Get ready for a treat when you dive into a plate of Art’s Fabulous Fried Chicken at Chef Art’s Homecoming, now open at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. We’ve already tried that famous chicken from celebrity Chef Art Smith and give it two thumbs up – along with the shrimp and grits, fried catfish, sweet collards and a slice of divine chocolate pecan pie. If it’s an especially hot summer day, start with a sip of The Local, a coconut water rum cocktail with the fresh sweetness of fresh lime juice, simple syrup and fresh pineapple.
We’re heading back to try Addie Mae’s Chicken & Dumpling soup, the Tarpon Springs Greek Salad, Church Lady Deviled Eggs and other homespun treats. It’s a menu of classics, from Momma’s Mac n Cheese to Anna Maria Fish Dip – a little something for every taste, thoughtfully composed by Chef Smith, a two-time James Beard Foundation winner. (Take a look at the video with Chef Smith and Disney Parks Blog author Darcy Clark.)
Chef Art Smith, a native of Jasper, Fla., (and former cast member in the Disney College Program), gives guests a taste of classic Florida fare. The interior takes the “Homecoming Florida” theme to beautiful heights with the cocktail bar and two large tables crafted from reclaimed Florida camphor and eucalyptus. There’s Florida cypress through the interior, creating a warm, airy look that brings the outdoors in. Even the zinc tabletops were made in the Sunshine State. Favorite artwork includes oversized murals inside and out by Tampa’s Matt Callahan, and a photo of local farmer Hank Scott and his dad at their Long & Scott Farms in nearby Zellwood.
After dinner, stroll through the beautiful new retails shops at Disney Springs. Reservations open July 21, and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
Caitlin, You can make your reservation today by phoning the usual Disney dining number and make sure that you speak to an agent. It is a bit of a long drawn out process by phone but it really does work. Their reservation book is already filling up fast but I am told that walk ups are also possible.
I’m really excited to eat here. It is too bad they keep changing their mind about when we can make reservations though. Supposed to open today, and now Disney Dining tells us not until August??
Less than a year ago, Chef Art said in an interview that, “We need more plant-based menus and vegan-friendly restaurants, which Homecoming will be.” However, looking at the menu for the restaurant, I don’t see any dishes that are vegan (except a salad, and even that would have to be modified). Why is this? It is kind of disappointing.