Walt Disney World Restaurant Review – Bistro de Paris
BY MIKE WARING – JUNE 2012
It had been quite a while since we last visited this French outpost in Epcot. Since our last visit, we’ve travelled to the actual honest-to-gosh Paris and dined at some of the best of the actual honest-to-gosh French bistros. So while we entered with an open mind, we weren’t really expecting much.
We were somewhat surprised. It’s definitely not a place that even mid-range restaurants in Paris have to worry about, competition-wise, but for Disney World it wasn’t bad at all.
The food was definitely better than the service. For instance, we were escorted to our table by what I took to be an assistant manager, who got sidetracked into a disagreement between a couple of the wait staff, before remembering the two of us standing there and briskly dropping us off, possibly to go back and gesticulate animatedly while lecturing the waiters.
Other than a pleasant interaction with the young lady who brought the amuse bouche and the bread, the rest of the staff were pretty lackluster. Our waiter’s uniform was amazingly filthy, which fits the stereotype but not the reality of French waiters, who in our experience are much more professional than the young college age kids they’re employing at Bistro de Paris.
The food, though, I liked. We both had starters: Mary had the salmon pastrami and I had a marinated tuna with a Mediterranean salad. My appetizer was a perfect size, though big eaters may be somewhat unsatisfied. Mary’s starter was fairly gargantuan, like a Cheesecake Factory-sized portion. I had to eat some of it for her. Otherwise she’d never have been able to finish and they wouldn’t have brought our entrees. That’s my argument anyway.
For the main courses, Mary had the red snapper wrapped in potato with a rosemary-infused sauce. Rosemary isn’t something you see much paired with fish, but it worked out pretty well. I had the chicken stuffed with morels in a cream sauce. The dish was lighter than I expected, even with a cream sauce, and the chicken was still quite moist and tender. This was the kind of dish that one might think of as comfort food. It’s not going to challenge your taste buds in any way, but over all it was quite pleasant.
The only real letdown was my dessert – the cheese course. The blue cheese was fine, and the goat cheese was quite good. But the brie and a manchego-style cheese could have just stayed in the fridge, and the gruyere didn’t even rise to the level of a Kraft Swiss cheese. Also there were no accompaniments, except a little green salad. This is the custom in France, but there, they only serve a single cheese and there’s always bread on the table. The little French bread rolls they serve with the meal are a bit of a letdown, especially after the magnificent sourdough we had in the California Grill the night before.
The room itself hasn’t changed. It is still an idealized version of a French bistro, without the drunks lolling around the tables, or people ignoring the law and smoking with true Gallic gusto, and there is a great deal more room between tables then you’d ever see in Paris. The sound level seemed a lot lower than I remembered, but maybe it’s just that my hearing has gotten worse.
Starters are $14-$16. Seafood entrees are $40-$46, while the meats are $38 to $40. All the desserts are $11 except the cheese plate, which is totally not worth $15. There is also a Prix Fixe option available for $59, which I would have and should have taken advantage of, since everything I ordered was on the menu, except the cheese. Knowing what I know now I would have skipped it and had one of the Prix Fixe desserts. Ah, well, he says, with a Gallic shrug of the shoulders, c’est la vie.