My sister and I adore brunch. So it’s no surprise that Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ for the Rise and Shine Brunch was at the top of our to do list when we visited Disney Springs in Orlando. Maybe it’s the promise of mimosas at 10 am, or an array of food we don’t usually get to eat. Whatever it is, we love it. We had seen the Maple-Pecan Bacon Donuts, Fried Green Tomatoes and Blueberry Mimosas all over socials and immediately started searching for flights.
The Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Story
Celebrity Chef Art Smith got his start in the very first Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida, offered at Walt Disney World. As part of this first class, he learned all sorts of necessary skills needed for college and beyond. He also learned how to make cake. His Hummingbird Cake is his most notable and served as a dessert on the menu at his Disney Springs restaruant. His journey has led him everywhere and now back home to Orlando, Florida. We love this story because surely the element of coming home resonates with everyone. D23 has a lovely write up on his professional journey here.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Atmosphere
Classic wood slat walls and roof lend to the Florida Style architecture of this restaurant. Lots of glass and high ceilings make you feel like you’re in the Florida Keys. The layout of the restaurant includes booths and tables in two large separate spaces.
Upon entering the restaurant you can see what items are for purchase; shirts, sauces, branded bottles to take home.
The decor extends farther to the ceiling to honor the classic Florida landscape on the mural above the kitchen counter space. This is a Farm-To-Table Restaurant. Everything is sourced locally, depicted in the mural highlighting farm land, and we were told that because of this it is very very easy to accommodate any kinds of allergies or exclusions. Such a bonus!
We also loved having the chef team somewhat visible, but also that they just line up their cakes ready for serving on the counter! We did not save room for dessert this time around, but will next time! These cakes looked amazing. In addition to Art’s signature Hummingbird Cake, they also had a classic southern Flaked Coconut Cake and a layered Chocolate. Yum!
The Rise and Shine Southern Brunch Menu at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
For brunch we ordered a little bit of everything. Mainly, because we need pictures of pretty things for this blog, but also because at one point-brunch ends-and they don’t let you just keep ordering off the menu until you’ve tried everything.
Okay, so we knew were getting this Blueberry Mimosa with breakfast before we even stepped foot into the place. Much like the mimosa flight over at the Kona Cafe, there is nothing quite so refreshing as a freshly made mimosa early in the morning. This drink was bright and just a little sweet so absolutely perfect. We have high hopes of attempting a copycat recipe of this drink at home for our next family get together.
House Made Doughnuts with Pecans and Bacon
This was another dish that we saw photos of everywhere! Unfortunately we can’t justify doughnuts as a main dish at breakfast, so we got these to have a side to all the other food, and what a treat! The donuts we chose were the glazed doughnuts with pecan and bacon. You could also choose powdered sugar if that’s more your style. The dish comes with a side of fresh fruit and maple syrup for drizzling. These doughnuts were soft, freshly made with a sweetened crusted pecan topping.
Biscuits- Cheddar Cheese Drop Biscuits with Blackberry Jam
Oh my gosh, we loved these biscuits! Another must-try, these biscuits are actually a starter item, but you get six cheddar cheese drop biscuits and two tubs of house made blackberry jam (which they also sell), so it feels more like just a side for everyone at the table to share.
Bee Haven Bay Fried Green Tomatoes
So I know these are like the “healthy” choice (kinda), but it’s hard to find amazing Fried Green Tomatoes made right. I think the last time we had really stellar fried green tomatoes was at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina, and I would definitely recommend you make that trip. This dish is also one I consider the cornerstone of any good southern brunch and Chef Art Smith’s did not disappoint! These were ever so lightly breaded and fried, not greasy. The addition of the arugula and remoulade sauce here was divine! I sort of gave the ham away because it simply wasn’t needed on this dish, but I would definitely order this again on my next visit.
Fried Chicken and Doughnuts
Ahhh, the piece de resistance of any classic southern brunch; Fried Chicken. We loved the addition of the powdered sugar doughnuts as the replacement for waffles and the addition of the garlic and chives mashed potatoes as our choice of side. The chicken was really moist and crispy on the outside and the doughnuts added a layer of light sweetness and texture that you just do not get with waffles!
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs Restaurant Review
What we loved most about Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Restaurant, besides the mimosas, the food, and the beautiful decor was really the service. We are always impressed with the extremely top-notch service at any Disney location that often elsewhere we find ourselves saying ” this would never happen at Disney”. This restaurant experience was no exception. We settled in and the servers were attentive, they offered suggestions, told us stories, and the food came out quickly. We talked about the food. Such a delight! So many places just serve you one and done and collect the check. This restaurant offered, to us, what really felt like a Sunday Brunch in a place like home.
Can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the menu:) xo