Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chefs de France - Epcot

Friday night, we dined at Chefs de France in the France Pavilion at Epcot for the very first time.  I was able to get advance dining reservations for dinner just one day before before we wanted to dine there.  

We had reservations for 5:00, but were seated when they opened for dinner at 4:30, having arrived early in an attempt to avoid the rain.  

Chefs de France is a beautiful place to dine, and I loved the enclosed sun room we sat in on the side of the restaurant.

I did not talk to a chef before ordering, and there is no gluten free menu, but our server was incredibly knowledgeable about gluten free options.  

While my family enjoyed a loaf of French bread, I took a few bites of my tapioca roll, which was heated well, but a little dry.  

My husband and I shared two entrees, which arrived with the allergy sticks that many Disney restaurants use.  The first was the beef short ribs served with polenta and carrots.  This dish is usually served with Cabernet sauce, but because it was not gluten free, we were given an alternative sauce on the side.  I wasn't too impressed with the presentation, but once I poured the sauce over the short ribs, and removed the allergy stick, our meal looked a lot better.  Polenta can be pretty tasteless, but my husband and I both enjoyed the polenta served with this dish.  The short ribs were nice and tender, and well complimented by the tomato based sauce they were served with.  The carrots were beautiful, but not being a fan of carrots, I left those for my husband to eat.  

For our second entree, my husband and I ordered the salmon with braised lentils and bacon.  Our fish was cooked well, and I enjoyed what appeared to be a pesto drizzle on top.  The braised lentils were a huge hit with everyone at the table.  Because there were so many lentils, my husband and I were able to share them with our daughters, who fought over the last couple of bites.  

For dessert, we ordered two of the gluten free options, creme brulee and chocolate mousse.  Both were good, but not as good as the creme brulee and chocolate mousse at other Disney restaurants.  I was hoping for a more intense vanilla flavor and a fruit garnish for the creme brulee, and the chocolate mousse tasted a bit like chocolate pudding.  Chefs de France also had three flavors of sorbet that were gluten free.  

For $40, we could have ordered the Prix-fixe meal that included an appetizer, entree, and dessert, but we didn't want that much food.  The French onion soup and house salad are options that can be made gluten free for the appetizer course.  Both of our entrees were on the price fixed menu along with a third option that can be made gluten free, the half-roasted chicken with potatoes and broccoli.  Both the French onion soup and chicken were highly recommended by one of my blog readers.  

My gluten-eating daughters shared an adult order of macaroni baked with cream and Gruyere cheese.  I can't remember the last time I saw Emma eat so much food in a restaurant.  My girls loved their entree, which was certainly big enough to feed both of them (the picture shows a little less than half of the pasta they received).

For its French bistro theming and service, I give Chefs de France an A+.  As far as the food goes, we liked everything, and enjoyed trying something new at Disney, but we prefer other restaurants at Epcot, like Coral Reef, La Hacienda de San Angel, Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, and San Angel Inn.  

Chefs de France, which is not a Disney-run restaurant, has had a spotty reputation when it comes to accommodating special diets in the past, but all the recent reviews I read online, and feedback from my blog readers were very positive.

You can read more about Les Chefs de France, view their menus, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  Tables in Wonderland can only be used for lunch, so we were not able to get a 20% discount on our meal.  All of the dishes we ordered are on both the lunch and dinner menus, so I suggest going for lunch if you have a Tables in Wonderland card or are an annual passholder.  Chefs de France offers a 10% discount to annual passholders Monday through Friday during lunch hours.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Chefs de France?  


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