Recently ITM was invited to drop by Disney Spring’s Frontera Cocina to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. This highly recommended Mexican restaurant, by the award winning chef Rick Bayless (six-time winner of the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award), is part of the diversity of dining delights that’s fast becoming Central Florida’s epicurean epicenter.
With delicious decorated destinations like Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, Morimoto Asia, and several Wofgang Puck locations; Frontera Cocina’s Mexican cuisine is among some of the best dining options in the area.
Decorated with fresh cut flowers, colorful sugar skulls, a candle lit altar in the front window and a festively adorned staff (thanks to the make-up talents of nearby Sephora staff), Frontera Cocina respectfully rejoiced in the traditional Mexican holiday honoring the dead. Enjoying the well balanced décor we made our first stop at the bar, where we were treated to a pair of cleverly crafted cocktails. These magical Margaritas are must try! The La Cava Avacado was a buttery/savory frozen potion made with fresh avocado that was both unique and very pleasant. Pink Flamingo’s blend of watermelon, lime and tequila was as refreshing as it was delicious (can we please bottle this and take it home?) With a toast to family members who have gone on ahead of us, we savored our beverages as we headed towards the table to order dinner.
Chef Bayless’ menu of authentic Mexican dishes, diverse drinks and divine desserts was almost impossible to choose from (too many tantalizing temptations). With the guidance of our well informed waiter, we eagerly elected the Carne Asada (Red chile-marinated Creekstone Natural Black Angus steak, black beans refritos with Cotija cheese, caramelized plantains with crema and queso fresco, tomatillo salsa, warm corn tortillas) for myself and JJ had the Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas (Just-made corn tortillas, chipotle chicken filling, guajillo chile sauce, Queso Chihuahua, crispy onions, creamy black beans).
Both dishes were absolutely amazing (and I’m not usually a big fan of Mexican cuisine). The Black Angus Steak of the Carne Asada was prepared to a perfect medium rare; when combined with the tomatillo salsa made for a both a blissful bite on its own AND a sumptuous soft shell taco (when spooned into the wonderful warm taco shells). JJ’s enchiladas were equally mouth-watering; smothered in a generous amount of melted cheese and toasted onions. It should be noted that the portions at Frontera Cocina are HUGE – in most cases one entrée is almost enough for two servings (needless to say, we had amazing leftovers).
The final touch to our tour of this magnificent Mexican restaurant was the angelic Coconut Lime Cuatro Leches dessert (Sponge cake soaked with four milks topped whipped cream, toasted coconut, fresh blackberries, and lime zest). This light and not overly sweet slice of heaven was an absolutely amazing surprise for me as I was expecting an overly strong amount coconut flavor; instead there was just a hint of the tropical coconut which balanced with the lime and the blend of milks used to make the masterpiece. This finishing feast for the palate is highly recommended; not only for the fresh flavors but that, despite appearances, this dessert is quite light and full of flavor.
A holiday or special occasion, such as Dia de los Muertos, is not needed to enjoy this marvelous Mexican dining delight at Disney Springs as Frontera Cocina is open daily at 11am. Visit their website for the full menu and additional information. I’m certainly looking forward to the opportunity to the next visit!
Images & Video: Michael Gavin