The Parisian Afternoon at Monsieur Paul

New in 2015, it took me a few years to get around to doing this special dining event which is held at France’s signature restaurant, Monsieur Paul, on Saturday afternoons during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  Here were the details for this event in 2018…

NOTE: This is a pre-paid event which I reserved and paid for in June, more than 4 months before the day which I attended, Oct. 27th.

I joined the line at the entrance door to Monsieur Paul (located in the back of the same building in the France pavilion which has Chefs de France) at about 1:15.  Not long after that they began checking people in at the desk downstairs, then we were directed up the staircase to the dining room…

Image result for monsieur paul spiraling staircase

…where we were greeted by a manager with a clipboard which had our table assignment.  I was then led by a member of the waitstaff to my pre-assigned table which was set for 6.  I was joined there by 5 other guests (one couple and three other ladies dining solo like me).

Each place setting included Monsieur Paul’s signature white tuxedo folded cloth napkin…

Also a pre-poured Mimosa and glass of water…

Plus the menu for our lunch…

 

It took awhile for all of the guests to arrive and be seated.  During this time I took photos, got acquainted with my 5 dining companions, and drank my first mimosa…

I should mention that while this first mimosa was mostly orange juice, throughout the meal the waitstaff became more generous with the champagne in the refills.   Also I should mention that we were offered other beverages like coffee, ice tea, and sodas but I stuck with water and mimosas.

A short speech was then given by one of the restaurant managers to welcome us and introduce the meal.  So it was nearly 2:00 (according to the time on my photo) before our first of 3 courses was delivered to our table.  This first course was a cup of Cold Soup…

Cold Cauliflower Soup topped with Cumin Whipped Cream & Cilantro and served with a Thyme & Rosemary Bread Stick 

A little closer look…

This was okay, but I couldn’t help comparing it to the delicious vichyssoise which was served as the first course at the French Family Meal Traditions lunch I attended at Monsieur Paul in 2016.  This did not come anywhere close to that soup so I was disappointed.  The bread stick (I would actually call it a baguette crisp) was too hard to bite so I ended up dunking it in my soup in order to soften it enough for it to be chewable.  Again this was in sharp contrast to the delicious cheesy bread sticks which were served at the 2016 lunch…

After the soup bowls/cups were cleared our second course, which was described as an Assortment of Amuses Bouches, arrived at the table at about 2:15.

And a closer look…

 

So let’s begin with the Cold Sandwiches, starting with the three triangle-shape tea sandwiches in the front of the plate…

The top sandwich was turkey, cucumber, and dill cream cheese on cranberry & thyme bread.  Next was a vegetarian sandwich…

This had carrots, red bell pepper, and basil pesto hummus on carrot & basil marble bread.  Then at the bottom of the pile was this sandwich (sorry my only photo of this is a little blurry)…

This was a chicken and garlic aioli sandwich on curry tumeric bread.  My favorite of these was the turkey but I also enjoyed the chicken sandwich.  While I didn’t care for the vegetarian sandwich, it was the favorite of others at my table.

The 4th cold sandwich on our plates had smoked salmon with caper mayonnaise and red onions on dill brioche…

This salmon slider was tasty!

There were also two Warm items, the first of which I really liked…

They called this a Mushroom and Sage Cupcake.  And then the last item on our plate was an Herbes de Provence Savory Croissant…

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs considered typical of the Provence region of southeast France.  This mixture usually includes rosemary and I thought this croissant tasted strongly of rosemary, an herb that I’m not particularly that fond of.  Therefore, I wasn’t really a fan of this savory croissant.  Again though there were others at the table that enjoyed this.

Our plates were then cleared and at about 2:45 the third and final course was delivered.  This was the Dessert course or as listed on the menu, Assortment of Petit Fours…

 

From another angle…

 

Let’s begin in the middle with the three Macarons…

The one in the front had chocolate and vanilla ganache, the middle was filled with chocolate and blackberry ganache, and then the one hiding in the back had a delicious combination of white chocolate, green apple and caramel.  The caramel apple one was definitely my favorite!  I always meant to check the bakery to see if this flavor was being sold there but sadly I never got around to it.

I also really enjoyed the Chocolate Coffee Pot de Creme…

This was a rich, mocha flavored French custard/pudding topped with whipped cream.  I took the two Valrhona chocolates home with me and gave them to my husband, who said they were good.  One of these was milk chocolate (Lait Jivara) and the other was dark chocolate (Caraibe).

And then the last three items on our plate…

Two House Made Chocolate Bonbons and a Petit Choux filled with Valrhona Jivara chocolate milk mousse, orange cremeux, and almond-hazelnut praline.  I know there are those that love the flavor combination of chocolate and orange but I generally don’t care for it.  However, that being said, I really enjoyed this profiterole.  As for the two bonbons, to me these were just okay.  For someone who likes dark chocolate though, they would have probably been more enjoyable.

So let’s review.  The first course was pretty much a fail for me.  The second course though was pretty good and the dessert course was the best of the three.  The service (just like at the French breakfast at Chefs de France that morning) was very good and our mimosa glasses were kept full.  So overall I thought this lunch was worth its price of $55 plus tax.  However, it’s probably not something that I would repeat.  There are still some other Food & Wine Festival special dining events that I have yet to experience before I would consider doing this one again.

 

 

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