2018 Epcot Food & Wine Festival – French Family Meal Traditions (10-7-18)

When my wife and I first began attending the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot, we didn’t even know that there were all sorts of premium experiences taking place. We were perfectly content going from booth to booth, sampling the best each country had to offer.

Then one day we stumbled across a food seminar taking place in the festival center. After that, the floodgates opened.

Kim (my wife) has always been an avid watcher of Food Network and the like. And I am an avid eater of good food. So attending some of these events was a no brainer. For a few years we attended pretty much any event that featured a celebrity chef. It wasn’t long before we added the Party for the Senses to our yearly itinerary.

Last year we attended our first regional meal. We started small, with the Parisian Breakfast. That was a hit, so this year we decided to forego the Party for the Senses and add a couple of proper regional meals.

I had always been intrigued by the Mexican Tequila Lunch, so that was the first I booked. Look for that review in a couple of weeks. After that, we had to choose between Italian and French meals. Since we eat much more Italian Food in our day to day lives, we went French.

French Family Meal Traditions
Park: Epcot
Venue: Monsieur Paul
Date: October 7, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM
Cost: $95 plus tax
Includes: Five course Meal with wine pairings

This event is held at the more upscale of Epcot’s two French restaurants, Monsieur Paul. Monsieur Paul is in the same building as Chefs de France, but on the second floor. The entrance is on the backside of the building, to the left of the entrance for L’Artisan des Glaces.

We arrived at 11:20 or so. We expected there to be a line when we arrived, but that wasn’t one. There were various people milling about, but only one couple waiting for the event. They were nice enough to offer us a seat at their little table, just outside the entrance to Monsieur Paul.

At around 11:45, they opened the doors. You check in twice. First, just inside of the doors. Then you ascend the spiral staircase.

At the top of the staircase, you check in a second time. Here they refer to their list and then escort you to your preassigned table. The table is preassigned, but your specific seat at the table is not. There were a small number of tables for two or four, but it was mostly tables for six.

There was a menu at each place setting.

Our hostess was Emilia. She was great, with a wonderful sense of humor. She would speak for a moment before each course, and again at the end of the event.

At 12:05, we were served our first drink, a Lillet Spritz. It was simply Rosé and tonic water. It was good, but maybe a bit heavy on the tonic water.

Eight minutes later, we were served the amuse-bouche, a dill roll with salmon and lemon cream. It was delicious. The lemon cream was quite strong, but since I loved it I was okay with that.

Throughout the meal they were also serving tiny little baguettes. These were delicious. My only issue was, due to their small size, there wasn’t much in the way of a fluffy center.

Next up was our first proper glass of wine, a Beaujolais Village Château de Lacarelle. I’m not a wine guy, but I enjoyed this one.

At this point I should mention that they were VERY generous with the wine refills. One of our table mates surely had 20+ glasses throughout the entire event. I exhibited admirable restraint and only had 8.

After the wine came the hors d’oeuvres. We had garlic sausage in wrapped in brioche, with mustard sauce. This was good, but I was hoping for something a bit more exotic.

Next we had our only white wine or the evening, a Bourgogne Chardonnay from Domaine Colin Barolet. This was my favorite wine we were served.

Now it was time for the main course. It was Creamy Chicken with mushrooms and rice pilaf. Doesn’t that sound really basic and boring? Just based on the description, I was already disappointed. Boy, was I wrong.

It was served in an individual Le Creuset cast iron French Oven.

This was quite possibly the best chicken dish I have ever eaten. The chicken itself was extremely moist and tender. And that cream sauce… words can’t describe. It was also a deceptively large serving. I have a very hearty appetite, and was beginning to get full after this course.

Our next Wine was a Bordeaux, Domaine de L’île, Margaux. Our table all agreed this was the worst wine of the evening, even though it is the most expensive. Funnily enough, another nearby table all agreed it was the best wine. So who knows!

The cheese course was next. We were served a nice Brie with walnut bread and raspberry jam. I’m not a huge fan of Brie, but it was probably the best I’ve had. My wife loves Brie and said it was excellent.

Our last pour was Champage Henry Dubois. This was quite tasty.

For dessert, we had a dark chocolate mousse served with pear sorbet. This was extremely rich, but quite excellent. It was too rich for Kim, and she couldn’t finish it.

After approximately 2.5 hours of eating and drinking, our hostess spoke for one last time. She thanked us for attending, and brought out the entire staff for a round of applause. They ended up doing a couple of laps around the restaurant, high fiving people as they went.

At this point you were more than welcome to hang out, but the pours stopped. There was no parting gift or anything like that.

Overall this was a truly excellent event, well worth the price. We left very full, and could have left completely sloshed if we’d wanted.

Highly recommended.

Author: DougE

I'm the owner/operator of destinationdoug.com, and am based in Central Florida.

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