My cousin invited us to join them for brunch at Palo and we had an amazing time with them. While it was a buffet, Palo used top quality ingredients and prepared everything to perfection. Because of that experience, my wife kept her reservation at Palo for our last meal aboard the Disney Wonder.
I don’t know if this was a coincidence, but the server, Susana from Portugal, we had for brunch at Palo on Tuesday was also our server that evening. For me, that set the tone of what we were about to experience.
We were seated at the center of the rear window. In my opinion, that was the best table in the house because you had a panoramic view of the ocean and the coastline.
Unless you’ve known your customer for awhile, I would imagine that it is somewhat difficult for a server to strike a good rapport with a customer for a one-time meal. It is difficult to describe Susana in detail, but she embodies all of the traits of a great server. First and foremost, she is professional, yet she seemed to know when she could add humor to the conversation.
I wasn’t sure what we were going to order and so I decided on a nice bottle of Chianti Classico. A complimentary plate of cured meats, roasted peppers, cheese and olives was plated in front of our table. Susana then drizzled 8 year old balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the dish. It was a wonderful beginning.
We ordered the calamari appetizer. When it was served, we were unaware that only one tempura shrimp was supposed to be included. Susana asked the chef to add another shrimp so that we could both enjoy one. I found the calamari to be amazingly tender. I later found out that they marinade the calamari in buttermilk to achieve this state.
The pappardelle pasta was featured on the menu with grilled lobster and that grabbed our attention. Susana said that her customers have been raving about the lamb chops and while I don’t typically give in to the crowd favorite, I did so. My wife ordered what I would typically have ordered veal osso buco. Susana tossed in the pappardelle pasta as well.
We decided to split everything and share between us. The osso buco must have been braised for hours because it was extremely tender. Susana poured a generous amount of a raspberry balsamic vinegar sauce and I’d have to agree with her other customers, the lamb chops were flavorful, tender and delicious. The pappardelle was prepared with a red pepper sauce with truffle oil. My wife absolutely loved the pappardelle.
As you could imagine, we were pretty full. Nevertheless, Susana said that Palo is known for their chocolate soufflés. She suggested that order both the chocolate and the amaretto soufflés. She poked the tops of the crust with the fork and waved the steam away. “This will remove the calories”, she exclaimed. Susana then poured the warm chocolate sauce into the top and the vanilla sauce into the amaretto soufflé. The chocolate was warm and decadent and the amaretto was tasty and great for the non-chocolate person.
From Tuesday’s brunch buffet, Susana remembered that it was our first Disney Cruise. She had this plate made up and said “Welcome to the Family”.