It’s been a while since we’ve ventured up the beautiful staircase to dine at Monsieur Paul.
Sure, we’ve taken in a few special events lately. We had an amazing time at the The Parisian Afternoon event during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival recently. But that event takes place in the afternoon (obviously). And there’s something extra special about arriving at this signature restaurant to enjoy a leisurely dinner in the evening.
Let’s take a look at all that experienced on our recent visit.
If you haven’t dined at Monsieur Paul before (or its predecessor, Bistro de Paris), then part of the fun will be finding it. That’s a little easier these days than it used to be, thanks to this sign that’s stationed right on the Promenade.
Just hang a right just before you arrive at the entrance to Les Chefs de France (the France Pavilion’s table service spot — here’s our recent review), and head back through the Pavilion. The awning over the double doors, which features the restaurant’s name (it didn’t previously) marks the entrance.
Once you enter the doors, there’s a check-in area to your right.
After you’ve given the hostess your name, you’ll be escorted up the steps to the second-floor restaurant.
Alternatively, you can take the tiny elevator, which is located to the left.
You’ll pass the Wine Cellar as you head into the dining room.
The whole restaurant underwent a bit of a refresh a few years back. The overhaul served to lighten up the space and to make it a little less formal. However, it’s by no stretch a casual space, with touches like handpainted ceilings, chandeliers, and velvet banquettes.
Score a table near a window at the front of the restaurant, and you’ll have a lovely view of the Promenade below.
And if you time your visit just right, you may even catch IllumiNations from your vantage point, as we did on a previous visit.
Be sure to take in the details all around you, like the light fixtures. The “Bubble” Chandeliers are my favorite.
For a time after the renovation, white tablecloths disappeared from the table settings, and were replaced with paper placemats. But on our recent visit, the tablecloths were back. And of course, you’ll find the signature “Chef’s Jacket” napkin fold as you take your place.
There are plenty of other details to share, but I know you are far more interested in the food. Let’s have a look.
At Monsieur Paul, as with many other restaurants in Epcot’s World Showcase, you can choose from an a la carte menu or a prix fixe option. I chose to order a la carte, while my friend opted for the three-course prix fixe menu.
The inside of the prix fixe menu provides pricing as well as Disney Dining Plan terms. Because Monsieur Paul is considered to be a signature restaurant, it requires two table service credits on the DDP. However, it is important to note that the prix fixe menu will also set you back an additional amount. Be sure to note this so it’s not a surprise when the bill comes.
We began with a selection from the complimentary Bread Basket filled with artisan breads. All of the bread within the France Pavilion’s restaurants is baked right on the premises in traditional French style. Pats of Unsalted Butter are served alongside the selections.
I began my meal with the Cassolette d’Escargots Cauderanaise, or Escargot Cassolette with White Wine, Bacon, and Shallots. I’d had an amazing escargot dish at a recent Food and Wine Festival event at Monsieur Paul, and I wanted to repeat my experience.
The escargots were served within a gorgeous broth — which I’d remembered from the dish I’d had earlier and loved. But they were also beneath a thick helping of Foam. You know how I feel about foam, and this nearly ruined the dish for me. I just don’t enjoy the mouthfeel of foam in a savory dish (or in a sweet one, honestly, but it’s worse for me with savory dishes). The flavor and texture elsewhere was good.
Another opener for us was the Salade au Roquefort à la Poire et aux Noix de Pécan Caramélisées, a Salad featuring Bleu Cheese, Pear, and Caramelized Pecans. Gorgeous, right?!? This got very high marks. It was fresh and flavorful with a nice large piece of Roquefort.
We also ordered the Soupe de Moules Safranée or Mussel Soup with Saffron in a Light Fennel Cream.
This was a nice combination of flavors, and wasn’t as heavy as you’d might expect by its appearance.
To start our main courses, we tried the Homard Forestier, Oeuf de Cailles, Mollet, Bouillon Crème aux Truffes Noires, or Maine Lobster with Sautéed Mushrooms, Soft Boiled Quail Egg, Creamy Black Truffle Bouillon. The dish is available as either an appetizer or as an entree.
The look of this one is absolutely stunning; major presentation marks here. And it is as rich as it sounds. In my opinion, this one is better as an appetizer as a result. But for those who believe “There’s never too much of a good thing!” — this dish is absolutely the indulgence for you. (Creamy Black Truffle Bouillon?!? Woah.)
We couldn’t resist the Magret de Canard. I’m a huge duck fan, as you know. The classic Roasted Duck Breast was served with Apple Fondant, Baby Onions, and Cabbage Stuffed with Braised Oxtail.
I devoured this dish, and was very pleased that there was so much flavorful sauce to heap onto the duck breast with each bite. The apple fondant was a lovely, sweet addition. I could have done without the Braised-Oxtail-stuffed Cabbage, but that’s a personal taste thing.
While I chose to skip Dessert in favor of something sweet elsewhere, my friend’s meal came with this fourth course. We were also offered a menu of Dessert Wines and Digestifs to end our meal.
Ultimately, she went with La Myrtille, a combination of Shortbread, Fresh Blueberries and Compote, Crème Anglaise, Pistachio Cake, and Crème Fraîche Ice Cream.
It was very good, but a very small portion — not for sharing!
And with that, our dining experience at Monsieur Paul drew to a close.
When you dine at Monsieur Paul, you can expect a couple of things: the meal will offer you a glimpse of traditional French fare with its complexity and upscale flavors; and you’re probably going to spend a fair amount of money. Both held true for us on this most recent visit. This visit was a more pleasurable one for me than my previous visit, shortly after the restaurant had emerged from its refurb.
However, in the coming weeks you’ll have a slightly different experience at Monsieur Paul. A new Chef de Cuisine, Nicolas Lemoyne, has been named to helm the restaurant. Look for small menu updates soon.
Now, I’d really love to hear from all of you? Have you dined recently at Monsieur Paul? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience!