Brumcg's Dining Reviews 6/16 - 6/23/2011


#1

Chefs de France

My wife (Sandy), daughters (Mags 19 & Mo 11), and I ate dinner at Chefs de France on 6/16/2011. We have eaten here 3-4 times previously and considered it a very good, consistent choice. We were on Tables in Wonderland.

Food & Drink

I started with the Assiette Campagnarde (rustic assortment of French pates, and charcuteries). IIRC, it had 2 different sausages, 2 pates, a small salad, and some gerkin pickles. It was the highlight of my meal… particularly the pates. It was also a nice size (probably should have been shared). I also noted that since June 2010 (the current date on the allears.net menus) all of the appetizers had considerable price increases (25-50%).

I had a difficult time finding something for an entree. I finally settled on the Brochette de fruits de mer aux herbes (sauteed scallops, mahi mahi, and black tiger shrimp served with Mediterranean herb coulis, grilled tomato and black pearl rice). It was simply okay; I thought the seafood was all a bit overcooked.

Evidently, I did booze it up at Chefs. I had a Cocktail des Chefs, a glass of “White Burgundy” according to the receipt (I remember it as a Chenin Blanc), and finished the meal with a Remy Martin VSOP cognac. No complaints. The wine was the recommended paring with my entree, and it was a very good match.

Sandy had the Salade Au Bleu and the Vegetable Lasagne. Her comments were “decent, but nothing to write home about.”

Mo had the Lobster Bisque and Vegetable Lasagne. She gave tepid thumbs up on the Bisque, but left most of the Lasagne on her plate. I tried it. The immediate thing that popped in my head was “Chef Boyardee”. I’m not sure what it was, but the sauce tasted exactly like canned ravioli. She had the only dessert (a clue that she didn’t like the lasagne) which was a very refreshing Sorbet assortment.

Mags had the Lobster Bisque (thumbs up) and the Macaroni Gratin (“not worth it”).

Service

Our server was Louise. She was okay.

Atmosphere

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant so we had people walking by the table the entire meal. It’s nice inside and being able to look out into Epcot is nice. Remy stopped by our table for approximately 30 seconds. He’s such a great animitronic, but he doesn’t stay at any table for long. Perhaps he has a short term battery?

Overall Ratings and Conclusion

Bruce: 3
Sandy: 3
Mags: 3
Mo: 3

Chefs was definitely disappointing this time around even though it ended up with an average rating. We won’t be hurrying back, but based on solid meals throughout the years I’m sure it will get another try in the future.


#2

Bruce, I always love your dining reviews, I can’t wait to read more.


#3

Boma

My wife (Sandy), daughters (Mags 19 & Mo 11), and I ate dinner at Boma on 6/17/2011. We have eaten here twice previously; the first time was quite good and the second time was so-so. We were on Tables in Wonderland.

Food & Drink

I had the only cocktail which as a Superfruit Martini… which was more Superfruit and less Martini. It was refreshing, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea.

My experience on the buffet was weird. I’m a big carnivore, but I found that my favorite items were vegetarian and - bizarre for me - desserts. There was a roasted eggplant salad that was just terrific, and the desserts just seemed to keep topping each other. The meat on the other hand just wasn’t very good; they had a sliced sirloin which was overcooked for my tastes and was bland, the durban chicken which was dry, and a nut crusted salmon which was pretty blah.

Mags was disappointed that they didn’t have the peanut rice that was there last time… but that’s a buffet for you.

Sandy thought the soups were excellent.

Mo loved the pasta salad.

Desserts were just a huge highlight for everyone.

Service

Our server was Paul… he was fine. We were very low maintenance.

Atmosphere

I love the look of Boma; it’s very large, but you still feel like you have your own space. I think the head chef was out and about making sure that everyone was greeted and was in front of the buffet making jokes and answering questions.

Overall Ratings and Conclusions

Bruce: 3.5
Sandy: 3.5
Mags: 3.5
Mo: 4.5

I think Boma is a place that we’ll go back to every few years for the variety.


#4

Thanks! :happy:


#5

I wish Remy would linger more at the tables too.


#6

great report we are doing bomas for bf our last day i hope it is good.


#7

Well, considering he IS a rat…in a French restaurant…which is probably more authentic than we care to think about…:blink:

LOVE the reviews Brumcg! Thank you!


#8

I was so excited to log on and see you have your reviews started. I always look forward to hearing about your family’s experiences. Can’t wait to read the rest.:heart:


#9

I love your dining reviews! Can’t wait for more of them!


#10

Restaurant Marrakesh

My wife (Sandy), daughters (Mags 19 & Mo 11), and I ate dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh on 6/18/2011. We have eaten here several times previously; in the mid-2000’s it was one of our favorite places to eat at WDW, but then we had 2 sub-par meals there (including a dismal lunch). We were on Tables in Wonderland.

We had to shift some plans around and knew we wanted to be at Epcot; a quick family vote had Marrakesh as the clear choice over Italian or Mexican.

Food

I had a Sahara Splash cocktail; it must have been okay, I really don’t remember it.

For Appetizers we had the “Cheese Sails” (Goat Cheese with Crispy Bread for Two) and the Assorted Mediterranean Salads for Two (falafel, sundried tomatoes hummus, roasted eggplant puree and tabbouleh on Allears.net but ours may have been slightly different). Both of them were excellent; the Cheese Sails were really exceptional. I was so surprised as I just don’t think of “cheese” and “Morocco” in the same sentence.

For Entree, I had the Lamb Shank Couscous, Mags had the Beef Couscous, and Mo had the Vegetable Couscous. They were all solid. My lamb was cooked perfectly. I know that people shy away from Restaurant Marrakesh because they think the food is going to be “weird”, but I think the couscous here is more like homestyle cooking than many places. It’s very safe… really almost too safe for my tastes.

Sandy got the Tangine of Fish (marinated fish - grouper in this case - with olives, lemon confit, potatoes, green peppers, and chermula sauce). Holy cow, it was delicious. This may have been the best entree dish that was on our table during this trip. I’m glad to finally see a tangine on their menu.

For dessert, we had a Moroccan Symphony (Assorted Moroccan baklavas). I love baklava… it’s my one dessert weakness. It was very, very good here… much better than Kouzzina’s baklava.

Service

Our server was Mohamed Echaja. He was excellent. He encouraged us to linger at the table for the second musical/belly dancer performance. Also, the Moroccan Symphony is supposed to come with three pieces of baklava but he brought four because there were four of us.

Atmosphere

Honestly, I think the restaurant could use a little TLC… but it’s still a nice place to eat. The musicians are excellent, and the belly dancer was both beautiful and talented. She was able to lure several kids on the dance floor.

I had just listened to a podcast where they said the belly dancers don’t expose much skin these days. Hrm. That wasn’t true when we were there. Maybe they knew I was coming… :blush:

The other thing that I have to mention is that the place was dead. Maybe 25% full, and that was probably one reason for the high quality food and service.

Overall Ratings and Conclusion

Bruce: 4
Sandy: 4.5
Mags: 4.5
Mo: 4

If I had ordered the tangine, I probably would have given it a 5. We really had a good time, and I think there’s an excellent chance we’ll return on our next trip.


#11

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your food reviews! You convince me to try things I would have never even thought about. I’ve never even considered Marrakesh but after reading your review I will consider it.


#12

Now I’m dying to try the tangine! I’m putting Marrakesh back on my list! Pluss they have the most wonderful mint tea. Really the best I’ve ever had.

I am loving these detailed reviews - thanks so much!


#13

Wow! The Restaurant Marrakesh review was what we were really anxious to see and now we are SO glad that we’ve decided to try this new(for us) option:happy: It all sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for your wonderfully detailed reviews:smile:


#14

[QUOTE=brumcg;1081383]Restaurant Marrakesh

the Cheese Sails were really exceptional. I was so surprised as I just don’t think of “cheese” and “Morocco” in the same sentence.

[/QUOTE]

I agree… They are to die for…

We love Restaurant Marrakesh as well! In fact, it’s one of our top three most visited restaurants at EPCOT… They do a great job.


#15

We love Marrakesh too and tangine…oh wonderful, thanks for the fantastic reviews, really very useful.


#16

Your reviews are really well done. Keep them coming!!


#17

Thanks for the kind words folks! I really appreciate it.


#18

Kouzzina

My wife (Sandy), daughters (Mags 19 & Mo 11), and I ate dinner at Kouzzina on 6/19/2011 (Father’s Day). This was our first visit. We were on Tables in Wonderland.

Food

My wife and I had Kouzzina Ritas as a cocktail. They were okay.

For Appetizers we shared Kouzzina Spreads (according to allears.net it included Harissa Yogurt, Chickpea Hummus, Eggplant Spread, Skordalia, Whipped Feta with Peppers, and Tzatziki). It ended up working out because it seemed like everyone enjoyed half of them… but a different half. This is something that I noticed with all of the “spread” appetizers… they give you more spread than bread (or crackers or whatever). We often ended up using the bread on the table, and I have to admit that spoons were used if there was no bread… :blush:

For entree, I made a very poor decision… I ordered the whole fish based on the server’s recommendation. It was a mediterranean fish that I could have sworn he said was a Dorad. It was exactly the kind of flaky white fish that I don’t like, and it was huge. I am not good at fileting fish (Mags normally laughs when I try to do it and will do it for me), so I had the person that brought the food (not our server) filet it tableside for me. She admitted that she wasn’t very good either. :blink: Anyway, I thought it was very bland, and there must have been a billion small bones (no matter how careful, I had at least one with every bite). I paired it with the Coranation Sauvignon Blanc which was a very good pairing but seemed pricey at $13.00 a glass.

I wish I would have ordered the Fisherman’s Stew like Sandy did (Scallops, seasonal Fish, Shellfish, Fennel, Grilled Bread, and Ouzo Butter). She liked it, but it wasn’t her thing. I thought it was excellent.

Mags ordered the Strip Steak which was an odd choice for her; she must have really struggled with the menu. She enjoyed it.

Mo ordered the server’s vegetarian recommendation which was not on the menu. She absolutely loved it, and I think felt special ordering something not on the menu. I thought it was okay, but, hey, I’m not a vegetarian. :laugh:

For dessert, Mo had the Chocolate Budino (Warm Molten Chocolate with Whipped Sweet Cream), Mags had the Loukoumades (Freshly Made Greek Doughnuts drizzled with Warm Honey), and Sandy and I split the Baklava. The Baklava was dry; I think it had been sitting around for a bit. Everyone liked the Budino and the Loukoumades, but to be picky I thought the Loukoumades were too soggy.

A big plus at Kouzzina was the coffee… Sandy and I shared a Press Pot coffee and Mags had a Frappe.

Service

Our Server was Dale. I’m still not sure what I think about him. Dale was more salesman than server. He started - and I took this as a bad sign - by explaining that the menu is not authentic Greek (a complaint that I’ve read more than a few times but doesn’t matter to me). His knowledge of the menu was excellent. He steered us away from the Ouzo-tini after his description (strong licorice taste) which was good, but then pushed the reserved wine list and suggested ordering full bottles of wine multiple times.

I have to give him a big thumbs up for how he handled Mo. Really, 11-year old vegetarians are kind of a pain. :laugh: She struggled with the menu, but when he suggested that he puts together his own “off the menu” vegetarian meal at the same price at the Spiced Briani she was very happy.

He disappeared at the end of our meal though. Kouzzina was dead for our first hour there, but they were 80% full when we left.

Atmosphere

I liked all of the wood in the restaurant, but then again I love the Wilderness Lodge. It didn’t feel dark due to the windows facing the boardwalk and it was also very open.

In some ways, it straddles the line between casual and fine dining. I think it falls just on the casual side of things, but there were some parties dressed a bit nicer and you can put together a big bill here. Next to Le Cellier, this was our second largest bill of the trip.

Overall Ratings and Conclusion

Bruce: 2
Sandy: 3
Mags: 3.5
Mo: 5

Okay… so my rating is unfair. Had I ordered the Fisherman’s Stew, I probably would have been a 3.5… maybe even a 4. Mo was obviously influenced by the special attention she received, and I was absolutely thrilled that someone enjoyed their meal that much. :happy:


#19

Really enjoying these reviews! :happy:

I hate it when you waste a dining experience by ordering the wrong thing! It just changes your whole perspective.


#20

Le Cellier

My wife (Sandy), daughters (Mags 19 & Mo 11), and I ate dinner at Le Cellier on 6/20/2011. We have eaten here several times previously, but it’s the first time since it was “raised” to Signature status. We were on Tables in Wonderland.

Food & Drink

I had a “Bloody Caesar” according to the receipt… basically Le Cellier’s version of a Bloody Mary. It was excellent.

For appetizers, I had the the Black and Blue Beef Steak Tartar . If you like this kind of thing, and I do, I heartily recommend it. It was delicious. Sandy and Mo had the Caesar Salad which they reported as “okay.” Mags had the Cheese Soup which, of course, was excellent. Mo really wanted to order it… but they need 24 hours to do it without bacon.

As soon as I saw the Grilled Bone-in Ribeye, I knew that’s what I was ordering. I love ribeyes. Mags also ordered it. It was a very good piece of meat, Mags loved hers. I have to admit that I thought mine was under-seasoned… in fact, I’m not sure it was seasoned at all. I paired it with a “Tapestry Blend” which was very good and an excellent pairing. Sandy ordered the salmon which she said was “okay.” Mo had the Potato Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche which she said was very good.

For dessert, I had a glass of Taylor Port (good), Sandy and Mags had the Maple Creme Brulee ( both good), and Mo had the sugar free mousse and sorbet (good).

Service

Frankly, service was disappointing which was very surprising. We’ve always had exceptional service at Le Cellier. Our server was Brittany. She was very nice but also very scarce. I wanted a second Bloody Caesar, but my dinner (and wine) came before I saw her. She said that she would come back to do a “bread check” with us and bring back our favorites… that never happened. I would have asked for salt for my steak (I can’t remember the last time that I wanted to do that in a restaurant). I don’t think we saw her from the time we placed our dinner order until she came to get the dessert order.

Were they busy? Absolutely. We checked at 7:30 for our 7:45 ADR and weren’t seated until 8:00. They were still seating people at 9:00. Still, if I’m paying for Signature food then I also expect Signature service.

Ratings and Conclusions

Bruce: 3.5
Sandy: 3
Mags: 4.5
Mo: 4

I was close to giving it a 4 even with the service issues. With better service, there’s no reason Le Cellier can’t be a 5-star type of experience. I can only assume that it was a bad night. While Sandy isn’t a fan of Le Cellier - she’s just not a steak eater - I can easily see us back here in a year or two.