Bistro de Paris, Jiko, California Grill, Flying Fish, Beirgarten...lots of pics!

BillSears

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Hey guys I’m back from a great WDW dining trip! My goal was to not eat at any place I’ve eaten at in the past 15 years and whenever possible I’d eat at places I’ve never eaten at before. I almost made it but I flubbed at the very last thing I ate at WDW…but onto the reviews.

Day 1

My first meal was lunch at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop where…surprise!!! I had the Fish and Chips…of course they only serve Fish and Chips here. ;) Anyway they were darn good. Not quite as good as the ones at Raglan Road but the fish was nice and flaky, the chips were darn good fries and the price was pretty good. I’d be happy to go back in the future and I’m glad I finally got around to eating here.



Dinner that night was at Bistro de Paris. I’ve passed by the entrance to this restaurant many times and I might have glanced at the menu and ran away once I looked at the prices. Let me tell you it’s worth every penny! I spent $70.00 on the chefs tasting menu, added another $35.00 for the wine pairings and added the $5.00 cheese course but I do have the DDE (Disney Dining Experience) card so I got to take 20% off from that. This meal was easily the best meal I’ve ever had at WDW. I can’t wait to come back.

My reservation was for 5:30 and I showed up at about 5:15 to make sure I was on time. But the restaurant didn’t open until 5:30 and I took a walk around France for a bit. At 5:30 they let me ride upstairs on the tallest old style left I’ve ever been on. Take a look at the view…



Now normally I’d expect at least a real elevator from Disney. But I guess this is better then nothing and at least it worked.

I was the first person to be seated. I was introduced to Nicolas, my waiter. It was his first night at Bistro de Paris and I was his first guest. Considering how well he took care of me I wonder what an experienced server would have been like?!?! Nicolas was spot on with everything and I really couldn’t have asked for better service. I know it’s probably normal for this level of restaurant but he brought out new silverware for every course and even just bringing a spoon to the table involved him placing it on a plate with a napkin on it.



I already knew I wanted to do the tasting menu but I found out I’d still have to make some choices.



I made my choices and sat back to wait for my first course. I was seated at the window and I had a great view to people watch and look at EPCOT while waiting. While waiting for me first course I was brought this…



OK what the heck is that little pitcher? I ask the server (not Nicolas) if that’s for dipping or drinking? She was nice and let me know it was tomato soup and it was to be drunk. The soup was pretty good, nothing special to write home about but a nice little treat. The bread was great especially with the butter.

My first course was the smoked salmon roll with the buckwheat crepes. Nicolas said the egg/chive/sour cream stuff was for the crepe. Great I can handle that. The salmon was amazing, really fantastic. The crepe was OK.



Next up was the Artic Char “Meuniere”. Now this was the one spot where Nicolas let me down although it might have been a language barrier. Nicolas said it was some sort of white fish but I think it was actually a type of salmon. (looking up Arctic Char on the internet says it’s related to salmon but it is a type of fish) I have to admit it was like salmon but the best tasting salmon I’ve ever had. The sauce really added to the flavor and the slightly crusted outside was perfect. It came with fava beans and I can now say…I don’t like fava beans.



I was given a little chocolate flavored ice with a chocolate flavored side liquor. Very nice! I assume it was a palate cleanser before the main course.



For my main course I chose the beef tenderloin. This was amazing! It tasted different then any other beef I’ve had, sort of a concentrated beefiness that was just perfect. The potatoes were darn good. The asparagus was, well it was a spear of asparagus, nothing special.



The cheese course was a nice touch. The Brie was great. The goat cheese was pretty good for goat cheese. The third cheese was kind of weird, it had a crunchy burnt crust but it was ok. Looking at the cheese plate though made me feel like I was in a Penn and Teller ******** episode. I was wondering how much I like the food because the food was great or did I like it because I paid so much for it. I mean I just paid 5 bucks for 3 pieces of cheese and that was the cheapest item on the menu.



It’s time for dessert! The crème brulee was the best of the desserts followed by the hazelnut ice cream. The rest was pretty good but paled compared to the above.



I’m not really a wine person so I didn’t comment on the wine pairings. But to this uneducated palate the wine really did compliment the meals. I was very happy that I added it.

Overall the meal took about 2 hours. I’m very pleased with the whole event and I can’t wait to come back in the future.

After walking around the World Showcase and getting ready to watch Illuminations I decided I wanted a little something to warm me up. I stopped off in Italy for an Espresso. I know I’ve had espresso sometime in the past but I think I’ve only had it once and it was a long time ago. I tasted the espresso and my first thought was “DARN this is hot and strong.”, immediately followed by “DARN that’s GOOD!” It really was a great drink. I’ll have to get it more often.

 

BillSears

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Day 2

My second day at WDW was spent at the Animal Kingdom. There aren’t many places here I haven’t eaten at but I realized I’ve never eaten at Pizzafari. Hmmm Pizza sounds good so I go in and get the Hot Italian Style Sandwich…Huh??? I really should have stuck with the pizza but for some reason the sandwich just caught my attention. The sandwich was good, not bad not fantastic just good.



After visiting the Animal Kingdom I headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko which means The Cooking Place in Swahili. I asked to be seated at the “cooking place” if it was available and I lucked out and got to sit there. Now this has its good and bad points. The counter height is a bit higher then the normal tables and as a wheelchair user I felt like I was a kid eating at the grown ups table for the first time. But I was given the choice of the counter or a table and I’m glad I sat at the counter.



As you can see in this picture there were a fair amount of kids around me. They were no trouble at all. I knew about the young boy beside me of course but I didn’t even realize the tables behind me had children at them until I got home and saw the picture. It’s great to see kids who can handle dining at a nice restaurant.

Michael was my waiter. We talked about the menu a bit and what wine to choose. I decided on 2 glasses one white and one red but I couldn’t tell you much about them other then they went well with what I ordered. He brought out some nice bread with great butter.



My appetizer was the Tikka Marinated Ahi Tuna. Sitting at the cooking place I must have seen them make it 25 times that night. It was great and I could see why so many people were ordering it.



Siham (can’t remember how this was spelled) was great. We talked between courses and she’d slip me some of whatever she was cooking. I enjoyed sitting at the cooking place and she was a big part of the reason.



My main course was the famous Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with macaroni and cheese. Now I’ve been doubtful about the whole idea of mac and cheese at an upscale restaurant but this mac and cheese was great. It’s like they took the cheeses from a really good potatoes au gratin and used that for the cheese in mac and cheese. I want to find the recipe for this and try it at home. The filet was really good and had a nice smoky taste to it and the wine reduction really set everything off well. I was really happy with my choice.



Dessert was a pistachio crème brulee with a layered chocolate bottom and a cup of coffee. The crème brulee disappointed me at first because the top was only slightly crunchy…but then I tasted it! I have to say this was my favorite dessert of the trip. It was great!



Now I did have one problem with dessert. They really need to serve the coffee in a mug. ROFL. I couldn’t get my finger into the little hole in the cup! It was cute…



Overall I had a great meal at Jiko. It’s going to be a tough choice in the future between Jiko and Boma.
 

BillSears

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Day 3

On my third day I actually got up early enough to go to the Magic Kingdom’s opening ceremonies. This was a huge first for me.

Lunch was at the Plaza. I had the Rueben and it was a nice sandwich, the corned beef was really lean and the sandwich wasn’t greasy at all. The fries were good and I’m picky about fries.



I had a brownie sundae for dessert. It was a normal brownie sundae, in other words it was worth every calorie.



I took the monorail over to the Contemporary Resort for dinner at the California Grill. They couldn’t seat me at the counter where the standard dinners where cooked but they did get me a seat at the sushi counter. So of course I had to have sushi. Yoshi was busy making sushi that night and while we talked a bit I did miss the free samples I got at Jiko.



I had the Tuna 2 ways and a half of an order of the Sampler. The tuna 3 ways was OK but I guess I was expecting more out of it. The sampler was great. I loved the shrimp tempura roll and the salmon was delicious.



Dessert was the Banana and Butterscotch Buzz. It was good but I think I was starting to get food overload at this point and I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have.



I had a good time here and the view was great. But it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. Next time I’ll order something that isn’t sushi. I did walk off dinner a bit by walking back to the Magic Kingdom for Spectromagic and Wishes.
 
  • BillSears

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2003
    On my fourth day I headed over to the Disney/MGM Studios.

    Lunch was at the Flatbread Grill back near the Backlot Tour. I’ve never eaten here since lunch is normally done closer to the front of the park. I got the Grilled Chicken with Red Beans and Rice. It was OK but bland. I guess I shouldn’t expect signature restaurant quality at a carry out place.



    Now I had a slight problem. I didn’t have reservations for dinner and I really didn’t have a plan. I had hoped to eat at Kimonos but since I had sushi last night I wanted something other then sushi. I decided to see if I could call in for a Flying Fish reservation. I had no trouble getting a 5:30 seating. I took the boat over to the Boardwalk and had a nice little cruise.

    I was being seated by the host and he told me my waiter would be Joey…now he got a strange look on his face and said something like. “Wait, it’s your first time here, maybe I should assign you someone else like Maria to you.” Now I remember hearing about a strange waiter over at the Flying Fish and I think his name might be Joey. So I told the host that Joey would be fine, don’t worry about it. I thought the worst that would happen is I’d get a good story out of the experience. Joey did seem a bit strange but he wasn’t that bad. Maybe I caught him on a “good” night or before he had a chance to sample the wine.

    For my appetizer I had the Peeky Toe Crab Cake. Now I’m from Balmor (Baltimore for those from out of town) and I should know about ordering anything that’s a crabcake outside of Maryland. But I figured I knew ahead of time this wasn’t a blue crab crabcake and I should look at it as a new type of crabcake. It was good but not as good as a real crabcake.



    I love a really good seafood and pasta dish so I chose some sort of pasta seafood dish (I can’t find it on any online menus so I’m not sure of the name). It was good but I’ve had better at other places and Spoodles had a much better one.



    I looked over the dessert menu and nothing appealed to me. <shrug> OK this is a good chance for me to grab dessert at Downtown Disney.

    From sitting down to paying the check was about 45 minutes. This meal was my most disappointing table service meal of the trip. I place it behind Jiko and California Grill and way behind Bistro de Paris. I’d go back to the Flying Fish if the people I was with really wanted to but I wouldn’t bother coming back just for the food.

    I headed off to Downtown Disney and had a “world famous” Hot Fudge Sundae over at the Ghiaradelli Soda Fountain. It was another good Hot Fudge Sundae and I’m glad I saved dessert for here instead of the Flying Fish.
     

    BillSears

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2003
    Day 5

    OK it’s day 5! Not really that exciting but I had to open somehow…

    I headed over to Mexico for lunch at the Cantina de San Angel. This was pretty good for Mexican carryout. I really liked the Quesadilla and the rest was pretty good too.



    Dinner was over at the Beirgarten. Originally I had had a 6:10 reservation but I noticed that the entertainment was at 5:55 and 7:00 and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see all of the show if I showed up at 6:10. So I called a couple of days in advance and was able to get a 6:40 with no problem. I got to sit down and get settled in just before the show started.

    I was seated with Jennifer, Sheila, Katelen, Harley and Dale as one group and Ben and Lara as another. They were great people to have dinner with. All of them had plenty of German food experience and Katelen, she was about 8, entertained me by naming all 50 states, doing string tricks and basically being a cute kid.

    I ordered a beer flight and headed off to the buffet. I started at the cold buffet. The hard sausage was pretty good. The pretzel bread was good and I probably would have been very happy with it but I’ve had the bread at LeCellier and this isn’t even close. There were some good points and bad points to it all but I guess it’s a matter of taste.



    For the hot entrees I really liked the Pork Schnitzel. Some of the sausages were good some tasted like bologna. Most of the other items were pretty bland for example the potato ball was just some sort of boiled potato mixture.



    Dessert…remember if you can fit it all on one dessert plate it only counts as one dessert! I really liked the Bavarian Cheesecake.





    I had a good time at the Beirgarten. The food was pretty good, the beer was great and the show was a lot of fun. I got lucky with my tablemates too, I’m sure sometimes people get seated with some grumpy people but I had some great tablemates.
     

    BillSears

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2003
    Day 6 and I’m back at the Magic Kingdom for a half day. No reservations and no plans for the day. I did get here a bit late around 10:45 or so.

    I decided to check at Tony’s and see if I could get in at 11:30, I think it was 11:30. They had openings and I showed back up about 5 minutes before they opened.

    Tony’s Town Square was pretty good. I was seated quickly and had the menu and the “special” explained to me. The special was the chicken parmesan on spaghetti instead of as a sandwich and that sounded good to me. I ordered that and some breadsticks. The breadsticks were good but I would have preferred a bit more garlic taste to them. I enjoyed the chicken parmesan. Overall I was happy I ate here but there are so many great restaurants in the monorail resort hotels and I doubt I’ll be coming back soon.



    After having fun all over the Magic Kingdom I decided to track down something I’ve seen a lot of people eat but I’ve never eaten. A Churro! I headed over to Frontierland and found a churro at one of the carts. It was a nice cinnamony sugary treat. I’m going to have to add it to my list of great treats at WDW.

    Now here’s where I blew it. All of the above was bought at places I’ve never eaten at before or haven’t eaten at in 15 or so years. But it was hot and I wanted something cool and refreshing. I decided to give the Dole Whip another try. I tried it once and really wasn’t impressed, actually I didn’t like it. Well I got in line at the Aloha Isle and kept looking at the Dole Whip floats that passed by as people were leaving. But wait!!! Look they have a ROOT BEER FLOAT! That sounds perfect for the hot day. So I got a root beer float at Aloha Isle as the last thing I ate on this trip. I almost made it out with my plans intact but I have to admit that root beer float was darn good.
     

    tasha99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2006
    :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

    What an awesome set of reviews! Thank you.

    You've convinced me that I should go to Bistro de Paris (on a different, less budget trip when I'm not doing free dining). Now if only I can convince DS, who announced he doesn't want to eat anywhere near plates of snails when I suggested Chefs de France.
     
  • ModestMouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2007
    WOW Bill--what great reviews, thank you so much for sharing.
    Definitely will have to try the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain, never been there.

    Glad you had nice tablemates at Biergarten, it's a big favorite of ours and we've met lots of nice folks there as well.
     

    Maggi May

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2003
    Wow, incredible reviews and photos. I love your premise of eating somewhere new for all of your meals.
    It was good to hear your report about kids at Jiko -- we are taking our 2 1/2 year old DS there in a few weeks.
     

    disneyjunebug

    Three greatest guys in the world: Bill Nye, Micke
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2007
    Great reviews! I especially loved the Bistro and Le Cellier reviews, since we are doing them in November!
     
  • Summer-Caitlin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2006
    Loved your reviews. Even though I am on the DDP, I booked Jiko and am paying OOP for it, we have managed to squeeze in a few signature restaurants (V & A, California Grill, Artists Point and Jiko) I am still trying to convince my fiance that we should try Yachtsman Steakhouse after all it's our honeymoon and I love me some steak:)
    I am glad I have booked Jiko after reading your review. I know that Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with macaroni and cheese will be what I choose, it still sounds strange to me though...
     

    mlill

    Tagless since 2000!<br><font color="red">Tagless,
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2000
    Excellent! :thumbsup2 Thanks so much for the detailed reviews!!! I'm glad that you liked Jiko & Boma! :goodvibes Bistro de Paris sounds great, too! It's been a few years since we've been up there - maybe it's time to add it back in to the ADR list. I totally agree about Flying Fish. Our meal there last December wasn't something to write home about. It was good, but not great.

    Thanks again!
    -Michelle
     

    PlutoLuvr

    KORT RORP/ERS AULS TKPWET T LA*S WORD :)
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2006
    Thank you so much for the reviews! DH & I have been tossing Bistro around for our anniversary in September, and I think your review and photos have sealed it for us. I loved the "one piece of asparagus" :rotfl2:

    Jiko's awesome, eh? Totally agree :) DH & I eat there all the time -- average once a month or so -- and we still can't bring ourselves to order anything but the filet and mac. Saw it on a Food Network show a few years back and became immediately intrigued. Good luck with making that mac & cheese at home. The recipe is found several places online, but it looks crazy hard, IMO. And I know my way around the kitchen ;)

    Believe it or not, steak tastes great with good quality mac & cheese at home. I made some smokey mac & cheese this weekend with various cheddars, gouda and lots of thyme, and it was almost as good as the Jiko filet with mac & cheese. Geez, I can't remember the last time we had a baked potato with steak at home.

    Thanks again for all those photos!
     

    Belle5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 10, 1999
    I really enjoyed your reviews! It was nice to see one w/ pics from Bistro. Looks like you had a great time dining!
     

    TigerKat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2006
    Thanks for the great reviews & pics. I'm so excited about trying JIKO on our next trip. I wish we could fit Bistro in this time, but it'll have to wait.
     

    shovan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2006
    Bill, Thanks for the great reviews & pics!!!:thumbsup2 Great idea to try different places than your usual.

    Really happy to see pics of the Bistro. Years ago when DH & I wanted to try it, it was not even HA & we've sort of skipped over it since. We'll have to get there soon, it looks wonderful even if the lift is a bit unusual!

    We did Jiko and Flying Fish for the first time on our last trip. We'll have a tough time not heading back to Jiko for that Filet on our next trip. That sauce is something I won't be trying to reproduce at home!

    We also enjoyed FF! We enjoyed the crab cake at FF although we are not from Balmore!;) We're pretty picky about seafood though,(being from N'awlins) and enjoyed everything we tried at FF.

    Thanks again for the great report!
     

    2manypets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2005
    Thanks for the reviews...It looks like you ate at some nice places. I love the pictures of Biergarten, we'll be going there in Dec. It looks sooo good.
     


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