Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: Coral Reef

I must say, the main reason to check out Coral Reef is for the atmosphere.  There's really nothing like dining next to a giant aquarium.  There's a huge turtle and even a shark in there!  It's awesome!  During our meal there, we were seated just one table away from the tank, and that was definitely the focus of the meal.

We arrived a bit late to our reservation due to some extended socializing with JL from the Disney Driven Life (and the fact that we simply had to stay to watch her kids talk to Crush in Turtle Talk!).  That said, once we arrived, we were seated within five or ten minutes in a prime location!

James started with the lobster soup, which he didn't like at all.  I had a caesar salad, which was your everyday salad.  Needless to say, our appetizers weren't stunning, but later our server didn't charge us for the soup, which more than made up for it.  We both had the New York Strip for dinner, and it was good.  Maybe we were spoiled from our New York Strips at Le Cellier the previous day, but we weren't wowed by the food at Coral Reef.  Overall, I'd say the food was consistently good (except James' soup, but the fact that he didn't like it doesn't mean it wasn't good), but it wasn't any special.  Maybe that's what you get for ordering steak at a seafood restaurant.

Regardless of the food, as I said earlier, the real draw of Coral Reef is the fish tank.  While we were eating dinner, some scuba divers came down with video cameras.  I believe some were video taping the sea-life while others were being trained for future scuba diver-y things.  It was so interesting to be seated so close to the tank.  If you or someone in your family is really interested in sea-life, you'd want to check out this restaurant.

I must say, overall my impression of Coral Reef was average.  Nothing was bad about our experience, but nothing really stood out.  We might return one day, but there are certainly many other restaurants I'd want to repeat or try for the first time before our next trip to this one.  Then again, maybe it was just a fluke (get it?!).  The bright side to this restaurant is that it's great to keep kids occupied.  You get a guide with the different types of fish in the tank, and it's fun to try to identify them.  Unfortunately, if you're not seated right by the tank, kids might try to get up close to it, disturbing people at the tables near the tanks.

Have you ever dined at Coral Reef?  What was your opinion on it?  Did you have an average experience like we did, or did yours stand out (good or bad)?  Let me know in a comment, a tweet (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!


  1. Thanks for the review of Coral Reef. For years I had Coral Reef on my personal "Do not eat at" list. I've heard mixed reviews lately but yours is what I'm expecting... average to mediocre food with the atmosphere being the big draw.

    I'm in no rush to head there but glad to hear your take on Coral Reef!

  2. We ate at Coral Reef a few trips ago. We felt exactly the same way, it wasn't bad, but it certainly didn't stand out as something we just had to try again. We did somehow manage to have seats right along the tank, so it was a great location to be seated, but if they didn't have the great view, we wouldn't consider it on any future trips. Like you said, there are many more restaurants that are far better than Coral Reef.

  3. Matt, it never hurts to try things once (*cough*La Nouba*cough*), but it did end up being average food when there are so many great places to eat.

    Beth, I completely agree. When there are so many choices, it's hard to be satisfied with good but not great food.