After a lifetime of visiting Epcot, I finally ventured into the Coral Reef Restaurant for the first time. The Coral Reef has always intrigued me, but as a vegetarian I have experienced some of my worst meals at seafood restaurants. The other reason why I waited to try it was because of the single option for vegetarians and vegans. I usually take this as a sign that my kind might not be welcomed patrons. However, their new vegan / vegetarian item seemed like a unique offering worthy of trying. In addition, it was an extremely hot day and the bright Florida sun drained me. I wanted a dark cool place to relax for a little while and the Coral Reef seemed like the ideal place.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Coral Reef, but I had a surprisingly pleasant experience. Upon entering the lobby, I felt like I was already transported to an under the sea oasis. The Chihuhly-like light fixtures resembled coral and the low lighting was just the refuge I needed. To my amazement, I was seated at a table right next to the aquarium. I was in such awe watching the sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles swim by that I almost didn’t care if my meal was mundane.
Luckily, the vegan option was as amazing as the view. The current vegan / vegetarian option available at the Coral Reef is a tempura-fried cauliflower served over baby potatoes, soy sausage (similar to those served on the vegan Greek nachos), baby spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and a mustard vinaigrette. This dish was amazing! All the flavors were well balanced and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. I admire the creativity and bold use of flavors that went into this dish as well.
Although the tempura-fried cauliflower is the only official vegetarian item on the menu, the spinach and ricotta ravioli on the appetizer menu can be made vegetarian by ordering it without the prosciutto. This ravioli is served with an artichoke, leek and dill cream, baby asparagus and a balsamic glaze. Despite being on the appetizer menu, it is super filling and could easily be a meal for some. The raviolis were delicious too and would be a great option for a vegetarian who doesn’t want to get too adventurous with their dinning experience.
I will be back here again and highly recommend the Coral Reef to other vegetarians and vegans. The vegan / vegetarian option here changes frequently so make sure you check the My Disney Experience app for the most up to date dinning options. You can’t beat that view though…