Walt's American Restaurant
A Disneyland Paris Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12-26-2013
Think of Disneyland Paris, and presumably you'd imagine that the dining here would be superb. This is France, after all.
However, I have to confess that we've not really been bowled over by the dining options at Disneyland Paris. Sure, we've had some very nice meals, but we hadn't had anything to match the signature dining at Walt Disney World. At least that was the case until we dined at Walt's American Restaurant.
Walt's An American Restaurant
Walt’s gourmet selection, a collection of desserts, consisting of crème brulee, warm chocolate cake, fresh fruit salad, and a mini macaroon. Delicious!
As the name suggests, this restaurant is a tribute to Walt Disney, located along Main Street in the Disneyland Park. As such, Walt's blends in with the other buildings here, and it's not until you step inside that you realise that this is a very different building. The first thing you see, after you've checked in at the entrance, is a bust of Walt, with photos of his life on the walls as you head up the stairs. You're then greeted by servers at the top of the stairs who take you to your table in one of the rooms here.
It's worth saying a word here about the various rooms they have here at Walt's, as they're all themed after each of the lands in this park. You have the Fantasyland room, complete with images of the attractions, and a stunning portrait of fireworks exploding over Sleeping Beauty Castle, while the wallpaper is made up of crowns to add a further regal element to things. The Adventureland room has rich African fabrics all around, giving it a very homely feel, while the Discoveryland room, where we were seated on our last visit there, has a futuristic feel, complete with a model of the Nautilus submarine, images of great inventors, and some of their concepts.
Whichever room you end up in, the vast majority of the tables here lines the exterior walls, so that you have views over Main Street, and the couple of times we've dined here, that's been a lovely treat, to just glance out every so often, and see people scurrying beneath us, as the evening turns into night.
Enough about the ambiance of this place, which is just superb, if you hadn’t already gathered. To more important things – what about the food? Like the other Disneyland Paris restaurants, you can either dine a la carte, or go off their special fixed menus, which include an appetiser, entrée, and dessert, usually at a cheaper price than the a la carte version. Of course, not everything is featured on the fixed price menus, but there’s still a good selection, and that’s what we’ve opted for on both our visits here to date.
Like any fine dining establishment, the menu changes regularly here, so if you go once, and then visit a few months later, as we did recently, you can’t expect to find the same items on the menu. However, the chances are you’ll find similar things, or variations on a theme. To give you an idea, on our first visit, I had Walt’s gourmet selection, which consisted of crab tartar, smoked salmon, cucumber-feta smoothie, and a sesame wafer, while my husband got the crab tartare seasoned with fresh herbs, and served with rocket, balsamic vinegar cream and sesame tuile. He was so enthusiastic about it on our first visit than when we returned, we both had this, and I have to say, it was an excellent dish.
To give you an idea of the changes in the menu, which are subtle, but different, on our first visit, I went for the fillet of sea bass, accompanied by watercress, red rice, tomato and olive sauce, and baby vegetables, while on our second visit, my choice was the fillet of turbot served with a green peppercorn and lemongrass sauce, warm vegetable salsa, and Carmague red rice. My husband has sampled both the grilled fillet of Charolais beef, accompanied by new potatoes and heirloom vegetables, tomatoes on the vine, and Bearnais sauce, and the fillet of grilled beef (approximately 250g) served with baby new potatoes, winter vegetables, vine tomatoes and spiced butter.
You can even get Walt’s gourmet burger here, although it’s a burger with a big difference to most. After all, this isn’t your usual burger joint. It’s a burger topped with pan fried foie gras (and if you don’t know what that is, it’s probably best to check it out before ordering, as some people really don’t like the idea of it), roasted peppers, red onion confit and lettuce, served in a granary roll with waffle fries. Other options on the menu the last time we dined here included roast duckling with dried fruit, scallop risotto, grilled sea bream with sesame seeds, and linguine primavera.
Walt's An American Restaurant
The view from our table at Walt's
On both of our visits to Walt’s, the real winner has been the desserts. On our first visit, we both opted for Walt’s gourmet selection, which was a collection of desserts, consisting of crème brulee, warm chocolate cake, fresh fruit salad, and a mini macaron. That was perhaps the best dessert of my life, that’s how good it was! Everything was just perfection on a plate. Of course, the second time, it would be hard to live up to that, but the strawberry and speculoos biscuit puff, served with sweet vanilla mascarpone my husband tried went down well, and I was impressed with my dessert platter, which was made up of crème brulee, chocolate fondant, fresh fruit salad, and mini macaron.
One thing I should mention here is that you can enjoy a nice glass, or bottle, of wine with your meal. That’s fine, before the idea of serving alcohol at Be Our Guest was even the glimmer of an idea, alcohol has been freely available in the restaurants at this park since they opened. The French battled to ensure that happened, as having alcohol with your meal is an integral part of the French way of life. For those of you concerned by that, I can honestly say on all my various visits to Disneyland Paris, I have never once see any sign of drunkenness here. All it does is add a nice touch to sit down meals.
If you go for a fixed price menu, tea and coffee is included with your meal, which I thought was a nice touch, and my goodness, you have a lot of choice too! It’s a perfect way to end a relaxing meal. Both times we’ve dined there, the meals have been very leisurely, probably lasting a couple of hours each, with the food nicely paced, and great service. The music is kept at a low level, so that you can enjoy conversation with your dining companions.
Dining here doesn't come cheap. On each of our visits, we've spent around $155 for the two of us, although that included a bottle of Disneyland Paris’ own wine (yes, you did read that right -- it evens comes in a souvenir bottle you can take home with you!), which compares broadly with a signature restaurant at Walt Disney World, and that is the kind of quality of food you're talking here.
Two visits in, and Walt's American Restaurant has definitely become a must-do for us on our return visit to Disneyland Paris. It is truly enjoyable gourmet dining at its best.
Updated 12-26-2013 - Article #1038
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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