Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chefs de France Dinner Review

 I love France. I studied French in college, I've visited the country six times, lived in Nantes for a semester, Paris for two separate months, and of course visited Disneyland Paris twice. So it is a given that whenever we're in Epcot, I love getting to eat at the France Pavilion. Our first in-park stop on our first day of our last trip was to try the first of our Drinks Around the World at Les Vins des Chefs de France (I went with the Grey Goose Slush, yum!). Our last day I'd actually been planning to eat lunch at the quick service Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, but we ended up eating dinner at Chefs de France so we ended up eating our last lunch in Japan at Kastura Grill (review coming soon!).

Making Reservations
We actually made reservations on the same day that we ate at Chefs de France. We had originally planned to go to Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) and had reservations at Raglan Road. But, at this point we were on day four of the trip and after running around Animal Kingdom all day, my ankle was shot. I had actually been debating sneaky ways to excuse myself from dinner while not having my husband or MIL volunteer to stay behind with me (and looking into whether I could get food delivered to my room on the Disney Dining Plan) when my MIL let me know that she'd changed our reservation. We took the boat from the Boardwalk over to Epcot, and ended up having a wonderful meal.

Checking In
This was probably the longest that we waited after checking in of any restaurant during our trip, but the place was hopping. But, they have lovely little benches under the awning that you can sit down on, so it didn't feel like it was too long. Before we knew it, our name was being called and we were led in to our table.


Having eaten at Chefs de France several times before I knew what to expect, but it always makes me miss France. In particular, there was a little cafe my best friend and I ate breakfast at several times  in Paris and the styles of the two restaurants are nearly identical. It is a big space and loud, but not so loud that you can't hear the people you're eating with.

We ended up unintentionally booking our dinner during the IllumiNations show. While we couldn't see much but the occasional flare from our seats, I'm sure the people along the windows had a great show. We'd already seen it twice at that point so it wasn't a big deal for us, but that could be a fun option if you're looking for viewing reservations.

Here's what we ordered:
Appetizers - Assiette campagnarde (Rustic assortment of French patés and charcuteries) and Plateau de fromages de France (Imported cheese board with raisin and walnut bread)
My Dinner - Canard aux cerises (duck breast and leg confit with cherries, sweet potatoe puree and patty pan squash)
My Dessert - Fresh strawberry and cream cake (with raspberry sauce and strawberry sorbet)

Hubby's Dinner - Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French onion soup topped with Gruyèe cheese) Hubby's Dinner - and Plat de côtes de boeuf au Cabernet (Beef short ribs braised in Cabernet with polenta)
Hubby's Dessert - Daily assortment of fresh sorbets, madeleine
MIL's Dinner - Filet de bouef grillé (Grilled tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce, original potato gratin of Savoy and green beans)
MIL's Dessert - Chocolate mousse
FIL's Dinner - Bouillabaisse de fruits de mar (Seared scallops, shrimp and mahi-mahi served in a saffron broth with fennel and potatoes)
Hubby's Dessert - Crème Brulee

In addition to the food, we all had a glass of wine, but each of us ordered something different and I can't recall which one I got, much less everyone else. With our wines we were brought an adorable little baguette to share, which was delicious. We ordered both the cheese and meat plates, and I loved them. I'll be honest with you, my in-laws and hubby are not big patés fans, but it was great.

This is the second or third time I've eaten at Chefs de France, and I'm fairly certain I've gotten the duck each time. I love duck, and you just don't see it very often in American restaurants. Across the board, we were all really happy with our meals. I didn't even get a bite of my husband's, not because he wouldn't share but because he ate it so quickly!

Then, when we finally couldn't eat another bite, they brought out our desserts. Om nom nom. I debated for a long time about the crème brulee, which is one of my absolute favorites, but instead went with the strawberry cake. I'm glad I did! It was exceptionally light, not too sweet, and I love having a little bit of fresness at the end of the meal and this was perfect for that. As good as my cake was, the winner for the best dessert was actually my husband. He got the sorbet, topped with a madeleine and lots of berries. If I remember correctly, the sorbets were peach, vanilla, and strawberry, with the peach being the absolute standout of the group. I may or may not have spent much of the dessert portion of the evening stealing berries off of his plate. 

I didn't really mention the service because honestly, it was perfectly unobtrusive. The young man who bought us our food was perfectly polite, helped make excellent wine recommendations, and didn't mess anything up. That's pretty great in my book!

TLDR Breakdown
Food Rating: A
Atmosphere Rating: A
Service Rating: A
Overall Rating: A
Bottom Line: EAT HERE. Seriously. It is one of my favorite restaurants in Epcot. The food is top notch, the service is great, and it makes me miss France so much!

Want to see some of my other dining reviews? You can check them out here!

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