Guys—I have a confession to make. Spending so much time dining at Disney restaurants over the years has somewhat spoiled me for normal restaurants. I cannot dine at the Chili’s of the world when I know that the restaurants of WDW exist. I’m a complete sucker for atmosphere and theming in a restaurant, especially when paired with great food. There’s just something about the firework views at California Grill, the sunset changing walls at Jiko, and the way Cinderella’s Royal Table completely immerses you in the experience of being in the castle that cannot be matched. David and I are those people that make our advanced dining reservations as soon as we possibly can, and plan our park days around the reservations. I guess that makes us foodies, but we just really like great food.
On our last trip to Disney World in August, out of all of our dining reservations, I was most excited about Monsieur Paul, the restaurant that replaced Bistro de Paris upstairs from Les Chefs de France in World Showcase. Bistro de Paris always had good reputation, but word on the street (aka the internet) was that it needed a facelift from its dingy, old school look. Monsieur Paul debuted in late 2012, and it is beautiful. In fact, it might be my new favorite dining room in Walt Disney World. The entrance of the restaurant is in the back of the France pavilion, at a nondescript sign; it’s actually feels like you’ve stumbled upon a gem of a bistro in Paris. First, you ascend a gorgeous, spiral staircase to the dining room, with framed pictures flanking the walls, and a hanging bubble chandelier.
The dining room is elaborate with its rich colors and fabrics, including pin-tucked booths with sweeping curves. The napkins are folded into little tuxedos, and most tables include a view of the world showcase lagoon, which offers incentive to book a table to watch Illuminations.
Okay enough about the decor, which I will say one more time is impeccable… let’s talk about the service. The service at Monsieur Paul is by far the best service we received at any signature restaurant on our last trip, and maybe ever. I know it’s a bold statement, but it’s true. Our server was everything a server should be: he was attentive, but not pushy, he was witty but didn’t interfere, he made helpful suggestions on what to order and what to not order, and even taught us how to fold our own tuxedo napkins. There were separate attendants for bread service (and a huge variety of bread, I might add), and separate attendants to help keep the table clean and manicured.
We ordered the escargot as an appetizer, which came in a cream of parsley that was more of a foam than a cream. The escargot was decadent, but not to my personal liking. We also ordered the Maine lobster with a quail egg and black truffle. I have no words for how good this appetizer was. On the pre-fix, it can be ordered as a main course as well, and it’s so good that it would be worth ordering it. Personally, I don’t think anything involving this lobster could be a bad choice—unless it’s not ordering it. Not ordering it is a bad choice. A very bad choice.
Next came our entrees, which were the two house specialities: the filet with a mushroom crust and bordelaise sauce, and the red snapper with potato scales and rosemary sauce. They were so good that we day dreamed about them for days. It was as if there was no point to eating anything else for the rest of the trip, because it would just be disappointing. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Did I mention that the filet came with a side of mashed potatoes ‘cappuccino style’? I cut the filet with a butter knife just because I could, and savored the crunchy mushroom and bordelaise sauce combo. The fish was perfect: I would drink the sauce by the bowlful if it was socially acceptable. I will go as far as to say that they are the two best entrees I have ever had at Walt Disney World.
The only part of the meal that I found less than fabulous was dessert. It was good, just not memorable or on par with the rest of the food. It was barely a blip on the radar though, considering how amazing the rest of the experience was.
I cannot highly endorse this experience enough—this is not just the hidden gem of World Showcase, but the gem of Walt Disney World. Monsieur Paul blows restaurants like Le Cellier, Citricos, and Narcosses out of the water, which do not even begin to compare in terms of food, service, or atmosphere. Monsieur Paul is our new favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World, and one we will go to every trip from now on (or as many times as our budget allows). Do yourself a favor and check it out on your next vacation—you won’t be sorry.