Chef’s De France Review
by Kevin Klose - 12/18/07
We received a “spur of the moment” invitation to go to the Candlelight Processional and see Chita Rivera. (She did an awesome job)
It was decided that we would make an afternoon of this and have dinner at Epcot. We did not have a Candlelight Processional dinner package (that’s for Christmas Eve) but rather, we just made an ADR for a couple hours prior to the show.
We arrived at the France pavilion at the appropriate time and were told it would be just a few moments.
As anyone who has read one of my reviews knows, we often travel with a person in a wheelchair. I had told the Cast Member making the ADR about this and she told me she noted it on the reservation. It was readily apparent upon approaching the podium that we had a wheelchair in our party.
Once inside the building, there is a phalanx of Cast Members all dressed in black and standing with their hands behind their back. It was with this group that the wheelchair seemed to inspire 30 or 40 seconds of French stage whispering and discussion. Now, all that remains of my high school French is the ability state that it’s hard to find domestic help and to inquire as to the whereabouts of Sylvie but I could tell that we were the topic du jour.
After much discussion we were shown to our seat and in my mind it was one of the very best tables in the restaurant. We were off to the side in the smaller room overlooking the fountain, the International Gateway and France’s Santa, Pere noel, talking to a group of kids. We were right in the corner and were very comfortable with our table and location. I am not sure what the stage whispering was about but if this was the outcome…we were thrilled.
Prior to our waiter approaching our table, we enjoyed his attempt to try and discern whether a group seated directly behind to us had the Disney Dining Plan. I’m not sure they understood him or if he understood them but it was clear that they had Candlelight Dinner Package but they never used those words. They kept trying to explain that they could have anything on the menu. The waiter finally resorted to asking if “they were sleeping in a Disney hotel?” (this is much funnier if I use my fractured French imitation…but it doesn’t really translate to the written word)
With this under control, we met our waiter. He seemed a bit distant at first but quickly warmed up and was absolutely charming. I’d share his name but if you are reading this, he is on his way home to France, as his time in Epcot is done.
Dinner started with three soups. Two of us chose the Soupe a l’oignon gratinee ($5.95 Onion Soup) and one of us had the Bisque de homard ($6.25 Lobster Bisque).
The soups are served with wonder, crispy French rolls and butter. When asked if the soups were served with bread our waiter responded almost incredulously…”of course…this is France.” It was a funny line delivered in just the right tone.
The soups were delicious and everyone was happy with their choice. The onion soup is served traditionally with a healthy dose of tender cooked onions and gruyere cheese on top of a slice of French roll and the bisque was creamy and rich with small tidbits of lobster.
When it came time to order dinner, our waiter suggested that we consider a special entrée called “The French Menu”. This is their three most popular menu items grouped and specially priced. It consists of the Onion soup, Demi poulet fermier roti pommes puree au basilica braise (Half of a natural roasted chicken, basil mashed potatoes and braised tomato) and crème brulee. The price is $32.95 and is available until 7:00pm. There are no substitutions. If the items are going to be ordered separately, this works out to be a better deal as the items separately total approximately $38.00.
We went ahead and order that and also the Plat de cote de beouf au cabernet et polenta de Savoie ( $26.95 Beef short ribs braised in Cabernet wine on a bed of polenta) and the Gratin de macaroni (17.95 Baked macaroni with cream and gruyere cheese)
Of the three entrees ordered, the clear winners were the beef short ribs and the baked chicken. Both were deemed “positively delicious”. The beef ribs were tender and infused with a deep wine flavor. The chicken was a large portion which was tender and juicy. The basil mashed potatoes could have been warmer but had a deep rich buttery flavor with a hint of basil. Both were stand out dishes.
The baked macaroni and cheese was less successful. I think this was more because I was expecting a more Americanized dish. This was large pasta tubes cooked in a cream sauce and then baked with a layer of gruyere on top. The dish was very, very rich and filling but if you have your heart set on something more traditional, then you might be disappointed. Please understand, it wasn’t bad, just not what I was expecting. A portion of this entrée was left behind. The other two plates were sent back empty.
Dinner was followed by two cappuccinos (some of the best coffee on Disney property) and the included crème brulee from “The French Menu” entrée.
The restaurant has a cute kids menu which when folded in a certain way can be worn as a chef’s hat like in Ratatouille. We watched one youngster get the mini burger entrée with envy. It looked terrific.
Dinner for the three of us was approximately $94.00 and after using the Disney Dining Experience card, it came to approximately $75.00.
I can state without hesitation that this was one of the best meals we have had in Epcot in quite a while and will go back soon and next time, I’m getting the beef dish. J
- Running the Parks Part 3 - Disney Running Resources - In this post I discuss some of the resources I have found to be most useful when doing research for a Disney running vacation.
- Take a baby to a Disney theme park? Are you nuts?
- Typhoon Lagoon closed 1/24-1/25 for cold temps - The highs are projected to be in the 60s.
- List of restaurants and retailers coming to The Landing at Disney Springs - The first phase of Disney Springs will open in Spring 2015.
- Annual Passholder mini golf discount drops to 15% - Previously the discount had been 50% off of miniature golf.
- Liberty Square Riverboat closes for 4 day refurb - This attraction will reopen 1/27/2015 and then be closed again 8/4/ - 8/10/2015.
- Blog - Disney's Hollywood Studios Construction Update
- Splitsville to feature live bands on Saturday nights - Every Saturday, 9:00pm-12:30am, a live band will take the stage in the Bullet Bar for a free concert.
- Kali River Rapids begins 2-week rehab - The Animal Kingdom attraction will be closed through February 2.
- Blog - Disney & Starbucks Bring New Mug Collection to Stores
- Polynesian DVC Resort can soon be booked by general public - Beginning February 11, these can be booked by the general public when they are not in use by DVC members. The bungalows will have limited availability.
- Downtown Disney internal boats will not stop at Pleasure Island - They will only run between the Marketplace and West Side.
- Blog - Disney asks Court to Dismiss "Absurd" Frozen Copyright Lawsuit
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Backlot Express - Star Tours - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Backlot Express - Star Tours
- Dates announced for 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - The Festival will be held September 25-November 16, 2015.
- Epcot Flower Power Concerts renamed "Garden Rocks Concert Series" - The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be held March 4-May 17.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Stormalong Bay - Crescent Lake - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Stormalong Bay - Crescent Lake January 5, 2014 - Afternoon
- Happy 40th birthday to Space Mountain! - Along with Carousel of Progress, this Magic Kingdom attraction opened on January 15, 1975.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Hollywood Boulevard - Sorcerer Mickey Hat - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Hollywood Boulevard - Sorcerer Mickey Hat
- Happy 40th birthday to the Carousel of Progress! - The Carousel of Progress opened on January 15, 1975 at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
- Blog - 1/14/15: Magic Kingdom Hub Construction Update
- 2015 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic to be held October 30-31 - This is the 6th annual event for the resort.
- New FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing areas for the Magic Kingdom - The parade can now be viewed from Town Square and the fireworks will soon be viewed from the new Main Street Plaza Gardens.
- Food Truck Takeover at Downtown Disney - The Superstar Catering Food Truck will be taken over by the Trattoria al Forno chefs to feature three of their most popular dishes.
- DVC Point Charts for Polynesian Villas & Bungalows - The first phase of the property will open April 1.
- Crane now in place behind Cinderella Castle through 2/21/15 - The crane will be taking down the lights used to decorate the castle for the holidays.
- Flame Tree Barbecue favorites moving to other locations during rehab - Flame Tree Barbecue will be closed for rehab through 3/31/15.
- Preview of Cinderella film and her coach coming to Hollywood Studios - Guests can experience an exclusive sneak peek of the new film Cinderella, plus see her golden coach parked outside the theater.
- Downtown Disney Cool Down Party for marathon racers - Runners can attend the Downtown Disney Cool Down Party from 2-8pm on January 11, 2015 and enjoy DJ dance parties, entertainment, special merchandise and discounts throughout Downtown Disney (show your finishers medal for discounts).
- 8:15pm Spirit of Aloha dinner show cancelled on 1/7 and 1/8 - The later show will be cancelled due to projected low temperatures.
- Typhoon Lagoon closed 1/7-1/9 for cold temps - The water park will be closed due to projected low temperatures.
- Blog - Sunglass Hut Opening in Magic Kingdom's Adventureland
- Modified monorail schedule for the upcoming week - The schedule has been modified due to the Walt Disney World Marathon.
- Magic Kingdom hours extended 1/6 and 1/7 - The park will remain open until 9:00pm instead of the originally scheduled 8:00pm.
- The Enchanted Tiki Room - The Magic Behind Walt Disney's Tropical Hideaway
- Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Frozen Funland now closed - This was part of the Frozen Summer Fun event at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- Ticket specials available for Cirque du Soleil - Discounted tickets are available for performances Tuesday through Saturday nights from 1/20/15 - 3/28/15.
- Florida residents can save up to 35% on a room only reservation - Discount is valid for stays most nights 1/3/15 - 3/28/15.
- Eating Around the World in Epcot - A brief tour of snacking in the World Showcase.
- Running the Parks Part 2: Touring the Parks While Running the Parks
- Frozen Holiday Wish to return from 1/3-1/12 - The show will take place at 6:30pm.
- New Animal Kingdom tour to replace Backstage Safari - The new tour, Backstage Tales, will go more in depth than the previous tour.
- Blog - 2015: Epcot Rings It In Right
- Top 5 DIS Unplugged Podcasts for 2014 - 2014 was a great year for the DIS Unplugged podcast - we celebrated our 8th anniversary, we produced more than 100 episodes of the show, as well as more than 200 supporting videos - but there were certain shows that really seemed to strike a chord with our audience.
- List of restaurants participating in the 2015 Disney Dining Plan updated - The Epcot and Downtown Disney restaurants have been finalized.
- Several rehabs planned for Magic Kingdom this spring - it's a small world, Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder Mountain will all be down for refurbishment.
- "Kid-sized" package offer available for Walt Disney World - Families of 3 will save when booking a package for stays select nights 4/12/15 - 5/28/15.
- Save up to 30% with a Room Only offer at select Walt Disney World resorts - Save up to 30% when you book by 2/16/15 for stays most nights 3/2-6/15/15. Save up to 25% when you book from 2/17-3/18/15 for stays most nights 3/2-6/15/15.
- January and February reservations now open for IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party - Enjoy a special fireworks viewing area and desserts from around World Showcase paired with sparkling wines.
- Blog - The Top 10 Ornaments for 2014 at Walt Disney World
- Test the Limits Lab at Innoventions closing 1/6/15 - The attraction's sponsorship has ended.
- Island Supply Sunglass Hut to open in Magic Kingdom on January 8 - Island Supply will be reopening on January 8 as the Island Supply Sunglass Hut, selling high-end sunglasses.
- Walt Disney World New Year's Eve information - The parks will have extended hours, plus holiday entertainment.
- Blog - Disney's Best Christmas Movies, TV Specials and Shorts - Part 3
- Atlanta Braves spring training schedule at ESPN Wide World of Sports - The Atlanta Braves return to ESPN Wide World of Sports for their annual spring training.
- January merchandise events and signings at Walt Disney World - List of artist appearances around Walt Disney World.
- Blog - Disney's Best Christmas Movies, TV Specials and Shorts - Part 2
- Free transportation deal offered at Aulani - Book a 4-night or longer stay at Aulani and receive free round-trip transportation from the airport, as well as a free 1-day mid-size Alamo car rental!
- Traveling With Kids Part 3 - Baggage - Packing to travel with kids can be a monumental task. This article will focus on Baggage - tips and hints for the packing process.
- A fond look back at Epcot's Lights of Winter - The Lights of Winter started for the Christmas season back in 1994 and the last display was in 2008.
- Blog - Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World debuts new lobby
- Perfectly Prepared Princess Package available at Ivy Trellis Salon - From January 8, 2015 through March, young princesses can get a princess hairdo, glitter and tiara for $50 and add princess makeup for $25. For $90, choose hair, makeup and manicure.
- SeaWorld lays off Clyde & Seamore mimes, among others
- Man sentenced to 5 years for Disney ticket scam
- Club 33 members upset about more changes to benefits
- Iger says future Star Wars attractions to be based on new films
- SeaWorld's CEO steps down
- Man sues SeaWorld for automatically renewing his annual pass
- Retirement date set for Disney's Meg Crofton
- Woman sues Disney, claiming disability after falling from carousel horse
- Hotel leadership changes at Walt Disney World
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer released