Monsieur Paul

My trip started off with a bang, as my first dinner was at one of Epcot’s signature restaurants, France’s Monsieur Paul…

Monsieur Paul is located above France’s other full-service restaurant, Chefs de France.  You enter the CDF building from the back, where the check-in desk for Monsieur Paul is located.  Once your table is ready, you are led up the winding staircase to the dining room…

Once seated we were presented with their menu, which included this Prix Fixe Menu (3 courses for $89, or 2 DDP credits + $29)…

A Prix Fixe Tasting Menu (7 courses for $119 or 2 DDP credits + $59)…

And then their regular menu of Appetizers (ranging in price from $15 – $29)…

…and Main Courses (all similarly priced at $39 – $44).

Once we had placed our orders, we were presented with these cocktails compliments of the manager, who knew Paula & Hunter from the French Food & Wine Pairing lunches which they had attended in past years at Monsieur Paul.

We were told these were their version of a French Mule made with Lillet (a French wine-based aperitif), Crème de cassis (a sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants), ginger ale, and lime juice.  I loved this cocktail!!

A server also came to our table to offer us bread/rolls from a big basket of delicious-looking French breads…

It was a difficult decision but I picked only one, knowing that I had a big meal ahead of me…

If I remember correctly, this twisted roll was very good.

Hunter though threw caution to the wind.  Here were his bread choices…

I believe this was one of everything that was offered in the bread basket.  I must admit that I was quite envious.

I was also envious of Hunter’s appetizer choice…

Soup aux truffles V.G.E. – Oxtail broth with braised beef, vegetables and black winter truffles covered in puff pastry ($29.00)

Because of the price, I was tempted to order this soup as my entree.  However, when Hunter ordered it, I decided I would get a regular entree to have more variety for my dining review.  Hunter was kind enough to offer me a taste of his soup though…

The beefy broth was delicious, as were the truffles.  Oh, and I loved the puff pastry crust.  This was excellent…perhaps even worth its $29 price tag.

Though Paula and I did not order an appetizer, the Chef had prepared something special for us (not listed on their regular appetizer menu).  Both a Charcuterie and a Cheese Plate were brought to our table…

 

 

I enjoyed everything on both of these plates, even the “stinky” Limburger-like cheese was not bad.  However, with all of these meats and cheeses to eat, I found that I needed more bread.  So we requested another visit from the “bread fairy” and this time I splurged and got two…

The mini-baguette was good, as usual, but my favorite of the three I tried was the square-shaped cheese roll.  YUM!!

Now on to our entrees.  Paula & Hunter had pre-arranged with the manager for a special entree to be prepared for them, one that was not listed on their current menu.

 

 

Beef Wellington was the entree that they had enjoyed at a French Regional Food & Wine Pairing lunch they had attended at Monsieur Paul a few years ago.  They asked if it might be possible to replicate this dish and their request was granted.  Paula & Hunter were kind enough to share their Beef Wellingtons with me and it was incredible.  Again there were delicious black truffles used in this dish, which can be seen better in this photo…

The bed of mashed potatoes was tasty as well.  They were tangy and perhaps had horseradish and maybe tarragon and mustard.  Also delicious was the demi-glace…it was a perfect compliment to the the beef.

As for me, I ordered my entree from the regular menu…

 

Pan seared Halibut, fennel puree, steamed potatoes, baby fennel salad, clam emulsion ($44.00)

And a closer look…

The halibut was pretty good, although a bit dry/overcooked.  I did like the light, “peppery” seasoning.  The steamed potatoes were “blah” though.  I ate part of one and the rest was left uneaten.  I might have been more satisfied with my entree choice if I hadn’t tried Hunter & Paula’s Beef Wellington.  Unfortunately, my halibut paled in comparison to their entrees.

And that just leaves dessert…

But before dessert came Illuminations, which we had a (slightly obstructed) view of from our table by the window.

Though the tree blocked our view somewhat (and the reflection of the dining room lights in the glass windows made it difficult to get any good photos), this was an unexpected treat to be able to see parts of the show while enjoying a gourmet dinner.

As for dessert, I was full and at first declined the offer.  However, Hunter really wanted to order something for the three of us to share.  There was only one dessert on their current menu that I had had before (during my 2015 dinner here), so I just let Hunter choose our dessert.

I chuckled when this was delivered to our table…

Le moelleux: Warm Chocolate Almond Cake with raspberry coulis in the center, hazelnut crust, and served with hazelnut ice cream

The reason this dessert was funny to me was that this was the one dessert (of 6 on the menu) that I had had before.  Oh well.  :laughing:

Anyway, here is a photo of the raspberry coulis filling…

 

This was good, but I wish I would have paid closer attention when Hunter ordered it.  It would have been fun to try any of the other 5 desserts on their dessert menu…they all sounded good.

Now it’s difficult for me to give Monsieur Paul a rating because much of the food we had was not listed on their menu.  Based on what we had though and the very good service, I would give Monsieur Paul at least 4 1/2 stars, maybe even 5.  But based on only the food we had which was available to order from their menu, I would probably lower the rating to 4 (because of my good, but not great entree).  So how do those scores compare to those by Yelp and Trip Advisor reviewers?  While Yelp gave Monsieur Paul 4 stars, Trip Advisor gave it 4 1/2 stars and ranked it #132 best restaurant of the nearly 3,000 Orlando area restaurants reviewed there.  The bigger surprise though is that it ranked only 46th best of the Disney World restaurants.  Hmmm…after this meal it is hard for me to believe that there are 45 better restaurants at Disney World.

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