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Big Catch

Dive into a sea of flavors and options at Paddlefish in Disney Springs, where quality food meets an elegant ambience.

Paddlefish, formerly Fulton’s Crab House, opened in 2017 as a faux yacht, luxurious seafood restaurant docked at Disney Springs. Although this stand-alone restaurant has been around for only a few years, its operator, Levy Restaurants, is no stranger to fine dining and, in fact, also owns Disney Spring’s Terralina Crafted Italian.

My friend and I arrived at the restaurant on a Saturday night, smack in the middle of a wedding reception party. Paddlefish is a renowned venue for these types of events. We were sat rather quickly considering it was a weekend and we didn’t have a reservation. Paddlefish has three floors altogether and we were seated on the second level.

We were fortunate to be positioned next to a window with a gorgeous view of the Disney Springs’ lake. The décor was overall elegant and simple, offering a relaxed atmosphere. There was plenty of more seating throughout this riverboat-inspired venue including outdoor patios on each floor.

For starters, the drink menu is pretty extensive. We ordered two cocktails: House-made Sangria ($13) and Admiral’s Punch ($14). I love red wine and anything fruit flavored, so the sangria, a refreshing blend of raspberry-infused alcohol, pineapple juice and blackberry liqueur garnished with an orange, cherry and raspberry was perfect for me.

The second cocktail was also fruity but much heavier with rum as the main component. It was made with two different aged rums: Smith Cross Jamaican and Santa Teresa Venezuelan. My friend enjoyed the rich flavor of this cocktail at first but needed help finishing it all due to the strong aroma.

We decided on two appetizers: Jumbo Lump Crab Topped Fries ($14) and Ahi Poke ($16), to go along with the complimentary rolls and whipped honey-seed lemon butter that were provided for the table.

The Ahi Poke came out with quite the presentation. The tuna was served on a silver platter, bathed in a sweet, black soy sauce and topped with fresh avocado, cucumber pickle and spiced tortilla chips—a nice kick to accent the salty soy sauce if you ask me.

In comparison to the Ahi Poke, our second appetizer of lump crab fries was a little heavy to have before the main entrée. The dish was made up of bite-size lump crab pieces laid on top of a bed of fries drizzled with Louie dressing (a mix of mayo, red chili sauce and minced green chili peppers) and sprinkled with green onions. The dressing is what really made this appetizer killer. But while it was delicious, I would rather the crab meat be served warm than in its original, chilled state.

When it came time to order the main dishes, we knew seafood was the obvious choice. I decided on the Scallops ($36), which was recommended by our server. The mollusks came over a spread of cauliflower puree and crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon, except I substituted the Brussels sprouts for crab fried rice since I am not a particular fan of bacon.

Though the scallops were giant and flavorsome, the amount (four pieces) was lacking in my opinion. If we had not already filled up on bread and appetizers, this dish would not have satisfied my appetite. The silky rice was an excellent pairing and definitely tasty, but I wouldn’t go back for this dish.

Meanwhile, my friend ordered the Catch of the Day, Cod ($38) with cauliflower puree spread and a side of beurre blanc (creamy butter sauce packed with shallots and tangy lemon juice). I cannot rave enough about this entrée. The fish was cooked perfectly and rested underneath a delightful concoction of shrimp-and-scallop corn bread stuffing, with a side of al dente asparagus.

Last but not least, we ordered Key Lime Pie ($10) to share. The tart dessert topped with toasted meringue, similar to marshmallow fluff, posed a light contrast to the rich lime filling. A perfect ending to this four-course meal as anything too rich or too large would not have received a second bite.

Overall, Paddlefish is a pretty space that cranks out some impressive dishes that would please any local or tourist alike. With a wide array of seafood options and a respectable drink list to match, the restaurant certainly does not disappoint and hopefully the boat will stay anchored at Disney Springs for many years to come.

1670 Buena Vista Drive | Disney Springs
407-934-2628 |

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s December 2019 issue.