Dining at Walt Disney World: Chefs de France in France – World Showcase

Les Chefs de France at the France Pavilion at Epcotphoto via http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenjavier/5024393420/

Sitting in Disney Hollywood Studios on a recent trip to the World we made a last minute decision to see what restaurant in World Showcase was available for that same evening, which was against all the rules.  We called reservations and talked to a very nice and helpful cast member.  I really preferred something in World Showcase, although there are so many other places, these locations are my favorite.  The Cast Member was able to give me a couple of options, but knowing hubby wasn’t the most adventurous eater and Mexico was booked, I decided on Chefs de France.  We had reservations for 8:00 that evening!  Talk about lucky!

We arrived that evening just before eight and were seated almost immediately.  Having only 2 in our party I think this was an advantage.  While we were not seated against the front windows we were in the next row of tables.  We had a beautiful view of World Showcase and I hoped to see some of Illuminations.

Our very French waiter was right there to bring us water, bread, menus and get our drink order. His English was very good, but there was a heavy accent to listen past – really adding to the French-vibe we had been transported into.  We looked over the menu and took in our surroundings.  I wish I had a picture of hubby’s face when he looked at the menu and saw it was in French.  For those of us who don’t speak French, the “sub-titles” below the French wording was very helpful.

We started with a wonderful glass of wine – merlot for me and chardonnay for him.   That confused our waiter who is used to the chardonnay being for the woman.  We had a little laugh about that!  Hubby was more than happy to let me doing the ordering and I choose the French imported cheese plate for an appetizer. It was a perfect match with the warm bread and our wine.  We were not in a big hurry that evening and it felt great to enjoy the ambiance of our surroundings and to just sit and talk.

I gave hubby a couple of options, I thought he would enjoy.  He decided on beef short ribs braised in Cabernet.  I see this now comes with pasta, pearly onions and mushrooms, but at that time, mashed potato was the side with his dinner.  The ribs were done to perfection and easily cut with his fork.  The taste he said was “Out-of-this-World”!  It was a hit!  He thoroughly enjoyed it – I stopped him just shy of licking the plate!  Even though the mashed potatoes did not have gravy (southern style), hubby said they were quite flavorful and really liked them.

I had the duck breast and leg confit with green beans and polenta.  YUM!  It was absolutely incredible, just a hint of orange in the sauce.  The green beans were definitely not your southern green bean!  They were not limp but still cook thru-out, just the way I love them.  The polenta was tasty and a good addition.

I think we passed on desert, since neither of us are big sweets fans.  We did get a relaxing cup of coffee while watching the first of Illuminations.  Dimming the lights around World Showcase, gave us a dark background with the fireworks taking center stage.

Service was absolutely wonderful.  The bread was plentiful and our glasses were never empty.  The servings were just the right size and were plenty, leaving us very satisfied. While I thoroughly enjoyed it, one of the best parts was listening to our waiter!  Everyone in each country is working a two-year tour here, which adds to the authenticity.  At first glance the tables seem close together, but once seated, it is comfortable and you are transported into your own little bistro with your own private waiter.  The waiters do wait on other tables, but he was very attentive, so we didn’t wonder if he’d be back.

I think we visited prior to Ratatouille being there, so this is on our next trip things-to-do list.  From what I have heard, Ratatouille is there around 5:00 or so for the early crowd.  It could have been we missed him being as late as we were.

I am sad to say, I usually don’t plan on a nicer sit-down meal while in the World during the Food and Wine Festival, so this was a nice change.  We both really enjoyed this meal and after a little “sticker” shock when the check came, hubby did agree it was well worth it, just not very often.  With the standard gratuity, the price was around $90.  I have had the opportunity to eat at several places at WDW, but this was a first for hubby.   Having a French meal helped him expand his horizons to try new foods the next night walking around the Food and Wine festival.

I do recommend Chef de France for your next trip to the World.  I especially like eating later in the evening for a relaxing finish to the day.  Like other restaurants in Walt Disney World, I don’t think there is a dress code.  We wore shorts, since a stop back at the hotel was out of the question and we felt completely comfortable.  After all you are in Walt Disney World and shorts are the norm to be comfortable.

Have a Magical Meal – Bon Appétit!

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Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.

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