Join us in welcoming guest author Eric Lane! Today, he’s sharing a review of Les Chefs de France in Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Bon Appetit!
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Based on its location and consistently solid food quality it’s no wonder that Les Chefs is one of the most popular establishments in Epcot.
Sitting right on the promenade of World Showcase Lagoon, Chefs de France is a prominent restaurant. Built to replicate a French bistro, the large open interior is fronted by a long, glass sunroom. Those walking along the World Showcase Lagoon can see the diners all the way in the back, and those in the back can see all of those walking by.
Our reservation was at 8:50PM and a positively bubbly maître d’ seated us right in the middle of the sunroom window. Seats against the glass were for two, we were one row away from the window. Because the whole restaurant is an open room, you can see all the waiters, everyone getting up and down, and all the people walking outside.
A large floodlight outside provided an amber warmth that calmed all the hustle and bustle.
We ate as the restaurant closed and slowly cleared until it was just our table and about 5 others when we were finished at 9:45PM.
Since we were at a French restaurant I decided to start with the French onion soup. The cheese was a little sharper than I thought it would be, which caught me off guard. Although unexpected it added a welcome bite to the flavor. The onion and beef flavors were much more subtle, but the cheese didn’t overpower them.
Another unusual touch was that I got the heel of the bread, which made it a little difficult to cut out a good hunk of bread with my spoon. Overall good, but not enough to stop me from sampling another appetizer next time I eat here.
The next dish was the ungainly titled “Filet de Saumon, pommes de terre ecrasess, au buerre et chboulette, sur coulis de tomate et poivron rouge.” That was the bold faced name of the dish, but instead of saying it while ordering or the direct English translation of “broiled salmon, smashed potatoes with butter and chives, served on a tomato and red pepper sauce” I was able to get away with just asking for the salmon filet. I appreciated that the sauce was not served on the salmon, but placed on the plate before the potatoes and salmon. It let me dip the salmon in the slightly spicy sauce and get just the right amount on the fish for my taste.
The salmon itself was perfectly cooked and seasoned with a little black pepper and just enough other spices to bring out the flavor of the fish. The potatoes were simple and added nothing of note to the dish other than a starch. It was a good, straightforward main course. (Note; the accompaniments on this dish have changed on the menu since the review was written.)
My friend, who despite not being a foodie is my BDFF (best Disney friend forever), had the baked macaroni with cream and gruyere cheese. She enjoyed it but I absolutely loved it. Flavorful, simple, and among the best mac and cheese you’ll find at Walt Disney world.
She saved about half of it for the next day and reheated it in the microwave in Café Rix at Coronado Springs. Mac and cheese is sometimes best experienced the next day, right? This held its flavor well and didn’t turn greasy. Unfortunately the cheese didn’t remelt. It wasn’t quite as good as at the previous day but made for a fine lunch.
Her husband had the beef tenderloin. I didn’t sample it but he cleaned his plate. A man of few words, he declared it “good.”
We finished by splitting an absolutely decadent strawberry cream cake. The strawberries were crisp. The filling creamy and not overly sweet, and the cake was light and perfect. I’d go as far as to say this is now among my favorite desserts at Disney World.
It shouldn’t be surprising by now that Les Chefs de France is a fine restaurant with solid food and a great view of the World Showcase promenade. It’s one of the few places that, since it opened back in 1982, hasn’t changed that much. It’s understandable because, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
A final note: even though our reservation was around the time of IlumiNations and the entire front of the restaurant was a window, Chefs de France does not provide a great view. There are trees and small stands in the way, and people lining the railing around the lagoon. Go for the food, not the IllumiNations view.
Have you dined at Les Chefs de France recently? What dishes do you recommend?