Review: New Lunch Menu at Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

Since Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion is one of my favorite places to dine, I take any change to the menu pretty seriously.

We recently reported the news that the steakhouse would be changing their lunch meal to a signature (i.e. expensive!) meal, meaning they’d be featuring the same menu for lunch that they have for dinner.

The change in the menu was pretty hotly contested by most readers who are Le Cellier fans. Those of you who routinely use the Disney Dining Plan expressed disappointment that you couldn’t opt for the one credit lunch (now both lunch and dinner are “signature” meals, thus requiring two credits on the Disney Dining Plan.)

But many of you who don’t use the DDP also expressed exasperation, as the prices were steep for lunch. Still others were upset that beloved items like the Le Cellier Burger didn’t make the cut.

With all of this in mind, we decided to stop by Le Cellier for lunch and take a look at some of the new menu items. I was also interested to see how we felt about eating our large, most expensive meal midday, rather than in the evening.


Le Cellier Steakhouse is located in the “cellar” of the chateau that you’ll find in the Canada Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. Modeled after famed chateau-style hotels, the restaurant is themed to give you the impression that you’re dining in the wine cellar.

When you arrive, you’ll check in at the podium on the main thoroughfare, then proceed down the path and into the small lobby. Le Cellier has historically been a very tough ticket to get when it comes to Disney dining reservations. I’m interested to see if it will be easier to dine here now that both meals are on the expensive side.

Le Cellier -- Outside

When we entered the lobby, we noticed that there have been some new landscape portraits added to the walls.

New Landscape Portraits in Lobby

This plaque details the history of The Group of Seven and its importance in bringing Canadian landscape art into its own.

Description of New Lobby Decor

Before the group of artists — also sometimes known as the Algonquin school — began capturing the Canadian countryside on canvas, many thought the country not worthy of artists’ attention. The paintings are a welcome addition to the lobby, and really serve to further this spot as a real taste of Canada’s beauty.

Another View of New Lobby Artwork

Once you leave the lobby area, you enter the small dining room, which is [Read more…]

Risotto Around the World

Ah…time to talk about one of my very favorite side dishes EVER!!! Risotto is often overlooked, but the creamy savory goodness that is risotto could easily take center stage in a dish (and does in some of these highlighted below)! Disney chefs have mastered the art of making this slow-cooked yumminess — rice patiently mixed with flavorful broth — and whether it’s mixed with meat, fish, or vegetables, risotto doubles as as a sophisticated recipe and mouth-watering, comfort food.

I was looking through our Disney Food Blog Flickr group and saw so many gorgeous photos of risotto that I simply had to do a post about this dark horse side dish. (Of course, I’ve added a few of my own photos as well…;-D.)

Let’s take a tour around the world…

Butternut Squash Risotto from Artist Point

This butternut squash risotto topped with pork belly is easily in my “top 5″ risottos in Disney World. Offered at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge, the hint of sweet from the squash and tartness courtesy of the cranberry drizzle create amazing (and memorable!) flavors. Sigh. I miss it.

butternut squash risotto

Dungeness Crab Risotto with Blood Orange Sauce and Pea Shoots; from Artist Point

This ample portion of risotto is mixed handsomely with crab creating a decadent appetizer. (Looks amazing!!!) Dishes at Artist Point tend to change seasonally, yet Dungeness crab seems to be used in many dishes — like these crab cakes we highlighted earlier this week!
(Photographer: Roger Weeks)

Dungeness Crab Risotto

Mushroom “Risotto” (in reality this is white corn, but I love that they made a “risotto” out of it), served along side Seared Bison with, Turnips, Chestnuts, and Pinot Noir Juniper Emulsion; from California Grill

This striking presentation from the California Grill has a slight [Read more…]

Guest Review: Le Cellier…From a Canadian Point-of-View

Welcome back James Hummel (@DisneyNorth on Twitter) with a review of Le Cellier. As a Canadian, James offers a unique perspective when reviewing this popular restaurant! He also gives us a glimpse of a proper poutine.

I figured it was high time that a Canadian review one of the most popular restaurants in Walt Disney World. I do want to give a disclaimer first though: these are my opinions only and do not represent all Canadians. And no, I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada (the Canadian readers will get that joke).

The entrance to steak heaven

So, as they say in Quebec, Allons-y!

You’ve seen the pictures, maybe even the outside of the restaurant and, if you are really lucky like me, seen the inside too (multiple times). Le Cellier is a hidden restaurant in EPCOT. No, not hidden gem… I mean really hidden! If you didn’t know where to look, you would literally walk right by it. I mean, there is no giant doorway for this place. You have to go through the wonderful Victoria Gardens to find, what appears to be, a doorway to an underground bunker. But of course, it is all about the story. Enough talk about the outside, let’s get in from the snow…er…I mean oppressive Florida heat.

The inside of Le Cellier is inspired by the large wine cellars of the grand Chateau style hotels in Quebec City and the Rockies. For me, the restaurant reminds me of [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!”: Appetizers & Sides

We’ve just started a fun new series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Due to some keen suggestions from readers, we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts & drinks.

Today, we’re taking a look at Appetizers and Side Dishes! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” as far as appetizers and side dishes at Disney.


Soups were by far the #1 mentioned appetizer/side when I reached out to facebook and twitter folks for their favorites.

Portobello Soup at Artist Point

  • Most beloved are the soups found at Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. These vary every day, but the varieties specifically mentioned by readers as the Best Thing They Ever Ate! were: Mushroom Soup, Mulligatawny Soup, and Butternut Squash Soup. (Personally, the chicken corn chowder is my favorite!).
  • Of course, you can’t post a series like this without a few votes for Le Cellier Steakhouse‘s famous Cheddar Cheese Soup! This comes heartily recommended by Disney Food Blog readers — and yours truly, of course!
  • The Grand Floridian also racked up a couple of votes from our readers! The cashew cream soup from Victoria and Albert’s comes was noted, as was the cheesy tomato soup at the Grand Floridian Cafe (yum — doesn’t that sound good?!?).
  • Finally, that delicious Mushroom-Soup-That-Doesn’t-Taste-Like-Mushrooms was voted [Read more…]

Two Le Cellier Meals. One Day. It Can Be Done.

And we did it. That’s right, folks, I actually booked two Le Cellier reservations in one day. I know you think I’m crazy, so just know that our two visits to the steakhouse on the same day were due to a crazy turn of events…we’ll leave it at that. ;-) Luckily, our two visits translate into a whole lot of food pics and info for the blog, so yay!


Located in Epcot‘s Canada pavilion, Le Cellier means “The Cellar” in Canadian (ha ha. just kidding. it’s French), so walking into the restaurant means you’re gloriously shoved from the (often) hot, humid, sticky Florida sun into a cool, dark, stone room. While I realize this is probably not ideal for the Canadian Cast Members who work there and probably came to Florida to get a little sun, it’s great for us tourists who are baking all day in the parks!

Le Cellier Entryway

The rooms of Le Cellier Steakhouse are made up of stone-textured archways lit by dripping “candle” sconces — it really does feel like you’re dining in someone’s wine cellar. And the tiny size of the dining room means that reservations here are some of the hardest to get in Disney World (thus my two in one day debacle — if I wanted to eat at Le Cellier twice during our trip, I had to do it twice in one day as all other reservations were taken for the entire trip).

Le Cellier Dining Room

FYI: My mom’s favorite part of Le Cellier is that the tiny dining room is invisibly broken up into the Canadian provinces. Her favorite thing to do as soon as we’re seated is ask the server “where we’re sitting.” It’s always fun if we’re in Ontario, because then we can talk about how we’re from Buffalo. Anywho — on with the review!


It isn’t 100% clear to me what constitutes “Canadian cuisine.” I’m extremely [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 6th, 2010

Marble Cupcake at Starring rolls Cafe

Some interesting Disney food news “bites” to start the round-up this week:

Now, here we go to the Disney Food Round-up for this week! Thanks for all the great posts!

Thanks to Theme Parks who let me contribute my suggestions to the favorite Disneyland Restaurants list! Much appreciated!

Thanks to Cupcakes Take the Cake who featured and linked to my post about Animal Kingdom’s Zebra Cupcakes! You guys are the best (psst…even the New York Times says so!)

Spirited Remix blogs about drinking around the world, specifically at San Angel Inn, Coral Reef, and Citricos!

Main Street Gazette chimes in this week with a tribute to funnel cake!

ChipandCo spotlights some Tinkerbell Cupcakes!

Disney Every Day has a sneak peek into California Grill’s Napa Room. Mommy Musings coupled her Napa Room food pics with some great shots of the Main Street Electrical Parade float preview! Thanks for the insights, ladies!

Sweet P Cupcakes has some adorable “Mickey Parts” treats showcased on their blog.

Illuminating Epcot has the Le Cellier mushroom risotto recipe highlighted this week. Yummo!

Zannaland shares her review of the Raglan Road Tables in Wonderland dinner.

OC Register’s Fast Food Maven has news of a new Sports-themed restaurant opening near Disneyland.

A Taste of Disney has put together a recipe video for Liberty Tree Tavern’s Pot Roast!

New Menu Items at Disney World Restaurants

While I’ll always have my favorite Disney World restaurant menu items, I always like to hear about new things to try. And while this is by no means an exhaustive list (menus are changing all the time), I wanted to share with you a few changes I heard about and experienced during my recent WDW trip.

If you’ve heard about or experienced other menu changes, let me know! You can contact me via twitter, facebook, or email!

Liberty Tree Tavern
You might have read the Liberty Tree Tavern menu changes blog when I posted it a couple of weeks ago, but I figured I’d get all the info in one place!

There are two brand new dishes at LTT: Chicken and Dumplings and Salmon Cakes!

New Liberty Tree Tavern Menu Items

New Liberty Tree Tavern Menu Items

The chicken and dumplings was not what we expected, and almost tasted like a very hearty, VERY peppery chicken soup. A bit too homogeneous a taste for an entree (we like some sides with our meals), but not a bad dish.

Liberty Tree Tavern Chicken and Dumplings

Liberty Tree Tavern Chicken and Dumplings

Unfortunately, the pasta dish has been taken off the menu.

Le Cellier
There have been a few changes over at Le Cellier as well, but one that we tried and loved was the Poutine. Although I grew up very close to Canada, I’d never heard of this French Canadian delicacy! Luckily, our server explained it perfectly. Fries. Cheese. Gravy. Sounds good to us! I asked for the gravy on the side (sorry, Canada!), so that’s what you get in the photo.

Le Cellier Poutine, with gravy on the side

Le Cellier Poutine, with gravy on the side

Now, let me pay homage to all of the twitter-ers who commented on my Poutine twitpic that it didn’t do justice to real Canadian poutine. For example, in most Canadian poutine, the cheese is not usually yellow, and it is always in curd form — not melted. (Our server DID mention that he considered this Le Cellier version to be “American” poutine, but it doesn’t make it any less delicious!)

We also tried a few new desserts over at Le Cellier: the Le Cellier Mont Blanc Semifreddo with chilled fruit soup, the Chocolate-on-Chocolate Whiskey Cake, and the Warm Apple Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Maple Syrup.

Le Cellier Semifreddo

Le Cellier Semifreddo

Le Cellier Semifreddo Inside

Le Cellier Semifreddo Inside

Le Cellier Warm Apple Tart

Le Cellier Warm Apple Tart

Le Cellier Chocolate on Chocolate Whiskey Cake

Le Cellier Chocolate on Chocolate Whiskey Cake

While none of these desserts wowed us, the chocolate cake would have been the best of the three. Our suggestion: forget dessert and head over for a Kaki Gori! ;-)

Rose and Crown Dining Room
The Cottage Pie makes a re-appearance on Rose and Crown’s menu! I can recall Cottage Pie on the menu years and years ago, but it’s back again for all of you Anglophiles (including me…).

Rose and Crown updated menu

Rose and Crown updated menu

Rose and Crown Cottage Pie

Rose and Crown Cottage Pie

Rose and Crown Cottage Pie Inside

Rose and Crown Cottage Pie Inside

We also sampled the brand new Lemon Pie at Rose and Crown. It’s pretty much your standard lemon meringue pie, so if you love it, order it. Otherwise, stick with something else.

Rose and Crown Lemon Pie

Rose and Crown Lemon Pie

California Grill
California Grill, as always, is playing around with the “market-inspired” menu as it should, but the dessert menu has really been changed up this time around.

California Grill dessert menu 10-1-09

California Grill dessert menu 10-1-09

We sampled the Valrhona Chocolate Cake, which used to be paired with cherries and is now coupled with salted caramel ice cream and roasted pineapple. They’re riding the salted caramel train down at The Wave as well, so I think it’s a “Contemporary” thing. Either way, we loved it.

California Grill Valrhona Chocolate Cake

California Grill Valrhona Chocolate Cake

We also tried their “Sweet Celebration” item, which is a Fall Apple Cobbler, with Walnut-Oatmeal Streusel, Calvados Ice Cream, and Apple Caramel Drizzle. Our waiter kindly let us know that the cobbler wasn’t a standard “gooey” item, but instead was more of a dry dish, with the apples well-formed and not mushy. We’re BIG cobbler fans, so ordered it anyway. We loved the dish, but were glad for his warning as we would have expected something different without it.

California Grill Apple Cobbler

California Grill Apple Cobbler

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yachtsman Steakhouse is doing all kinds of fun things with its menu — a couple of raviolis to try (including Potato and Leek Ravioli!), escargot, and a Cowboy Steak (my favorite!).

But what I’ve got to rave about here is the new Mushroom Risotto side dish. I really dislike mushrooms, but because I was so taken with Le Cellier’s Mushroom Risotto I knew I had to try the new Yachtsman version. And as a result, I have two comments: 1.) They are completely different dishes, and 2.) Yachtsman’s mushroom risotto is unbelievable.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mushroom Risotto

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mushroom Risotto

I couldn’t stop eating it, and probably would have ordered a whole bowl if I could. It’s just that good.

Finally, although I didn’t get a chance to dine there this trip, Sanaa, one of Disney World’s newest restaurants, has changed up a few menu items as well (thanks to Amanda Tinney for the tip).

While many things on the menu remain, the Dum Biryani has been removed as an entree (replaced with a Lamb Kefta, at least at lunch), and the “Slow-Cooked in Gravy” section has been divided into a meat section and a vegetarian section (no more mixing!). Stewed Lentils and Spicy Cauliflower, Onions, Tomatoes, and Mint have been added as options on the vegetarian list, along with the old Paneer Cheese and Spinach.

Be sure to keep me updated on the new things you sample on your next trip! Bon Appetit!