There’s something about good French cuisine that puts it in a class all its own. Simple yet decadent, the French really know how to get the most out of the ingredients they select for their dishes. I also love the whole bistro environment, with the crisp white linens, exposed brick and fine artwork. So needless to say, we were all pretty excited to dine at Bistro de Paris (now called Monsieur Paul) during our visit to the France pavilion at Epcot.
The decor at Bistro de Paris is very classic French bistro, with an upscale but not at all stuffy atmosphere. The one thing we did notice that was missing was music! We love having music playing during our meals, and vintage Jazz or Édith Piaf playing in the background is almost a requirement in my mind for the French bistro experience. We were craving some tunes so bad, we actually asked our server why there was no music playing. He responded (read this in your best French accent) – “we do not play the music because the place gets very loud.” OK. Isn’t that the whole reason you would want to play music? I would rather have some mood music in the background rather than hearing the clatter of plates and random chatter. Oh well, maybe that’s just me.
Our meal started with an explosion of flavour. Our ‘amuse bouche’ for the evening was an incredibly thick and creamy vichyssoise. The only drawback was the size of the serving! Man, the French know how to make a soup. The depth of flavour and consistency was outstanding. An excellent start to our meal.
Knowing how incredible French soups can be, we ordered the Butternut Squash Soup with Chestnuts and Shrimp. In a word – wow. Paradise in a bowl. Super creamy, rich and buttery. The shrimp and sweet chestnuts were the perfect accompaniment.
For another appetizer, we ordered the Escargot Ravioli in Cream of Parsley Soup. Again, an outstanding dish with incredible flavour. The colour of the dish was so vibrant (as was the squash soup) and the pasta was so tender and buttery – the perfect compliment to the salty and savoury escargot. Our daughter in particular loved this dish.
For our main courses, we went with Roasted Duck Breast with Oriental Spices, Turnip Confit and Red Cabbage and the Maine Lobster with Sauteed Mushrooms, Poached Egg and Creamy Black Truffle Bouillon. While the duck was excellent, the lobster dish was life changing. It was one of those dishes where you just had to say “mmmmmm” after every bite.
The lobster was cooked perfectly and incredibly sweet. It was nestled in (once again) this unbelievably flavourful broth. I could eat the broth every day for the next month and not get tired of it. Super rich and decadent. I don’t want to know how much butter and cream went into this dish – my arteries feel clogged just thinking about it. But you only live once, right? Well worth the extra calories. What a dish!
Finally, I want to make quick mention of the children’s menu. Like Emeril’s, the menu is not your run of the mill kid’s menu. How does Cheese Puff Pastry, Ham and Gruyere Cake or Pan Roasted Snapper with Green Beans and Tomatoes grab you? Now that’s my kind (and my daughter’s kind) of children’s menu! And all items are featured in French and English, which was fun for us as we try to teach our daughter French. Incidentally, she went with the Filet Mignon et Pommes Puree avec Jus Naturel. For now, back to the cage.