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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bistro de Paris - Epcot/France

We are off to France. I had eaten lunch at Chefs de France (downstairs) a few years back and found it mediocre.  So I decided on Bistro de Paris for this trip. It was more upscale and I liked the menu better. However it is NOT on the dining plan. So I used my Disney card points to pay for 2/3 of the meal. I should have told my table mates that France was full, gone to watch belly dancing and saved my points to buy stylish designer sunglasses.

The atmosphere was lovely. We were seated at a window with a decent view of Illuminations. They had tablecloths and silverware and cute napkins folded like dinner jackets.

Things were looking promising. The Amuse Bouche (no picture) was a piece of smoked salmon wrapped around a bit of mashed potatoes with chive. Akershus' salmon was MUCH better in texture and flavor. Grade: B+

We decided to get the Chefs Tasting Menu. It sounded good and was reasonably priced. $65 without wine pairings (which is what we had), $100 with wine pairings.


Rare seared tuna with Jamaican Pepper, sauce of lemon comfit and banyuls vinegar, arugula coulis and a crunchy vegetable salad.
The presentation was pretty but the dish itself was a bit bland. It seemed to be missing a flavor or two. Grade: B

Grilled quail with baby frisee salad and poached egg, creamy green lentil vinaigrette and cheese chips
Bland. The egg was lukewarm, the quail was difficult to eat and the flavors were not there. I was trying to get a bit of everything on the fork to blend the flavors and had to add salt and pepper to try to give it some flavor. Beautiful presentation but little wow factor. Grade: B


Provencal bouillabaisse, scallops, shrimps, stripped bass, mussels and codfish served with aioli and toasted bread
Pretty but bland and lacking any bite or kick. The fish all took on the flavor of the tomato base with no flavors of their own coming through. Grade: B-

Seared scallops with a fleur de sel on a goat & sun dried tomato ravioli with creamy lettuce sauce
Pretty but bland. Are you seeing a pattern here? The scallops were cooked perfectly but the lack of any dynamic flavors continued this pretty but bland parade. Grade: B


Apple sorbet with apple liquor and dried apple slice
 Say it with me now! B - L - A    N - D - Y It was palate cleansing but pedestrian. Grade: B-

Here is where I got a glass of red that had been paired with my meat. I live by Napa. I know wines. I love wines. This wine sucked. It was soooo tannic that I could clean rust off chrome with it. French wine is really over rated.


Roasted beef tenderloin with marrow, potato boulangere with comte cheese, green asparagus, red wine and juniper berry sauce.
 This steak doesn't hold a candle to Jiko. It was very tender but bland. No real flavor. The potato gratin in the ramekin was better. A bit of flavor starting to poke its head through the snow. Grade: Meat - B, Potatoes - B+


This was $5 extra per person. I am allergic to blue cheese so they served all goat cheese. Wow. The 3 French goat cheeses were mild to nutty to slightly pungent. These cheeses were fair but it wasn't Red Hawk but then what is. Check out cowgirl creamery in Point Reyes. AWESOME! This cheese - ho hum. Grade: B+


Well only dessert left and I have not shed one tear of food joy on this whole pricey menu. I am hoping for one standout.

This assortment includes creme brulee (decent but not great - B+), Banana Tart Meringue (I don't like banana cream pie so this did nothing for me. One diner thought it was the best of the lot and gave it a B+, Warm chocolate lava cake with 70% dark chocolate (a bit dry. I ate the remainder of it for breakfast the next day. - B), Gingerbread ice cream (really good. This is a standout - FINALLY and I gave it an A-) and caramelized rice pudding (while not a rice cream, it was REALLY good. It was creamy, slightly warm with a nutmegy taste that went really well with the ice cream. ONE THING that I really liked though there was hardly any of it (Grade: A-)

Overall, our meal was bland and pedestrian. While the price for the offerings is good, the chef missed the boat. They could have been standout or even noteworthy but are just fine. What is wrong with FRANCE?! I am placing this in 10th place overall behind even Fulton’s. The chef needs to follow Chef Gray or Chef Scott around for a month or so. This place really needs some help to make it great.

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