in the Canada Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World is a signature dining spot for lunch and dinner.
It’s tucked low in the side of the pavilion, and entering this popular restaurant is like stepping into an elegant wine cave cellar.
We’ve dined at Le Cellier many times, starting back before the Disney Dining Plan even existed, and then when it was still a one-credit meal for both lunch and dinner. That changed in 2012, when dinner became a signature dining experience requiring two Disney Dining Plan table service credits. Then, in 2013, lunch at Le Cellier also went signature, and lots of readers wanted to know if it was still worth a visit.
The short answer is yes… if you can spare the credits or bite the budget bullet out of pocket. Le Cellier crafts high-quality meals with thoughtful components and incorporates Canadian ingredients in subtle ways.
But I’m always re-trying old favorites to ensure that DFB can still endorse them, so I journeyed back to the Great White North to confirm Le Cellier’s place among the great restaurants of Walt Disney World.
The dining room at Le Cellier creates a distinctive dining atmosphere — and it’s one that I love. Low ceilings and dark moldings make it feel cozy. And while there’s tons of lighting, somehow Le Cellier still manages to be a little shadowy.
Many curved stone openings work to separate spaces, and by the time you navigate your way into the dining room, you feel like you’ve gone deep into the earth.
Seating is at both tables and chairs and banquettes. In the realm of restaurant seating, this is pretty comfy. And if you’re dining with kiddos, the banquettes can be really helpful. But note that if you’re a party of two, that banquette seating can be a little too close to your neighbors for comfort — request a table instead.
Design details like massive metal light fixtures with visible chains give you almost a castle feel, and the lights designed to look like melted candles are pretty great.
There’s also a fireplace to create a warm, homey feeling.
But glass details add pops of unexpected color and points of interest.
Despite the drama of the overall design, the space does not detract from the focus of your experience: the food.
Le Cellier Eats
Le Cellier Steakhouse is known for its steak, of course, but also for its starters and creative offerings of poutine.
The Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is by far the most beloved appetizer, with many diners ordering it so they can dunk Le Cellier’s iconic Pretzel Bread. (Pretzel Bread with butter? Also delicious! Pretzel Bread with butter AND Cheese Soup? Perfect.)
But I was interested in one of the components of From The Larder: Pig, Pig, and More Pig, which is Le Cellier’s take on charcuterie. I saw on the menu that the charcuterie came with Whipped Pork Fat Butter — and I had to know what it was. Is it just whipped pork fat? Is it butter with pork fat incorporated into it?
Well, I asked for a little side of it to see for myself. And…well…here’s what I got.
It’s basically…straight lard. Whipped maybe, but still straight pork fat. When I asked the server about the guest reaction to this, she said people either love it or hate it — not a lot of in-between. She mentioned that those who love it usually spread it on their bread. Me? I took a taste, but didn’t need any more. I guess I fall into the “hate it” category! But I figured you guys would be curious like I was, so there you go!
Of course, no trip to Le Cellier is complete for me without a bowl of poutine. Or, in this case, three bowls of poutine. But there’s something new going on with the poutine here.
We recently let you in on a secret menu poutine that applies to Annual Passholders (but can be had by anyone!). Annual Passholders who make their Advance Dining Reservation via My Disney Experience will receive a menu with the added Annual Passholder Poutine — Le Cellier’s Signature Poutine. It will not appear on the regular menu received by non-Annual Passholders, but anyone can request this, Passholder or not. So don’t be shy if you want to try it! These French Fries topped with Red Wine Reduction, white truffle, and Canadian Cheddar are totally worth a try! Even if it’s not on your menu — go ahead and request it.
Beef Bourguinon Poutine is offered on both menus. This is a delicious layering of French Fries, Gruyère, Beef Bourguignon Gravy, Garlic Aïoli, and Truffle. It’s full of bold, sophisticated flavors… and French Fries. Which are awesome!
Now here’s where things get super creative. Throughout 2019, Le Cellier will offer a different poutine each month that represents one of the World Showcase countries. January was the American Pavilion, and that means Bacon Cheeseburger Poutine!
This is Wagyu Ground Beef, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cheese Curds, American Cheese Whiz, Tomato Jam, Dill Pickle Slaw (!), and Dijon Mustard Aioli. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. But it tastes like a fabulous cheeseburger: crispy bacon, strong flavors from the dill and dijon plenty of gooey cheese from the Whiz. So good!
Entrees at Le Cellier are limited in number, but it’s clear they strive for quality over quantity here. Le Cellier Filet Mignon is arguably the steakhouse’s most popular item, and it delivers in tenderness and quality. Sides right now include the beloved Mushroom Risotto and Truffle Butter Sauce and Asparagus-Tomato Relish. This was great, as per usual.
But for my money, I prefer the more pronounced beef flavor of the USDA Prime Rib-Eye Steak, which I actually ordered with the Filet sides (including extra Truffle Butter Sauce!). The Rib-Eye was beautifully cooked and completely satisfying in terms of flavor. A million times yes on this!
For dessert, the Maple Creme Brulee is a terrific choice. (We have the recipe here, if you want to make it at home!) The hardened sugar top cracks with the tap of a spoon, the maple flavor comes through but not in a sickeningly sweet way, and the maple cookie is a nice foil to the smooth custard. This has been on the menu for years, and, thankfully, hasn’t gotten too much of an overhaul.
We also ordered the Warm Pecan-Brown Butter Tart, which is a play on sweet and salty. The Brown Butter Anglaise offers richness, and the Whisky Caramel is a good addition. But overall, as is often the case with Signature restaurant desserts these days, this fell flat. It’s relatively boring, and doesn’t make me feel like I’ve gotta get back to Le Cellier to have it again.
That’s something that’s started to bother me a lot about Signature restaurant desserts. I feel like there’s a lot of small, tasteless desserts — or super-fancy-but-equally-insubstantial desserts — at Signature restaurants these days. I’ve never wanted to have “cheesecake scented foam” or whatever the latest trend is for dessert. Perhaps my palate is just immature when it comes to sweet trends these days, but I’ll go to Boatwright’s or Beaches and Cream and have incredible desserts any day of the week instead of shelling out $12 for a typical tiny, tasteless Signature restaurant dessert.
OK, off my dessert soapbox.
Le Cellier catches some grief for its signature status for both dinner and lunch, but even with that designation (and the accompanying pricetag!), I still like it and will continue to patronize Le Cellier. The atmosphere is inviting, the food is terrific, the service is good, and the overall experience is really high quality.
Nosh or Not?
Portage your canoe to Le Cellier if:
- You are on a mission to try all of Walt Disney World’s steakhouses.
- You want to enjoy an elegant, but substantial meal in World Showcase.
- Your Walt Disney World vacation is for dining well. Signature dining all the way!
Journey elsewhere if:
- You don’t have time for table service dining! There are rides to be ridden!
- The idea of spending that much in cash or credits doesn’t align with your budget.
- You don’t want a super heavy meal while you’re in the theme park.
Le Cellier is a dining experience that is unique not just in Walt Disney World but in the greater world as well. Dishes here may be replicable, but the overall experience is unique. And we love that about Le Cellier. Whoever thought dining in a cellar was a good idea gets a big high five from us, eh!
Have you dined at Le Cellier? Tell us about your experience in the comments!