Happy Magical Monday (The Late Night Edition)! If you missed last week’s overview of enjoying a Disney Cruise with celiac disease and food allergies, be sure to read A Magical Monday Full of New Adventures. Today, we’re diving into my favorite dining option aboard the Disney Fantasy, Palo!
Palo is a special dining experience for anyone above the age of eighteen. And, it’s a place that you can’t miss if you have celiac disease, food allergies, or any other kind of dietary restriction. My meals were elegant to say the least.
The opening course you see above was served when Chef Giuseppe didn’t have a heads up about my arrival. Celiac and seven food allergies is quite a bundle, but he did a beautiful job.
Now, before we dive into the delicious food at Palo, we need to set the mood. Palo is a venetian restaurant. Your first sight is a beautiful murano glass feature inspired by a classic dish. Can you guess which one?
That’s right! The lighting is inspired by spaghetti and meatballs. (I learned this on my Art of the Theme Show Tour, an activity that I highly recommend if you find the time).
As you make your way to your seat, you’ll find a beautiful view looking out over the side of the ship. We always ate while cruising along the water, which made such a beautiful backdrop. There is also a backlit bar, and pianist playing softly in the background.
Now that you want to know more, there are two ways to dine at Palo! Brunch and dinner. Brunch is only offered on select days (mainly the days at sea), whereas dinner is offered every night. Brunch is a great option if you don’t want to miss a restaurant in your regular dining rotation. Plus, brunch is a buffet, whereas dinner is a sit down meal, so the two offer quite different experiences.
Brunch is a buffet option, but certainly not for those of us with celiac disease and/or food allergies. The staff at Palo takes these conditions very seriously because a medical emergency in the middle of the ocean is not a good thing! They explained how my food would be prepared separately, and took any questions I had.
Chef Giuseppe came out from the kitchen and gave me my own tour of the buffet to get a feel for the kind of foods that I would like. Personally, I’ve always found that chef’s choice leads to the best meals, but I mentioned that I liked prosciutto and salmon. He prepared all my meals, and someone came over to check in with me about each one.
The first course that appeared in front of me was far more decadent than the prosciutto wrapped asparagus I saw on the buffet.
I received two types of prosciutto, lemon balls, tuna topped with a tomato garnish, and shrimp. The melon balls worked perfectly wrapped inside the prosciutto, and the tuna and shrimp were prepared just right.
We then moved on to my entrée, where I was expecting a salmon dish. Instead, I was presented with a gorgeous combination of lobster and salmon.
Here, the lobster is pretty much out of its shell making it easy to eat, but the shell remains on the plate because it adds so much to the presentation. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off our first day aboard the ship.
Now, come time for dessert, I am near impossible to feed. Even the GF, DF ice-cream aboard (Rice Dream) contains tapioca flour. The manager brought out the executive pastry chef to go over future dessert options with me. However, I was still presented with berries! And, berries are a hot commodity aboard the ship.
At the end of our trip, I was more than thrilled to be returning to Palo! This time I had already met Chef Giuseppe, and he had plenty of time to think about my meal. He came over to confirm my dietary needs and preferences, and then left to prepare what turned out to be my most decadent meal aboard the ship.
Note: As the night went on and the lighting became dimmer, it was much harder to take pictures!
What you can’t tell is that these dishes aren’t on the menu, but instead are a combination of parts of various dishes. And, each course came with its own story, none of which I could re-write in an elegant manner.
Nonetheless, each course was unique in its own way. My first course was my first time trying calamari. The second was the creamiest dish I’ve had since my celiac diagnosis, and the third was like a scavenger hunt!
But I still had to leave room for dessert. Everyone LOVES to feed you at Palo. You’ll always be offered more food, drinks, or anything your heart desires. For dessert I had sorbet, followed by berries! At this point on our cruise, berries were the hottest commodity because they had to have made it through 6 days of sailing!
Palo is my favorite option aboard the ship for a special dining experience (18 & up). They are phenomenal with both celiac disease and food allergies. The chef comes out to greet you, and prepare your meal.
At brunch there is no need to worry about the buffet style because all your food will be prepared in the kitchen. And, at dinnertime, you will be fed more courses than your stomach can fit. At the end of our cruse we received a note on our door with a Magical Memories Certificate for our meal at Palo, AND the recipe to my mom and sister’s favorite dish: Tiramisu with Chocolate Soil.
Have a Magical Week!
P.S: If you’re missing my Magical Monday posts about Walt Disney World, check out my guest post on the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention’s Blog: Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Celiac, Food Allergies, And More!