostini,” says Chef Michael. “And the house-made charcuterie will be ‘nose-to-tail,’ using the whole hog.” The restaurant’s beef, bison, halibut and salmon all are sourced from the Pacific Northwest too.
What is the most popular dish? The Cedar plank salmon, says Chef Michael, with his new rendition including“ local potatoes, baby fennel, Florida citrus and ver jus.apwapw445443

Every dish on the menu gets a wine pairing from sommelier Alvin Burrill, with each wine selection originating from Washington or Oregon.  Alvin also might recommend a Pacific Northwest ale if you ask, such as  the handcrafted Rogue Ale.
Looking ahead, Chef Michael says they are working on a terrace dining experience with a communal chef’s table.