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!
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).
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 partial to Nanaimo bars and ice wine, both of which I think of as thoroughly Canadian, but I’m not sure of what standards I’d put on a “Canadian” restaurant menu. That said, if Canadian cuisine is in any way represented by the fare at Le Cellier, I’m moving to Saskatchewan.
In the same way that Canada embraces the melting pot of ethnic backgrounds its citizens represent, Le Cellier embraces the melting pot of cuisines they’ve added to the country’s collective cookbook.
Our lunch reservation was scheduled for the restaurant’s opening time, so our party was seated very quickly (we love booking for opening time — so quiet and calm!). Ordering was a no-brainer, as we’d all been to Le Cellier enough to know what we loved.
The breadsticks, as usual, came out first. Now, as every good Le Cellier convert knows, the breadsticks come with a story: Each bread type represents a different area of Canada. The sourdough bread represents the Yukon territory, which holds a Sourdough Festival each Spring to welcome back the sunlight (during the winter, they have only 3-4 hours of sunshine per day); the multigrain bread represents Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, which produce over 50% of the world’s grain; and the pretzel bread represents the Kitchener/Waterloo area of Ontario, which holds the world’s second largest Oktoberfest each year.
Also, because our visit was during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, I ordered the Canadian wine flight, which included my beloved ice wine (yum!). The flight was decent, but, as usual, I enjoyed the ice wine far more than the other two varieties.
One of my dining companions ordered the Canadian Unibroue, Trois Pistoles and deemed it delicious.
Our appetizers soon arrived. The Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup made with Moosehead Beer and Bacon (natch) is a specialty of the house, and never disappoints as far as I’m concerned. The taste has a bite to it — that’s the Moosehead and sharp cheese — so be prepared!
We also ordered Poutine for the table, and, before I get yelled at by everyone in the comments, I’ve heard that:
- Le Cellier has changed the way they’re serving the Poutine to be more authentic (white cheese curds and everything)
- I ordered the gravy on the side, so that wasn’t a fault of the restaurant
Even though I’ve heard that what we ate wasn’t as authentic as it could have been, I’m never disappointed in cheese + fries, so it was delicious to me!
Now, you’d think we would have been full after breadsticks, soup, and poutine, but here come the entrees! The Grilled Steak Burger topped with House-made Onion Ketchup and your choice of Cheddar or Blue Cheese was incredible as always. This will forever rank in my list of best burgers in Disney World for the Black Diamond cheddar alone.
The Shaved Prime Rib Sandwich on Toasted Ciabatta with Onions, Black Diamond Cheddar, and Horseradish Cream Sauce was served with potato salad and reported as delicious. I’ve heard plenty of good comments about this sandwich — I imagine it can be listed as highly recommended.
And, of course, the Le Cellier feature entree: the Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon served with Wild Mushroom Risotto finished with White Truffle-Herb Butter Sauce. This was outstanding as always. It’s stood the test of time, because that incredible butter sauce paired with the creamy risotto and grilled meat is just about perfect. Note: this is $25.99 at lunchtime.
One of my dining companions also ordered the mushroom side order, which I didn’t sample (don’t like straight mushrooms, I’m afraid), but which was said to be quite good. The order is pretty large, though…
Don’t worry — we’re not done, yet! We saw two new desserts on the menu and had to try them! First up was the new Le Cellier Mont Blanc Semifreddo with chilled Fruit Soup. What’s a Semifreddo, you ask? It’s a type of custard or tart typically made with equal parts ice cream and whipped cream. In this one, the whole shebang was coated in a toasted meringue. I can’t say it was my favorite dessert in the world. I definitely was missing my old apple crumble with dried cherries and ice wine syrup, but, alas, that’s not served at Le Cellier any longer.
The second new dessert we tried was called a Warm Apple Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Maple Syrup, but didn’t feel very apply or tarty. It certainly wasn’t worth $6.99, I’ll tell you that. Dear Le Cellier — please bring back the really good desserts. Thx. Bye.
Overall, not a bad visit to Le Cellier. The wine flight was a great find (hopefully they have one during the Food and Wine Festival this year as well), and the dishes were divine as usual. Too bad about the desserts. We’ll order something different for…
Whew! About nine hours later, my husband and I returned for our second rendezvous with Le Cellier for the day. We must have been the last table seated, because the place emptied out pretty quickly, and soon we were very much alone in the dining room!
We ordered our favorite appetizer, the Spicy Chicken and Chipotle Sausage with Roasted Corn Polenta and Sweet Onion Jam. This dish is the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and spicy, and it is simply delicious. My husband and I always fight over the corn polenta, of course! Also, this appetizer is under $10 and could probably be a meal for most people, so if you’re on a budget or don’t like to consume massive amounts of food, consider this!
Hubby also ordered the Steakhouse Caesar with Romaine Lettuce, Parmesan, Sourdough Croutons, and creamy Caesar Dressing. “Pretty tasty,” he says.
We were clearly having a red meat kind of day, so steak was the logical choice for entrees at this Steakhouse! We again ordered the filet this time around. Note how much bigger the portion is for dinner — this time it costs $34.99.
And we also ordered the New York Strip Steak topped with Bercy Butter served with Gruyere Yukon Gold Potato Gratin. The gratin was fine (not stellar), but the steak — while it looked great on the outside — was red and cold on the inside. I’d ordered it medium rare, so we could forgive the mistake, but sent it back to the kitchen.
In my limited experience sending steaks back to kitchens to be more thoroughly cooked, I’ve never had a good outcome, and this was no exception. The steak came back cold again, so we sent it back to the kitchen for a second time. We’ve never had a bad meal at Le Cellier, so we had a good laugh with the waiter at how strange this was. When the (same) steak came back a third time, it was practically charred on the outside and still blood red in the middle. I’m not very picky about my steak, but we gave it a bite or two and gave up. Sometimes I wish they’d just try again with a new steak, ya know?
Instead, we ordered an extra side of mushroom risotto and shared the filet! 🙂 Problem solved! Le Cellier was kind enough to comp the Strip Steak for us, too, by the way.
So, since our evening was all quiet and romantic and what-not, we celebrated with chocolate cake! The Chocolate-on-Chocolate Whiskey Cake Chocolate Cake brushed with Canadian Whiskey, layered with Chocolate Mousse, finished with Honey-Thyme Anglaise and a Chocolate Walnut Sauce to be exact! And, while this dessert will not live forever in my memory, it wasn’t the worst chocolate cake I’ve ever had. Pros: incredible chocolate flavor and density. Cons: unmemorable, uninventive, no layers of flavor.
So, while this visit to Le Cellier was a bit of a bust, we had a hearty laugh with the staff (who agreed that our steak was indeed quite raw when first brought out) and ended up having a great time. Of course, how could you not have a great time when you have a huge skillet of mushroom risotto on your table?
Le Cellier remains one of my favorite spots for steak in Disney World, and it also offers a fantastic “getaway” from the theme parks if you can swing a reservation. While I’m not sure it deserves its status as one of the toughest reservations in Disney World, I will say that it has a fantastic ratio of delectable dishes per square foot. We dream about that mushroom risotto, my friends. Yes, yes we do.
What are your thoughts about Le Cellier? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below.
PS!! A couple of commenters below reminded me about the “to go” option of Cheese Soup, Breadsticks, and Beer! This is a good option for those of you who aren’t able to get a reservation.