As has been noted for the last few months, the famous Le Cellier in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion, last week changed their lunch service to be classified as “Signature Dining”! They are now featuring a new all day menu, and on our last day of our Disney vacation this past Saturday, we decided to take a chance on this new menu and see how things turned out!
Before I get into the meat and potatoes (no pun intended) of this review, I want to tell you that we’re passing along two reviews for you here! We dined with two of our good friends Brendan & Erin and our new friend Steve and they were kind enough to offer their own thoughts on lunch. Their review will follow ours on this post!
I do want to take a minute and note that I have been a long time fan of Le Cellier, and honestly was concerned and even against this change. When you classify a restaurant as “Signature”, especially at Disney, guests take already high expectations and raise the bar even higher. Understandably, Disney expects more from guests who chose to dine at Signature restaurants via a dress code and higher prices. Le Cellier is, and has always been, a steakhouse and as we were preparing to be seated I decided that I would set my base expectations on my experience at the other Signature Steakhouse at Walt Disney World “Yachtsman Steakhouse” at the Yacht Club. Finally, I would like to note that I not reimbursed for any cost of this meal by anyone or any company. This (and all of our expenses on our vacations) are out of our own pocket.
The Atmosphere: Le Cellier has always aimed for that darker, more romantic and intimate atmosphere, and it is still exactly that. If anything I felt is was a bit darker than I remembered it being, but not much if it has changed. The tables are set beautifully with a faux candle setting, and our table was seated near the main walkway leading out of the restaurant and this wasn’t a problem during the course of our meal. Noticeably different was the lack of business casual attire that is normally requested when at Signature Dining restaurants, and our party was no different. We were all in our normal clothes that we wear when at the parks, and while this obviously does not effect the food or service we experienced, it did take something away from the aura of the restaurant as all of the other diners were in similar clothing. Finally, I’d like to note, while a cosmetic change, the menu’s are now set in back-lit thick folders that are really kinda cool and much easier to read than the older menus that were just thick paper. (I will post the new menu at the end!)
The Food: Our party was excited over the new menu changes, and we all had an appetizer along with our entree. Libby and I split the famous Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup (everyone else with us ordered the soup as well) and it came out hot with pretzel bread. The soup featured white Canadian Cheddar Cheese, Moosehead beer and bacon! Both were wonderful and as good as I’ve ever had (and no matter how much I try, I can never make it at home like it is served in the park), and complemented each other very well. I found myself dipping the bread in the soup more than I have ever before, and it matched wonderfully. When came time for our entree’s, I was the only one at the table who DID NOT order the Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon! What did I order you ask? Why I went straight for the brand new Grilled Bone-In Ribeye (20 oz. if you are wondering)!
Libby had the 8oz Filet and it was cooked medium-well, and was topped with mushrooms on risotto and topped with a white sauce and every bite was an amazing experience. The steak was very tender and the sauce was savory with garlic and herbs, and matched wonderfully with the risotto and was incredibly filling. Well worth the $43 paid for such a cut of beef and is highly recommended. My ribeye was quite the surprise and is one of the best meals I have had at Walt Disney World. My steak was cooked to medium and had been salt and pepper crusted and seared before being cooked to order, and topped with roasted garlic butter. The steak cut like butter and did not much much fat to discard which made for more delicious bites that melted in your mouth. The fingerling Yukon Gold Potatoes were cooked perfectly, but perhaps a bit too salty for my taste, however went well with the steak, and the portion was small enough to be a nice compliment to the steak, but not make you feel overly full after eating. After we finished our meal, we drove home, and I don’t think I got hungry once on the 12 hour drive home! Our total before gratuity (and discount) was just over $100 (2 sodas, 1 appetizer and 2 entrees), and we used Tables in Wonderland here as well.
And now, we’re happy to present a review from our friends Erin & Brendan who dined with us:
Le Cellier at the Canada Pavilion has been one of a few select dining venues within the WDW Resort that, over time and again- been rated as “Top of the class” in terms of quality, quantity, and show. I and others have dined at the Restaurant a total of 6 times in the past 2 years, not including the multiple times(at the mini Pavilion) for Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival; and keep finding ourselves drawn to a few exceptional menu items.
To begin, on our most recent trip to Epcot; we chose lunch as the preferred dining time. Our reservation was made in advance for a party of 6 (though not all 6 were there), and found that we never waited more than 10 minutes before being seated. The wait staff was very kind, and had prepared a nice round table towards the front of the dining room.
Now here is where we were all blown away… The menu. Now not just any menu, but an LED infused/ backlit screen menu! The charm of old-world Canada crossed with the modern convenience of Disney inspired design.( quick note: if you’ve never been to Le Cellier, it’s a bit like the name implies- dark, not too dark; but with a light up menu… A clear upgrade for others guests whose eyesight isn’t perfect.) This was a real show piece, and made everyone in our party; stop and awe. Now to the good stuff- lunch! Now most recently Disney changed the lunch menu to coordinate with dinner as well… A change worth noting but didn’t affect the selection of meals to anybody eating with us.
Our server was Marina, a bright young lass from Victoria- B.C. Who helped to “steer” us in the right direction. Now being a fan and patron on many occasions, we ordered the Cheddar Cheese Soup and the Filet Mignon. The soup is a cream & cheese base cooked with MooseHead beer, slightly heavy with chunks of bacon and black pepper floating throughout… So darn good! And always served with large pretzel bread rolls for dipping.( Oh and the portion size is large enough with one order that it can be split between two people, or a single meal on its own but I digress)
Now the steak- Wow! An 8oz choice cut of aged Canadian beef served the way you want (in my case medium rare) topped with a wild sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs, and a white cream sauce. Oh, an placed atop a bed of long grain rice risotto! This divine masterpiece is what the Le Cellier Steakhouse is all about; every bite being a sensory expedition from the rocky shores of Labrador to the pine forests of Vancouver. And with every bite, I truly appreciate the time spent in preparing such a meal; and again sharing such things with wonderful friends. I did only eat half the meal, but only cause the price is what drove me to keep such a dish for dinner later in the evening. Now not to say it wasn’t worth the $43, but it I’ve been accustomed to eat some now and some later. (And after eating this meal, you’ll wish you had extra) I’m not really a desert person either, but this meal might have you rethink ruining such a unique food trip. So in conclusion, if you can reserve the time and the money; go to Le Cellier at Canada- you won’t be disappointed.
So there you have it! Two different reviews of the new Signature Lunch Seating at Le Cellier! Is the quality of food and the new menu worth the higher prices? We say yes! While the atmosphere does not fully match up with other Signature Dining options at Walt Disney World, the quality of the food and the portion sizes offered do match up. Do you have thoughts on Le Cellier? We’d love to hear them in the comments! Finally, we leave you with the new menu and prices!