Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NEW!! Frontera Cocina by Chef Rick Bayless, Disney Springs Town Center!!

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless opened a new Mexican themed restaurant in the Town Center area of Disney Springs (across from the famous Sprinkles Cupcakes). The menu includes a wide variety of traditional Mexican favorites made with the freshest ingredients combined as only Chef Bayless can do. The food is about flavor and not "heat." For those who are not fans of "spicy," you will enjoy the food at Frontera Cocina. For those who would like a little kick, there's something for you as well.

 The Cocktails
Topolo Margarita ($17.00) Herradura anejo tequila, Torres orange liquer, housemade limonada.
The drink options at Frontera Cocina are unique. I found it very difficult to choose and went with the recommendation from my server. He chose well! It was poured table-side, which was a nice touch and avoids any little spills or splashes while carrying an already poured cocktail from the bar. I call this drink "adult lemonade." It's light and refreshing. It's the perfect afternoon, Florida cocktail. It was rather sweet from the housemade limonada mix. The anejo tequila was smooth, making this very easy to drink. The flavor worked well with all the food that I tasted. I would definitely order it again, but the salt rim was not needed for my personal taste. The flavor of the drink was excellent without it.

The Food
Coctel Rojo ($14.00) Poached Mazatlan blue shrimp and Baja bay scallops, Mexican cocktail sauce, (ketchup, Tamazula, lime juice), jicama, avocado, cilantro, warm tortilla chips.
I fell in love with this on the first bite and plan to return to enjoy it again for lunch very soon. The sauce was not spicy. It had a light sweetness that complimented the sweetness of the large shrimp and petite scallops without overpowering their delicate texture. The chips are housemade and taste better than any corn chip I have ever eaten. The deep roasted corn flavor really stands out. I requested a little bit of extra cilantro to brighten the flavors (and because I ADORE cilantro).

Tortilla Soup ($9.00) Red chile chicken broth, chipotle chicken, avocado, artisan Jack cheese, tortilla strips, cilantro, red onion and lime.

The soup comes plated with the chicken, cheese, avocado, and corn chip strips in the bowl. The broth is then poured over table-side. The chicken was tender and the broth has a rich, slow-simmered flavor but is in no way "heavy." I expected it to be very thick but it was light enough to enjoy on a very hot summer day in Florida. There was a little bit of spicy kick in the broth, but I would put it in the mild category. Flavor stood out over spice.

Oaxacan Red Chile Chicken ($27.00) Crispy half chicken, Oaxacan red mole, plantain rice, warm corn tortillas.
This is amazing. Don't let the word "crispy" fool you; the chicken is not fried, breaded, or greasy.  But, the skin is indeed crispy. Inside, the meat was juicy and tender. The mole sauce is so unique. Again, it's not spicy. It's ALL Flavor (if you are not familiar with mole sauce, it is most similar to homemade bar-b-q sauce as a general comparison). The rice is also unique with the addition of plantains. The plantains brighten up the flavor of the rice with a bit of tartness. I couldn't help but say, "wow" on my first bite.
The fresh, warm, corn tortillas deserve a moment of recognition. Don't quote me on it, but I'm pretty sure they are made from the wings of angels. They made me very, very, happy. SO DELICIOUS! And the texture was divine!

Mushroom Torta ($14.00) Woodland mushrooms, chipotle-garlic mojo, goat cheese, arugula, lime, chipotle salsa, taqueria salad (petite baby lettuces, poblano rajas, carrot, radish, avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, cotija cheese, avocado-lime vinaigrette). 
This is a vegetarian menu option, but an excellent choice for the meat-lovers as well. The bread is spectacular. It's crunchy on the outside and light and tender inside. There's a thick layer of creamy goat cheese and it's piled high with a variety of hearty, meaty mushrooms and a nice accent of arugula. The mojo dipping sauce adds something for the heat-lovers. The side salad is a wonderful accompaniment and includes the surprise of roasted sweet peppers. It provided a nice cooling balance to the mojo sauce.

 Pecan Pie Bar ($9.00) with Mexican vanilla ice cream-chocolate sauce.
I was told that this recipe came from the grandmother of Chef Rick Bayless. After hearing that, I could not pass up the chance to try it. (But the Quatro Leches Cake looked scrumptious too!)  It was not what I expected as a traditional pecan pie that has a standard white pie crust, sweet gooey base, and topping of pecans. This was much more like a very dense brownie filled with ground pecans. It was sinfully rich and the addition of vanilla ice cream made it absolutely decadent. It is a large portion and definitely enough for sharing.

The Decor
Frontera Cocina has a lovely modern, yet warm feeling with pops of bright colors. The front room offers views of the open kitchen. The walls are decorated with bottles of tequila that reflect the light in the room. A center room is tucked in under a lower ceiling with warm lighting for a more intimate feel. The back of the restaurant includes a bar with high stools and additional low tables surrounding it. A back deck provides the option of outdoor seating. The front room, bar room, and back patio all include gorgeous waterfront views. The decor is very inviting.



A few items are available for purchase at the front of the restaurant. There are currently two Cookbooks by Chef Rick Bayless ($35.00, each), Salsa ($12.00), and Drink Mix ($22.00).

*Frontera Cocina also has a walk-up window for quick bites. Review coming soon.
*Dining plan table-service credits accepted for the interior restaurant. Dining plan not accepted at the walk-up window.
*No additional discounts are accepted at this time.
*Frontera Cocina is handicapped accessible. Doors are not automated. However, Cast Members are stationed at the door and available to assist.
*Special thank you to our server-Adam and managers-Randal and Ricky for their hospitality.
*Follow Jeanie on Facebook @ThePrincessPapers or @JeanieGallo and on Twitter @PrincessPapers. You can also hear her on The Disney Dream Girls Podcast, Twitter @DisDreamGirls


  1. Nice. This might have to go on the list for my trip in December. There are so many great new places at Disney Springs, it's hard to choose

    1. If you only have time for a little snack, they also have a little walk-up window. I'm going to try that out soon and add a mini review or post pics on Twitter (@princesspapers) or Facebook @ThePrincessPapers! Hope you enjoy it!