Join me in welcoming guest author Lottie Linter with a review of The Steakhouse in the Disney Village at Disneyland Paris!
Unlike Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, the Disney Village at Disneyland Paris is where you’ll find most of the table service options at the resort. This is because the parks in Paris close very early (around 6 or 7PM) out of peak season, and not everybody wants to sit down to eat at 5:30PM, especially in Europe! We prefer to eat later, so we booked a table at The Steakhouse for 8PM on a Monday evening.
From the outside, the restaurant looks a little non-descript, and with the enticing Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Café, and Annette’s Diner drawing in people nearby, it’s easy to overlook this place if you only walk through the main thoroughfare of the village. In fact having visited Disneyland Paris seven times previously, I didn’t even notice this restaurant until I was a Cast Member there a few years ago!
The entrance takes up just a small strip of the Disney Village facades, but once you are inside and down a short corridor lined with dark wooden paneling and a wine fridge, the restaurant opens out into an absolutely huge warehouse complete with a large conservatory area.
After checking in, you can wait at the old-fashioned bar and have a pre-dinner drink, but as we were visiting out of season the restaurant wasn’t full and we were shown straight to our table.
The dining room is very impressive, and is themed around the Chicago meat markets during the prohibition era. There are black and white photographs all over the walls of who I can only assume were supposed to be wealthy meat-traders, or market owners – it’s not immediately clear, but I do think they add something quirky to the décor.
One of the big walls is vintage-style painted brickwork, but it has been made to look like they pulled down the plaster from a more modern steak restaurant to discover the old meat warehouse underneath. The conservatory area has black and white tiled floors and looks towards Lake Disney, McDonald’s, and the building that houses the Rainforest Café.
We were pleased to be seated in the main warehouse area, and although our particular two-top was quite close to the one next to us, in general the rest of the tables seemed to be quite nicely spaced.
At busier times they also have live jazz playing in this restaurant, which I imagine would really take the atmosphere up a notch, but tonight we just had the sounds of the hustle and bustle in the dining room. If there was any music, we couldn’t hear it!
In France, they tend to eat from prix-fixe menus – these are often made up of a select number of options from the à la carte menu but priced at a discount. The Steakhouse is no different, and offered up the ‘Menu Jazz’ and the ‘Menu Chicago’ – these were the same, but the ‘Jazz’ was slightly cheaper as it only offered two of the three courses on the menu. We paid €27.99 (around $38) each for this menu, plus drinks.
We went with the Menu Jazz mainly because we had taken advantage of happy hour at the nearby King Ludwig’s Castle, and had counted our glasses of wine/steiners of beer as a starter!
There were only four main course options to choose from; steak, chicken, fish, and vegetarian pasta. There are a lot more choices if you are dining from the à la carte menu though, including a burger and some other steak options, so there should be something to keep everyone happy. My boyfriend was very disappointed to see that the ostrich steak he had eaten here a few years previously and declared ‘the best meal I’ve ever eaten’ was no longer on the menu. If you ever visit and see that it has returned, he wholeheartedly recommends that you try it.
While waiting for our meals to be served, we were given a bread basket containing four nicely shaped rolls and a small pot of beurre d’Isigny (a French butter). The rolls were warm but a little chewy and the butter was lovely and creamy.
I chose the Cajun chicken, served with a jacket potato topped with two huge dollops of a ‘creamy herb sauce’, which was actually more of a cream cheese in texture. Despite its rather plain appearance, my dish was fantastic. The Cajun spices were only on the crispy skin of the chicken, and had just the right amount of kick for somebody like me who doesn’t ‘do’ spicy. The chicken breast itself was juicy and not at all dry.
The jacket potato was light and fluffy with a salty, crispy-ish skin, and the sauce/cream cheese was plentiful and very flavorsome; in fact I could’ve easily eaten more than the two big scoops I was served. I say the skin of the potato was crispy-ish because it tasted like it might have once been very crispy, but it had probably been reheated since it was first baked. This was only a small niggle though, as it tasted so good. There were also a few drops of a barbecue-style sauce on the plate and a tasty roasted cherry tomato, but these were more for show.
I was disappointed to find that my dish wasn’t served with any vegetables – as a salad dodger I get all of my nutrients from vegetables, so had to make do with just protein and carbs this time. Luckily they were great!
For his main course, my boyfriend went with the grilled sirloin steak, served with chips, peppercorn sauce, and a large side salad. The salad probably would have been enough for both of us, but as I don’t like salad at all, this part of the meal went largely untouched unfortunately. My boyfriend said it wasn’t particularly nice; the leaves tasted like they might have been left under a heat lamp and the vinaigrette was nothing special either.
The general rule in France is to order your meat one level more ‘done’ that you really want it, as ‘well done’ just doesn’t seem to exist there. With this in mind, my boyfriend ordered his medium-rare, in the hope that it might be a little more on the rare side. Unfortunately, it actually came out overdone, and erring on medium – they are obviously used to British guests sending undercooked steaks back! It did come with a cute Donald Duck stick in it to signify how well done it was though, which we thought was a nice touch.
He said his steak was nice, but a little chewy on account of being more cooked than he would’ve liked it. Unfortunately the chips weren’t great either, and could’ve done with being crispier. The sauce was the redeeming feature of the dish, very rich and creamy with a strong peppercorn flavor.
Onto desserts – I couldn’t be at a restaurant in France, and not order a crème brûlée, so that was the obvious choice for me. It was a flambéed vanilla option, which was lit at the table – a great show.
This was lovely and creamy with a strong vanilla flavor and the alcohol on the sugar topping gave a bit of extra depth to what is otherwise quite a standard dessert. The menu didn’t specify what the alcohol was, but I think it was something along the lines of a Grand Marnier.
My boyfriend is a bit of a cheesecake connoisseur, and can’t ignore a menu on which it features. He went for the New York cheesecake which he said was very well flavored and one of the better NY cheesecakes he has eaten. It was quite dense, but not in a frozen way, rather that the cheesecake recipe was quite heavy, however as it was fairly small this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It was served with a blob of thick blackcurrant jam, as well as some blackcurrant compote, and an unusual teardrop shaped creation, somewhere in texture between jello and jelly. He said this part of the dish was just a little odd and didn’t really add to it. We noticed that the table next to us both left theirs, too.
This is a great restaurant for a romantic evening, a fun group night, or a family meal, owing to its impressive dining room and informal yet still quite smart atmosphere, complete with white linen tablecloths.
On the whole, we enjoyed our food, but think that a few vegetables wouldn’t go amiss on the main meals and stop them from looking quite so bare on the plates. I often wonder if ordering from a prix-fixe menu means that the quality of the food is slightly lower, as it is more likely to have been pre-plated and sat under a heat lamp before serving. However, as we didn’t compare it to anything that was only offered on the à la carte menu on this visit, this is just speculation.
The service started off great, but our waiter seemed to get less attentive and more distracted as the night went on and the restaurant filled up (French people don’t seem to eat until 9PM or later). Customer service in Europe is always a bit hit and miss (one of the things we love about America is the service with a smile), so we weren’t hugely disappointed or surprised, and welcomed the chance to have a leisurely meal and take in the surroundings.
Despite this restaurant being billed as a steakhouse, my chicken dish was actually the winner on this particular visit (winner winner chicken dinner!). My boyfriend had the legendary ostrich steak from the previous visit to beat, so I don’t think anything he chose was going to stand a chance.
We’d certainly recommend this restaurant for an evening meal if you’re looking for something a little more upmarket than the Rainforest Café or Planet Hollywood. It certainly isn’t fine dining by any means, but we think it is one of the best, if not the best, table service restaurant in the Disney Village.
Lottie Linter shares her Disney holidays at Grown Up Schmown Up.
What’s your favorite restaurant at Disneyland Paris? Will you add The Steakhouse to your Disneyland Paris itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!