Le Cellier

Years ago (before the Disney Dining Plan) Le Cellier was a family favorite for lunch.  One of the reasons was that it had an awesome burger on it’s lunch menu at a reasonable price.  The burger combined with their cheddar cheese soup, pretzel breadsticks, and perhaps maple crème brulee (if there was still room for dessert) was the perfect lunch.  But that all changed when the Dining Plan came along and Le Cellier was made a signature restaurant (first at dinner, then for both dinner and lunch) requiring 2 dining credits.  They went to an all-day menu and gone were the cheaper lunch options like the burger.

In recent years I’d dined at Le Cellier a few times (not on the Dining Plan) but with these experiences being hit and miss, it was no longer a favorite or a priority to dine there.  However, when researching Disney menus to schedule our dining choices for this trip I happened upon Le Cellier’s Prix Fixe Lunch Menu…

So what of course caught my eye in the Entrée section of this menu was the Wagyu Beef Burger ‘Oscar’ with Truffle Fries!  Now the cost of this Prix-Fixe 3-course lunch was $49, which seemed a bit high for soup, a burger, and crème brulee (which would be my 3 choices), however given that it was a Wagyu beef burger served “Oscar style” (topped with crab meat and béarnaise or hollandaise sauce) I thought it might be worth it.  I was further convinced when I read a favorable review of this burger and saw an impressive photo…

In fact the review declared this to be “the best burger at Walt Disney World”.  So I made my reservation for a solo lunch at Le Cellier, saving it for the last park day of my trip.

And that brings me to the beginning of this Nov. 6, 2017 lunch at Epcot’s Le Cellier.  After checking in for my 12:35 reservation I waited for about 15 minutes before being seated at a small two-top table…

…sandwiched tightly between two other two-top tables.  Here’s a photo showing the small space between my table and the table to my left…

Here’s another photo of the empty table next to me (which didn’t remain empty for long)…

My table was exactly the same size, but it seemed a little more cramped since I was not on the end of the row of tables like this one.

Now for the big disappointment, which occurred as soon as I took a look at the menu…

Missing was any mention of the Prix-Fixe Menu.  So when my server came to my table to introduce himself and get my drink order I inquired about the Prix-Fixe Lunch menu which was still showing online.  His reply was that that menu had been pulled a day or two earlier and they now had a new one but weren’t really offering it to guests yet unless they asked for it.  So I still had a glimmer of hope when I was presented with this new Prix-Fixe Lunch Menu…

But my hopes were dashed.  While the Cheddar Cheese Soup and Maple Crème Brulee had made it onto the new menu, the burger had not.  In fact, instead of offering 4 entrée choices (the burger, a beef tenderloin steak, scallops, and a vegetarian option) they now only had 3.  A Hanger steak had replaced both the burger and the higher quality beef tenderloin steak.

So a decision needed to be made…quickly.  Do I just get the soup and dessert a la carte and skip the entrée?  Or do I try the Scallops, which sounded pretty good?  Or since this is a steakhouse, do I give the Hangar steak a try?

Let’s find out, shall we?

First the basket of complimentary breads was brought to my table…

Although there were three options in this basket, I was only interested in the pretzel breadstick…because it pairs so well with my chosen appetizer.

Cheddar Cheese Soup made with Moosehead Beer and Nueske’s Applewood-Smoked Bacon

And a closer look…

I love the combination of the soup and pretzel bread and had purposely held off from having it (smaller, but cheaper portion size) at the Canada Food & Wine Festival booth so that I could maximize the enjoyment of having it here.  And I did enjoy it very much!

So far so good, but my next decision/choice was a bad one.  I went with the 3-course Prix-Fixe lunch and chose this for my entrée…

Steak and Frites – CAB (Certified Angus Beef) Hanger Steak topped with Au Poivre (black pepper) Sauce and Crispy Onions, served with Truffle Fries 

First a closer look at just the steak…

 

 

And even closer…

 

This steak was absolutely terrible…the worst steak I’ve had in recent memory.  It was filled with fat and gristle and was not edible.  The pile of fried onions on top may have visually hidden the poor quality of this steak but in no way helped me to swallow this awful piece of meat.  And to add insult to injury, I paid $29 for this ($49 prix-fixe meal cost less $11 for soup and $9 for dessert).  It makes me angry even now (11 months later) looking at this sorry excuse for a steak that was served at one of Disney’s signature steakhouses.

I could tolerate only a couple of bites of my steak but at least the Truffle Fries were pretty good…

Also, not only did my server not come to check on me after my food was delivered to my table by a food runner, but when he did finally come to clear my plate before bringing my chosen dessert, he did not question the fact that I had barely touched my steak.  So again, very odd for what is supposed to be a signature restaurant.

But at least dessert helped the bad taste left in my mouth by the steak…

Maple Crème Brulee 

A closer look…

 

And even closer…

It had been quite awhile since I had had maple crème brulee here, as I usually don’t have room for dessert.  But this was very good and ended my meal on a high note.

So that just leaves the ratings and rankings.  Though both Trip Advisor and Yelp reviewers gave Le Cellier 4 stars, based on the poor service and awful steak (at a “signature” steakhouse) I can give it no higher than a 3.  As for its ranking, Le Cellier ranks #352 best of the more than 3,000 Orlando area restaurants reviewed on Trip Advisor.  Narrowing it down to just the Disney World area restaurants, Le Cellier ranks #104.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– to be continued –

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