I have to say that this is one of my favorite restaurants, not only in Disney World, but outside the World, too.
This restaurant is located at The Contemporary Hotel, on the 15th floor to be exact. The views from the restaurant are fabulous. The view of the Magic Kingdom is awesome. You can ask for a table by the window, but it is never a guarantee. If you are not lucky enough to get one of those, you still a great view from the outdoor observation deck.
Our reservations were for 6:30pm, but we arrived about a half an hour early. Check-in for the restaurant is on the third floor so you need to go there first. Once checked in, we were escorted to a private elevator that wisked us up to the 15th floor. Then we were seated- at a table without a view. Oh well. We didn't ask for one anyway. The restaurant decor is nouveau/art deco and there is an exhibition kitchen. You can watch the chefs at work!
We dined here on the Deluxe Dining Plan so I was lucky enough to order an appetizer, entree and dessert. I started off with the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli ($13). Delicious. Then it was on to the main course. I ordered the Oak Fired Filet of Beef, with cheesy mashed potatoes and broccolini, ($44). I honestly don't remember the side dishes as I was all consumed by the steak. I have never had a steak that good and the teriyaki sauce that came with it was fantastic. I ordered my steak medium and it was perfect. This steak was even better than the one I had at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
For dessert, I ordered the Carmel Apple ($11)- granny smith apples, walnuts and raisin tart with caramel ice cream and rum-caramel sauce. I ate only a few bites but it was delicious.
Our meal ended an hour and 45 minutes later, just in time to go to the observation deck to watch Wishes. They even pipe in the music. A wonderful evening.
Here is my 11-year-old's review of California Grill: "I had the filet mignon (Oak-fired Filet of Beef) and it was perfectly cooked. One of my sides was the broccoli and it was perfect. It was hot enough. And the dessert (Caramel Apple) was so delicious. The meal was so good and after my meal, I saw the fireworks and they were so cool."
We are going back in July and that is where we both picked to eat again!