We found it.
We started our dinner with a flute of Champagne paired with four little bites: a soft poached quail egg with Galilee Caviar, popcorn-crusted Gulf shrimp, smoked salmon panna cotta with salmon caviar and crispy buffalo mozzarella.
That was just the “amuse-bouche,” or pre-dinner taste of Chef Scott Hunnel’s delicious creations. We relaxed and savored nine more courses, from cold-smoked Niman Ranch lamb with Fuji apple and curry dressing to a single stalk of beautiful white Holland asparagus, buttery Japanese Wagyu beef and a slice of Minnesaota elk tenderloin.
But the Queen Victoria’s Room is about so much more than the feast. Behind closed doors, it different from V&A’s elegant main dining room; the staff under the direction of maitre d’ Israel Perez expertly revives the European art of tableside finishes for each dish. King salmon was cooked tableside on heated pink Himalayan salt rock. Our server toasted miniature croutons for salads in each diner’s choice of imported olive oils and fine salts. Every single dish got some sort of delicious last-minute finish before our eyes.
With just four tables, you’re encouraged to savor each bite – and even to take a walk around the Grand Floridian between dinner and dessert if you choose. (This is not an evening for the impatient.) And, oh, that grand finale. Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek creates art with sugar, like our light-as-air macaroons with green apple mousse.
The restaurant has a new website, www.victoria-alberts.com. Cost for dining in the Queen Victoria’s Room is $200; add brilliant wine pairings for $95. For reservations, call 407-939-3862. A jacket is required for men. Valet parking is complimentary — and you car will be waiting at evening’s end.