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…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 12, 2012

Marceline's Rose Cupcakes in Disneyland

Can you feel the love in the air? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and whether you have a “special someone” to share it with or not, it’s still a primo excuse to eat some chocolate!!!

Wishing all y’all a super week with a special chocolate-y something on Tuesday! (C’mon…treat yourself!)

Disney Food Blog News

Just a few quick news bites from the Disney Food Blog here!

Disney Food News

Here’s the yummy deets from this week!

For more delicious food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Disney Pic-O-the-Week

One of our favorite Disney food bloggers, Andy Jackson from Eating (and Drinking) Around the World, sent over news that the turkey leg graphic is now showing up on hats in Disney World!

On to the Round-Up

New Disney Books! Just wanted to give a heads up that we’ll be sharing the news about a couple of great Disney books very soon! Check out the 2011 Earbook by Kevin Yee, and Walt and the Promise of Progress City by Sam Gennawey! If you’re a Disney book-a-holic, pick ‘em up!

Disney History showcases a new book that will feature Disney’s poster art (speaking of books!). Check out the Casey’s Corner poster!

Exploring WDW shares the latest menu from the Anandapur Tea Company showing that the Disney Dining Plan is now accepted at this Animal Kingdom location.

Disney Tourist Blog reviews Disneyland’s Village Haus restaurant.

Main Street Gazette visits the Grand Floridian Cafe to sample the unique Grand Sandwich.

DisneyParks Blog highlights fave vegetarian options found at quick-service locations at the Disneyland Resort.

Beers and Ears has created an Iphone App to help you zero in on your favorite brews while in Walt Disney World.

News! Valentine’s Day Menus at Disneyland Resort

Valentine's Day Cookies

Disneyland Resort restaurants will be offering unique items and special menus to share with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012.

The Plaza Inn will feature a Strawberry Cream Puff ($4.99), and a Valentine’s Day sugar cookie topped with red, pink, and white sprinkles will be offered at Pacific Wharf ($2.99).

Steakhouse 55‘s dinner package will cost $55 (natch!). Enjoy Strawberry and goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans, Rosebud Champagne Sorbet, and a Surf & Turf entree of Filet and Scallops with Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Broccolini.

Cozy up like Hollywood legends at Steakhouse 55

For dessert, dig into a Chocolate Raspberry Tart.

At Blue Bayou, savor Roasted Muscovy duck breast, apricot pine nut stuffing, grand Marnier orange sauce, and roasted parsnip potato puree for $33.99.

While you dine in this twilit restaurant, consider the Valentine’s special dessert — Caramelized pear galette, mascarpone frangelico foam, and espresso crème anglase for $7.99.

Toast your sweetheart at Wine Country Trattoria, Alfresco Bar, or the Cove Bar in Disney California Adventure with a romantic dessert package. For $25, you’ll get two glasses of Magicale (Disney sparkling wine), 4 chocolate covered strawberries, and a single rose.

Sounds delish!! Where will YOU be headed on Valentine’s Day?


News! Waldorf Astoria Orlando Chocolate, Wine, and Romance Weekends in February!

Looking for a phenomenal date night with a special someone? Ready to enjoy a romantic getaway that includes some serious chocolate? We’ve got the perfect plan for you!!

Indulge at the gorgeous Waldorf Astoria Orlando during the Chocolate, Wine, and Romance weekends all through February! (For those of you who can take advantage of this, I’m jealous!!!)

You remember last year’s Bar du Chocolat? It’s back! Along with some other great events and opportunities to try! Check these out…

Friday Night Flights

Friday nights just got better! Stop by Peacock Alley for a special flight of chocolate martinis!

Chocolate Choices

At the resort restaurants guests can experience delicious desserts — chocolate style! The chocolate bar dessert at Bull & Bear is absolutely decadent (believe me on this one!).

Chocolate Bar Dessert at Bull and Bear

On Friday and Saturday mornings, try the special chocolate items at Oscar’s breakfast buffet, including heavenly chocolate croissants.

Chocolate Royal Tea

Waldorf Astoria offers a signature tea, which will be enhanced in February with decadent chocolate croissants and other sinful treats. This will be held February 10th at 3 p.m. (Additional charge applies and advance reservations are suggested.)

Bar du Chocolat

You remember this one from last year! Enjoy a Chocolate Extravaganza on Friday and Saturday nights showcasing nearly 30 intense chocolate treats (priced per piece) when Peacock Alley becomes a chocolate-lover’s dream!

Choose from chocolate treats created by pastry chef Kurtis Baguley, including exquisite handmade chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes, creamy chocolate mousse, and indulgent bon-bons. I got to try a few of the truffles and they were amazing! Stay tuned for a review in a week or so! :-)

Chocolate Sensation

As you listen to lounge trio Harvestown in Peacock Alley on Friday and Saturday nights, savor a wine glass rimmed in
drizzled chocolate, then filled with a [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Romance

Thanks to DisneyFoodBlog readers on facebook and twitter, we’ve narrowed down the top three “Best Restaurants in Disney World for Romance.” These were runaway winners, folks — no other restaurants received even close to the number of votes these did.

And I think they’re spot on, actually; though I’ll also mention some much-loved runners-up just in case these are booked when you call to reserve that special Anniversary or Honeymoon dinner.

Walt Disney Restaurants for Romance

#1 Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
There are several notable things about V&A’s: 1.) It’s the only AAA 5-diamond restaurant in Orlando (and one of only a handful in Florida), 2.) It’s the only Disney World restaurant where children (under age 10) are not welcome in the dining room, and 3.) Its chef’s table is the hottest ticket around (more on that later).

At Victoria and Albert’s, service is a prix fixe six-course meal including the freshest ingredients flown in from all over the world. Each table is constantly attended by two servers, and harp music gently fills the small, 65-person dining room.

tomato and cheese salad

Should you prefer something even more grand and exclusive, you can call six months in advance to book the Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table. Seated at an ornate table inside the kitchen, you and up to nine of your friends can indulge in a meal designed specifically for you.

Victoria and Alberts Chefs Table

Victoria and Alberts Chefs Table

Chef’s Table Champagne Toast

One of many Chef’s Table Desserts

#2 California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
California Grill is one of my very favorite restaurants in Disney World, and I have to say that it’s most romantic while the sun is setting behind the Grand Floridian Resort and the wide Florida sky turns every shade of purple, pink, and orange.

California Grill Sunset

California Grill Sunset

That said, many will disagree with me and say that it’s most romantic during the Wishes Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, when the lights are dimmed and the music is piped into the dining room.

The View From Our Table Just Before Wishes Fireworks

The View From Our Table Just Before Wishes Fireworks

Either way, California Grill, sitting on the 15th Floor atop the Contemporary Resort, offers incredible views and truly delightful food. Sample one of the many flatbreads, the market-inspired soups, or the sushi that the restaurant’s known for. They’ve also recently added an Ostrich dish to the menu that I hear is quite good!

California Grill Bar

Some of our favorite dishes are the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli appetizer, a California Grill favorite, which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened; the delicious Filet Mignon; and the famous Banana Creme Brulée. Recently we tried duck and bison dishes, which were incredible!

All Natural Duck Two Ways

#3 Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House
Folks, I have to say this is probably my personal vote for most romantic restaurant in Disney World. In fact, we love it so much that we decided to spend our Valentine’s Day here this past February!

Jiko is dark — very dark — and beautiful. Where other restaurants have fireworks and shows, Jiko has a simple wall in the back of the restaurant that slowly changes color throughout the night to mimic the African sunset.

Jiko Sunset Wall

Jiko Sunset Wall

There’s much more about the Jiko decor in a previous blog post, but let it suffice to say that the dark, glossy wood, and brilliant colors are quite sensual.

Jiko View

Jiko View

On to the food, Jiko’s chefs have long given Disney guests credit for wanting to experiment. The menu reflects African staple ingredients used in simple, but creative ways. The filet mignon is always a winner. Even if it doesn’t come with the mac and cheese, you can order it as a side dish.

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko

Thanks again for all of your votes! If you don’t see your favorite in the top three, surely you’ll see it in the honorable mentions below. If you’d like to add your favorite, let me know by posting a comment on this blog. You can also contact me via email, facebook, and twitter (see the links at the beginning of this post!)

Honorable Mentions
Other restaurants that made the DisneyFoodBlog fan list for most romantic were:
Bistro de Paris at Epcot’s World Showcase
Le Cellier at Epcot’s World Showcase
San Angel Inn at Epcot’s World Showcase
Tutto Italia at Epcot’s World Showcase
Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Todd English’s blue zoo at the Dolphin Resort
Garden View Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Les Chefs de France at Epcot’s World Showcase
Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Grand One Yacht, available for charter and private dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Thanks again, everyone!

Check out the other “Best Disney World Restaurants” in our series!