Monsieur Paul, the upscale restaurant upstairs at the France pavilion at Epcot that has been closed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, will finally reopen Tuesday, Oct. 18.
The restaurant is named for world renowned chef Paul Bocuse, who, along with Gaston Lenotre and Roger Verge, was one of the “chefs de France” who opened the pavilion. Bocuse died in 2018 and his son, Jérôme, now runs the business under the banner JBI.
The restaurant will reopen with a slightly different concept and a prix fixe menu that reflects the “gastronomic meal of the French as inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010 by UNESCO,” according to Eric Weistroffer, executive director of JBI.
According the the UNESCO site: “The gastronomic meal of the French is a customary social practice for celebrating important moments in the lives of individuals and groups... It is a festive meal bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking. The gastronomic meal emphasizes togetherness, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature.”
It continues that the gastronomic meal of the French “should respect a fixed structure, commencing with an apéritif (drinks before the meal) and ending with liqueurs, containing in between at least four successive courses, namely a starter, fish and/or meat with vegetables, cheese and dessert.”
The cost of the prix fixe menu is $195 and will include eight courses, according to Weistroffer. As with all restaurants at Epcot, admission to the theme park is also required, currently $109 plus tax. And parking.
Bruno Vrignon, the former executive chef for JBI who opened the Epcot restaurants but retired in 2020 during the pandemic slowdown, will be involved in the reopening of Monsieur Paul.
Also, there are no longer restrictions on hiring French nationals to work at the pavilion, another problem that arose during the pandemic, so the French staff is back, too/
Monsieur Paul opened nearly 10 years ago, in December 2012, replacing Bistro de Paris, the original restaurant to occupy the more intimate space above the bustling, brasserie-style Chefs de France on the ground level. The opening menu featured several of the dishes served at Paul Bocuse, the famous restaurant in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or just outside Lyon, France, including Bocuse’s signature Soupe aux Truffes V.G.E., named for former president Valery Giscard d’Estaing for whom he created the truffle-rich dish in 1975.
Information and menus may be seen on the Monsieur Paul page.