Chefs de France Candlelight Processional Dining Package

After our breakfast at Wilderness Lodge, we headed to Epcot where Brenda, Emily, and I had lunch at Chefs de France.  This lunch was booked with the Candlelight Processional (CP) Dining Package. We booked a 2pm lunch for the 5pm Candlelight Processional show featuring Whoopie Goldberg as the narrator. The Candlelight Processional dining packages allow you to enjoy a meal at one of Epcot’s restaurants, while guaranteeing you a seat for the Candlelight Processional show.  It’s important to note that at times this is THE only way to get a seat.  Those with Dinner Packages are the first to be seated – those waiting in line (a.k.a. those who didn’t buy the package) will be given the very few seats that remain.  And if you’re at Disney World during the holidays the Candlelight Processional show  is a “Don’t Miss” event.
Our lunch package included a choice of appetizer, entree, dessert, and a non-alcoholic, non-specialty beverage from their regular lunch menu.

For their appetizers, Emily chose the salade de chevre chaud while Brenda had the bacon and onion flatbread.


Salade de Chevre Chaud: Baked goat cheese with walnuts, fresh grapes, tomatoes, endive and mixed salad (Photo by Brenda) 



A la flamme Alsacienne: flatbread with crème fraiche, onion, and bacon (Photo by Brenda)

Brenda said, “Starting with Em’s choice, the salad was a nice mix of fresh spring greens with a round of breaded and baked goat cheese. The grapes were a nice sweet touch to the salad. It was dressed with a champagne vinaigrette that was perfect according to Em. I have ordered the same appetizer as an entrée many times so seeing as how it is such a delicious favorite I didn’t deviate this visit. The flatbread is baked in the brick oven and has a wonderful crème fraiche base topped with the sweet tender onion and bacon. Although I only ate half, it was only because there was an entrée being delivered shortly. Thus far the appetizers were clearly a great way to start our meal.”

As for me, I chose the French Onion Soup for my appetizer…
This was topped with a generous amount of delicious gruyere cheese…which I ate every bit of, as it is my favorite part of this soup. The broth, while not quite as flavorful and as the one at Shula’s (my current favorite French Onion soup on Disney property) was good. Note: I believe that a chicken broth is used here, while Shula’s has a beef broth (which I prefer).  Anyway, I ate about half of it, wanting to save room for the next two courses.

For their entrées, Emily and Brenda both tried something new.  Emily chose the open face chicken sandwich and Brenda went with the beef short-ribs…

Tartine au Poulet et legumes Provencaux: Open face sandwich topped with chicken, roasted eggplant, zucchini, provolone cheese and sundried tomatoes (Photo by Brenda)
Emily said this was ok, not anything amazing but it was worth trying something new. The mixed green salad that accompanied the sandwich went untouched since she’d just eaten the delicious appetizer salad.
Brenda said, “The beef short ribs have shown up many times in dining reviews so I was intent on trying them since I’’m a big beef rib fan. What I adored about this dish was the fall-apart tender short ribs. They were quite tasty. The Cabernet sauce with the mushrooms was a bit on the salty side but at least it was flavorful. Overall I liked the dish, but I didn’t love it. There are many other short rib dishes at WDW that I prefer. However, I was glad that I tried this.”

I had a very difficult time deciding what to order for my entree. Here is the slightly weird and rather long thought process that went on entirely in my head… (if uninterested or short on time, feel free to skip to the next paragraph) :thumbsup2

Remembering that I planned (hoped) to order a 3 course meal for our dinner that night, I decided that I should steer away from all of the pasta dishes. Although I love pasta, I always feel very full for a long time after eating it. So this eliminated not only the mac & cheese that I originally intended to try here, but also the vegetarian lasagna and the short rib dish. Knowing my daughter’s very negative opinion of the roasted chicken entree that she had tried during our last visit to Chefs de France, I immediately discarded that option.

I wanted something a little more “French” than a hamburger so crossed that off the list of possibilities. Also I had satisfied my craving for quiche the day before at the bakery, so the quiche was out too. That left four options…the mahi mahi sandwich, salmon, open-faced chicken sandwich, and the Croque Monseiur. After further consideration, I decided I wasn’t feeling like fish that day. So then there were two. And what was the scientific method which I used to make my final decision? :scratchin

“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe:laughing:

It was about this time that Em said she was going to order the chicken sandwich. So I let go of that poor tiger’s toe before it hollered and “definitively” announced (or so I thought anyway ;) ) to our server that I wanted the Croque Monsieur…merely for the sake of ordering something different than my dining companions. Well, either I butchered the pronunciation or he was reading my mind and saw “chicken” still there because that is what I got. Only it was not the chicken sandwich that was set before me by a food runner (if it had been, I would have been ok with keeping it).

Sadly no, it was the…

Demi poulet fermier roti Pommes rissolees et broccoli – Half of an all natural roasted chicken, rissole potatoes and broccoli

Btw, this photo is borrowed from the internet, as this did not stick around long enough for me to think about photographing it. ;)

{To Brenda & Em: If I had an odd grin on my face at about this time, it was because I was thinking about what my daughter Emily’s reaction would have been if she had been with us.} :lmao:

Our server soon came to our table to inquire as to what I had actually ordered, since he had heard and wrote down chicken. This time I played it safe and said, “Ham and cheese sandwich.” :laughing:

After waiting a bit, I finally received the…

Croque monsieur et salade verte – The classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich, served with a green salad.

Here is when I admit that I had never before tried a Croque Monsieur. In case you too are unfamiliar with this classic French sandwich, it consists of two slices of thick bread topped with bechamel sauce, thin sliced ham and gruyere cheese. It is then sprinkled with more shredded cheese on the outside…again gruyere, and I think maybe provolone and parmesan too. The sandwich is then toasted until all of that yummy cheese is melted. Sounds delicious, right? Well, I think I was expecting something along the lines of a Monte Cristo (which I love), so I would have to say that I was a little disappointed with this. I liked it but didn’t love it.

And I guess this is my common theme for this meal, because again with my dessert choice, I liked it but didn’t love it.

Vanilla Creme Brulee

I was originally planning to order the profiteroles, but before ordering dessert I was already “comfortably” full. I knew that if I ordered the profiteroles, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from eating the entire dessert and crossing over the line into “uncomfortableness”. :guilty: Although I love creme brulee, I remembered that Chef’s version didn’t “wow” me before so I thought this was a safer choice. My memory served me well and the creme brulee was just as I’d remembered…good, not great.

As proof though that YMMV (Your mileage may vary) regarding Chef’s creme brulee, Brenda also had this for her dessert and loved it.  She said, “I rarely skip dessert at Chefs de France. Two words why Crème. Brulee. I love crème brulee and this vanilla version has always been a favorite.”

 Emily though made a different choice…

Pineapple, Passion Fruit, and Coconut Sorbets served with a Madeleine and fresh berries (Photo by Brenda)

This is Emily’s favorite dessert at Chefs. She said, “The sorbet is a light, refreshing option that I adore.”