I bet that after a long day battling crowds at Disney World, alcohol and ice cream sound pretty darn good. Put ‘em TOGETHER, and you’ve got our #OnTheList item for today!!
How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish I could eat CHOCOLATE for dinner!!!!” I know. TONS, right? Well the dream has finally come true! And it happened at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
This year, a brand new signature dining experience kicked off the festival during opening weekend. The Chocolate Dinner, hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate, promised to be a sumptuous experience for the discriminating chocolate lover.
The dinner consisted of a reception, followed by six plated courses, presented by the Disney chefs who created them.
Let’s head over to Epcot’s World Showplace Event Pavilion for a look at this decadent event!
Ever wonder what’s behind those enormous brown doors between the Canada and UK Pavilions within Epcot’s World Showcase? You might, if you’ve never attended an event at the World Showplace Pavilion. But if you look closely at your Epcot map, you’ll see it there.
That was the setting for the evening’s event, and the sign above the beautiful awning announced it in style.
Pan back a bit, and you can see the main entrance to the building. A reception preceding the plated dinner took place in the World Showplace courtyard, to the left of the main entrance.
As we entered through the massive brown wooden doors, a team of servers greeted us with beverages. Guests could choose from Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Martinis, or Sparkling Wine. The drinks disappeared quickly every time the staff came out with another tray of them!
While guests sipped on their cocktails, beer, and wine, teams of cast members passed trays of [Read more…]
Bonjour, Mes Amis! We are heading to the City of Lights today for a luncheon at one of Epcot’s most iconic eateries, Les Chefs de France!
Chefs de France
The bistro, located in the France Pavilion, has been a fixture of World Showcase since Epcot’s earliest days. It’s served thousands of meals to Epcot guests, and you’ll still find its tables full if you visit today.
Les Chefs de France has had the happy distinction for me of providing consistently decent food and friendly service — something that can’t always be said about Disney restaurants. Since I’ve had some truly fine meals here, I was ready to head back for lunch with AJ’s Mom and Dad (whom many of you know!).
The food has been good to great during every visit that I’ve made in recent years to Les Chefs de France — but that’s only part of the story. Because I would be in love with this restaurant based upon looks alone.
That’s because I personally think that Les Chefs de France represents some excellent restaurant themeing. If it weren’t for the kid in Mickey ears at the next table, it’s very possible that you’d forget you’re actually in Florida.
We visited during the day, but I just couldn’t help but show you this gorgeous view of Les Chefs de France at night.
It reminds me so much of my first trip to Paris that I wanted to share it with you.
And that’s the beauty of this restaurant. If you’ve had the pleasure of a trip to Paris, you will probably have eaten in (or at least seen) a spot that looks Just. Like. This.
Photos of the original “Les Chefs de France” team — Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre, and Roger Vergé — line the walls. These days, Chef Bocuse’s son, Jerome Bocuse, runs the France Pavilion restaurant empire. (Check out the photo of Chef Bocuse on opening day in front of Les Chefs de France that hangs upstairs in Monsieur Paul. You can see it in our review here.)
The color palette in Les Chefs de France tends toward [Read more…]
It’s been a while since we had taken in a dinner at Il Mulino, so let’s head over for some Italian, shall we??
Il Mulino New York Trattoria
The upscale restaurant has a reputation for serving some of the best Italian food in all of Walt Disney World. And that makes sense, since it is modeled after the critically acclaimed New York restaurant of the same name.
Since we love Italian food, I thought it was time to head back and see if that opinion still held. After all, with the opening of Via Napoli and Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion — and the re-opening of Tutto Italia with a new menu — there is suddenly a little more competition.
We headed there on a recent trip with high hopes that it would be just as delicious as ever!
The vibe of Il Mulino is New York chic. Rather than feeling like you’re in a corner of Walt Disney World property, it seems like you’re a thousand miles away in a cityscape. Clean, modern lines in the bar and throughout the restaurant hint at the urban feel, while exposed beams and brick warm up the space.
While we visited at a fairly quiet time, the bar can be a very gregarious gathering place with the amount of convention traffic that the Swan and Dolphin Hotels see. If you have the chance to stop for a drink here, I’d definitely recommend it! The bartenders have been friendly and entertaining in my experience.
Low, comfortable couches offer a nice contrast to traditional bar seating, and make for a cozy gathering place.
This curious display of food, wine, cooking utensils, and even [Read more…]
Yesterday, we took you on a little tour of the brand new L’Artisan des Glaces ice cream and sorbet shop in Epcot’s France!
Today, it’s time to check out one of the true indulgences offered at this decadent spot: the ice cream martini!
L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream Martini in Epcot’s France
On the menu at L’Artisan are 16 flavors of ice cream and sorbet, which you can order in cones or in cups.
But the most decadent item on the menu is the option to top your flavor choice with [Read more…]
SO exciting!! Epcot’s France has been undergoing a culinary transformation this year with the opening of Monsieur Paul Restaurant and Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles. And now the final puzzle piece is in place!
L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop is now open to the public!
I love the classic exterior — with a new window!
This space, formerly occupied by the old Boulangerie Patisserie, is a perfect location for the new sweet stop. And featuring sixteen icy, delicious flavors (and an extra surprise I’ll mention in a moment), I know it’s going to be an instant hit — especially during the Orlando Summer! Let’s head in and check it out…
The bright, airy shop features pastel colors and old-world structural touches. I also like the milk jug themeing around the shop!
Cones are classic [Read more…]
On my visit to Walt Disney World I got some great updates on the California Grill renovation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and on Epcot’s new L’Artisan des Glaces France Ice Cream Shop opening! And I just couldn’t wait to share them with you!
L’Artisan des Glaces — Epcot’s French Ice Cream Shop Updates
The new ice cream parlor in Epcot’s France pavilion — L’Artisan des Glaces — will open in mid-June! Recently, I spoke with a General Manager of Operations at the France pavilion and found out a few great updates about the menu!!
Ice Cream and Sorbet Flavors
They’ll have 10 ice creams and 6 sorbets available. Varieties will change regularly and be served in either one scoop or two scoops with a choice of a cone or cup.
Flavors will vary and rotate, but standards will include chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and — this one sounds awesome! – profiterole!
Details and Flavors for Liquor-Topped Ice Creams
Remember, you can also top your ice cream with liquor! If you choose the liquor option, it will be served in the same types of martini glasses that the famous Grand Marnier and Grey Goose slushes are served in at the outside kiosk in France.
Liquor flavors are still being finalized, but will likely include Grand Marnier, Grey Goose vodka, a rum from Martinique, and other options.
California Grill Menu Updates
During an informative conversation with California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki this week, I uncovered these fun updates!
California Grill Opening Date
California Grill is still looking at a “late Summer” opening…likely September. Get ready to make your reservations as booking should be available in the next 4 weeks or so.
New! Omakase Menu
I asked the Chef if he foresaw any Chef’s Counter or Chef’s Table option at Cali Grill in the future. While he said there wouldn’t be a typical Chef’s Table option, California Grill will be offering an Omakase menu at the sushi bar.
“Omakase” means “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese, and that’s exactly what diners will do when ordering this menu! They’ll receive a 12 course, chef-directed meal featuring modern interpretations of Japanese cuisine and sushi, progressing from lighter dishes and flavors to heavier and richer options in later courses.
The menu will change for this meal regularly, and that could mean that you get a completely different meal from night to night. The items will not be available on the regular menu and will only be available for those ordering the Omakase meal.
California Grill Menu Updates
We got a taste of a brand new menu item! The Oak-Fired Three Meat Meatball with [Read more…]
DFB Readers will remember when we broke the news waaaay back in August 2012 that a new ice cream parlor was coming to Epcot’s France! Well now we have even more info on this!
L’Artisan des Glaces will be opening its doors in mid-June. This “artisan ice cream and sorbet shop” will feature 16 flavors of creamy, chilly goodness — and all flavors will be made in-house with fresh ingredients!
Even better — if you’re “Drinking Around the World,” be sure to ask for your sorbet or ice cream with [Read more…]
Anytime that I have an opportunity to dine in Epcot’s World Showcase, I grab it!
Tutto Italia Ristorante
There are so many wonderful restaurants here, and I’m always lamenting the fact that I haven’t been to one or another in a long time.
When I was in town recently for the New Fantasyland media event, I had some free time and decided that it was the perfect night to pop in to Italy to see how Tutto Italia was faring after its most recent renovation.
So after arranging my Advanced Dining Reservation for 8pm, I headed over to meet my friend for a late dinner amid the beautiful holiday decorations in World Showcase.
Tutto Italia and the newly opened Tutto Gusto Wine Bar are situated in the back left corner of the Italy Pavilion (if you’re facing into the pavilion). The restaurant reopened after a renovation in early Summer and now features updated seating and the brand new wine bar next door.
Tutto Gusto is a new stop on your Drinking Around the World odyssey, and is definitely worth your time and dollars. You can see my initial impressions of Tutto Gusto in my review.
But on this night, we were headed into Tutto Italia. When the restaurant first reopened I was glad to see that not much had changed. The grand and formal space really feels like it could have been transported from Rome. The gorgeous murals made the cut (though I heard that they almost didn’t stay!).
And the crystal chandeliers continue to add elegance to the restaurant. Sometimes it’s a bit jarring to see people dressed in Mickey t-shirts amid all this finery, but I’m so glad that Disney has preserved some of the original vision of the World Showcase restaurants.
Seating includes some tiny two tops (is it just me, or do you always kind of feel like you’re eating with the people next to you when you’re sitting at tables this close together?) as well as seating for larger groups and families.
Guests can also dine in a Sunroom or on the new outdoor patio!
Here’s one of the biggest tables…this one’s for [Read more…]
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Time to revisit a fan and Disney Food Blog Favorite: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion!
Signature Dinner, One Year Later
You’ll remember that we visited Le Cellier last March for dinner, just after Le Cellier dinner became a signature meal on the Disney Dining Plan (meaning it now will cost you two table service credits to dine there, rather than one).
At that time, we were focused on whether the menu could really deliver an experience that was significantly different than it had been before, and whether dinner would be worth the much higher prices than you’ll find at lunch. We walked away somewhat let down by the meal — especially disappointing was the ribeye with maple butter, a flavor combo that just seemed all wrong — but we were confident that they would pull it together. We also wondered right along with you if lunch would also become a signature meal, and if dinner would continue to be a signature meal.
Fast forward a year from that first signature dinner! It’s time to see what, if any, evolution has taken place!
In the year since we last visited, only two real changes have taken place in the dining room during the Signature dinner meal. Remember those snazzy little maple leaf napkin rings that I told you about last year? Those are gone from the tables, as are the table votive candles and their pretty little holders.
If I had to guess why, I would figure that they were so cute, they proved to be irresistible to snag as a souvenir. But that same upscale, wine cellar feeling with arches, candlelight sconces, deep reds, and dark woods throughout still signal that you are someplace lovely, cozy, and probably surrounded by snow.
As you can see, the lack of table candles and napkin rings makes dinner pretty indistinguishable from the lunch setting.
After we were seated, our server, Gabby, greeted us cheerfully. She was wonderful from the get go! We learned that she was on her second Le Cellier tour with the International Program, and she proved to be helpful and knowledgeable as we made our choices. Of course, we started with a few drinks.
First up: the [Read more…]