Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen Review Part 1

Eat all the things! Alright - maybe we didn't eat ALL of the things, but as soon as we walked in the door at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen And Shine Bar our goal was to eat as much as we possibly could. I'd say we put a pretty big dent in the menu, and I've got photos for you of every wonderful thing. I'll say it right here at the start, this celebrity chef restaurant in Disney Springs is my new Walt Disney World favorite.

Homecomin' Florida Kitchen And Shine BarHomecomin' Florida Kitchen And Shine Bar

We ate so much and I took so many picture I had to split this review into two parts. Today, we'll talk a little bit about the atmosphere, have a couple of cocktails, and make a sweep through the appetizers. Next week, we'll cover entrees, desserts, and merchandise!

From the outside, the low profile, exposed timber, and tin roof is reminiscent of a Florida fishing camp. It evokes a comfortable atmosphere for sitting outside in a chair by the springs and just sippin' shine as the day slides away. In fact, Chef Art has even seen hit to create a comfortable patio for you to do so. When you walk through the doors though, the ones with the cute chicken on them, that's where the magic is made.

The Exterior Evokes A Florida Fishing CampThe Exterior Evokes A Florida Fishing Camp
The Shine Bar Exterior Patio SeatingThe Shine Bar Exterior Patio Seating
Homecomin' Florida Kitchen Front DoorHomecomin' Florida Kitchen Front Door

Vaulted ceilings soar overhead and light steams through the windows welcoming folks into the comfortable interior of Homecomin'. A friendly host mans the podium where you can check in for your reservations, or ask if there is available seating. I've had lunch reservations both times I've visited Homecomin' but I could have easily gotten a table by simply walking it. Be sure to notice the message from Chef Art on the plate behind the podium. It declares a simple philosophy at Homecomin' - Food Is Love.

Chef Art's Message - Food Is LoveChef Art's Message - Food Is Love

Walking to the dining tables, guests will notice glinting copper details about the restaurant. A small copper still sits on a shelf, and copper lighting hangs about the kitchen pass. A beautiful mural of Florida landscapes graces one of the walls high above. The overall atmosphere is friendly and charming, reminiscent of taking a seat at the kitchen table of your best friend's home.

Copper Shine StillCopper Shine Still
Ample Seating Hold 246 GuestsAmple Seating Hold 246 Guests
Vaulted Ceilings Let In Ample LightVaulted Ceilings Let In Ample Light
The Mural Pays Homage To FloridaThe Mural Pays Homage To Florida

Bar seating is also available, and as such Homecomin' surely goes on my list of best bars to get a meal at. Padded high-back bar stools make for a very comfortable seat, and the southern hospitality is gracious. The fun upholstery on the covered banquets and padded chairs is stamped with the "HFK" logo.

In addition, guests who would like to enjoy the fresh air, can be seated on a screened in deck that wraps hanging over the bright blue waters of the spring.

Moonshine Is The Specialty Of The HouseMoonshine Is The Specialty Of The House
The Shine Bar Kitchen SeatingThe Shine Bar Kitchen Seating
Comfortable High Backed Bar StoolsComfortable High Backed Bar Stools

Now that you've seen the inside - let's get down to the food. This is the food my Southern Grandma made me when I was runnin' around knee high to a grasshopper. But Chef Art, he's taken that food and elevated to the absolute sublime. Honestly, I can't say enough wonderful things about the food, service, or atmosphere at Homecomin' Florida Kitchen.

Let's start with a couple of cocktails... We did a whole post on the Fig and Berries after enjoying it. The sweet flavors of fig jam and tangy fresh muddled strawberries make this a bright invigorating sip that comes across as very drinkable for tequila fans.

The Fig And BerriesThe Fig And Berries

Next up on our drink list was the Old Fashioned Elder made with Michter's Bourbon, St. Germain Elderflower, a dash of bitters, then garnished with an orange peel and fancy cherry. An appealing southern spin on this classic cocktail. Even my husband, who is not a burbon fan enjoy slowing down with this in his glass.

While he sipped his cocktail, I paged through one of Chef Art's beautiful cookbooks that were on sale.

Old Fashioned Elder And Some Reading MaterialOld Fashioned Elder And Some Reading Material

My favorite drink of the day was the Royal Sangria. This combination of Pavo Real red wine, fresh seasonal fruits, agave, lime juice and blackberry brandy goes down so easily you might forget it has alcohol in it. Until, that is, it hits you on the back side. While I kept my consumption to a glass - I wanted to order up a pitcher.

Fruity And Refreshing - Royal SangriaFruity And Refreshing - Royal Sangria

After cocktails, our appetizers began to arrive at the table. It was difficult to choose what we wanted, so we ordered everything from the appetizer menu except for the Anna Maria Fish Dip.

The Jasper Board is out of this world, the charcuterie is well flavored and melts in your mouth, truly some of the most wonderful ham I've ever tasted. The house-made accompaniments don't take a back seat, with rich pimento cheese spread, tangy pickles, fresh baked crackers, and sweet spiced pecans.

The Phenomenal Jasper BoardThe Phenomenal Jasper Board

A favorite of everyone dining with me, the Church Lady Deviled Eggs are pretty amazing, with a fun presentation, their whole egg shape is overflowing with creamy filling and topped with crisped ham. These are also gluten free, so a big win for some people with a dietary restrictions.

The Church Lady Deviled Eggs Are Outright SinfulThe Church Lady Deviled Eggs Are Outright Sinful

The Thigh High Chicken and Biscuits were up next these babies were crisp and fresh from the fryer, dripping in hot honey and topped with those fabulous bread and butter pickles served on the Jasper Board. These could easily be a meal on their own.

Thigh High Chicken And Biscuits With Hot HoneyThigh High Chicken And Biscuits With Hot Honey

A Bunch of Puppies was a great treat and came with more than enough for everyone at the table to share. These pimento cheese infused hush puppies were crisp and golden with just the right amount of southern twang. Dipped in the pepper jelly that accompanies them and you really get that down home feeling.

Another winner here for some people with dietary restrictions with the hush puppies. I can't have buttermilk, which is a staple of Chef Art's rich southern fare. The hush puppies are buttermilk free!

A Bunch Of PuppiesA Bunch Of Puppies

Finally - one of my dining companions ordered the Tropical Shrimp Cocktail. Seasoned shrimp mixed with mango, avocado,
sweet onion, herbs and house-made cocktail sauce. It was bright and refreshing, perfect for someone wanting to enjoy a lighter meal on a hot summer day.

Tropical Shrimp CocktailTropical Shrimp Cocktail

So which appetizer would I go for again? Absolutely the Hush Puppies or the Jasper Board. Not only are these two appetizers distinctive and delightful, but both options offer enough to share with others in your party. If, that is, you are so inclined.

The fact that Homecomin' is creating all its own condiments and accompaniments in house is really shows the lengths that Chef Art and his crew go to in order to give their guests the very best culinary experience. That same attention to detail seems to be carried throughout every piece of this restaurant and it makes a huge difference.

And this is where I'm going to stop for now. Don't forget to click the link and read Part 2 of Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen at Disney Springs. In Part 2 I cover entrees, desserts, and the fun merchandise you can take home! And if you think you would enjoy a meal here, be sure to pin it to your vacation planning board with the image below!

Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen ReviewChef Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen Review

JoAnn C wrote on Sat, 06/03/2017 - 01:34:

JoAnn C's picture

I would go just for the deviled eggs. they are so good.

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