All roads lead to Spice Road Table! Inspired by the outdoor cafes along the Mediterranean seaside, Spice Road Table opened its doors in January 2014 along the World Showcase Lagoon offering a unique waterfront dining experience you will want to return to time and time again.
With its legendary hospitality, the Morocco pavilion introduces guests to the most exotic spices from the orient and regional flavors from the Mediterranean. Savor the flavors of spices and herbs such as cardamom, cassia, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and turmeric that were traded and used at the primary source of commerce between the historic civilizations of Northwest Africa, Asia and Europe. With all of the offerings that celebrate the rich flavors of the countries along the route, this dining destination featuring tapas styled plates recently reached the top of our list for experiencing cuisine around the world.
The inside dining area offers seating for only around 60 guests, giving it a quaint and intimate feel. The tables and booths are set along floor to ceiling windows each providing a great view of the World Showcase Lagoon. Though the inside dining room is small, it is well appointed with fine arts and crafts of the Moroccan culture and exquisite lamps and lanterns boasting brightly hued geometric designs.
Spice Road Table offers a full bar with some very interesting choices of Apertifs, and specialty cocktails as well as a wonderful selection of Mediterranean wines and beer. The wines do not disappoint – especially the Ksara Reserve from Lebanon. The custom design of the full bar is aesthetically pleasing featuring dark wood, mosaic designs and a contrasting stone bar situated against a welcoming blue backdrop.
We choose to sit in the outside dining area since it was close to the time for IllumiNations and we were very pleased that we did as we had a front row seat for the nighttime spectacular. The terrace is about twice the size of the indoor dining room, offering seating for around 90 guests, and the setting is elegant with stone tables and wrought iron chairs with colorful seats. The decor is authentic and the sounds of Moroccan music set the stage for an exotic dining experience. The bricked terrace also has overhead ceiling fans which helps in keeping it a little more comfortable for al fresco dining in the Florida heat.
The “small plate” dining experience at Spice Road Table gives guests the option to eat as much or as little as they want and sharing plates amongst your group is the ideal way to enjoy a variety of flavors. There are so many delightful flavors to choose from and I am always so thankful my daughter has such an adventurous palate – it makes the sharing even more fun!
To start, we chose the Mediterranean Vegetable Platter which consists of Harissa hummus Fries, rice-stuffed grape leaves – also known as Dolmades, mixed Moroccan olives marinated in herbs and olive oil, Couscous salad and Baba Ghanoush served with Pita triangles. The Baba Ghanoush is topped with tomatoes and olive oil and the flavor of the tomatoes is bold making it the perfect dip for the Harissa hummus fries. The stuffed grape leaves are a wonderful mixture of rice, lemon and spice topped with a raisin and caper chutney that adds just the right combination of tart and sweet. We especially enjoyed the couscous salad which was light, fresh and the perfect companion to the other platter offerings.
In addition to the platter, we ordered the Brie Fondue. It is a little different from your standard fondue and wasn’t what we were expecting but it was wonderful just the same. The brie is baked and topped with seasoned almonds and served with rosemary croutons. These aren’t your mama’s croutons! The croutons are toasted slices of rosemary bread that complemented the combination of the brie and the almonds perfectly. Being big brie fans, we thoroughly enjoyed this dish!
We also ordered the Spicy Garlic Shrimp. This was truly our favorite. The jumbo shrimp were sautéed to perfection with dried chilies and fried garlic. The shrimp is served with the same rosemary bread that comes with the Brie Fondue and is quite the delight when dipped in the flavorful olive oil base of the shrimp. We could have ordered a second round of the Spicy Garlic Shrimp but we were definitely getting full and decided against it.
We should have stopped at our three dishes but we couldn’t resist the urge to end our wonderful meal on a sweet note. Even though Spice Road Table offers only 3 dessert choices – Chocolate Pyramid, Saffron and Lemon Custard and Assorted Baklavas, it was hard to pick just one. Needless to say, we didn’t – we chose 2.
The Baklavas offered 3 different styles of baklava and they were good but they were not outstanding. I, personally, wouldn’t order them again. Now, the Saffron and Lemon Custard, well that was just wonderful. The custard has 3 layers – a crusty bottom, a rich, creamy lemon center and a caramelized sugar top, much like a crème brûlée. Did I mention the chopped pistachios? Delish! It was the perfect ending to our meal and we enjoyed it as IlumiNations erupted over the World Showcase Lagoon.
All in all, first impressions of our first visit to Spice Road Table were lasting. We love the setting, the interesting menu items and our server provided us with very attentive service. Over the years, we have dined in essentially all of the venues within Epcot, some of them more often than others, and this was a nice change for us. When we return next month, we will make it a point to experience the ambiance of the indoor dining room…and maybe save a little room for that Chocolate Pyramid!
Reservations for Spice Road Table are strongly recommended as it is gaining more and more popularity, and can be made 180 days in advance. And yes, in case you are wondering, you can use your Disney Dining Plan for this venue.