Bistro De Paris
We dined at Bisto De Paris on Saturday, July 10, 1999... and what a treat it was! The Bistro reopened earlier this year and this meal was our first experience with the Bistro. We weren't disappointed! Below is our update to the Bistro's listing in the PassPorter (on page 153) and we've included a full-length review to the right. Bon appetit!
Just upstairs (but half a world away) from the crowded, bustling Le Chefs du France at Epcot's World Showcase is the quiet and spacious Bistro De Paris. Don't let the name fool you, though. Somehow, like Dumas' Corsican Brothers, the names of these establishments must have been switched at birth. About the only thing this Bistro has in common with other bistros is the brief menu, while the atmosphere downstairs at Le Chefs virtually screams bistro.
With second-floor windows overlooking World Showcase Lagoon (and IllumiNations, if you time things right), Bistro De Paris is at the pinnacle of elegant dining at Epcot. Tables are generously separated, the service is attentive and solicitous, and the pace is slow and relaxed. We started our evening at 6:00 PM and we weren't ready for coffee until IllumiNations, three hours later.
Our aim as restaurant reviewers is to sample every full-service restaurant at Walt Disney World and give our readers a general idea of what to expect. We don't pretend to be in the ranks of the "pros," and don't try to provide bite-by-bite analysis of our meal. Still, you may be curious....
Jennifer started with a salad of mixed greens with Roquefort cheese and walnut vinaigrette ($8), followed that with a tender, braised double veal chop ($29), and finished with a fine rendition of CrÍpe Suzette (a bargain at $6). Dave had an appetizer of raw, cured salmon topped with a mustard-sauced tuna tartar ($11). A roasted rack of lamb ($30) followed, and for dessert he had hot, pastry-covered fruit soup served with vanilla ice cream ($7).
Altogether, nothing we sampled was disappointing, but nothing we exactly spectacular, with dessert deserving the greatest praise. In other words, the kitchen met but did not exceed our expectations, based on the price and surroundings. We did have one somewhat shocking moment, though, when we were presented with the wine list.
Based on the menu (nothing more expensive than $35) we hoped to find a good selection of wines in the $25 to $35 range. To be fair, there were a few relatively inexpensive bottles--$32 for a Rhone Valley rosť and $29 for a Vouvray, but if you wanted a red you had to start at $33 for a simple "house" red burgundy and move from there to bottles costing $50 and up. We settled on a 1996 Pommard at $61. The price isn't outlandish for that particular bottle, but all in all, it would have been nice to have a better selection of reasonably priced wines.
Despite the sticker shock we had a very enjoyable evening, ate well, and the staff took very good care of us. If you're planning an intimate, extra-special night at Epcot Bistro De Paris may be your best choice. If you're just looking for the best dining experiences at Walt Disney World, we've got a few other suggestions.