UPDATE: The Mushroom Filet is back at Le Cellier as a seasonal dish. (A photo is provided in the text below.)
We finally got to head over and try the new menu at Le Cellier Steakhouse!
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Yep, you heard me right. A new menu. And while the menu changes up regularly here now that it’s a Signature-restaurant-all-the-time-forever-always, we weren’t expecting the news that the beloved filet with mushroom risotto and truffle butter sauce was getting a makeover.
As soon as we found that out, we had to make an ADR. And, yep — we ordered the replacement. Along with a lot of other goodies.
Let’s go see how it all turned out!
Please note: in addition to the “update” notice above, we’re also posting this menu shot confirming the current presence of the Mushroom Filet. Due to its status as a signature restaurant, menu options change here more frequently than most Table Service restaurants, but we’re happy to see this one back on the menu for the time being!
When we arrived, we only had to wait for a bit before we were shown to our table. The very slight delay gave us a chance to check out once more the addition of several paintings by The Group of Seven, which were recently installed to honor this important Canadian school of painters.
The seating in this tiny waiting area is of the outdoor bench type, which makes it not all that comfortable. But, honestly, most of the waiting area seating is usually taken up whenever I get there.
Nameplates beneath each painting give you more information. If you have a few moments, be sure to check them out. They really are beautiful.
As you’re shown to your table, you’ll wave goodbye to sunlight for a little while. Le Cellier really is, well, in a cellar.
And you get a sense of that as soon as you turn the corner into the restaurant. The feeling is at once warm and cozy, yet elegant.
The rich detail lends itself to the feeling that you’ve stepped into the wine cellar of a grand chateau. Beamed ceilings and stone arches fit right in!
The room seems to be lit primarily by candles. These are electric, of course. But they lend a soft light to your surroundings. Bad for reading your menu and photographing your food, but good for setting the right tone. 🙂
En route to your table, you’ll also see
the wine cave, decorated appropriately with maple leaves.
One thing that is always a little surprising to first time guests: this is a tiny dining room. With the combination of the restaurant’s popularity and the small footprint of the seating area, it’s not surprising that ADRs are tough to come by.
While seating is comfortable, tables are situated very close together in some spots. We prefer the tables in the middle of the floor, which are set a little further apart.
We have plenty of new things to show you, so let’s get to the food!
With its elevation to Signature Dining status (which means you’ll spend two Disney Dining Plan credits per person for a meal), Le Cellier makes a consistent effort to change things seasonally. We saw this with the addition of a few decidedly summery dishes appearing alongside old favorites.
Yep! The Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is safe.
OH — and remember the snazzy, backlit menus? They were gone on our visit, but DFB reader Dani has shared in the comments that Le Cellier has now found a new technology supplier who has fixed the “dead battery” issues! The back-lit menus are currently at the restaurant. (Your mileage may vary.)
Here were our choices for apps. (Octopus seems to be on a number of Disney menus lately. Must’ve been a bulk sale on it somewhere.)
The Artisanal Cheese Selections also looked pretty delish. These are available for appetizers or dessert.
Le Cellier has also introduced a full “Poutine” Menu. Since these are not true poutine — Cheese Curds and Brown Gravy on Fries — the restaurant wisely puts the word “poutine” in quotation marks. Yes. Like that.
Sides are listed here as well, and have been greatly reduced in recent menu overhauls. See ya later truffle mac n cheese! Hopefully that will come back onto the menu in the Winter.
But here’s where it gets serious: Entrees. Yep — you’re reading that right. The “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon…well, it’s different.
We’d gotten word from our readers that the risotto had been switched to a pea risotto a couple of months before, but the Truffle Butter Sauce remained. Now it’s been switched to a Bacon and Spinach risotto…with Parmesan Butter Sauce. Hmm…sounds good, but… .
After much deliberation and many questions for our patient server, we finally made our selections. The first thing to arrive was the Bread Basket, which still features a medley of breads, including the beloved Pretzel Bread Sticks. They’re served with Unsalted Butter, which is sprinkled with what tastes like a combination of Maple Sugar and Sea Salt. If we hadn’t had full meals on the way, I would have indulged more in this simple combo. It was so, so good.
My friend was excited to see the addition of Burrata on the menu, so we began with the Farmer’s Market Bounty. The beautiful platter included Compressed Cucumber, Macerated Strawberries, Burrata, and Strawberry Walnut Croutons.
The combination was very summery. The Burrata, which is a fresh cheese that’s similar to fresh mozzarella but with a creamy center, was mild and tangy, and the unexpected texture of the cucumber really contrasted well.
But, of course, I couldn’t pass up the chance to start my meal with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. (My food choices aren’t often dictated by the season.) The rich, cheesy soup tasted faintly of Smoky Bacon with the rich tang of Beer. If you haven’t sampled it at Le Cellier or at the Canada Booth during the Food and Wine Festival, I heartily recommend that you give it a try! It’s still a killer bowl of soup.
The Canadian Cove Mussels were, well, not my thing. But my friend said they were fresh, delicious — and huge! The flavors were applied lightly here; the mussels weren’t swimming in cream or butter. Once again, you could see a seasonal influence at play. She enjoyed them very much.
We decided that we also had to try the Braised Octopus. (I knew you’d want to see what it looked like! Is it a giant octopus on a plate? It is just a big tentacle?) As it turns out, it was slices of…tentacle, I’m guessing. 😉 And the menu said it was supposed to be braised, but ours was downright burnt.
Accompanied by Roasted Eggplant Puree, Pickled Baby Peppers, Chayote Squash, and Herb Pistou, we didn’t expect it to be a very colorful dish. But we did expect that something “braised” would not arrived burnt and charred.
Here’s a close up of the octopus. We were surprised at its condition, and even asked our server if it was supposed to be like this. She said yes, but didn’t seem terribly confident.
If this one is still on the menu, I’d definitely suggest they take it back to the drawing board. The octopus was chewy and tasted charcoal-y. Didn’t really wow us.
Next, we dug into the Pulled Barbecue Pork “Poutine”. I LOVE the regular Le Cellier “poutine,” with the fancy Canadian Cheddar and red wine reduction — so good!!, but I wanted to try one of the new ones this time as well.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. This is not Poutine! Yes. I completely agree with you. I think what the chefs are trying to do here is use the concept of poutine as a springboard to explore fun new flavors with different components. Think of it as a riff on the concept.
BUT — poutine purists, I realize, may balk. We took it for what it was and really enjoyed it. The Pulled Pork and Cornbread Croutons were amazing, as was the drizzle of Jalapeno Aioli, which had a little kick to it. It was another dish that we would have happily devoured, had entrees not been en route to our table. It could easily serve as a main dish.
And speaking of main dishes…we’ve arrived there! I, of course, went with the “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon. This has been one of my favorite meals in all of Walt Disney World since the first time I had it. I’ve strayed a few times to other steaks, but I always come back to this one.
BUT — there are differences here. The Wild Mushroom Risotto and Truffle Butter Sauce version that I have secretly composed odes to (ok, not secretly) is gone. For now, at least. (Who knows; maybe it will come back on a Winter menu as well.)
In its place, you’ll find the filet accompanied by Smoked Bacon and Spinach Risotto and Parmesan Butter Sauce.
I was prepared to HATE the updates. But….ohmygosh it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted! It was better than the previous version, and I absolutely wanted more when I was finished. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even offer my friend a taste.
The new risotto is super flavorful (bacon will do that to a dish, I’ve heard), and the spinach gave it a beautiful color. The Parmesan Butter Sauce should have its own national holiday. I wanted to swim in it.
One point to note: our server was well aware of the loyal following that the classic combo inspires. We asked if the kitchen kept some of the Wild Mushroom Risotto and Truffle Butter Sauce on hand for special requests. She said no.
We also ordered the King Salmon. Served with Zellwood Corn Cakes, Watermelon Radish, Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Citrus Blend, we enjoyed it. Once again in this dish, we saw nods to seasonal flavors and local ingredients, and I’ll eat just about anything that has Zellwood corn involved.
After what had been, on the balance, a delicious meal, we couldn’t pass up a look at the Dessert Menu. We saw lots of new offerings and that was a good thing. Desserts, beyond classics like Maple Crème Brûlée and the children’s menu favorite, Chocolate Moose, have been largely forgettable here.
We went with several options to get a variety of flavors.
First up — the Meyer Lemon Curd Tart — because I can’t resist the words “Lemon Curd.” And it was great. That little square on the bottom is pretty much all lemon curd with I think little shortbread-y crust at the bottom. What could be better?
The Cheese Crème on top was good too, but definitely played second fiddle to the lemon tart.
Another of the desserts excited one of my friends. She really enjoys trying things that are a little out of the ordinary, so we also ordered the Citrus Olive Oil Cake. The Cake is topped with Vanilla-Mint Panna Cotta, and comes with Chili Pepper Sorbet and a Sesame Tuile.
I’ll give you that the dessert was visually appealing. But that’s where my appreciation for it stopped. I disliked everything about it — the flavor, the garnish, the words “Panna Cotta” — everything. It’s a cake….made out of olive oil. Why would you do that?! I even asked the manager…”Why would you do that?! Chili Pepper, Olive Oil, Vanilla-Mint, Sesame? That’s not a dessert, that’s a salad!!” I think those were just about my exact words. ;-D I get a little passionate about my sugar. (I’m sure you guys haven’t noticed that.)
But my friend really enjoyed the citrus-olive oil flavor of the cake, and appreciated the novelty of the olive oil in a lightly sweet preparation. She also enjoyed the tuile, a cookie that reminded her somewhat of a South Carolina specialty, Benne Wafers.
We also tried the Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar. Candy Bar-type desserts like this one seem to be all the rage in Walt Disney World these days, as we keep finding them on menus. We liked this much better than the others! And the Chocolate Sorbet was a nice garnish.
Finally, we had to practice another nod to classic Le Cellier dining, and we ordered a dessert off the children’s menu, Chocolate Moose. Nope, there were no kids at our table. But who can resist Chocolate Moose???
The Dark Chocolate Mousse garnished with Cookies and Chocolate Pieces to look like, well, a moose, is still as cute as ever. Sophisticated palates may not be impressed. But if you like a good dose of whimsy with your sweet ending, you’ll enjoy this one.
More than satisfied with another delicious meal, we headed out to see what else we could get into.
So, first things first. Le Cellier is extremely expensive. I wish it weren’t, but it is. And I still wish they offered different menus for lunch and dinner, so that you could 1) save a little by opting for a noonday meal, and 2) enjoy more variety of offerings. I really think the menu price increase will continue to keep me away from Le Cellier on a regular basis (I hadn’t visited for well over a year before this lunch, I don’t think.)
But even with that said, I still love this place. Every time I visit, I have a stellar meal — up to and including this time, when they completely overhauled my favorite menu item! We find lots of interesting flavors here. Some are a little more adventurous than I care for, and execution can be tricky for others, but overall, I find more to be happy about than I find reasons to be critical.
So we are going to continue the streak and keep recommending that you give Le Cellier a try for special occasion dining. Whether you enjoy savoring (most) of your favorite Le Cellier dishes unmeddled with, or you like to push the envelope with adventurous dining, you are likely to find something worth the splurge.
What are your thoughts about Le Cellier’s menu? Leave a comment and tell us about it below!