Did we come for the rides or the food?!?! - 14 Days of Dining COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by The_Aviator, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    We have visited France a couple of times in the past and we have come to really enjoy French food, although it is a little hard to come by here in Australia! We have a few, but generally the 'French-ness' of their menus is limited to escargot and creme brulee :rotfl:. And the ones that actually serve real French food generally do not do it that well. So we were hoping that we would have a really good, proper, French meal here at Les Chefs de France.

    We had a reservation for 7:30pm, although we arrived probably at some time around 7:20pm and we were seated straight away.

    The restaurant looks very nice inside and it really is set up like an authentic French restaurant could be. There are lots of tables for two along the windows, which I think would be very nice for couples! The restaurant is very large and is sort of divided into two main areas, an inner area without much of a view and an outer ring, where guests can look out the windows. We were seated in the outer ring, although not right next to the window. We still had a view of the pavilion and the lake outside. The more interesting part of the view was the open dessert kitchen, where chefs were preparing the dessert and the waiters and waitresses were collecting them. It was pretty cool to see them flaming the creme brulees and preparing the other dishes.

    Our waiter was Peter. I've forgotten exactly where he was from, but I think it was somewhere in the south of France or perhaps Paris, one of the two. We didn't see him too often, but overall he was a good server.

    Below are some pics of the menu :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Prix Fixe three course menu was allowed for those on the regular DDP so Mum, Rachel and I went for that ($39.95), while Dad decided just to get the standard entree and dessert.

    For our appetisers DM and DS got the Bisque de Homard (Lobster Bisque) and I got the Soupe a l'oignon gratinee (Onion Soup). For the entrees DS and I got the beef short ribs with pasta, DM got the fillet of salmon and DD got the beef tenderloin ($34.95).

    To drink DS had a Sprite, DM had an Orange Juice, (soft drinks and juice were $2.95, although the sodas came with refills) DD had a glass of Chateau Mezain merlot ($9.50)

    I'll start with the appetisers...

    The Lobster Bisque

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    And the Onion Soup

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    Both of the soups were reasonably good. DS liked the lobster chunks, but not the actual soup. However DM liked the whole thing. I was fairly happy with my Onion soup, which tasted pretty authentic and had good, full flavour. However, I think the Le Cellier cheese soup is just a tiny bit better.

    And then our entrees...

    Salmon

    [​IMG]

    Beef

    [​IMG]

    Beef Ribs with Pasta

    [​IMG]

    The entrees were reasonably good. DM and DD were fairly happy with their meals. DS and my pasta were also fairly good. The pasta itself tasted good as did the ribs, and I think the weakest part of the dish was the sauce. The sauce was heavily flavoured by the onions in the dish, and, to a lesser extent, the mushrooms. However, it was by no means a terrible meal and we were fairly happy. The servings sizes were also quite generous, considering it is a French restaurant. BTW, I thought it was kinda funny how each dish had a single lone cherry tomato :rotfl:

    After dinner we ordered our dessert. DS had the profiteroles, DD had a crepe and DM and I had the Creme Brulee. (All desserts were $7.25ea) I was having it so I could make a comparison with Le Cellier! ;)

    Dad also ordered a Kir au Chassis to go with his dessert. ($7.25)

    The Crepe

    [​IMG]

    The Profiteroles

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    And the Creme Brulee

    [​IMG]

    All the desserts were nice. The way DS's profiteroles was served was a bit different to what we usually see, where the ice-cream is on the side! DD enjoyed his crepe. DM and I enjoyed our Creme Brulee, although to be honest I preferred the Maple Creme Brulee at Le Cellier over this one.

    In summary, Les Chefs de France was a great meal in its own right, however I think we all agreed that Le Cellier was the clear winner in this great battle. If we had been to Les Chefs on a different day, or before going to Le Cellier, we wouldn't have been able to make such comparisons and this review would have been far more positive. So I would recommend it, I would just have Le Cellier take priority over this place :)

    In terms of value for money on the DDP, it was really good. This was the best value we got out of one TS credit for the entire trip, with all of our meals costing over $40 and that was pre-tax! If you are looking for making some money out of your DDP, then this is definitely the place! If you aren't dining on the DDP, I think your best bet may be the prix fixe menu, since there is a fair bit of choice within the prix fixe and since most entrees are in the $28-$35 range, it is just a few dollars more and you can have three courses! Even if you are on the DDP, the prix fixe is still a great option!

    Cost:

    4 TS credits used - 16 remaining
    Bill Total - $186.22 (avg $46.55ea! That's almost the cost of one day on the DDP!)
    Running Total - $1641.54

    NEXT UP: A morning snack then a quick service lunch at DHS!
     
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  3. disneydreaminA115

    disneydreaminA115 Long time lurker - coming out to play!

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    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your review!
     
  4. HolidayRose

    HolidayRose Mouseketeer

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    I am enjoying you reviews immensely. Your observation of the lone cherry tomato garnish made me :rotfl2:
     
  5. serendipity

    serendipity DIS Veteran

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    Love the reviews :goodvibes
     
  6. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

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    Great review! We're going to Chefs de France in August and can't wait-- that crepe looks so yummy!
     
  7. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Thanks! I'm glad to hear that so many people are enjoying the reviews!

    Glad you're enjoying the reviews!

    Thanks!

    I'm sure you'll enjoy it! :)
     
  8. juliebean

    juliebean Mouseketeer

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    Great reviews - love the dessert pics! We have Asherkus scheduled for breakfast, Le Cellier for lunch and Les Chefs for dinner in April - you've reassured me about two of the three. I did think my daughters would really like to see Remy though, so I'm bummed he's not around at dinner - we love the Ratatouille movie. Great job!
     
  9. amandaluvsgoofy

    amandaluvsgoofy DIS Veteran

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    Just read through your reviews! Great job!! :thumbsup2 I think you helped me decide for Chefs de France, so thanks!! ;)
     
  10. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Glad to have helped!

    Thanks for reading! I'm glad my review helped you decide.
     
  11. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Nothing much to report here, we just picked up a Nesquik chocolate milk ($2.19) and four yoghurts ($1.95ea) in the morning.

    There's a picture from an earlier visit in case anyone is interested

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=39764563#post39764563

    Cost:

    5 snack credits used - 18 remaining
    Bill Total - $10.64
    Running Total - $1652.18

    NEXT UP: Lunch at DHS
     
  12. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    It was Christmas Day, and we were in search of some good ol' turkey and ham! Looking through the menus prior to departure we had decided that going to Starring Rolls for a ham or turkey sandwich would be a decent option for our CS lunch.

    The Starring Rolls Cafe is located at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, next to the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant. The restaurant doesn't actually have an indoor seating area (at least, not one that I know of) and the only seating is outdoors, under large umbrellas.

    The main items available for an entree at Starring Rolls are the sandwiches and the sushi. DD didn't like either so he went off to Fairfax Fare to get his lunch. DM, DS and I decided to get sandwiches ($9.19ea). The sandwiches are served with either a bag of chips or fresh fruit. We all went for the bag of chips :)

    There were two types of sandwiches available, a Black Forest Ham sandwich and a Turkey Focaccia. DM and I went with the ham sandwich while DS chose the turkey sandwich. The chips were the standard Disney-branded packets, and there were probably three or four to choose from.

    The best part of using a CS credit here is the wide array of desserts to choose from. This is something like a bakery after all and there are a bunch of premium things to choose from. DM chose a Fresh Fruit Tart ($3.29), DS chose an Eclair ($3.49) and I got the ever-popular Butterfinger Cupcake ($3.99). To drink DM and DS got a Nesquik chocolate milk ($2.19ea) and I got a Minute Maid Orange Juice ($1.89).

    DD got the same thing that he got last time, a Chicken and Ribs combo ($14.19), a Chocolate Fudge Cake ($3.59) and a Dasani water ($2.50).

    Now for some pics!

    My entire meal

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    A close up of the ham sandwich

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    A close up of the turkey sandwich

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    DS' eclair

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    And DM's Fruit Tart

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    We were very happy with all the components of this meal. The sandwiches had plenty of meat, and also some salad which made us feel better about ourselves :lmao:. I have read a lot of reports of complaints about the dressing on the sandwiches. For us, we found the dressing to be very nice, and we didn't feel like there was too much of it or anything. Perhaps they have cut down on the amount of dressing recently, which I am sure would please many people.

    The desserts were magnificent. DS' eclair was large and she enjoyed it. DM really enjoyed her fruit cup. The fruit was fresh, the custard or cream underneath it was good and the tart itself was coated in a nice, fairly thick layer of chocolate. She really enjoyed it, but was quite full and unable to finish it! My butterfinger cupcake was truly out of this world. That outer, shell-like part on the top of it was quite crispy and without a knife it would have been a bit of a mess. Most of that mountain on top is heavenly icing. Generally I can't handle more than about a spoon of icing, but this icing wasn't overly sweet which meant that I was able to enjoy every single bite of it. The cake itself was also marvellous. It was fresh, soft and had a beautiful chocolate sauce hidden in the middle. I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of the inside, but if you go to the Disney Food Blog, AJ has some excellent pics of the item. I really need to thank the Disney Food Blog for alerting me to this excellent dessert!

    The chips were quite nice too. I was wondering what they would be like after Disney started selling their own brand of chips, but it still tasted great and the Disney-themed packaging is of course a bit of fun :). We shared some of the chips during the meal and saved the other packets for later.

    Dad was content with his Fairfax Fare meal, although really there was nothing different to report on the place from our last experience.

    The Cast Members at Starring Rolls were also good. They were friendly and helpful, explaining everything to each guest individually. There were also permanent cleaning staff on hand outside. The Cast Member outside was very helpful and was taking things away as we were finishing them, providing us with more space to have our desserts and drinks. I was pleasantly surprised with the level of service provided at this counter service. Another benefit of the outdoor seating is that you have a great view of the Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, where there always seems to be some form of entertainment. We could clearly hear the "Disney Channel Rocks!" show that was on at the Sorcerer's Hat, in fact we could hear it so clearly that when we heard Ernie D's voice (the guy from Radio Disney) we actually thought it was really him for a second! :rotfl:

    All in all, we were very pleased with our lunch at Starring Rolls. Each component of the meal was good and we would return there again in the future. If people aren't interested in the sandwiches, perhaps the sushi might interest you. In relation to the dessert selection, there are just sooooo many items you could probably spend weeks there and still not get to try everything! It's probably a good idea to go there with a couple of friends or family, that way you can try a few different things! :rotfl: They also take snack credits for the dessert items, which could be useful if you aren't interested in the available entrees or just aren't that hungry. :)

    In terms of value for money, you do get plenty of food and the food you receive is of a good quality. For those on the DDP, you could definitely find more expensive options elsewhere that would provide better bang for your credit (example, Fairfax Fare) but honestly even though this meal cost less, I think we got just as much, if not more food and at least personally, I enjoyed it more than Fairfax Fare. For those not on the DDP this could be a great option, for under $10 you've got yourself a sandwich and a bag of chips for later. It could also be a good option for people that aren't feeling too hungry, you could easily split a sandwich and the chips between two people and it wouldn't be too costly, either.

    Cost:

    4 CS credits used - 16 remaining
    Bill Total - $69.11 ($21.60 for Dad's Fairfax Fare meal, $47.51 for our Starring Rolls meal (avg cost of each Starring Rolls meal was $15.84)
    Running Total - $1721.29

    NEXT UP: An ice-cream snack at Hollywood Scoops followed by dinner at Mama Melrose's!
     
  13. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Just wanted to say I'm enjoying your dining report! You are doing an excellent job with the descriptions and pictures. Keep it up!

    Subscribing and looking forward to the rest :goodvibes

    Oh, and I've been considering Raglan Road for our trip this Oct/Nov. I think your review has made that a definite. Thanks!
     
  14. Tinker12

    Tinker12 Mouseketeer

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    Those sandwiches look amazing!!!
     
  15. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

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    Hmmm, those desserts alone are worth trying to get a reservation at Chefs de France.

    I'm glad you liked Le Cellier. We enjoyed it last summer when we went there for our first anniversary trip. They even gave us free champagne! However, I'm so disappointed that no one got the chocolate moose. He's just so cute!
     
  16. rpbear

    rpbear DIS Veteran

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    I am enjoying your dining reviews. This is a first for me to read dining reviews and this has me hooked. I can't wait to go to try the Butterfinger cupcake at Starring Roles.

    Lucy
     
  17. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy Raglan Road as much as we did.

    Oh, they were! :)

    We had a look at the Chocolate Moose, but none of us could bring ourselves to eat the poor thing! :rotfl:

    Glad to hear that you're enjoying the reviews. Hope you enjoy the Butterfinger Cupcake!
     
  18. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    This scoop shop is located just outside the Tower of Terror, and seems like quite a popular place to pick up an ice-cream, even in Winter!

    They have a range of flavours to choose from including Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip and Butter Pecan. I think they also had a sorbet and some low-fat, low-sugar vanilla.

    I may be wrong, but I think the only thing you could get on a snack credit was a cone or cup. They only offer one size of cone or cup, and it comes with two scoops of ice-cream. DS and I both got cups. I had one with Mint Chocolate Chip and Butter Pecan (weird, I know. Even the Cast Member thought so! :lmao:) and DS had one with Chocolate and Cookies & Cream. ($3.89ea).

    The ice-cream was as good as an ice-cream could be, and we enjoyed it more than the ice-creams we got from the snack cart. I personally think that if you want an ice-cream on a snack credit, you may as well come to a place like this where the ice-cream costs a little more but it is prepared for you then and there and there are a variety of flavours to choose from. The serving sizes of the ice-creams were very generous and they lasted for quite some time (and DS was able to share hers with DM & DD comfortably), so even for those who are purchasing this OOP, I think it is worth the extra 50c or so. All in all, I would recommend this for anyone in search of a good ice-cream :)

    Sorry no pics of this snack! Later tonight I'll be posting a review of Mama Melrose's :)

    Cost:

    2 snack credits used - 16 remaining
    Bill Total - $8.29 (avg. $4.14ea)
    Running Total - $1729.57

    NEXT UP: Dinner at Mama Melrose's
     
  19. Hootiss

    Hootiss cheese and crackers

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    ok, the turkey sandwich and butterfinger cupcake look AMAZING!!
     
  20. The_Aviator

    The_Aviator Mouseketeer

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    After watching Fantasmic! we quickly made our way down to Mama Melrose's at the Streets of America for our dinner. We arrived a little after 7:20pm for our 7:30pm reservation. The lobby itself is quite small but immediately you are transported to this really interesting place where Hollywood meets New York which meets Italy :lmao:.

    We were seated pretty much right on time for our reservation in a nice big booth near the window. Our server was Sam, or perhaps Cory. The reason I say this is because we were told that his name was Sam by the guy who seated us and the receipt said we were served by Sam, but his badge said that his name was Cory. Perhaps he had put on the wrong badge at the start of his shift? Regardless of what his name was, he was a really good server. He made sure our drinks were filled and even made a few exceptions in regards to what we received on the dining plan. I'll explain more as I go on. By the way, if any one has had this guy before and can confirm his name, please let me know as I'm just curious! ;)

    So to drink DM, DS and I all had sodas ($2.69ea) and Dad asked if he could get a sparkling water. Sam said so no problem and soon returned with a huge bottle of Pellegrino! It was probably a litre bottle (a little more than a quart) and usually cost $6.50! That was really nice of him. Dad also bought a glass of the Canyon Road Merlot ($9)

    Below are some pics of the menu

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sam gave us a few suggestions for the entrees, but he said that everything was good. For our entrees DM ordered the Shrimp Pippette pasta ($19.99), DS ordered the Spaghetti con Vongole (This dish has replaced a more generic Spaghetti Marinara dish they used to have before, cost $19.99) and DD and I both ordered the Charred Strip Steak ($28.99). He asked DM and DS if they wanted their pastas to be a bit spicy. DS said no and DM said to make hers a bit spicy.

    While we were waiting Sam brought out a basket of seven, yes, seven bread rolls! He said he didn't want to fill us up, but the bread was good. The bread was served with a dip of possibly olive oil and pepper, although we asked for some regular butter as well which was just as good.

    [​IMG]

    Not wanting to be rude, we decided to finish all seven of the dinner rolls and were quite full, yet happy that we had succeeded in this monumental task. :rotfl: Imagine our horror when he brought out ANOTHER seven rolls! :scared1::eek:. We had a couple of them but couldn't finish the lot.

    Soon the meals came out. Here's the Spaghetti con Vongole

    [​IMG]

    The Shrimp Pipette

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    And the Charred Strip Steak (and the seven extra rolls in the background! :rotfl2:)

    [​IMG]

    DM enjoyed her meal, but found it very spicy! The chefs had packed it with chilli flakes in accordance with her wishes. While she quite liked the heat and found it good, it would have been better if the chilli flakes had come on the side and then she could have put as little or as much as she liked. Her recommendation is that the dish is good, but if you want the chilli flakes, make sure you ask for it on the side rather than already mixed into the dish, as the amount of chilli may be too much for some.

    DS's Spaghetti con Vongole had a lot of pepper in it, too much for her liking. Perhaps something went awry here because there was just far too much pepper, for anyone's taste. I suppose we could have easily sent it back but we didn't bother.

    DD and I enjoyed our Charred Strip Steaks a lot. The steak itself was well cooked and being charred it was a bit different to the regular steak. All the side components such as the potatoes, onions, butter and wine reduction were also good and complemented the steak well. I would definitely order this one again if I were to return.

    Afterwards Sam brought out the dessert menus. Just keep in mind that the Tiramisu they offer is not a Tiramisu, but a tiramisu-flavoured gelato. Sam overheard me pointing it out to Mum and Dad and he said that almost everyone that comes into the restaurant seems to have that problem, so I just thought I would point it out here :)

    Dad decided on the Chocolate Amerittini Cheesecake ($5.49) and the rest of us got the Chocolate Cannoli Cake ($5.99). It took a few minutes for the desserts to come out.

    The Cheesecake

    [​IMG]

    And the Chocolate Cake

    [​IMG]

    Both desserts were pretty good. In regards to the cake, I enjoyed the cake a lot but didn't really like the sauce that they had drizzled on the plate. You might be able to see the cappuccino in the picture. Sam had told us prior to the meal that he was an easy guy and we could have both a non-alcoholic drink during the meal and he would get us a cappuccino as well after the meal. So Mum and Dad both got a cappuccino, without any extra cost! (Regular price $3.89ea)

    In regards to the decor of this place, I thought it was pretty cool. As I said earlier, it's really a big mix of American and Italian culture and it just seems quite welcoming. It's a bit of a weird way to explain it but I think the best way to describe the restaurant is that it's like one of those themed steakhouses (eg. Outback Steakhouse, Lone Star) except it serves Italian food. And nothing like any of the other restaurants at WDW. The theming of the restaurants at DHS is one of my favourite things about eating at the TS restaurants there :)

    Also, the kitchen is like completely open and you can see it very clearly as you enter the restaurant, and I'm sure they wouldn't mind if guests walked over just to check it out before or after their meal. I like having the open kitchen, that way you can see what they're doing and see the condition of the kitchen :)

    So all in all, we had a good experience at Mama Melrose's. We had a great server, the entrees were good (although be careful when asking for extra spice in your food and tell them to go easy on the pepper!) and the desserts were quite good, bar the red sauce that came with the cake. This was one of the places we wanted to visit on our last trip but didn't, and we're glad that we finally got to try it. I think we would visit again if we found ourselves looking for food at DHS, although we still have to try the Sci-Fi Dine In and possibly the Brown Derby and Hollywood & Vine!

    One suggestion I would make is trying to book the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. The benefit of doing this is that you can get a seat for the show, and you are served a three course meal instead of a two course meal. On the DDP this package is only one credit, so it's like getting something for nothing! We didn't actually do the Fantasmic package because you have to call them and we couldn't be bothered to make an expensive international call just to book it so we saw Fantasmic ourselves and just made a regular online booking for Mama Melrose's. However, for guests based in the U.S., there really is no reason not to try for a reservation.

    In terms of value for money this place really wasn't too bad. On the DDP we got reasonable value, while for those not on the DDP this place isn't as expensive as some other options and you do get a generous meal, and plenty of bread! So either way, I think if the food and atmosphere sound interesting to you, it's definitely worth a go. :thumbsup2

    After dinner we walked the short distance over to the amazing Osborne lights, an absolutely perfect ending to an awesome Christmas Day at Disney :santa:

    Cost:

    4 TS credits used - 12 remaining
    Bill Total - $153.12 (avg. $38.28ea)
    Running Total - $1882.69

    NEXT UP: Lunch at the Magic Kingdom
     
  21. wdwfanatic316

    wdwfanatic316 DIS Veteran

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    Really loving your reviews! :thumbsup2
     

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