Contemporary's California Grill vs. Grand Floridian's Citricos

The California Grill.

Today we're going to put the Contemporary Resort's upscale dining experience, the California Grill, head-to-head with another upscale dining experience on the Seven Seas Lagoon -- Citricos, at the Grand Floridian Resort.

Both of these restaurants are hailed for their innovative American cuisine with a twist. The Citrico's menu has some Tuscan and Spanish influence, while the California Grill menu gets its influences from Pacific cuisines.

It's hard for this writer to compare the two -- both are great -- but here are a few things to keep in mind:

Reservations: More than likely, California Grill will book up more quickly than Citricos. If California Grill is your first choice, Citricos would be our first recommendation as a great alternative.

View: The view at the California Grill can't be beat. Perched atop the Contemporary, the view alone -- especially during Wishes -- is reason enough to visit. However, you can view Wishes from certain tables at Citricos as well, and the music is piped in here, too. Just be sure to request a table with a Wishes view.

Noise: Citricos is a much quieter, more subdued atmosphere. It you want a quiet, romantic dinner, this is the restaurant to choose. Even better, you can book the "Chef's Domain" private room, with a menu specially created by the Chef de Cuisine. Meanwhile, California Grill is very open and modern, with more noise and a lively atmosphere.

Go to California Grill for: The sushi, the flatbreads, the ever-changing menu, the huge selection of California wines, and the view of Wishes.

Go to Citricos for: The crispy risotto, the quiet atmosphere, the steak and seafood dishes, the elegance of the Grand Floridian, and the Tropical Fruit Creme brulee.

In our view, you can't go wrong with either restaurant -- try them both, and let us know what you thought in the comments below!

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