June Reviews: Chefs de France, Boardwalk Bakery, Kona Café, California Grill Part 1

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by laurabelle, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. laurabelle

    laurabelle DIS Veteran

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    Hello dear Dis Foodies! This is my first attempt at writing full reviews, and I have but one food related pic, in fact I hardly took any pics this trip. I know you can use your imagination, or look them up on the food porn thread. Our family was on the DDP for the part for this trip when we were on DVC points, had DDE card and shared, so we cover the full gamut I guess!

    A little background: Me Disneyholic, trip planner, cancer survivor, love good food and wine, but I do not eat large portions or red meat as a rule, and I have a few other food issues as I have Ulcerative Colitis (a post cancer gift)

    Hubby- Tolerates my Disneymania, love him!:love:

    Dd #1 teen, what more can I say:confused3

    Dd #2 Disney adult, eats like a carboholic picky little bird

    Chefs de France Dinner
    This was our first night, my family’s 2nd time at CdF and my 3rd. My first experience dining here was an adult’s only trip a few years ago with my sister. We had a wonderful window table, terrific service and delicious food. Last year during free dining after me talking it up so much to my family, we were so disappointed in the meal, that it seemed hard to believe this was the same restaurant. We had a bad table location, and an unattentive server. This overshadowed the food. It took some convincing to get hubby to try it again. We were so glad we did!

    We were seated at the very end banquette seat which faced the courtyard windows on one side, but the side of the table facing the restaurant has a large mirror, so those seated on this side can still enjoy the view out the window. Our server was Thomas and he was a delight! We had such a good time with him. He told us of some of his travels around the U.S., what he missed at home.

    We told Thomas were were sharing 2 TS on the DDP, paying out of pocket for extras and using DDE. No problem.

    Appetizers-
    Rolls
    -Everyone gets their own roll on a plate with individual butters…but my carb loving dd #2 took over most of them. This is probably my favorite bread in WDW. As I told Thomas, the French know how to do pastry!


    Tarte a la Flame Alsacienne - Alsace specialty. Flatbread baked with cream fraiche, onion and bacon
    This flatbread is light, flaky tender, and more pastry-like than a pizza type flatbread. The bacon is not crunchy crispy and a there were a bit too many onions for me, but I simply scraped off the extra and enjoyed the pastry with cream fraiche. Yumm

    Cassolette d'escargots de Bourgogne au beurre persille- casserole of escargots (snails) from Burgundy baked in parsley and garlic butter
    Not quite as garlicky as my favorite local French restaurant, but the escargots were tenderly cooked. I wrestled one of the soft as air rolls from my dd to soak up the garlic butter...after all what we really order snails for? it's da butta!

    Entrees-Filet de limande en ecailles de pommes de terre et mousse de homard, Reduction de homard. Roasted flounder with lobster mousse, potato scales on sauteed fennel, with a lobster reduction
    Here I will confess that I am more of an appetizer than entree girl. Give me a good glass of wine and some little things to nibble on and I'm happy! But we were on the DDP tonight, so entree it is! Shared this dish with dd #1, my adventurous eater. Probably not big enough for the average eater to share, but perfect for us. Thomas brought an extra plate for us. The fish was delicate and light. Loved the potatoes!

    Filet de Saumon sur lit de pommes de terre ecrasees a l'ancienne, sauce vierge
    Seared salmon served on a bed of smashed yukon potatoes, with a shrimp skewer. Olive oil, lime and fresh herbs

    Hubby’s dish. I did take a small taste of his fish and the potatoes, fresh and delish, but there were only two shrimp on the skewer so I let him enjoy those himself.

    Blanc de Poulet Aux Nouilles - Breaded chicken strip served with pasta
    Dd #2's meal. She ate some of it, and said (surprise, surprise) the pasta was her favorite. For the most part her dinner consisted of rolls, she devoured most of them, and of course was saving room for dessert!

    Drinks- Hubby and I shared a bottle of the Georges de Bouef Chardonnay and the girls each had a bottle of Orangina… I think I’ve created monsters, they loved it, but at $4.00 a bottle and NOT included on DDP, this is a special splurge! According to the kids, this is more of a slightly fizzy orange juice (with pulp, which they usually hate, but loved in this, go figure) than orange soda.

    Desserts- Profiterolles au chocolat - Puff choux with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce
    Creme Brulee - Vanilla Creme Brulee served with a Madeleine

    Dessert was supposed to be shared by all, and diehard chocolate lover that I am, I can’t for the life of me stop eating the crème brulee long enough to try the profiteroles. The custard was perfectly creamy, flecked with lots of vanilla. The sugar crust was perfectly caramelized, not cremated. I only took a small bite of the Madeleine cookie, it wasn’t very memorable and I don’t think it really adds a thing to the dessert. The kids said the profiteroles were good (I’ll have to take their word for it) but the crème brulee was luscious!

    At the end of our meal and having a nice wine buzz on, we asked Thomas to take a picture with us, and he happily obliged along with another server who had only been in the States 3 days! (photo coming) Thomas will be there until Jan., so hopefully we will have him as our server again.
     
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  3. I loveStitchnippyjon

    I loveStitchnippyjon DIS Veteran

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    Great review! We are eating at Chefs for the first time on our first night during our September trip. Glad yo enjoyed it so much!
     
  4. cdrn1

    cdrn1 <font color=royalblue>what I wouldn't give to have

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    So glad to see Chefs reviewed! I have been wavering between keeping this ADR or changing to Coral Reef and you have helped me make up my mind. We will be ordering much of the same things you did (even down to the Chardonnay) except being from the Midwest I am more of a "boeuf" kind of girl!
    Thanks for a great review!
     
  5. John's Mom

    John's Mom Jambo Wildbunch Gang

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    Enjoyed reading your great review.
     
  6. Busymom85

    Busymom85 Mouseketeer

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    Great review. Can't wait for more.
     
  7. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    Great review - I've only ever been to Chef's for lunch so it's nice to read about a good dinner experience here.

    And from one IBD sufferer to another...:hug:
     
  8. blanq

    blanq <font color=red>A 42 year old fan of Peter Pan's F

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    I enjoyed your review, and am glad to hear you had an enjoyable meal. It has been a few years since my family ate at Chefs de France, so I did make ADRs for our upcoming October trip. I hope our experience is as good as yours was!
     
  9. Schucraig

    Schucraig Disney World is my World!

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    Thanks for the review!:thumbsup2
     
  10. carolinacamper

    carolinacamper Earning My Ears

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    I was very excited to read your review. We are eating here on our Epcot night. Initially, this was not my 1st choice; but it was suggested by the CM at ADR when I called. I have been a little worried about it since the reviews tend to be mixed, but I really wanted a calmer dining experience than is available at a lot of the WS restaurants. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.
     
  11. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

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    Enjoyed reading your review ~ Thanx for sharing.
     
  12. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    Great start to your reviews - sounds lovely.
     
  13. laurabelle

    laurabelle DIS Veteran

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    Hey, this is fun! Thanks for the kind replies! :goodvibes
    I don't understand it myself, but there always seems to be availability at CdF. I guess everyone is so focused on trying to get a table at Le Cellier...I hope all of you with upcoming ressies have a wonderful experience there too!

    Brenda- I'm going back there for lunch on my anniversary! I hope I enjoy it as much as dinner.
     
  14. laurabelle

    laurabelle DIS Veteran

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    Ok, dd just showed me the camera phone pic from our dinner at Chefs de France and it's too horribly fuzzy to post. Too bad, 'cause Thomas is a cutie!;)

    Since I'm writing my reviews out of order, it's time for a snack interlude…we were staying at BWV. A note here for the uninitiated: if you’re staying DVC, don’t even think your room will be ready before 4:00, oh, you can call all you like, but it won’t be. Find something else to do, there’s lots to choose from! We were rocking on the lovely terrace/veranda overlooking the Boardwalk and decided this would be a fine time to buy the new YOAMD mugs and use a snack credit at the Boardwalk Bakery. I’ve always wanted to try BB, ever since I saw http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_cwWDW Unwrapped, which has influenced a great many of my dining choices since it aired a couple of years ago. My big tip dear Disers: Afternoon is the time to hit this place, because walking past in the morning the line is always out the door! It’s not very big inside, no room for tables. Just a counter, ok, not just any counter, a counter full of yummy delights! I wish they had room for tables inside, even one table, so I could watch the pastry artistes at work. They were decorating a wedding cake…fascinating! I shifted my focus back to the object of my desire:
    The Cheesecake Brownie

    The large square had a brownie bottom, not the cakey kind of brownie, but a dense fudgy delight! The cheesecake was thick and creamy, and was topped by a red and white chocolate curl, which dd#2 immediately claimed and consumed alone. :rolleyes1

    I have to point out here the yes, gasp, the 4 of us shared 1 cheesecake brownie!:scared1: :lmao: It makes me laugh, because there was a recent thread about strange sightings at WDW of families sharing one single item and Disers thoughts on this ranged from pitiful to pathetic! Sometimes I just want a bite or two of something, as you’ll read my reviews and get to know me. Nobody was starving, we had a huge lunch which I’ll review next, and dinner at CdF was not far off. Not everyone who shares food is destitute, and I promise my kids are completely fine with it. There, I’ve defended the sharers of the world!(stepping off my soapbox now:hippie: )

    Oh yeah, and with a wave of her wand,:tinker: after we finished our snack...our room was ready!pixiedust:
     
  15. Ron from Michigan

    Ron from Michigan DIS Veteran

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    thanks for the great reviews. We have not eaten at Chef de France in several years but are planning on eating there in December. I remember how much I loved the escargot.
     
  16. BriarRosie

    BriarRosie <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl

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    Your Chefs de France review was excellent! :thumbsup2
    I agree that the escargot is all about "da butta!" :love:

    I've gone there for lunch and dinner various trips, with some meals better
    than others. It varies. I ordered the "French menu" at lunch last time,
    which was a very good deal (french onion soup, their version of ham and
    cheese, and creme brulee dessert for around $14). Soup and dessert were
    good, but the sandwich was way too greasy. I ate what I could, though.

    And I agree the Boardwalk Bakery has some really tasty treats. But I love
    ice cream (or in this case, gelato), so I recommend Beach Club Marketplace
    for those times you have to have gelato. :)

    You paint a descriptive enough picture that photos aren't necessary in your
    reviews! :goodvibes
     
  17. snappy

    snappy Survivor

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    Great review!!! More PLEASSEEEEE!!!!
     
  18. undertheseas

    undertheseas DIS Veteran

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    Great reviews, do you have any more for us? I can't wait to try CdF, our last time was 11 years ago. I am laughing at 4 people sharing one brownie, it was either huge or you all have tiny appetites! :goodvibes
     
  19. laurabelle

    laurabelle DIS Veteran

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    lol! Yes! I have more reviews coming I promise! Life gets in the way of writing... Kona Café is next!popcorn::
     
  20. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    Sitting here drooling at the thought of that cheesecake brownie :) Looking forward to your Kona review.
     
  21. laurabelle

    laurabelle DIS Veteran

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    This was a last minute change from Spoodles. I always wanted to try Spoodles and since we were staying at the Boardwalk it was an easy choice. But a day or two before I left for my trip I was reading recent reviews that were less than glowing, I panicked, called and switched to Kona.

    We had an early ADR and arrived before opening to stroll around the grounds at Poly. We went to the lounge area for a pre-dinner drinky pooh… bad idea that night. ‘Ohana wasn’t open yet, but there were diners gathering for the Aloha dinner show and the area was a mob scene. I noticed a table in the lounge that was free and told the girls to grab a seat while hubby and I ordered us some drinks. I swear this man nearby heard me say it, or perhaps he heard the sound of a starter pistol go off in his head because no sooner than I said it, he was off and running and jumped over and planted himself at the table before the kids could beat him to it. Ok then…The kids sat on the bench next to the bar and hubby and I were perusing the menu, waiting for one of the two bartenders to take our order. We must have missed the part where Disney covered us with the cloak of invisibility while we stood at the bar, because that’s exactly what we were. Invisible. We got zero acknowledgement. Nothing. No soup for you! After a few minutes I asked hubby if it would be very un-Disney like of me to hop behind the bar and make our drinks ourselves. Finally we gave up and left. We walked over to Kona and although they weren’t quite open yet, we were able to check in and get a pager. We browsed the shop across the hall for a few minutes and it was time to be seated.

    Our server seated us at a table in the back corner of the restaurant, which had a large screen that separated the restaurant from the coffee bar. This was a nice quiet area and we enjoyed the privacy. Sorry, I can’t recall our server’s name. He was perfectly fine as a server, but not as engaging as Thomas.

    We started with drinks. Something about being in the Poly cries out “Tropical Drinks” so I can’t have wine tonight. I think it’s illegal here. Since I had plenty of time to study the menu at the bar I knew what I wanted tonight. A margarita- Olé! Ok, not very tropical, but I’ve had some of those really tropical drinky poohs from the Poly bar before and one will put me on my …not where I wanted to end up. They had a large selection of margaritas to choose from and I really wanted one of those top shelf 1800 Grand Marnier kinda margs. But when it came time to order, I blurted out “Margarita on the rocks no salt.” I blew it. I felt like Ralphie from The Christmas Story when it’s his turn to tell Santa what he wants… and he screams “Football!” when what he really wanted was an "An official Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time!"
    I hate it when I order wrong.
    I got the generic marg that I believe is mixed in a huge vat. Lemon- lime sweet tart with no kick at all. Ugh. Hubby went all tropical on me and ordered a Classic Mai Tai - Dark rum, pineapple juice and citrus juices, which I suddenly coveted.
    [​IMG]
    His drink is taunting me: "You should have ordered me stupid!"

    I believe the kids selected the tropical Sprites.

    Still on DDP, sharing two TS, paying with DDE for the rest OOP. Don’t you love Disney acronyms!

    Appetizers-
    Lump Crab Cakes - Pan seared lump crab cakes served with Asian tartar and pineapple relish.

    We ordered two of these to share between the three of us who eat this sort of thing. I have to stop here and state that yes, in my dreams my location is WS, I am a native MDer, center of all things Blue Crab. “Anyway, like I was sayin', Crab is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. Dey's uh, crab-kabobs (ok, that’s a stretch!) crab creole, crab gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple crab, lemon crab, coconut crab , pepper crab, crab soup, crab stew, crab salad, crab and potatoes, crab burger, crab sandwich. That- that's about it.”
    Whew! Now I will eat crab outside of MD, I’m really not a snob. But I don’t expect your crabcakes to be MD crabcakes. Even Disney with all their magic can’t pull that off! I don’t have a pic of the Kona crabcake, but I do have a lovely pic I’ve posted on the Dis before showcasing some of MD’s finest!
    [​IMG]
    Back to the Kona crab cakes. I think we got 3 per order. They are fried and crunchy and I don’t recall, even though the description says lump crab, that they had the big chunks of crabmeat. Most places outside MD work their crab too much so it loses the lumpiness. Just sayin’, lumps are good when it comes to crabs! The side items that come with it are good. I didn’t try the greens, as I generally avoid raw foods because of my UC, but hubby ate them all. He usually wins the clean plate award!

    Bread- Kona’s bread comes in a nice big loaf to share with macadamia nut butter, yumm. DD#2 doesn’t like crust, so she’ll carve the loaf up like a pumpkin with her bare hands and we get left with the shell. Y’all would probably hate sharing with her! But this is mostly what she eats, so we turn a blind eye to it. I hope when she’s grown others will be as tolerant of her… She was pretty good at picking the nuts out of her butter.

    Entrees- Shrimp and Scallops - Panko breaded shrimp and pan-seared scallops with sticky rice and Ponzu, spicy guava, passion fruit, and wasabi cream sauces.
    DD #1 and I shared this entrée, and were given an extra plate. We were really torn between this and the Mahi-Mahi, but since we’d had that before and hubby wanted to try it, we ordered this instead. It was so yummy! If I remember correctly there were 3 shrimp and three scallops, all perfectly cooked. The accompaniments were very nice and I don’t recall the wasabi cream being over powering.

    Macadamia Mahi-Mahi - Served with mushroom rice, sauteed bok choy, lime butter sauce, and crispy fried onions.
    Hubby’s entrée, the star of the evening! DD and I really enjoyed our entree, but after taking a bite of hubby’s Mahi-Mahi, we remembered how yummy this dish was and wanted more of it! Love everything about it, and the lime berre blanc was so, so good!

    Macaroni and Cheese- a sublime cheesy delight thoroughly enjoyed by DD#2. She claims Disney's mac&cheese is #1, and mine is a close second.
    [​IMG]

    Dessert- White chocolate cheesecake and Kilauea Torte with Kona Coffee
    Hubby and I just had to have coffee with dessert here as I know it’s NOT NESCAFE!!! We don’t drink gallons of coffee, but we like good coffee. The best we had this trip was here, and the Dunkin’ Donuts we found on SR 535! The Kilauea Torte is a chocolate lovers delight! Light chocolate cake with warm chocolate lava center…Whoo hooo!!! The white chocolate cheesecake was mostly devoured by DD#2, so I think she liked it.

    Another great meal at Kona! I really want to try breakfast here sometime…We’ll be back!
     

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