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Disney's Be Our Guest Restaurant eschews the song lyrics for French bistro fare

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Published: June 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Disney's announced a partial menu for the Be Our Guest Restaurant that will open later this year in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Which raises the question: Just how closely will Disney's chefs recreate the culinary experience of the original song?

Be Our Guest Restaurant concept art courtesy Disney
Concept art courtesy Disney

"Be Our Guest" was the show-stopper in Disney's 1991 classic, "Beauty and the Beast," which inspired the new restaurant (even though it lost the Academy Award for Best Original Song to the title track, "Beauty and the Beast.") While no one reasonably expected singing and dancing animated tableware (though some animatronics in the room would be nice - Disney's suggested we'll get a push-around Lumiere character, much like Remy at Les Chefs de France), Howard Ashman's lyrics do reference several specific dishes:

Among them:
Soup du jour
Hot hors d'oeuvres
Try the grey stuff (It's delicious)
Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"

We'll leave it to diners to decide what, if anything on the menu, the "grey stuff" might turn out to be. But otherwise, it appears that Disney's Chef Michael Deardorff pretty much steered clear of letting the late Mr. Ashman set his menu.

Sure, we'll get soups - a potato/leek and a French onion - and steamed mussels as an appetizer might count as a "hot hors d'oeuvre." There will be a braised pork dish available at lunch, when the restaurant operates as a counter service eatery, but that's the closest thing to a beef ragout (stew) on the announced menu. No sign of any souffles, or of desserts "en flambe." Just cupcakes and cream puffs, served with no flames in sight.

Expect French bistro fare. At lunch, diners may select from a Salad Nicoise, Croque Monsieur, or carved turkey or steak sandwich served with fries. A vegetable quiche and a quinoa salad also will be available, in addition to the aforementioned braised pork.

At dinner, when the restaurant converts to table service, Disney's announced "thyme-scented pork rack chop with au gratin pasta, rotisserie rock hen with roasted fingerling potatoes, pan-seared salmon in leek fondue, grilled strip steak with pommes frites, sautéed shrimp and scallops with veggies in puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce, and an oven-baked ratatouille." Appetizers include a charcuterie plate, the mussels, soups and a green salad with Champagne vinaigrette dressing. Kids get a choice of steak, fish, grilled chicken, or macaroni.

No prices yet. Nor is there a definite opening date, or specific day when Disney will begin accepting reservations. ("August" for accepting reservations is all Disney will say about that at this point.)

Thoughts?

Readers' Opinions

From Nick Dakuginow on June 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I like that it's trending on the Trending Topics over on Twitter, this is looking pretty good thus far.
From Skipper Adam on June 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I'm not sure why some people say Disney food has gone down hill in the last few years. To me it is the opposite, both full service and quick service. There are far less bland pizza, burgers and pizzas and a lot more unique foods popping up everywhere. Finally a finer dining option brings a sort of elegance to the park. Crystal Palace, Tony's and Plaza are all nice, nice but left a hole in the dining in the park.
From Dominick D on June 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Waiting for the full menu before I make any judgements.
From Robert Niles on June 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Skipper, I think that some of the people complaining about Disney food going downhill are complaining because Disney's offering more than isn't hamburgers, nuked pizza, and fried things these days. To them, anything other than gas station food is "going downhill."
From Rob Pastor on June 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM
Robert: I agree with you completely. Menus at both Disney & Universal are large enough to satisfy most tastes. And the food is good for a theme park setting. There's less choice for the hamburger and pizza crowd, but I really don't want to even look at either when on vacation. Food is prepared for very large crowds, so I don't think it's realistic to expect a five star restaurant experience in a theme park. But, in general, the sit down restaurants do a great job, and some of the counter service restaurants are very good (Flame BBQ in Animal Kingdom as an example). And, if you want a really excellent restaurant experience, try the on site hotel restaurants at Disney & Universal. There are some outstanding ones out there.
From Anon Mouse on June 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM
The food sounds gourmet and, no doubt, with prices to match. I'm sure it will be a good opportunity to provide French food to the public, yet I shudder at the thought of the extremely high cost.

To feed such a large crowd, I suspect the food quality will be hotel or cruise ship standard.

From 81.70.136.4 on June 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM
Serieus? This is the awesome France 'inspired' cousine?
Where is the crème brûlée instead of a 'cupcake' and the pommes de terre instead of france fries. This is a huge disapointment.
From Jorge Arnoldson on June 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM
Would it be the first restaurant in MK to serve booze? I know, I'm 16, but I discuss serving alcohol in that park as a good business move, like it is at Disney's other parks, hotels, Downtown Disney, etc.
From Dominick D on June 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM
Jorge, Walt wanted Disneyland to be acohol free, and that goes with every DL style park.
From Skipper Adam on June 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM
I'm saying this as a MK CM. I don't want any possibility of drunk and loud guest. Aside from being loud and generally obnoxious, they slow down loading and unloading of rides, ordering of food, purchasing of merchandise and produce, for sure, a lot more messes of all kinds to clean up.
From Jorge Arnoldson on June 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM
Dominick: there is one exception to that policy: Disneyland Paris.
From Dominick D on June 27, 2012 at 5:50 PM
Minus that, I doubt MK will be getting booze soon.
From Javi Badillo on June 27, 2012 at 9:06 PM
honestly just give me chicken tenders at any themepark ( I dont know why but theme park chicken tenders are awesome) and i will be happy.

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