Early this summer when we heard that Le Cellier, a Signature restaurant in the Canada pavilion, had gotten the “IP treatment” in the form of Toy Story 4-themed menu items, we admittedly scoffed:
Oh boy… a signature restaurant https://t.co/v9o6pg5BJx
— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) July 5, 2019
For years, this fancy Epcot staple has been a place for guests to savor tender steaks, fresh seafood, cheesy poutine fries and other regional cuisine inspired by the provinces of Canada under sweeping stone arches and flickering candle sconces. The steakhouse and cellar was known for its elevated takes on steak, yet in recent years, since the rise of the Disney Dining Plan, things had long fallen astray… that is, until today.
We find ourselves once again amidst the dark, vaulted ceilings of Le Cellier to give the Canadian stronghold a second chance.
As always, this is a great, romantic spot for a date, but the kid’s menu, with its moose-shaped chocolate mousse, makes the restaurant very kid friendly.
A variety of seating options are available, with large, round 7- and 8-tops and cozy 4-tops.
The menu is printed on a single beige sheet and presented on this themed clipboard.
Yes, it even has the restaurant’s logo on the back.
There’s a dessert menu with a surprisingly vast list of after-dinner drinks and dessert wines, and, as you can probably tell by the following 10+ pages, an exceedingly expansive wine and craft beer menu.
Of course, the wine glasses are etched with a maple leaf like the Canadian flag. A nice touch.
They’ve changed up the way they display the bread basket, as it actually used to be a cone, with the loaves of pretzel bread shooting outward. The bread still tastes great, but I feel it necessary to note the difference in presentation.
As always, the sea salt and powdered maple syrup butter is to die for.
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup – $12.00
Moosehead Pale Ale and Nueske’s Applewood-smoked Bacon
I mean, what hasn’t been said about the cheddar soup here? It’s a Food & Wine Festival favorite, and it’s excellent, creamy, and savory each and every time.
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail – $21.00
Spicy House-made Cocktail Sauce, Lemon Gel, Old Bay
Yes, there’s five (5) shrimp on that plate, but steakhouses are supposed to be known for their shrimp cocktail, and this is the best one I’ve had at Disney World to date. The shrimp was fresh and didn’t taste fishy, plus the cocktail sauce was good. Despite the number of shrimp, they’re still quite plump and sizeable for the price. If it’s 100 degrees out and you don’t want Cheddar Cheese Soup, definitely opt for these. While this may not be as filling as other appetizers, if it’s what you’re in the mood for, you won’t be disappointed.
Baby Iceberg Wedge Salad – $16.00
Marinated Toy Box Tomatoes, Edamame, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Fourme d’Ambert Blue Cheese, Buttermilk Ranch, Crispy Onions
This salad was extremely high quality, almost at the level of California Grill or Narcoossee’s. Le Cellier has really brought up the quality of the ingredients they use since they went to two credits on the Disney Dining Plan. All of the ingredients were fresh, and the smoked bacon tasted like the burning Rome scene from Spaceship Earth. Trust us, this isn’t what you get at Applebee’s. This salad was freshly prepared, packed with crispy and fresh edamame, and two whole wedges of lettuce which can be easily shared. Even the dressing tasted freshly-made, with just the right amount of creamy buttermilk tang. Do note that the Summer Tomato and Watermelon Salad on the menu is also new.
USDA Prime New York Strip Steak – $55.00
Cheesy French Fry Potato Gratin, Chimichurri, Crispy Onions
This steak reminded me of why I used to love Le Cellier years ago. Between that and the presentation, I’m sold. You don’t get to eat an amazing steak from a wooden board imprinted with a Canadian flag maple leaf in many places, and it’s actually a new plating design just introduced to the restaurant.
The steak was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had at this restaurant. The steak was cooked to perfection and packed with a lot of flavor. The chimichurri sauce was particularly good as well, and made in-house. I, for one, couldn’t stop dipping steak bits into the chimichurri. Don’t let that take away from the steak, though, as it was still excellent, even without the chimichurri. The crispy onions were amazing too, and they seem to be a new trend for the restaurant, making all the flavors really pop.
The thing I was most excited for on the dish, or should I say board, was the potatoes. Now, they were good, but not as good as I thought they were going to be. I half-expected them to be a cheesy potato mountain of fries… but they’re really like a stacked mountain of poutine.
Trust, they’re still good, but they weren’t what I was expecting. Don’t expect much cheese in these, either, as they aren’t nearly as cheesy as they look.
Duke Caboom’s Favorite Nanaimo – $12.00
Chocolate Coconut Brownie, Vanilla Pastry Cream, Chocolate Glacage, Maple Meringues, Raspberry, Black Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Gelato
This was very good, and we enjoyed it. If you like coconut especially, you’ll enjoy this. I wanted to be angry that Duke Caboom was on a signature restaurant dessert. I wanted to hate that they’d put an IP on a dessert… but this was really very good. Every aspect of the dessert, from the rich gelato to the maple meringues, to the meticulously chosen raspberries, was excellent.
The nanaimo is meant to be this super sweet, chocolaty, and creamy Canadian dessert. It’s usually something casual that people bring in large batches to picnics or parties, and in that sense, this was a different take on it since it was presented as a single dome as opposed to a square or slab of dessert.
The portion here was really large for a dessert too, so this is another good option to split.
Overall, my feelings were that Le Cellier had really tanked after the Disney Dining Plan was introduced, so we stopped going for a while… but this is the first time where I’ve enjoyed it to the point where I would consider going regularly to Le Cellier.
They’re really trying to go back to their steakhouse roots and regain their popularity as a top restaurant in Walt Disney World, and I think they’re finally succeeding. Duke Caboom’s alright with me.
3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Despite Duke Caboom, Le Cellier Embraces Signature Steakhouse Roots in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot”
Technically weren’t their roots actually more of a cafeteria/buffet location? All kidding aside, this looks great and I’m glad to hear their steak is better than it used to be. When I went last in 2016 I was pretty underwhelmed.
I regretfully disagree about them being back on the up. From 2013-2015 I had the three best meals of my life there. Last weekend I had a sub par meal, loud eating area, and got a crayon to the head. throughly disappointment and will never ever step foot again
What did you have?
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