Romance, seclusion, refined dining…these are probably not terms you would expect to describe a restaurant within an amusement park. It’s time to discard your preconceived notions of theme park dining, and enter the lovely atmosphere of Bistro de Paris in EPCOT.
Last September, my dear husband and I found ourselves at EPCOT just a few days before our 12th anniversary. We considered the options for an adult evening out to celebrate, and decided on Bistro de Paris because (1) we’d never been there, and (2) it was convenient to the Swan Resort, where we were staying for the weekend. Also, we had our 10-year-old daughter with us, and didn’t want to be too far from Camp Dolphin where she would be hanging out for the evening. As it turned out, we decided to bring her along for dinner. (With only a long weekend to spend in Disney we felt guilty leaving her out of an entire evening of activities in EPCOT.) While Bistro de Paris has recently added a children’s menu, you’ll find very few kids there. We dressed for the evening (no tank tops, swimwear, or cutoffs allowed), and strolled across the bridge to the International Gateway to Paris for dinner. How civilized!
Somehow, as we strolled the streets of Paris in EPCOT, the light seemed to take on a different quality, and I could almost imagine we were actually in Paris. (One of the keys to truly enjoying the World Showcase is that you have to be willing to suspend disbelief for a little while…) On arrival at Bistro de Paris, we were greeted and asked to wait at the bottom of the grand staircase.
Soon, our hostess descended the stair and brought us up to the lovely, serene, and very French dining room. We were greeted warmly, and our waiter complimented our daughter on her dress.
The room was elegant but comfortable, not too loud but not hushed, and sparkling with silver, crystal, and belle epoque style. (Hopefully you can glimpse the room around this lovely family.) It was also oddly not full at 8pm on Labor Day weekend.
We perused the creative French/Alsatian menu, and decided on the prix fixe menu with wine pairings. ($95 with wine, $59 sans wine. Obviously the kid got the “sans.”)
First up, a lovely amuse bouche from the chef – a tiny demitasse of mussel soup laced with sherry. My bouche was greatly amused (in a good way.)
First course! Serrano ham, celery root remoulade and artichoke hearts. As delicious as it was pretty.
Mr. MouseChow went for the marinated tuna with lime and herbs, Mediterranean salad, peppers coulis, in a very symmetrical pattern. Very pretty, and the tuna super-tender.
The kid chose a cozy tomato bisque with basil oil and puffed cheese croutons. (For the sake of honesty, I thought she had butternut squash soup, and every menu I can find online has butternut squash soup on it. But my kid SWEARS it was a tomato bisque, she remembers that it was absolutely delicious, except it could have used a little more salt, and that she ate every bit. She has a much better memory than I do, so I’m going with tomato.)
Our mains were good, though not as memorable as the starters. I had the Grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom crust, mashed potato, and Bordelaise sauce. It was tender and delish.
Hubby ordered the chicken breast stuffed with tapenade, roasted bell peppers, and artichoke confit. I’m not a huge fan of chicken roulade or roasted peppers, but he enjoyed it.
Our daughter once again chose the most interesting dish. The almost florescent spring green of her basil risotto (with pan roasted scallops) was just gorgeous, and tasted as fresh and bright as it looks.
Sadly, the desserts were a little bit of a letdown. The warm chocolate cake was fine, but I’m sort of sick of seeing this on every single menu, and this version was nothing special.
My peach “upside down” cake was good, but not at the same level as the rest of the meal.
We did see a table-side flambe of crepes Suzette which looked lovely, but sadly it wasn’t an option with the prix fixe menu. What else was on the dessert menu? Illuminations! The room lights dimmed, and we were treated to a spectacular view of the fireworks.
This random couple with the window seat seemed to have a very romantic dinner. We got to enjoy the family and life we’ve built together over the past 12 years, even if it wasn’t terribly romantic. But next time, we’re fitting in a date night! Have you been to Bistro de Paris? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
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