Deciding where to dine in the World Showcase at Walt Disney World’s Epcot is no easy feat.
Chefs de France
And the France Pavilion makes a strong case for itself — as well it should, representing a country whose cuisine is legendary. The dining options in France cover all the bases. Monsieur Paul features signature dining upstairs in the Pavilion, while Les Chefs de France offers table service in true Parisian bistro fashion.
Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles serves up quick service eats like a Jambon Beurre Sandwich and soups — plus stunning pastries. And if you want a frozen treat, L’Artisan des Glaces offers sorbet and ice cream in lovely flavors.
We enjoy all of the dining options in France, but on my most recent visit, I stopped into Les Chefs de France for a table service meal full of French favorites! Does Les Chefs de France live up to the lofty expectations its pedigree belies?
Les Chefs de France is located front and center on the street level of the France Pavilion. You’ll spot the deep red awning over the entrance and the classic French architecture that lets you know you are, indeed, stepping into une autre pays.
The interior of the restaurant is bright and cheerful, with lots of globe lights and massive windows. Wall colors and ivory moldings keep things fresh.
Table seating is dark, anchoring the space. The banquette seats are upholstered in rich leather with dark woods.
Les Chefs also has a stunning sunroom, with endless windows and gorgeous design details.
The textured ceiling and vaguely deco ceiling lights are stylish and interesting.
The floors in the sunroom feature an intricate tile pattern.
Table settings throughout the restaurant are simple but stately.
Overall the dining spaces are sophisticated and comfortable — so let’s get some eats!
The Drink Menu is stacked here, with wine (sparkling and otherwise), champagne, cocktails, and non-alcoholic options in abundance.
I opted for a fun cocktail: the French Martini. It’s comprised of vodka, Chambord, pineapple juice, and lemon-lime foam. It’s accented with fresh fruit that compliment the pink color. This is a fun and fruity drink — great for the summer season.
The menu at Les Chefs de France features Plats from land and sea — plus a Prix Fixe option. Préludes are the appetizers, and they are spectacular.
The meal starts with a Baguette, baked beautifully brown and with the exposed interior crusty and delicious. In some cases we say skip the bread and save room for the rest of the meal, but with bread this exceptional, you can’t skip it. Seriously — eat it ALL. ;-D
I started with three Préludes: Les Chefs versions of charcuterie, a cheese board, and a flatbread.
The Assiette Campagnarde is the charcuterie plate loaded with rustic meats and pates. The portion size here is generous and certainly share-able. The meats were delicious and salty, sliced paper thin and served alongside some cornichons.
The cheese plate is called Plateau de Fromages de France — literally ‘plate of cheeses from France’. This is one of my all-time favorite cheese plates in Disney World, and it never disappoints. First, the portions are actually large enough to share. (Many Disney cheese plates — especially those at signature restaurants — have teensy portions of a few cheeses.) Second, the cheeses are LEGIT. So delicious.
A selection of French cheeses are served with raisin and walnut bread, a handful of shelled walnuts, and red grapes. These were generous portions, again, and I love the detail of the newspaper and cutting board presentation. As with previous visits, I really enjoyed the cheeses with that baguette, too!
The A la Flamme Alsacienne is a flatbread inspired by the region of Alsace. The lightly browned dough is topped with creme fraiche, onions, and bacon — lots and lots of bacon. You guys know I always order this because it reminds me the flammekueche I used to get in Switzerland. Simple, but so rich and full of flavor.
There’s no skimping on the bacon or those sweet, simple onions.
On this visit as with past ones, I would have appreciated a bit more creme fraiche. The creaminess is welcome and adds some moisture to the flatbread. Still: look at that bacon!
I tried a selection of entrées, including this tasty vegetarian lasagna — Lasagnes de Legumes du Soleil a l’Huile d’Olive au Thym — which I’d had before AGES ago and wanted to sample again. That’s a lot of French, y’all, but essentially this is vegetable lasagna with oil and thyme.
It’s a guest-favorite vegetarian dish and I always want to double check on my recommendations. And it holds up. It’s a fresh and delicious vegetarian option, a bit more imaginative than other vegetable pasta dishes. Essentially it’s a ratatouille, but that amazing cheese makes a huge difference.
The cross-section gives us an idea of the structure here: two layers of perfectly-cooked pasta packed with tons of veggies.
The broiled salmon dish is incredibly light and fresh-tasting. Called Filet de Saumon Mariné auvin Blanc et Citron, the flavors of wine and lemon elevate the perfectly cooked fish. Broccolini and some wild rice complete the plate and round out the meal.
For those craving something a bit heavier, Steak Frites fit the bill.
The grilled flatiron steak is tender and delicious, and those frites — French fries! — are fabulous! They’re cut in house daily and the flavor (how do they DO it?!) is out of this world.
My only complaint: the Beurre Maitre d’Hotel is a lemony parsley butter that, with the lightness of the lemon, didn’t work for me with the steak. I would have preferred a garlic to the lemon.
Still, I’d get this again in a heartbeat just for those frites! They’re truly awesome.
Nosh or Not?
Say bonjour to Les Chefs de France if:
- You want to enjoy a delicious meal in a sophisticated setting — even at a theme park!
- You love French food.
- You’re into fine dining and want to have a special meal while on vacation.
Bid adieu to Les Chefs de France if:
- You’re more of a burgers and fries type of diner.
- French food doesn’t appeal to you.
Les Chefs de France know how to craft fine food, and the atmosphere is bright and cheerful. For fine dining in Epcot’s World Showcase, this is near or at the very top of the list. But while it might seem like a fancy place, the fact that it’s located in a theme park — aside from being a remarkable addition to that genre — makes it approachable.
Service has been a problem for this place in the past, but on my recent few trips it’s been acceptable to good. Flavors are on point. And atmosphere is incredibly authentic. RECOMMENDED!
Have you enjoyed a meal at Les Chefs de France? Let us know in the comments!