Published: June 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM
In the last two summers, I have visited both Les Chefs de France and Bistro de Paris. I agree with Scott that Chefs is currently my favorite in-park restaurant. I ordered the same choices he did (escargots and salmon) and both were prepared near-perfectly. Our server was quick, attentive, friendly, and absolutely gorgeous, to boot. She laughed at our attempts to speak French (French-Canadian is quite a bit, how shall I say, "dirtier" than pure French) and made the experience very enjoyable. I agree that the setting is beautiful, though I, too, find the theme park attire and scattered strollers (not to mention the screaming children) irritating. Still, it is a theme park restaurant, so you can't expect luxury.
Bistro, conversely, is very quiet and faithful to a fine dining experience. All of the servers are in tuxedos, the tables are covered in white linens and crystal glasses, and guests are expected to wear nicer clothes than they would at Chefs. I don't mean guests are required to wear formal wear, but jeans (except for dress jeans), wife-beaters, swimsuits, and other casual wear are frowned upon. Most of the people there were dressed business casual. Service was very professional, though a little cooler than the service experienced downstairs. Also, the room was relatively empty that night, so many servers were standing around staring at our table, waiting for somebody's water to drain or for the bread plate to deplete. Only after one of the servers pinched another server, causing her to yelp, did the room loosen up somewhat as everyone laughed. The chef also created a complimentary sample of shrimp cocktails (can't recall how they were prepared) for our table, which was a nice touch. The wine menu was expensive, but had some really good choices. My entree was very good - hoping to receive the same quality fish I had eaten at Chefs, I ordered the salmon - though it was somewhat drier than my dish last year. The side vegetables were better than those at Chefs.
Overall, despite the wife-beaters, strollers, children, and noise levels, I enjoyed Chefs more. Chefs has slightly better food quality and value, and I appreciated the professional and warm service. Bistro was also very good, though the food was not quite as good (strangely) as it had been at Chefs, and the service, although professional, was slightly less friendly.
I wish that Chefs would implement the dress code that Bistro maintains.