Florida Guide > Dining
French Dining at EPCOT
Living in England we are fortunate to be able to visit France quite often, always enjoying some delicious meals. Our friends in the United States, who visit Orlando quite often were always raving about their favourite restaurant in EPCOT’s World Show Case – Chefs de France. After such a high review by them we decided to visit on our last visit.
Chef De France is housed on the ground floor of the French Pavilion – in fact it takes up most of the ground area. It is difficult to miss this wonderful mock French building as you approach from the United Kingdom or the Morocco direction. Nestled near EPCOT’s Eiffel Tower, the French Brasserie gains yet more added atmosphere from this position.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is very popular. Three French chefs – Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre and Rober Verge, helped to set up this restaurant and continue to advise Disney. Paul Bocus is renown as one of the finest chefs and was one of the first ‘celebrity’ chefs promoting French cooking developing the term ‘nouvelle cuisine’, teaching and setting up business ventures. He has cooked for presidents, as well as being involved in the food first served on Air France’s maiden Concorde flight.
The food is packed with natural flavors, yet simple as it avoids heavy creams and butter sauces. There are set menus for lunch ($20) and dinner if you like to budget and plan ahead.
The set menu offers a soup, French Onion topped with Gruyere cheese or Lobster Bisque. This can then be followed by a choice of Croque monsuier with a green salad (toasted ham and cheese sandwich), ham and cheese Quiche Lorraine (flan) or Gratin de Macaroni (macaroni cheese to you and me! ). Top this off with crème brulee or profiteroles au chocolate, wonderful puff choux pastry filled with cream and chocolate sauce.
Dinner too has offers a set menu for $37. Starter choice is onion soup (as above), salad with dressing and croutons, or lobster bisque. The main course choices are chicken with potato and tomato, braised beef ribs served with pasta, onions and mushrooms or grilled salmon with béarnaise sauce, and ratatouille (I thought this was Italian though! ) made from onions, courgettes (zucchini), aubergine (egg plant) and peppers (bell peppers). For vegetarians the macaroni cheese is offered. Finish this meal off with crème brulee, Tarte au citron merignuee, sorbet orange manderine (lemon tart with meringue, orange and maderin sorbet to you and me) or again those wonderful chocolate profiteroles!
However you do not have to stick to the great value set menus – there are lots of other choices to make to suit all tastes and various prices, whether it’s for lunch or dinner. Some dishes more sophisticated than others but well worth experience. And of course no French restaurant would be one without offering its dinners escargots (snails)!
We enjoyed a lovely lunch time meal where we were not rushed and could sit back relax and watch the people going by. Our meal was beautifully presented, enjoyed with a French bottle of wine – a delightful experience.
Yes, like our American friends, we will return. Bon appétit!
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