By David Sibila
Dining for Celebrity Chef Art Smith is truly a family affair and he has now brought his love of freshly made, unfussy meals home to the place where his career began - Walt Disney World with the opening of his new restaurant, Art Smith's Homecoming. It the newest dining delight where Walt Disney World continues to bring the magic of dining to life in Orlando with a host of new restaurants opening at their reimagined outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, Disney Springs.
Southern cuisine and charm are served up every day by this James Beard Award winning, North Florida native and Homecoming is no exception. Chef Art Smith began his career on the Walt Disney World College Program and hit it big as Oprah Winfrey's personal, day-to-day chef for ten years. His award-winning cookbooks and restaurants have one common theme that is very personal to Chef Smith - food is about bringing the family together.
Homecoming's main menu includes dishes that represent tastes from around his home state of Florida. Featuring fresh ingredients from local farmers, surrounded by décor that also represents the natural side of Florida, Chef Smith has brought all his culinary favorites together to one tasty menu.
The Jasper Board, named after Chef Smith's home town, features an assortment of pimento cheese, smoked sausage, shaved ham, bread and butter, pickles and candied pecans.
The Church Lady Deviled Eggs are a tasty twist on a traditional deviled eggs and are served in a unique ceramic half-dozen egg carton.
You can't go wrong with Bunch of Puppies which are made from scratch using a house-made pimento cheese and served with red jalapeño jelly.
Dine healthy with the Tarpon Springs Greek Salad made with locally sourced shrimp, heirloom cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and for a southern twist, topped with house-made potato salad.
With the Fried Chicken & Doughnuts you get two heavenly pieces of Chef Art Smith's famous fried chicken served with house-made sugar doughnuts and a side of KC Greens (cooked kale and collard greens mixed in with vinegar and pepper spices).
The classic Shrimp & Grits are served with Florida shrimp, pan-seared with Tasso ham gravy and served over creamy Bradley's grits with a side of the KC Greens.
There are many tasty desserts including the signature Shine Cake soaked in actual Florida moonshine. Our recommendation is the famous Humming Cake made with cream cheese frosting from Chef Smith's bestselling cookbook, "Back To The Table."
Crafty Moon Shine & Resort Cocktails:
There are a wide variety of craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients including moonshine (yep, we said actual moonshine!) Our favorite cocktail is the Cucumber Cooler made with St. Augustine Vodka, with lime juice, simple syrup and crisp cucumber slices. Can also be served with Hendricks Gin.
The Shine Bar is a staple in the center of the restaurant and is also accessible from the "Back Porch" as great place to for a grab and go location. Any menu item or drink can be served to go if you prefer to dine on the run while out and about in Disney Springs.
You can check the hours of operation, view downloadable menus, and make reservations directly from their website at: www.homecomingkitchen.com, which is highly recommended as the crowds fill up the restaurant quickly in the popular Disney Springs location.
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Written by David Sibila, Senior Manager of Content and Social Media for Visit Orlando. He's a TV producer turned content and social media strategist, hands-on dad and a casualty of four rescued pets.