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.