Les Chefs De France
|Address||France Pavilion, Epcot|
Walt Disney World
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
M, T, W, TH, F, Sat, Sun
M, T, W, TH, F, Sat, Sun
No brunch offered
|Noise Level||Medium Noise Level|
Most of the visitors to the signature restaurant in Epcot's France pavilion (Bistro de Paris, a smaller eatery, is upstairs) are oblivious to the fact that one of its owners is not only one of the most famous chefs in the world but is arguably its first celebrity chef.
Ironically, his name is not on the restaurant, Les Chefs de France. Even more ironic is that Paul Bocuse became famous because, in 1965, he was the first chef to put his name on his restaurant outside Lyons.
Before that, chefs were no more than hired kitchen help. Restaurants were owned by the maitre ‘d or the hotels where they were located.
So it could be said there would be no celebrity chefs, no show kitchens, no such thing as “Top Chef” and no one would give a flip what Gordon Ramsay had to say if Paul Bocuse hadn’t done what he did 44 years ago.
On a recent visit my guest and I started with two classics: cassoulette d’escargots de Bourgogne au beurre persille (translation: snails) and assiette campagnarde, an assortment of pates and charcuteries. The half-dozen snails were baked in a small casserole, each in its own impression, with garlic butter and parsely. They were firm but not tough, and the butter they left behind in the dish was perfect for sopping up with the bread.
The pates and meats were mildly flavored; the portion was larger than I expected, enough to make a small entree.
For my entree I chose the broiled salmon, a classic Provencal preparation with a delicious tomato bearnaise and a side of ratatouille and a single, simple boiled potato. The salmon was an impressive fillet, thick and tender and cooked perfectly -- one of the nicer pieces of fish I’ve had in a while.
My friend selected the canard au miel, roasted breast of duck and leg confit served with snappy green beans and a rather bland sweet potato puree. I liked the duck very much, but I liked my salmon better.
A bustling brasserie atmosphere on the first floor of the pavilion. Service seems to waffle along with the mood of the guests, who sometimes seem to visit expecting to have a bad experience. Relax. Enjoy. The food here is good, and the people are just like the people you meet in France: French, and friendly. The other chefs of the restaurant's name are Roger Verge and the late Gaston Lenotre.
Now in his 80s, Bocuse still visits the restaurant regularly.
France Pavilion, Epcot
Lake Buena Vista