Would Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant earn a 3 star Michelin rating? Victoria & Albert’s is Orlando’s only AAA 5-Diamond award winning restaurant and is located in the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Since the Michelin Guide only rates restaurants in the U. S. cities of New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco/Napa, we will have to draw our own conclusion. Let’s consider the current Michelin criteria, as well as a brief history of the guide, and see how Victoria & Albert measures up.
The Michelin Guide was first established in 1900 when tire manufacturers Andre Michelin and his brother Edouard published the first edition as a travel guide for French motorists. The guide included maps, instructions for repairing and changing tires, and lists of car mechanics, hotels, and petrol stations. The auto industry was in its infancy and the guide was intended to boost the demand for cars and, thus, for tires. In 1926, the guide began to award stars for fine dining establishments. Finally, in 1936, the criteria for the starred rankings was published. One star denoted “A very good restaurant in its category”, two stars conveyed that the restaurant had “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”, and three stars announced “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.
Over the years, the review processes used to create the Michelin Guides have come under intense scrutiny and are not without their share of controversy. The guide has been accused of having a bias toward Franco-centric cuisines and touted as not having a large enough staff to cover all the restaurants in the regions that it covers. However, one standard/requirement remains uncontested; for an establishment to earn a 3 star rating it must deliver a consistently high quality, exceptional dining experience.
In four visits to Victoria and Albert’s, we can unequivocally state that this is true. From the moment one is welcomed, as the door seems to magically open upon approach, to being escorted to the table where each guest is seated graciously, patrons can immediately sense that this restaurant is a special place. The menu in the main dining room features a 7 course tasting menu which, unlike many other tasting menus, allows choices for almost every course so that diners can customize the menu to suit their individual palettes. The wine pairings are even tailored so that, in most instances, each course is paired with its own unique wine
Victoria and Albert’s cuisine is delicately prepared and masterfully plated. The ambiance of the dining room is opulent and grand in the Victorian style: rich fabric on the walls, elegant, subdued lighting, and crisp white linens. The service, which occasionally seems almost a “staged” or choreographed presentation, is still gracious and attentive. It is easy to see why the restaurant earned a Zagat rating of Food 29, Decor 28, and Service 29 in their most recent survey.
So, would Victoria and Albert’s earn a 3 star Michelin rating? Good question!
For more information or to make a reservation, please see www.victoria-alberts.com.