Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: The Parisian Afternoon — Sandwiches, Macarons, and Bubbles

We’re spending a leisurely afternoon at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

While we love taking a turn around World Showcase to try all the great eats, it’s always fun to take in a few of the Festival’s Special Events each year as well. And you can always count on a terrific experience when you book events in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

Join us today as we head up the spiral staircase for a special Parisian Afternoon at Monsieur Paul.

Atmosphere

Monsieur Paul is a hidden gem in Epcot’s France Pavilion. Nope — I’m not speaking figuratively. I mean, it’s actually hidden. To find it, head back through France as though you’re going to visit Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. It’s a little easier to find than it used to be, though, thanks to the awning that bears the restaurant’s name.

Monsieur Paul Entrance

Monsieur Paul Entrance

You’ll find the check-in desk right inside the door. For Festival Special Events, the host or hostess will ask for your name, and then cross it off the printed list. At this time, you’ll head up the Art Nouveau staircase…

Monsieur Paul Staircase

Monsieur Paul Staircase

…Or enter the tiny elevator to make your trip to the second floor.

Monsieur Paul Elevator

Monsieur Paul Elevator

Once you arrive on the second floor, you’ll pass the restaurant’s wine cellar to your left.

Wine Cellar

Wine Cellar

Monsieur Paul underwent a refresh a few years back, and the overall effect lessened its formal vibe. Still, it’s far from casual, with its rich colors and velvet trim.

But whimsical vintage photos line the walls, thus lightening the mood up a bit.

Art Work

Art Work

Vintage Photograph

Vintage Photograph

As I entered the dining room, cast members were lined up to show guests to their seats. While there isn’t assigned seating for these events, they obviously want to fill every table, and they have to work the parties together like puzzle pieces.

Staff Greeting Guests for Event

Staff Greeting Guests for Event

I was seated at a table of four where a party of three had already taken their places. And this brings up a very good point: you will be seated with people you don’t know, unless your party is big enough to fill up the table. Keep this in mind if this is something that makes you uncomfortable.

Long View of the Restaurant During a Food and Wine Festival Event

Long View of the Restaurant During a Food and Wine Festival Event

Be sure to take in the details around you. The bubble chandeliers are some of my favorite Disney lighting fixtures. And the hand-painted ceilings are such a nice touch.

Chandeliers

Chandeliers

These lovely mercury glass pieces flank the entrance to the seating area.

Mercury Glass Decor

Mercury Glass Decor

During the day, the upper story dining room is light and airy and the view of the World Showcase Promenade below is charming.

View

View

But I’m sure you’re ready to see more of what you came for — the food. And drink!

Mimosa Ingredients

Mimosa Ingredients

Let’s get to it.

Eats

You may be wondering what the premise of an event called  is. I’ll let General Manager Eric Weistroffer explain it to you.

As Eric says, the France Pavilion strives to provide an immersive experience. Through the magic of Disney, you climb the staircase and poof! You’re in France with no jetlag. :-)

Eric Weistroffer, General Manager, Welcoming Us to the Event

Eric Weistroffer, General Manager, Welcoming Us to the Event

The Parisian Afternoon was created to give you just that — the experience of an afternoon spent in Paris. Imagine you’re shopping, or visiting a museum, when you decide you’d like a little something to eat. This afternoon bite would take the form of small offerings — an assortment of hot and cold items, some “bubbles,” and a few petite sweet treats.

My Place Setting

My Place Setting

And with that in mind, we had our first look at the menu to see what treats were in store.

While I knew from the event’s description online that Mimosas would be served, I was glad to see other options, like Coffee, Tea, Iced Tea, or Soda.

Inside of Menu

Menu — Beverages — Click to Enlarge

My first glance at the menu filled in the rest of the details. There were the list of Cold Sandwiches. But there were some warm offerings as well.

Event Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Food Courses — Click to Enlarge

We began with the aforementioned Mimosas, which our server refilled throughout our meal.

Mimosa in My Glass

Mimosa in My Glass

After we had our first drinks, the food began to arrive. We started our luncheon with Soupe Froide de Petit Pois, or Cold Pea Soup. It was served with a slice of Bacon Mushroom Toast.

On a warm, humid day, the vibrant, cold, creamy soup was exactly the right thing to serve.

Cold Pea Soup with Bacon Mushroom Toast

Cold Pea Soup with Bacon Mushroom Toast

The Mushroom Bacon Toast was full of flavor and crisp and paired nicely with the creamy soup.

Bacon Mushroom Toast -- Up Close

Bacon Mushroom Toast — Up Close

Our next course was a medley of both Cold and Warm Offerings. Because they contained both hot and cold items, it was clear the plates had been freshly prepared.

Assortment of Lunch Items

Assortment of Lunch Items

Our Assortiment d’Amuses Bouches included four different sandwiches on the cold team. From top to bottom, they included Tomato Basil Bread with Pesto and Vegetables; Tarragon Spinach Bread with Ham and Mustard Butter; Curry Turmeric Bread with Garlic Aioli and Chicken; and Multigrain Cranberry Bread with Turkey and Mayonnaise. They were all delicious, but if I had to rank them, the Tarragon Spinach Bread with Ham won the day, while the Veggie Sandwich finished last. Each bread tasted of the ingredients mentioned, which I really appreciated.

Sandwiches -- Up Close

Sandwiches — Up Close

There were two Warm Items as well. I didn’t grab a close up of the Savory Thyme Croissant, but it was fresh, with that crisp outside that you’d expect from a good pastry.

The petite Smoked Salmon Quiche with Spinach and Dill was outstanding, and was probably my favorite thing on the entire plate.

Quiche -- Cross Section

Smoked Salmon Quiche with Spinach and Dill — Cross Section

As we were finishing up dessert, Pasty Chef Olivier Saintemarie joined us in the dining room to explain the inspiration behind the dishes.

Chef Olivier Saintemarie Discussing the Offerings

Chef Olivier Saintemarie Discussing the Offerings

After good conversation and another round of drinks, it was time to indulge in a little something sweet.

Dessert!

Dessert!

I knew there would be Macarons, and when the desserts were served we were greeted with three different types. But there were also other selections. They included, from left to right: Squares of Dark and Milk Chocolate; a Pot de Creme made with Equatorial Milk Chocolate and Guanaja Chocolate; Blackberry, Double Chocolate, and Vanilla Macarons; Choux Pastry Puff with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Mixed Berries; and Valrhona Chocolate BonBons.

Macarons and Other Goodies

Sweets Assortment — Up Close

There was nothing on this plate that was NOT delicious.

Inside the Pot de Creme

Inside the Pot de Creme

Chocolate -- Up Close

Chocolate — Up Close

But my favorite was probably the Blackberry Macaron, with its dab of Blackberry Confiture and filling of Illanka 63% Chocolate.

Blackberry Macaron -- Inside

Blackberry Macaron — Inside

I was excited to see the tiny Cream Puff on my plate as well, since choux pastry (think eclairs and profiteroles) is one of my absolute favorites.

Choux Pastry with Mixed Berries -- Inside

Choux Pastry with Mixed Berries — Cross Section

While it may seem like a delicate spread, I was quite full! And so I set off to get a little exercise on a Trip Around the World.

Overall

I really enjoyed everything about The Parisian Afternoon experience in the France Pavilion during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Having spent a beautiful vacation in Paris a while back, I’m always eager to replicate my experience there.

The food was delicious, and the menu struck the right balance between honoring Parisian flavors and remembering that we were in sultry Florida. And I really appreciated the fact that I got to spend a relaxing afternoon in the beautiful, airy dining room of Monsieur Paul.

And it’s not too late for you to attend this one, too! At press time, there were still openings for both The Parisian Afternoon and French Family Traditions. If you are at all interested in French food, I can highly recommend you do both of these events.

Start Your Planning Today! The DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available!

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover 3D

Want even more great tips? This 240+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever. Order your 2015 edition today!

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Be sure to check our main Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page frequently for updates, and also check out Epcot Food and Wine Festival 101 for even more information about the festival!

Want More Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info?

We have all the coverage and information you need right here on Disney Food Blog! Here’s what we know so far…

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu IndexFull Menus and Food Photos Now Available!
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations
2015 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Wine and Dine Half Marathon
2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Food and Wine Festival 101
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and FOOD PHOTOS
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items

How to Book Epcot Food and Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) (join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter to find out as soon as we do about more details!). Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage Seminars, Mixology Seminars, and general admission for some special events are bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents are eligible for a $2 discount (per person, per event) for beverage and mixology seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. Discounts are by phone at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) or through DVC Member Services. Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

But what do you think? Would you like to experience Paris, if only for the afternoon, at Monsieur Paul? Leave a comment and tell us if The Parisian Afternoon is on your Festival shortlist!

Comments

  1. Molly says

    i booked this as soon as it was available for chase members! we are very excited, and i’m thrilled to see a review. i was anticipating more of a buffet style, like the breakfast experience, and am a little concerned since i am a vegetarian. did you experience anyone with dietary restrictions? i know disney handles this extremely well, but i’ve not attended an event like this before.

    thanks!
    molly

  2. Sharyn says

    We are doing this in two weeks! We are actually doing the Parisian Breakfast in the morning and the Parisian Afternoon for lunch on the same day. I also thought it would be a buffet since the breakfast is a buffet. Thanks for the review. The desserts look amazing! And I love the flavored breads.

  3. Mark says

    This looks good, but honestly the most important comment is that there are still seats available for this and the family lunch. Such a shame they dropped the real formal French lunch. Had some great ones over the years both in France and at Disney. Even last year at $139 it was still a good value. But Eric did make it clear that now that Disney has to pay for the wine, it’s hard to make them as profitable as they want. C’est la vie.

  4. Rach says

    While I am bummed that this is the replacement for the Grand Marnier tasting, “Taste, Shake, and Indulge Like the French.” With my sulfate & other food allergies I could eat & drink everything at the event last year. Now there is very little I could partake of. Thank you for the in depth showing of the food items, so I can save $55.

  5. Tonia says

    We did this a week ago and it was very nice. We plan to attend again in a few more weeks. good stuff.

  6. says

    Molly — Happy to help! I didn’t encounter anyone directly with dietary restrictions, but I’m like you — I’m confident that Disney will handle your special requests well. Let us know how it goes for you! I really enjoyed this event, and I appreciated the plated approach and excellent service we received.

  7. says

    Sharyn — Happy to help! Everything was delicious, and Eric has confirmed that the same menu will be served throughout the Festival. Let us know how you enjoy it!

  8. says

    Mark — Yes!! I wanted to get the word out that they STILL have a FEW seats available, and our readers should definitely jump at them if they’re on the fence about booking this event or the French Family Lunch. We also attended the French Family Lunch, and while it’s less formal than years past, I felt it struck a good balance between comfort, formality, and value. We will be sharing a review of that one in the future. I hope you have the chance to try one or both.

  9. says

    Rach — I’m sorry to hear that! I’m sure you know this, but if it does interest you, maybe check with Disney about what substitutions could be made to accommodate your dietary needs?

  10. Erin says

    Still available? I called multiple times and looked for a party of 2 for every Saturday of the festival and there was nothing! I also wonder if the reservation agents have no idea how to book this experience.

  11. elizabeth says

    My family and I ate at Monsieur Paul last year for dinner. Brooke, you mentioned the tiny elevator instead of using the stairs to get up to the restaurant. Since I am handicapped, I needed to use the “elevator.” I was truly shocked at how SMALL (only one person could ride in it at a time and VERY CLAUSTROPHOBIC feeling) LOUD (it sounded as if it were going to stop at any time and made a banging sound the whole time) and DIRTY (you really need to see the walls of this “freight” elevator–REALLY DISGUSTING !!!) Brooke, you need to take a “ride” in this elevator to see what I am talking about. SHAME ON DISNEY FOR HAVING THIS “ELEVATOR” AS THE ONLY MEANS OF GETTING UPSTAIRS FOR THE HANDICAPPED !!!!!!!!! I will NOT RETURN to Monsieur Paul for this reason. PLEASE CHECK OUT THE ELEVATOR BROOKE and maybe Disney will remodel it also !!! Again, SHAME ON DISNEY !!!

  12. says

    Erin, I contacted Eric, the general manager of the France Pavilion restaurants, and asked him to confirm if they still had seats. As of this afternoon, they still had seats for every Saturday except November 7. Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion about the event with the WDW-DINE Cast Members, as this has happened to many people (myself included.) Please give it a try again, and maybe…insist? I’d hate for you to miss the chance to experience the event. Best of luck!

  13. says

    Elizabeth — Thank you so much for sharing your experience! We’ll try to share a photo of the inside of the elevator on our next visit to Monsieur Paul.

  14. Tom says

    Did all three events last week (afternoon, breakfast and lunch) and they were all excellent, definitely will do again next year if offered.

  15. TINA says

    We went this year on Halloween 2015. It was such a nice way to spend our afternoon on the day we arrived! Delicious Cuisine and Bottomless Mimosas?? HOW can you go wrong?? Also, we went to the Party for the Senses that night! Such a great first day of vacation!

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