Let’s Do Disney Deluxe Dining: Part 3

Here it is folks, the home stretch.  Loosen the button on your pants and lean back cuz they’re some doozies.

The morning after we canceled our “Ugh CANNOT eat anymore food” dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s, we had our Wild Africa Trek tour.  We used some of our literal dozens of snack credits on a couple of cheese danishes before the Trek, but I’m going to save the tour itself for the trip report.

With one thing and another, we arrive at the camp set up for us for lunch, and check out what’s waiting for us:

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On top we’ve got: fruit salad, yogurt with dried fruit, and dried apricots and brie. On the bottom layer: fig bread, proscuitto, smoked salmon roll with cucumber salad and pita bread.

Maybe it was because the previous week had been so food heavy, or the 3 hour hike in 35 degree weather but this stuff was GODLY. So cold and fresh! Chris even ate his salmon (I KNOW!)

That night we had dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse, and we were feeling pretty good after 24 hours without a table service meal. Another new signature for us, and even after getting lost in the Yacht Club resort, we still arrived in plenty of time to have a drink before checking in.  We both got a sangria, one white and one red, and they were okay, but I think I like my wine unsullied by fruit.

Headsup for the veg*ns/squeamish – they have a glassed in butcher box at the Yachtsman where you can see the chefs cutting up the meat for the night. I thought it was neat, but I know it’s not for everyone!

Our server David comes by and introduces himself.  He seems kind of quiet and monotone and I was worried that after Hachem, no other server would measure up.  Well, that was a ridiculous thought because David was absolutely fantastic.  He started out very quiet but warmed up throughout the night, even telling us about how he travelled all the way to Toronto a few years ago to see Rush play. :’)

We got some bread and Chris ordered a bottle (!!! doesn’t he remember our last trip!!!) of wine.  David poured a little for me to test, which always makes me feel silly, because I’d probably drink wine wrung from a washcloth.  He also offered us the cork as a souvenir. The bread was great, soft flaky onion rolls and some other bread (sourdough, I think).

Chris ordered the cheese plate, the filet (blue) and the sorbet trio.  The chef took his order, on account of his allergy, and I’d swear he did a little jig when Chris asked for it rare.  Afterwards, I told him I’d read reviews from here where people ordered their filet well-done and had to have it butterflied (sliced in half).  I thought Chris was gonna cry.

I had the caesar salad, the filet (rare) and the creme brulee:

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I had to laugh when my salad came out, because it was two whole romaine hearts on a bed of coppa secca, with the dressing artfully dotted around, and enormous flakes of parmesan.  All the same it was great – the lettuce was super fresh, and it wasn’t nearly as big a portion as it looked (though I left most of the meat behind.)

The steaks were good too – nice cuts, perfectly tender.  There was a bit of confusion over how cooked they actually were. Chris thinks maybe I got the blue steak by accident, but it looked to me like they were both about the same – maybe a blue rare?  Not a big deal, and certainly understandable when the difference between a blue steak and anything else is probably seconds.

Before we placed our dessert order, David brought us out some commemorative copies of our menu, wrapped in ribbons and this:

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(Please excuse the cell phone quality picture) Compliments of the chef, from left to right: Blueberry marshmallow, peanut butter macaron, hazelnut chocolate bar, chocolate truffle, mango jelly.

Like an idiot, I took the marshmallow first and it was the most incredible thing I put in my mouth the whole trip.  I’ve never understood the gourmet craze for marshmallows until now – if they’re mostly like this, sign me up! Sweet, fruity, fluffy.  It hurt to give the other half to Chris.  The PB macaron was good – I liked the chewiness of the meringue. Mango jelly was great too, and very soft.  Neither the hazelnut nor the truffle stood out but I mean, there was some tough competition.

Dessert was good, nothing exceptional.  The Yachtsman is a place we’d definitely go back again, but I think it might be a spot where the service really makes or breaks an evening there.  We also sent David an Applause-o-Gram from Guest Relations before we left because he was so excellent.

Next morning was breakfast at ‘Ohana.  Sad to say, this was probably the worst meal of the trip. Nothing was even awful, but just compared to what had gone before, service was pretty spotty, the food was meh, and we didn’t see most of the characters until after we paid up. (Which is too bad, because Pluto and Mickey were really fun here!)

Dinner that night was at Monsieur Paul at the French Epcot pavilion and I was pretty excited about the place, despite Chris’ trepidation there was too much shellfish on the menu.  Formerly Bistro de Paris, it recently reopened under its new name to mixed reviews – though as we were planning reviews were gradually shifting from lukewarm to glowing, so I felt pretty good.

After some failed attempts at translation between Quebecois French and Parisienne French, we were seated and introduced to our server.  Bread service was interesting here: a server goes from table to table, explaining the breads and allowing your choice.  We also got an amuse bouche of a tiny cheese puff.

Our server, Rebecca, was pretty shy, but she gets full points from me for just one thing, and everything after that is incidental. The fucking GUY and his date sitting next to us.

Like many of the restaurants in WDW, the tables are pretty close together to get the most people seated at one time.  Normally, not a huge deal – sometimes we have nice conversations with other families while waiting for our check, or for characters to come around.  Technically here, we didn’t even TALK to the couple sitting next to us, and the guy still managed to basically ruin our meal.

1) He was a snotty asshole about all the food, despite not knowing anything about it. I’d give you an example but most of them got blown out of the water by what happened later.

2) He was racist. Our server apologized for not having perfect English (she was fine, but he was a loud fast-talker guy so I could understand not following him), and he said he was from LA where English speakers are the minority, so she’d be fine.

3) When I was at the washroom, Chris observed him telling his date: “No, you’re cutting it wrong.” Then he placed his hands over hers on the utensils and cut her meat for her.

4) When deciding on entrees, the woman said she thought she’d like X.  “No, you wouldn’t like that!” “Oh… okay…”

5) More witty banter with the server: “I only know ‘touche-pas’ in French.” Rebecca: “That’s a weird thing to say. How did you learn this?” “That’s what the girls all told me in France.” (Me: behind a menu to his date, in my head: “RUNNNNNNNNN”)

So yeah, if you go to M. Paul expecting famous French snottiness, we didn’t see any – but we got plenty from our douchebag neighbour.

Chris ordered the Roquefort salad, the roasted duck and the millefeuille.  I had the salmon blinis, the filet (again!) and the vacherin:

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Oh Monsieur Paul.  What hurts the most is you have SO MUCH POTENTIAL.  Remember on my last post when I pointed out my Artist Point salmon entree?  Compare it to the salmon appetizer here. It was HUGE.  It was delicious but definitely not what I’d expect for an appetizer.  The couple next to us (yeah, them) ordered the Prix Fixe menu which comes with the salmon as an amuse bouche, and it’s a much smaller piece with only one blini.  That should be an appetizer.  I ate most of it, though, because it was very good.

The entree size was good – there’s not much you can do about the size of a steak, after all.  See the bowl at the back, though? Those are the potatoes, served cappucino style – whipped with probably a lot of butter (our server assured us that was the case), and served with a truffle foam. They. Were. Heavenly. But again, I could only eat some of what I was given. We could’ve split the potatoes, but Chris’ duck portion was also pretty big.

Dessert was perfect – the vacherin was light and tart, and exactly what I needed.  Chris enjoyed the mille-feuille but he’s a custard guy.  It looked like a napoleon but with fruit.

Overall, I would love to go back to Monsieur Paul again.  We didn’t get a window seat, but it seems like you could have a pretty nice view of Illuminations if you did.  Chris was less than impressed by his entree, but acknowledged he would try again with a different entree.  It was the little things, I think. The place is set up like a fancy restaurant, and the service is good.  But it could be excellent if the portion sizes were more in line with what I expect from French food. And for goodness’ sake, take the salt and pepper off the table! >:C This was the only signature we were at that had them out.

I bet you think our wacky dining adventures are over? They most certainly are not, because the next day we were at 1900 Park Fare to begin our last full day at WDW.  We took our time, not only because we wanted to linger, and the Grand Floridian resort in general seems to invite lingering but the buffet was pretty good: lobster eggs benedict (which we skipped for obvious reasons but looked good), cream cheese and strawberry crepes, and the infamous strawberry soup, in addition to the usual breakfast arrangements. And more jungle juice! I didn’t expect that here.

While I was working through my first plate, Chris leaned over and said: “Something weird is going on at the table behind you.”  The two people behind me were a mother and daughter and the daughter (20-25 years old) was dressed in basically this:

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And her mother is head to toe in skin tight leopard print, right down to matching purse and mickey ears.  “They’re kinda weird, but whatever, everyone’s weird here.” No, he says, it’s not that. The mom’s trip to the buffet included one plate full of seven to ten oranges, which she proceeded to cut in half at the table and squeeze into an empty glass.  Even though she already had a full glass of orange juice that the server gave her. She did this three times throughout the meal.  Eventually, I think the buffet attendants stopped stocking the oranges.

We were there long enough for Winnie the Pooh and Tigger to make three circuits around the room.  We got our photos and autographs the first time, and then just kinda waved hello the following times.  Ariel Dress girl took a vine of her and Tigger every.time. he came past the table. “Hey y’all I’m here at Disney World! With TIGGER!”  The third go around I think the Tigger was contemplating waiting till she went to the washroom before passing by.

Anyway! Our final meal that night was at Be Our Guest. Those of you who remember when Chris and I got married know that instead of a bride and groom on our wedding cake, we had Belle and the Beast. Each trip to Disney since our honeymoon involved picking up some kind of BATB souvenir, and we were in heaven this trip with the Belle’s village remodel.

The restaurant itself is amazing and it’s impossible for me to do it any justice at all.  We were seated in the ballroom which was gorgeous.  If you’re looking for a more intimate meal, you might be better off in the West Wing or Rose Room, because the ballroom functions like an actual one might – sound carries. It’s NOISY.

This time, I placed the wine order, and got one of my favourites: a george deboeuf beaujolais.  Be Our Guest is the only place in the Magic Kingdom where you can order alcohol. Our server said, “That’s my favourite! But I haven’t had it since I got pregnant.” So we ordered two glasses. To, you know, toast our poor server.

Now, this was our last night and we were stuck with something: our extra dining credits from our canceled meal. We were able to get an early reservation for breakfast at Boma before our flight, but that still left us with two credits.  We had an idea, and our server seemed up to being a willing accomplice.

“Find us someone not on the dining plan.”

With the help of her manager, our server tracked down a couple on their honeymoon who was just finishing their meal and told them it was covered. They weren’t far from our table, so we got to see their reaction but we told them to say it was a surprise gift from Mickey or Belle, or something.  Whew! Problem solved and we got to spread some Disney magic of our own.

Feeling relieved, we ordered our meals. Chris got the French onion soup, the pork chop, and the chocolate cupcake.  I got the soup as well, the salmon with leeks and the lemon cupcake:

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Everything was fresh and tasty, and again, we had an amazing server (and I’m kicking myself for not writing down her name! I want to say it was Sharon or Sherry. But if you’re there anytime in the next few weeks, she’s hella pregnant, so hard to miss her!)  She was funny and open, and really did save our butt with getting that meal credited to us for someone else.

After we ate, we circulated the restaurant to take pics of the different rooms and meet the Beast. (He was very gentlemanly.)

I won’t do a repeat of Boma and it was soured a bit by the fact we were rushing off to catch a plane immediately after.  But that was our experience with deluxe dining. Have you done it before? Would you? Are you scared by how much food is involved?  I wanna hear it all!

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