Located near the front of the park, this hidden gem of a restaurant has been serving guests since Universal's Islands of Adventure first opened in 1999. The story behind Confisco Grille is that it acts as a resting spot for weary travelers from around the world, so it offers cuisine with an international flare. There's Asian influence, Turkish, Mediterranean, Greek, Russian, Polish and more, bringing together bold flavors and unique spices to create something new and exciting. And speaking of new, Executive Chef Jason Glus has debuted a new menu filled with a variety of dishes inspired from across the globe. Here are some of the new standout dishes.
One of the former menu's classic staples that stuck around is Confisco's popular Hummus appetizer. While the recipe for this highly snackable dish has remained the same, with kalamata olives and an olive oil drizzle served with charred pita and lavosh for dipping, the presentation has been improved. “It’s that same flavorful hummus you could get before but with an elevated presentation,” says Chef Glus. “It makes it more shareable and a more immersive experience for the guest.”
Pork Belly Banh-Mi Sandwich
Not just your average theme park sandwich, this large hero features thick cuts of perfectly cooked pork belly and a blend of crisp veggies like pickled carrots, daikon radish and cucumber. All of it is topped with a chile aioli that is just heavenly and served in a roasted French baguette. Just because you're at a theme park doesn't mean you can't find something good for lunch, and the Banh-Mi Sandwich is proof of that.
Chilled Tuna Noodle Bowl
This lighter offering is sure to become one of Confisco's signature dishes. Elegantly layered Sesame seared yellowfin tuna and soba noodles are served with green onion, avocado, edamame and cucumber with a wasabi-ponzu dressing. “The Chilled Tuna Noodle Bowl is a good one, with the fresh ingredients yellowfin tuna and buckwheat soba noodles,” says Chef Glus. “You can’t find anything else like this park-wide except for at Confisco.”
Hearthstone Baked Chicken Sandwich
A hearty sandwich that eats like a light meal, the Hearthstone Baked Chicken Sandwich isn't your typical chicken sandwich. The chicken is covered in thick slices of mozzarella cheese and Roma tomatoes and baked in a wood over until the cheese is perfectly melted and the tomatoes roasted. It's served on focaccia bread that is cooked fresh on property and then roasted as well, before being topped with crisp leaf lettuce, aged balsamic and a basil aioli.
Grilled Lamb Meatballs
You might not think of Grilled Lamb Meatballs when you think of theme park food, but this Mediterranean inspired dish knocks it out of the park. The spiced meatballs are grilled to perfection and served with tzatziki sauce, tomato-cucumber relish, feta cheese and a cooling mint chimichurri. Order this as an appetizer to share before the main course or try it as an entree with a side salad.
Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs
Ribs have been a staple of Confisco Grille for years, but Chef Glus has changed it up a bit with a sweet and sour sauce. Perfectly cooked with meat falling off the bones, the Sticky Ribs are so delicious they will have you licking your fingers. Philippine-inspired smoked pork ribs are tossed in the special sweet and sour sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds. They're served over a bed of creamy goat cheese polenta which pairs perfectly with the saucy ribs.
Returning fans may notice that some of their previous favorites have stuck around, now with a new twist. You can still find classics like the juicy Confisco Burger, sizzling Port of Entry Fajitas and the addictive Trader Wings. “The menu items we did keep, we changed up the presentation. If you’re going to elevate the food, you need to elevate the overall experience,” according to Chef Glus.
Confisco Grille is located inside of Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando. Reservations and walk-ins are available for lunch and dinner daily, with operating hours of 11 AM till park closing. General theme park admission is required to dine at this restaurant. For the best deals around, be sure to purchase your tickets to the theme parks of Universal Orlando right here!