One of the hallmarks of a great restaurant is when the owners walk around and talk with the customers. This is but one of the impressive parts of a great Disney restaurant experience that is Le Cellier, Canada in Epcot. It was not just the Manager walking the room and talking with guests, but also the Chef. That shows a lot confidence in your menu.
Le Cellier is one of those restaurants that we had always wanted to try, but was never able to schedule until our last trip. I had read all the reviews and listened to podcasters argue steak houses on Disney property (as a carnivore I like red meat). The anticipation was very high, but what I discovered is that the hype was really true.
Le Cellier is a very romantic, table service meal and surprisingly only one table service credit on the dining plan. That was probably the reason we saw families dining there, although I had expected mostly adults. Dress is casual, but I could imagine it being formal anywhere else outside of Disney World.
Planning Tip: First thing to remember, make reservations early. Not just in advance, but just as the reservation center opens first thing in the morning 180 days in advance of the day you wish to have a meal. The food is great, but the reputation is greater. We went during value season (but really, there is no low attendance time anymore – just less crowded) and called right after 7:00 am but still was only able to get an early supper time at 4:30 pm. We normally eat dinner much later. No only that, I tried to change the reservation several times before we travelled and during our trip in order to add a third person, and every minute of lunch and dinner for the entire time was already booked.
Just to note, the service was a little slow, but then again, what’s the rush, eh! We started with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, made with Moosehead Beer and Smoked Bacon; and yes it was scrumptious and lived up to its reputation. I've yet to hear anything but raves for this appetizer, so I've provided a version of the recipe and a video , because this makes a great meal on its own along with fresh bread and salad.
And on the bread, I was disappointed with the sourdough, multigrain and pretzel breadsticks they provided. Not everyone agrees with my opinion on the breadsticks. But I like good, fresh crusty bread with my meal, plus I was drinking wine and not beer that day.
I had the New York Strip Steak, buttered and served with Gruyere Yukon gold Potato Gratin. Mary Ann has the Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon with wild mushroom risotto, white truffle and herb butter sauce. Everything melts in your mouth, and yes, one of the best cuts of meat I’ve ever had. Here is the most current menu I could find, which was located on DIS website.
The dessert menu includes a chocolate "moose" rolled in toasted chocolate crumbs with maple leaf antlers. Like the cheddar cheese soup, it’s a staple order for most. But I was very impressed with the Chocolate on Chocolate Whiskey Cake also the Maple Crème Brulee looks inviting. This is one of those restaurants where it is good to have a group around the table so everyone can have a taste of different items.
The location is intimate, and intended to look like an elaborate wine cellar (Le Cellier, the cellar). It looks like an historic chateau, supported by the ambiance of simulated stone archways and low-level lighting through electric candles. Vintage wines in showcase settings abound, many to match your meal. There were also beers from the True North. (I’m from upstate New York and we see a lot of Molson, Labatt and other Canadian brews).
I also discovered a few trivia to share. This French château-style room was inspired by castle wine cellars of the Canadian Le Château Frontenac and Fairmont Château Laurier. Rooms are named for Canadian provinces. The building itself is only three stories high, but through the traditional Disney use of forced perspective, it looks as if it is six levels high. This location used to have cafeteria-style meals, but I never ate here previously. So you don't have to take just my opinion, The Main Street Gazette is a wonderful Disney online newsletter, particularly for those like me who love Disney history and its specialness; in other words, they get it. A review of Le Cellier was posted this year. Another family-oriented review and photos are located at OnlyWDWorld. And for the guest perspective, I normally seek out current visitor opinions in User Reviews on AllEars.Net.
There are two other steakhouses normally argued over as to which is the best on Walt Disney World property. In addition to Le Cellier there is the Yachtsman at the Yacht Club and Shula’s at the Dolphin. I decided over time I’ll suffer through trying all three, just so I can bring their stories to you; and eventually that’s what I’ll do. What I do for love!
A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World