Monday, June 23, 2008

Club 33

Ever heard of the infamous Club 33 at Disneyland? No, well, let me tell you about it.

Club 33 is a private club in Disneyland located in the New Orleans area near the Pirates of the Carribean ride. It is the only place in Disneyland were you can get alcohol. Walt Disney worked with a lot of corporate sponsors over the years and noted they liked their VIP Lounges and had one put into the park. I t was originally just for corporate sponsors, but after his death it was opened up to individuals. A membership start at $10, 450 with annual fees of $3, 275 and this doesn't include food or drink or even admission to the park. They are able to make reservations 90 days in advance and have guests make reservations on their membership a few times a year. In the Disney company, one has to be an executive vice president or higher to make a reservation. The minimum for dinner is $66 per person. Not difficult when the entrees start at $30.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I was able to have dinner there last night. A friend and Disney employee managed to convince someone to make him a reservation for 10 of us to celebrate his 33rd birthday. I've always wanted to go and perfect timing as I am about to depart LA.

We got to the park at noon and went on a few rides including the new Toy Story ride/3D game at California Adventure. It was awesome and worth the 45 minute wait in the 103 degree heat. We went on a few other rides and then changed into our nice clothes to meet the dress code a half an hour before our reservation. I wore a black skirt and a new black and white blouse. Try not to die of shock.

At 6p, we were buzzed in and once our table was ready, we were taken upstairs. It is a lovely little resturant. We were seated at a nice round table in the center of the room. Very nice, but I was expecting a bit more in terms of atmosphere. I had heard rumors that the waiters were in tuxes, but not the case.

The menu was a choice of either ordering the Vitner's Menu which was a 5 course meal of the chef's design for that day or picking and choosing items off the right hand side of the menu that had lots of options. The Vitner menu was a flat $75 with the option of a wine pairing for an extra $35. I went with this minus the wine. I'm not a big wine fan and was spending enough as it was. Everyone else ordered off the right hand side of the menu. No one had any food that wasn't amazing, but I contend I had it best with the choices for me. Even though I wasn't a big fan of a lot of what was on their, I figured if I was going to like it, this would be the place to try it.

1st course was a simple salad with grapes, hiccama, almonds and a light dressing that was perfect. 2nd course was a stuffed crab shell that had a breading that tasted like gourmet hush puppies. 3rd course was boneless short rib with a potato and blue cheese puree. 4th course was three different cheeses including a blended blue cheese/brie combo and crackers. 5th course was a dark chocolate mouse with fresh berries.

The meal was perfection. 3 hours, 5 courses and a $100 later I felt perfectly content. Not full. Not hungry. Just right. Worth every penny. I am very grateful for the experience and I am putting blue cheese in my mashed potatoes from now on.

If you have the connections and can spare the money, I highly recommend going there and getting the $75 pre-set menu.

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