Review: Plancha at Four Seasons Resort Orlando Offers Creative Cuban-American Cuisine in a Golf Club Setting
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando invited us out to Plancha, the restaurant & bar at Tranquilo Golf Club. Those who have been to Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course in the past will be very familiar with this location, as Tranquilo Golf Club took over the former club nearly a year ago. Plancha resides in the former Sand Trap Bar & Grill, which used to serve (several years ago) what I expected from a golf club restaurant. Plancha has elevated the dining experience in many ways, serving Cuban-American cuisine with most items created in-house. While Plancha Chef Pedro Sanchez was not there on the day we dined, the recipes at the restaurant come from the recipes his mom and grandmother used. His grandmother was from Cuba, and Sanchez grew up in Puerto Rico. The food is creative and delicious. You’ll see from the photos that each dish is plated with care.
We chose a beautiful day to visit Plancha. Tranquilo Golf Club is located outside of the Golden Oak gates, close also to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. It is very easy to find. Plancha is open from 11 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., although it occasionally closes early for events (call to make a reservation and comfirm times).
Parking at the Tranquilo Golf Club is free.
We chose the first available seating time, so that it would be less busy for photos. The restaurant was empty when we arrived, but it was much busier when we left by 2:00 p.m. Golfers by then were leaving the green for lunch and drinks.
Plancha is located in the lobby of Tranquilo.
The restaurant itself offers a relaxing atmosphere in earth tones.
Guests can sit at the bar.
Beers on tap include La Fin Du Monde and a Cigar City Brewing choice. La Fin Du Monde receives almost a 5 out of 5 score on Beer Advocate, very highly rated. Tank by Boulevard Brewing is also considered an excellent beer and comes from Missouri. For those who have never been to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando restaurants, each location has a very nice selection of beers, wines and spirits. It isn’t all the same from restaurant to restaurant.
There are some comfortable chairs here as well.
I am not showing the whole menu, but you can see it – with prices – on the Four Seasons Resort Orlando website. This caught my eye as something to try on our next visit. The Half Sandwich and Soup for $14 is a very nice option. The food menu tops out at a $26.00 NY Strip Steak.
We enjoyed a number of different cocktails, with my favorite being the Hemingway Dacquiri ($12) on the left.
First, the food at Plancha is seasonal. The menu changes, but this will give a good idea of what to expect if you visit Plancha in the future. This platter was a special sampling for us to try different items. We were told the Guacamole ($9) was about half the size it usually is. There are two Cubanitos ($14) instead of three, and two Beef Empanadas ($10) instead of three.
This appetizer was one of the highlights for me, the Guacamole with Roasted Corn Relish. I’d come to Plancha just for this. While the guacamole isn’t made tableside, it is created for each order with the guacamole coming from an avacado just before it arrived at our table. And the naan chips are also made in-house. While the vegetables aren’t grown here, some will be soon. We had been told a few months back that the resort was planning for a vegetable garden, and that is nearing reality.
So I thought I wouldn’t like this appetizer, and it is something I’d never had ordered in a million years. The Cubanitos ($14) include pork belly and Black Forest Ham. I don’t eat a lot of pork, and never ham. Yet I tried one of these and ate the whole thing. It tasted like a very tender beef slider, to be honest. And while I also don’t like eating meat with fat on it, the bit of fat on the sides was also tender and edible. This is the way meat should be cooked.
I also don’t usually order empanadas, but the Beef Empanadas (with mango & jaleno jam) were very tasty.
The Black Bean Hummus with Farm Vegetables ($10) was different than any other hummus I have had. There are a lot of things during our meal that I normally would not order. I do like and eat hummus, it is something we usually keep in our house. But I often ask to have black beans kept off of dishes I order. In this case, we were given both the Black Bean Hummus and the Black Bean Soup and I ate both happily. The black bean flavor was very present in the hummus, but not overpowering.
The Cuban Black Bean Soup ($7.00) comes with garlic bread. We were each given about a half of a bowl of soup, so you can see how large that would be. I would also come back for this. It had a nice flavor and was a thicker soup.
Another drink I liked quite a lot was the Lemon Basil Punch ($12.00), on the left. Basil is sort of iffy for me in cocktails, but it blended very nicely.
The El Cubano ($17) was Jeff’s main dish, along with thick-cut fries on the side. It is comes with roasted pork, Black Forest Ham, and mustard with house made pickles. He said it was one of the best Cuban sandwiches he’s ever had. The quality of the bread can be seen from the photos as well.
My meal was the Plancha burger ($19.00) with Yucca Fries. The burger comes with a chorizo & beef patty, with white cheddar cheese and heirloom tomatoes. It is delicious and filling. The yucca fries tasted very similar to regular fries.
The roll was perfect for the burger – not too much bread, not too little. I did end up taking some of the burger home.
Here is a look at the the yucca fries with my Lemon Basil Punch.
During our meal, we hadn’t specifically ordered any items – we let the Plancha staff decide what they’d like to serve us as a tasting. The same went with dessert, and I’m kind of glad – who would want to choose from these 4? They all look great. We received the Piña with Coconut Helado (ice cream) and Passion Fruit, and also the Tres Leches with Dulce de Leche and Dulcey Pearls
The Tres Leches was very nice – moist, light, everything the cake should be. On the other hand, it didn’t quite stand out enough for me as the Piña did.
The Piña had a bolder flavor, with the ice cream nearly covered – it was a surprise for me, with several very different flavors and textures in one dessert.
I too this photo to show the simple syrup and a pickle. Both house made, just as almost everything else is. This is what impressed me most about Plancha. While it is a Four Seasons Resort restaurant, it is also at a golf course and I didn’t expect the level of detail in each aspect of the meal. We were also told by our awesome server Sam that he has gone over to the main building to pick items up if requested for a meal. The Four Seasons Resort Orlando has established itself as a service-oriented 5-Diamond Resort since opening just over one year ago, and that doesn’t end when guests leave the confines of the Golden Oak gates for a meal at Plancha.
Here is a look at the outside patio, which would be a lovely spot for drinks and dessert. We ended up eating inside, but I would have been happy here too.
By the time we left, almost all the outdoor seating was taken. It can definitely get busy at Plancha, so I recommend dining early if you want your choice of spots.
Plancha also has a humidor with cigars, including their own.
Here is a listing of the cigars.
And if you are looking for a place to hold an event, this area can be added on for more space. Plancha is used regularly for events. We were told the reason the medicine balls were there is that this space is used for Four Seasons employees to have occasional classes.
When the Four Seasons Resort Orlando announced that Plancha was coming, I wasn’t expecting anything incredible. Not because the Four Seasons doesn’t serve outstanding food at all its venues, because each meal we’ve had at the resort has been excellent (whether we have been hosted or paid on our own). But Tranquilo Golf Club is set off a bit to the side of the resort, and golf course restaurants I’ve been to generally have mostly comfort type food. The food here is more than that, it is very much thought out, with almost every item created from scratch. The hot sauces are made from scratch, we were told that it can take a month for a bottle to be ready. It is that sort of attention to detail that makes Plancha a go-to restaurant for casual dining that isn’t casual in taste. And the prices are on par with many Walt Disney World table service restaurants. We very much recommend Plancha for a relaxing meal.
The only discount here is for Cast Members.
We were hosted by Four Seasons Resort Orlando (we did leave an additional gratuity), all opinions are ours.