News! Book Now for New Year’s Eve Dining Events in Epcot

It’s never too early to start talking about holidays, and that’s especially true when it comes to Disney World planning.

New Year's Eve Toast

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Today, we’re bringing you early news of a few 2014 New Year’s Eve dining opportunities. And the good news is — you can book them today!

Keep in mind, however, that other NYE dining events are likely to be announced. So if you don’t like either of these options, hang tight. Your favorite may appear before it’s all said and done!

New Year’s Eve at Epcot World ShowPlace

If you’ve ever spent Christmas week at Walt Disney World, you know that the crowds can be massive. Disney meets the need for expanded dining capacity by offering a few extra spots to dine. And back for 2014, guests can take advantage of a special dining event held at Epcot’s World ShowPlace.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

Fantasia 2014 is a dining event geared toward the whole family. Guests will enjoy scenes and songs from the Disney animated classic while they dine on a full buffet spread. The menu includes items with international flair:

  • An array of Soups and Salads such as: Fresh Greens, Antipasto Salad with Basil, Seafood Harvest Chowder, Grilled Flatbread and Hummus
  • Hot Food Items including: Chimichurri-baked Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney and carved Deep-Fried Turkey Breast with Garlic and Cranberry Sauce
  • A Dessert Station that features Carrot Spiced Cream Cheese Cupcakes, Guava and Apple Turnovers, and a Chocolate Fondue with various Dippers
  • An extensive Kids Menu, to include Fried Chicken Fritters, Baked Mini Corn Dogs, and Mac and Cheese, among other items

You can book Fantasia 2014 between the hours of [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Steak Gallery

It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!

disney world steak gallery

We just love to share photos of all of our favorite foods — and collect them into galleries for easy viewing! Whether your craving is for popcorn, ice cream, or a cupcake, there’s a gallery for you!

And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.

Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!

Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.

My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.

Strip Steak

12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

Shula’s

Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.

When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!

Cowboy Ribeye

22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye

Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.

Steak Mary Anne

Steak Mary Anne

Flying Fish

If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.

When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!

Char Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Jiko

Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.

And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak-Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do). :-)

Liberty Inn

In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.

New York Strip Steak Meal

New York Strip Steak Meal

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: French Regional Lunch

Bonjour! We are taking a tour today of the Culinary Capital of the World — France — as we continue to gear up for the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Okay…well, that may be a little overkill. But there’s no denying that French food is something special.

food and wine festival logo

And we were very glad to hear that French Regional Lunches — aka Frunches — would return once more as part of the festival’s line up of Special Events last year after taking a hiatus in 2012.

And they are back again in 2014! Woo!!!

As we prepare for this year’s festival to kick off on September 19, let’s sit down to a French Regional Lunch from 2013.

Join me, won’t you?

Atmosphere

They’ve made the entrance door a little less secret-looking, but the entrance to Monsieur Paul is still a bit on the understated side. Head for Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie and L’Artisan des Glaces, but make a sharp left at the awning. And you’ve arrived!

Monsieur Paul Entrance

Monsieur Paul Entrance

Step inside and you’re greeted by a small waiting area and this elegant winding staircase that takes you up to the second-floor restaurant. (There’s also an elevator if you prefer.)

Staircase in lobby leading up to restaurant Monsieur Paul

That Gorgeous Staircase!

Monsieur Paul is normally only open for dinner service, so it’s a real treat to enjoy lunch here in the recently renovated dining room. During the day, the natural light flooding through the uncovered windows lightens up the formal setting considerably. It’s a nice combination.

There is no assigned seating, so arrive early if you have your heart set on a certain area of the restaurant. Tables are set close together, so it pays to be of a social frame of mind. :-) Most of the time, people respect it if you would rather not chat with strangers. Don’t let this aspect of the experience keep you away. (And, honestly, after the fourth glass of wine, nobody’s a stranger anymore.)

Atmosphere and Seating Arrangement

Atmosphere and Seating Arrangement

You’ll notice in the photo above that there is a “host” for the luncheon. That’s because each luncheon is themed to a different region of France, and wines are paired to complement the flavors of each dish. A principle from a winery will guide you through each course and pairing.

And speaking of wine, there will be lots of it. My advice? Pace yourself. ;-)

Table Setting with Wine Glasses

Table Setting with Wine Glasses

I’m excited to show you the menu — let’s get started.

French Regional Lunch at Monsieur Paul

To me, the most interesting part of the French Regional Lunches is that they are just that — about different regions. Each week, they highlight a different region in France. During my luncheon, we were headed to Bordeaux!

Menu for the French Regional Lunch -- Click to Enlarge

Menu for the French Regional Lunch — Click to Enlarge

Our first wine was poured quickly after we were seated. The light-bodied Château Bonnet White Bordeaux was the perfect aperitif wine. It was excellent to sip on its own, but the crisp finish also paired well with our beginning dish, which was very rich.

Chateau Bonnet White Bordeaux

Château Bonnet White Bordeaux

Speaking of, our lunch began with an Amuse Bouche. The creamy dish reminded me of a savory creme brulee, if that makes any sense. No sweetness, but the same rich consistency, with the earthiness of mushrooms.

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

The peppery Arugula on top contrasted nicely with the creamy custard in the small starter. It certainly did its work — we were excited to see what would be next.

Amuse Bouche -- Inside

Amuse Bouche — Inside

Fresh Demi Baguettes arrived to the table next, baked in the ovens of Les Halles below. I’m a big ol’ fan of bread fresh from the oven, and they do it perfectly here.

Fresh Baguette

Fresh Baguette

Our next wine was poured in anticipation of our first course. I thought the Château Bonnet Rosé was the perfect segue from the light white we started with into the heavier dishes that would be coming.

Chateau Bonnet Rose

Château Bonnet Rosé

Our first course, Cassolette d’Escargot Cauderanaise — Escargot Cassolette with Bacon — was a twist on a classic. While [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Grand Marnier Tasting — Taste, Shake, and Indulge Like the French

Today, we are heading back to the France Pavilion for another fun 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival review!

One of the things that I love the most about the festival, year after year, is the inclusion of hot trends. Often, these reach far beyond just food and wine.

In the last few years, mixology has continued to gain popularity as people look to perfect their cocktail-making skills. And we’ve really enjoyed seeing the trend play out at the festival with the introduction of mixology demonstrations and special events.

During my recent visit for opening week at the festival, I had the opportunity to attend the Grand Marnier Tasting. This special event — officially named Taste, Shake, and Indulge Like the French — takes place on Saturdays during the festival, from 2:30-4PM, at Monsieur Paul.

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France Pavilion

Note that many folks have had Disney reservations agents tell them that the tastings are full, or non-existant, when actually there are still seats available. This may be due to guests asking for the Grand Marnier event instead of referring to its actual title — Taste, Shake, and Indulge. Definitely an understandable mishap, but just an FYI.

Atmosphere

Finding Monsieur Paul is a bit tricky. You enter the posh restaurant through this unassuming little door toward the back of the France Pavilion. (If you’d like to see a bit about Monsieur Paul, read my dinner review here.)

Monsieur Paul Entrance

Enter through the small door, and your eye is immediately directed upward via a winding staircase. And that’s good, because that’s where you’re going! (There’s also an elevator if you prefer.)

Monsieur Paul Entrance and Staircase

Once upstairs, you’ll notice a relaxed yet refined vibe that tells you you’re in an upscale restaurant — but your comfort and enjoyment are what is most important.

Monsieur Paul Seating

Banquettes and cushioned chairs are comfortable places to spend the afternoon. Seating is assigned, so you will most likely be making some new friends during the event!

A Very Comfortable Seating Arrangement

Eats

“Eats” is a bit of a misnomer here. We will be eating. But the star of this show is Grand Marnier in all its glory.

When I arrived, I was greeted with a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 4, 2013

It’s been a SUPER busy week for Disney Food news!! :-)

Look for Scottish Salmon at the Scotland Booth!

With the release of 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival menus, we’ve seen a lot of new dishes that we can’t wait to sample.

Of course, the new Disney World Fall Free Dining offer was terrific news for many of our readers who were able to save valuable vacation dollars on their Walt Disney World packages.

Let’s check out what else is happening in the “World” of Disney dining!

Disney Food News

We’ve got lots of news to catch up on!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including Casey’s Corner Artist Autograph Session with Miniaturist Robert Olszewski, Wine Dinners at Citricos, New Year’s Eve at Monsieur Paul, and more.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Facebook friend Lauren shares “Sci-Fi Dine In Theater- always a favorite with my boyfriend and me! Nothing beats the super fun, retro atmosphere… I adore it!”

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater!

And check out this picture of the 24 Layer Chocolate Cake at Disneyland’s Steakhouse 55! Facebook Friend Lynda shares “OH YES I DID and it was AWESOME!!!!”

24 Layer Chocolate Cake!

Thanks for sharing your Disney food memories!

Deal of the Week! Bundle DFB Disney Dining Guides for More Savings

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  • DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013 Edition, our
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On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix finds a mod Donald Duck coffee mug. Perfect for your morning caffeine fix!

Donald Duck Mug!

Eating Around WDW heads to the Lava Lounge!

Walt Disney World for Grownups sips a Lapu Lapu at Disney’s Polynesian resort.

Main St Gazette stops by Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe to taste-test the Steak and Pork Platter.

Running at Disney enjoys the Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby!

Babble shares Club 33 photos and tips from our own Dining in Disneyland columnist, Heather Sievers!

Disney Cruise Line Blog shares a snack idea using Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bars and Cookies. Try it on your next Disney cruise!

Review: Monsieur Paul in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Today, we have a real treat for you!

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France Pavilion

We are heading through the unassuming door and up the fabled staircase above Epcot’s Les Chefs de France to savor a meal at the newly revamped Monsieur Paul Restaurant!

Located in the France Pavilion within Epcot, Monsieur Paul was formerly Bistro de Paris. When the signature restaurant underwent refurbishment last year, it received a new name, honoring the life and legacy of legendary chef and owner Paul Bocuse.

But what else had changed? We were curious as well. And so, armed with a camera, my notebook, and an appetite, I recently made my way through the double doors to bring the story to you.

This is going to be a long one (over 50 photos!!), so settle in for a culinary journey!

Atmosphere

As you poke around the France Pavilion and see glasses of wine and glaces for sale, you’ll encounter this sign letting you know of your (less obvious) dining options.

External Sign Showing France Pavilion Restaurants

And it’s a good thing! Because unless you know it’s there, it would be pretty easy to pass right by the entrance for Monsieur Paul, which is actually tucked back into the pavilion, wrapped behind the more prominent Les Chefs de France.

Monsieur Paul Menu Plaque

With its crisp awning cover and double doors, it blends in as just another part of the authentic themeing in the pavilion — which nearly convinces you that you’re in Paris.

Monsieur Paul -- Outside

Just like high-end restaurants that are hidden to all but those who have been let in on the secret, you won’t see any flashy signs hanging over the door. Instead, you’ll simply catch a glimpse (if you’re really looking for it) of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Vegetarian Meal at Monsieur Paul’s in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Join me in welcoming guest author Courtney Ketzler from Omaha, NE, with a review of the brand new Monsieur Paul Restaurant. When we first published the Monsieur Paul menu, many folks were concerned about the complete lack of vegetarian dishes. Courtney found that this isn’t a problem after all!

Being a vegetarian in the real world can be hard. I live in Nebraska, and the dining choices here are, well, limited. Dining at Disney World is another story.

My boyfriend and I are vegetarians, and we both LOVE food. It’s the only art we can really consume, and Disney World is one of the best places to visit with dining restrictions. I have yet to run into a bad meal, and during my last trip, encountered some very pleasant surprises, the biggest of which being the newly opened Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion at Epcot.

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France Pavilion

Atmosphere

When we arrived, there were several unhappy looking people waiting to get seated. The very frazzled looking hostess told us we were on time for our reservation, but the reservations were not on time — it might be a 30 minute to an hour wait. We were using the deluxe plan and didn’t really have any other 2 credit options, so we sat down and decided to wait.

About 10 minutes later, a very kind manager came by and offered us both Kir Royales for waiting. Of course, how could we turn that down?

Stairwell leading up to Monsieur Paul

Eats

The drinks were delicious, and we ended up getting seated within a few minutes after that. Our server was very nice, and offered to walk us through the menu. We let her know we were vegetarians, and she started to tell us about fish options. I explained we don’t eat fish, and she said she would go speak with the chef.

She came back and said “the chef has told me he will be able to make you both a salad and a plate of vegetables”. Needless to say, we weren’t too excited by how the meal was being described and were hoping for our money that it would be a bit more sophisticated. She reassured us by bringing the chef out, and as he started to describe the meal, our fears melted away.

I am going to try my best to remember everything that was described about the meal [Read more…]

Top 10 Disney Dining News Stories of 2012

2012 draws to a close today, and what a year it’s been!! Here at Disney Food Blog we’ve been following every bit of Disney Dining and Food News, and we’ve narrowed down the list to 10 amazing stories we’d like to share with you!

Check out The Top 10 Disney Food News Stories of 2012!

#1: Alcohol Served at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World

In a move that shocked most and delighted many, Disney announced that it would begin serving alcohol within the gates of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for the first time in the park’s 41-year history.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Wine Menu -- click for larger image

At the brand new Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland, guests are now able to indulge in their choice of several French and Belgian beers and wines!

According to Disney Imagineers, it was important to complement the French menu of the restaurant with an excellent beer and wine list.

Kronenberg Beer at Be Our Guest

However, while adult beverages are now being served in the shadow of Cinderella’s castle, they will only be available during Be Our Guest’s Table Service dinner and will not be available “to-go.” So you won’t see anyone strolling around with a cocktail or a glass of wine awaiting their turn on the teacups. ;-)

#2: Starbucks Debuts in Disney Parks

It’s no secret that Disney has never been known for fantastic coffee — until now! In 2012 Disney and Starbucks announced a partnership to bring the iconic siren behind the main gates and into the parks.

Mickey and the Siren Unite

Starbucks has already opened its first stop in Disney California Adventure’s Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe and five more locations are planned in the near future.

Fans of the chain will welcome the first Walt Disney World Starbucks locations to the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom and Fountain View Cafe in Epcot in 2013.

Starbucks Sign in Disney California Adventure

A location on Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. is planned for the Market House in late 2013.

#3: Citrus Swirl Returns to Sunshine Tree Terrace in the Magic Kingdom

You spoke, and Disney listened! One of the biggest stories of 2012 was the return of the Citrus Swirl to Magic Kingdom’s Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Citrus Swirl

This refreshing treat hearkens back to the early days of Magic Kingdom, when Disney and the Florida Citrus Commission partnered to have orange treats in the park. The original soft serve was a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 23, 2012

The holidays are in full swing in Walt Disney World and in Disneyland!

Luckily, even though Christmas is just around the corner (and I’ve got a reeeeeeally fun Christmas post for you… well I think it’s really fun, anyway. ;-D), we’ve definitely got time to enjoy some seasonal treats from the Disney parks! They’ll stick around until New Year’s Day at least! :-)

Let’s take a look at some of the latest Disney Dining news!

Disney Dining News

Take a look at the Disney Dining news from this week!

We’ve got additional food news, including a snack combo at the Magic Kingdom, New Year’s Eve Venues at Epcot and Downtown Disney, Three Kings Day Celebration at Disneyland, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food in or from Disney, share a photo with us so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Reader Jeffrey Lipack tweeted this festive treat – a snowman marshmallow wand! (Editor’s Note: On a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom, we spotted these little beauties at Big Top Treats in Storybook Circus for $4.99 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit.) Awesome pic, Jeff!!

Peppermint Marshmallow Snowman Wand

MEGA SALE on our DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays e-Book!

Headed to Disney World during the holidays this year or next year? Take advantage of our lowest price ever on our best-selling DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2012 e-Book! This is an awesome time to start planning for next year’s trip!

With 230 pages of detailed information and multiple bonus extras, it WILL save you time and money during the busiest season in Walt Disney World! And whether you’re going this year, or getting a jump on planning for next year, don’t tackle the Disney holidays without it!

Take advantage of this deep savings sale NOW, with [Read more…]

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Monsieur Paul, La Hacienda de San Angel, or Splitsville in Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is gearing up for festive celebrations on New Year’s Eve!

With the announcement of two specialty dinners at Monsieur Paul and La Hacienda de San Angel, guests wanting to ring in the New Year at Epcot may want to check out these events. Why choose one of these restaurants? They both provide Epcot guests with a view of fireworks!

Or perhaps you’d rather enjoy the evening knocking down some pins and great eats at Downtown Disney’s Splitsville!

Monsieur Paul

Formerly Bistro de Paris, the newly opened Monsieur Paul Restaurant experienced extensive renovations and the unveiling of the Monsieur Paul menu.

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France

Cost for the New Year’s Eve event here is $195 per person for food only; $275 per person with wine pairings. See the four course dinner menu to be prepared by chef Francesco Santin below:

Monsieur Paul Restaurant New Year’s Eve Menu

Amuse-Bouche
Champagne

Hors d’Oeuvre
Tarte Aux Truffes Noir: Warm black truffle and artichoke tart OR
Salade De Homard: Maine lobster served cold with tomato confit, lime vinaigrette
Pouilly-Fuisse, P. Bouchard 2008

Poisson
Bar Sauvage Americain, Sauce Au Champagne: Seared wild strip bass with [Read more…]