Epcot's Le Cellier Restaurant Undergoes Changes, But Not Nearly Enough

April 1, 2011, 5:22 PM · Walt Disney World's culinears have elevated Canada's Le Cellier steakhouse to "signature" dining status, which puts it on the same level as California Grill and Flying Fish Cafe. Sadly, the food doesn't reach that level, although the prices certainly do. Here's a link to my full review.

Replies (12)

April 1, 2011 at 5:26 PM · Just to clarify, Scott. Le Cellier's never won our award for best theme park restaurant, though it has come close as a finalist a few times.
April 1, 2011 at 5:34 PM · Loved the article, Scott. My dad and I were always baffled about Le Cellier's success, but we're confident that it is because it's safe. The Unofficial Guide gave it similar reviews - too dark, too dank, mediocre food, friendly service. I agree with every comment you made except one:

Pacific salmon is so much tastier than its Atlantic cousin.

You're kidding, right? Pacific salmon cannot compare to its Atlantic counterpart; Pacific salmon (or, at least, Canadian Pacific salmon) is less flavourful, less moist, and less meaty. I live in Canada and eat seafood regularly from both coasts. My whole family agrees that Atlantic is far superior. In fact, the only seafood I can recall being better from the Pacific are oysters.

Speaking of signature poutines, there's a great French bistro in my town that serves a poutine with shoestring fries, duck confit, green peppercorn and cognac jus, and Quebec brie cheese. It's superb and well worth the $14. If you're ever in Kingston, Ontario, I recommend visiting Chien Noir and eating a duck poutine with a micro-brew.

April 1, 2011 at 8:30 PM · Thanks for the clarification, Robert. A correction has been added to the review. sj
April 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM · Joshua,
The duck conft poutine sounds wonderful. Hoping that drifts southward. Soon!
April 1, 2011 at 9:39 PM · I appreciated Le Cellier for exactly what it was. An unpretentious steakhouse that was simple and delicious. I enjoy the decor. It is what the name suggests, a cellar. I'm sure Disney's drive to change the menu and price range is to maximize the popularity and its no surprise that the change didn't meet expectations. However, I'm not sure what those expectations were. A "Signature" WDW restaurant comes with a certain stature. Based on this particular review, this status has not been met. I'm just hoping that its because of the new menu, and not because the atmosphere at Le Cellier turned out to look like a, well...
April 1, 2011 at 10:42 PM · Pacific or Atlantic, I think the real difference is farmed versus wild. I love salmon, but find that most of the farmed stuff (which typically is sold as "Atlantic" salmon) lacks the wild salmon's flavor.
April 2, 2011 at 1:34 PM · I never thought Le Cellier was worth what they charged from the beginning so I really didn't have high expectations when they announced it was going to "signature" status. Glad to see my initial thought is turning out to be true.
April 2, 2011 at 1:51 PM · I visited Le Cellier in August 2010, based on the recommendations of some friends who absolutely raved about it. Le Cellier was their favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, I was quite let down. With our deluxe dining plan, each member of my family had an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Not one of us like our appetizers, and our entrees and desserts were just okay. When we went back this past February, again with the deluxe dining plan, we made sure to avoid LeCellier.
April 2, 2011 at 6:34 PM · I think the skepticism may be - finally - making an impact. Le Cellier's been tumbling in our ratings; it's now an 8 and heading toward a 7. And it doesn't rank in even the top 20 table-service restaurants in our ratings any longer.

We'll see if a declining reputation, coupled with a price upgrade, starts to make seats at this location easier to come by in the months ahead. Maybe.

April 3, 2011 at 12:06 AM · Ah. Good point RE the farmed salmon, Robert. Gotta have it straight from the coast.
April 3, 2011 at 10:06 PM · I could not disagree more with Mr. Joseph over here!

Le Cellier is one of the greatest restaurants in EPCOT (and yes, I am serious). The Cheddar Cheese Soup, Providence Breads, and Deserts are the big winners in my opinion. Pair that with usually top notch servers that are both interesting and friendly, and you have a winning combo! As for the steaks, they are pretty good as well, but I will concede that they are nothing spectacular. Its hard to reinvent steak.

Call it my Impressions de France perhaps? :)

April 4, 2011 at 8:45 AM · I've never been to a restaurant based on a rating. If a rating is deserved, it certainly cannot match the prices. They are always overpriced, thus obviating the rating.

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