Guest Review: Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France

Join me in welcoming R. A. Pedersen with an in-depth review of dinner at Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France Pavilion!

I’ll give you fair warning – as an Epcot historian I can’t help but link this review to the history of the park as a whole. I’ll try to keep it light though, perhaps an anecdote you can tell over candlelight between courses during your next visit.

Bistro de Paris Story and History

There’s a bit of humor and history in the name of the Bistro de Paris at the France Pavilion in Epcot. In French culture a “Bistro” is more typically a small, less formal establishment than a standard restaurant. A good comparison would be along the lines of an English pub; in fact, the hearty bar food would be quite comparable to the sort of cuisine they serve: typically casseroles and simple comfort foods.

So why is the high-end restaurant in the France pavilion, the darling of the famed Chefs de France (Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre, and Roger Verge), called a bistro?

Bistros in France were carved out of the basements in apartment buildings in order to feed the masses. Essentially the space was created from nothing to fulfill a need — and so goes the story in Epcot as well.

The France pavilion opened in 1982 with a small pair of restaurants amid its mansard roofs: the lower-level Chefs de France, and a connected exterior sidewalk café, Au Petit Café. Additionally guests could [Read more…]