16 February, 2011

Dinner at Le Cellier Review...What's the Hype?

To celebrate Christina's half marathon finish, we decided to make the dinner reservation in between both our races at the one and only Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion.  One of the hardest ADR's (Advance Dining Reservations) to get, this place books up on the day reservations open....180 days prior to your dining experience.  Crazy, right?!  Being the Disney dorks that we are, Stina and I had a pow wow at her house on the 180 day mark and booked all of our ADRs at the same time.  Nothing like trying to figure out where you want to eat 6 months in advance!

After wandering Epcot for a bit, we headed down to Le Cellier and were a little early for our ADR.  While waiting for our table, we saw a couple get the cheddar cheese soup and pretzel bread delivered outside to them on the bench by the entrance.  I thought I heard that Le Cellier didn't do this?  Does anyone know if they do it all the time, or just during off peak hours (it was slightly before 5pm)?  If so, I would totally do it!  The soup is by far the best thing on the menu!

We were seated fairly quickly and the server took our drink order and brought us some of the fabulous bread that they're known for.  I totally forgot to take a picture, probably because Christina and I attacked the bread and both tried to grab the pretzel bread first.  The three breads they bring you are more like thick bread sticks...one is sourdough, another one is multigrain, and then the infamous pretzel bread.  I liked all three so was willing to share the pretzel bread...plus we asked for more later in the meal.  

We were both pretty hungry but I didn't want anything too heavy since I had my race the next day.

I decided to order the Tomato Stack, without the blue cheese.  I LOVE cheese but I just can NOT like blue cheese, gorgonzola, any of that 'moldy' cheese.  When it came to the table, it was almost too pretty to eat!  The tomato was perfectly marinated, the onions were delicious (I have a thing for caramelized onions) and the cucumbers gave the dish a nice crisp flavor.  The yuzu vinaigrette was delicious.  It's like a very thick and very sweet balsamic.  There's a restaurant by me that drizzles it on grilled romaine hearts and it's divine.  But anyways...back to Le Cellier.  I definitely enjoyed the tomato stack but realized all I was really eating was just a tomato and a little cucumber and onions.  Without the cheese, not sure I would spend $9 on it again. 

Tomato Stack, minus blue cheese
Tomato Stack - with Carmelized Onions, Cucumbers, Crumbled Blue Cheese, and Yuzu Vinaigrette $8.99

Christina went with the always delicious Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup.  Cheese, beer, bacon, and cream...how could you go wrong???  Dip some pretzel bread into this and it's a little bit of heaven.  I snuck a few bites (ok...maybe more than a few bites) and thought it was slightly too salty.  Not overly salty, but definitely more than I'm used to.  Didn't hold me back from practically licking the cup clean...

Moosehead Cheddar Cheese Soup, Le Cellier
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup - Made with Moosehead Beer and Smoked Bacon, Cup $5.49

My favorite side dish at Le Cellier is definitely the cream cheese mashed potatoes.  Since I had the race though, I wasn't sure something that creamy would be good for me.  Apparently I didn't think of that when I was devouring Christina's soup though!  The filet at Le Cellier hasn't ever disappointed so I decided to go with that again but asked them to hold the mushrooms, butter sauce, and risotto.  I asked to swap the risotto out with their seasoned roasted potatoes.  Was hoping they would have a baked potato but the closest thing to it was the roasted ones.

When it came to the table, I noticed the 'no mushrooms' request was forgotten somehow.  Not a problem though, I could just push those off to the side.  Cut into the filet right away to make sure it was cooked correctly (I asked for medium) and it was perfect.  The steak was amazingly tender but instantly I noticed that it was amazingly salty.  Almost inedible salty.  I did end up eating all of the steak but towards the end I carefully shaved off the outside grilled part hoping to get rid of some of the salt, which worked.

As for the potatoes?  Another item in the 'wayyyy too salty' category.  They were cooked well, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside but, again, almost inedible due to the amount of salt on them.  Usually I can handle salty things so this meal had to be extreme for me to notice.  I ate most of them though but had to stop towards the end when I realized I was on my 4th or 5th glass of water. 

Plain Filet at Le Cellier
Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon - with seasoned roasted potatoes wild mushroom risotto, white truffle and herb butter sauce $34.99

Christina decided to order the filet as well but asked for it completely plain and subbed the cream cheese mashed potatoes after a little convincing from me.  When her meal came out, we realized hers was wrong as well since they added the butter sauce to it.  She didn't want to send it back and just scraped the sauce off onto the side of the dish.  Her steak was also cooked perfectly when she cut into it.  Unfortunately though, she wasn't a fan of the mashed potatoes!  I felt bad since I was raving about them and pretty much forced her to order them.  They were a little too creamy for her liking.  I tried some though and loved them.  Unlike the soup, I held myself back and didn't eat them all. 

Filet at Le Cellier
Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon - with wild mushroom risotto cream cheese mashed potatoes, white truffle and herb butter sauce $34.99
We again opted out of dessert but I really wanted the chocolate 'moose' that they always serve the kids. 

Overall, Le Cellier was just OK.  I've still yet to have an amazing meal here over the past 5 years so I'm not sure what everyone keeps raving about or why this place has such a cult following.  The service was very good, minus the incorrect items on both of our entrees.  The soup was delicious like always, albeit slightly salty.  Both filet's were perfectly cooked and tender but there's no way I can look past how salty everything was seasoned.  I've been reading other reviews that mention the amount of salt too so I know I'm not the only one. I'll definitely go back but will ask for no salt next time. 

I'm honestly looking forward to Le Cellier turning into a signature restaurant for dinner.  The menu will have to change (I hope) to be worth the extra price.  Hoping for the better!  And with a lot less salt!! :)


  1. I think I won't be going there. As the pickiest vegetarian I know, the menu never appealed to me. And seriously - I counted 11 little bits of potato on your plate. It reminded me of when I got a grilled cheese and tater tots and was given SIX tots. SIX!!

    I think I'm such a kid I'm not into the places where the plate is huge and basically bare with a tiny decorated thing in the middle.

    Just give me the plain cheese pizza and I'm fine! (I really should grow up some day!)

  2. Aww, I'm bummed you weren't "blown away." We ate there for the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package this Christmas (we had a group of 6, so all of us were on the phone to DDR at 6am the morning they opened CPDP reservations, so no, you're not a dork!). We really enjoyed it and even choosing from the (somewhat) limited CP menu, felt like we got a great bang for our buck - but we got the reserved seating, too, so that factors in. That was our first time eating there, and we felt like it lived up to all the rave reviews. But, I do agree with you that I don't know that it's worth the cost for a "regular" dinner.

  3. Very detailed review! I'm glad to see that an angel choir didn't rejoice with audible hallelujahs right from the get-go. A well-balanced review of a Disney restaurant like your piece is hard to find.

    I think the pending race hindered your visit to Le Cellier to the point of an unhappy experience. The mucho salt is definitely unforgivable, but a perfectly cooked steak preempted by fresh bread and The Cheddar Cheese Soup to end all cheddar cheese soups doesn't seem like a completely ruined dinner.

    I've never been to Le Cellier, but I'll remember to keep a close eye on the salt content. Oh and I cannot contemplate not liking any kind of creamy mashed potatoes! If taters are too creamy in any situation, I use them as bread dip!

    Best Wishes,

    Orlando Foodie and Carb Fiend

  4. When we ate at Le Cellier we felt pretty much the same - all very well done and perfectly fine food, but wondered what the hype was all about. I wonder if it would be regarded the same if the Dining Plan wasn't in place, as it seemed that it had gained its reputation based on value for the DDP users rather than the actual taste of its food.

  5. @FruitFly as a very not picky vegetarian, i can tell you i had an amazing Le Cellier experience. There's always a vegetarian dish (had a butternut squash ravioli when i went) and the chefs will work with you to create something different if you'd like. If anything, go for the pretzel bread and sides!! Mmmmmm

  6. I agree that the food at Le Cellier is uber salty. Unfortunately, the one time I got the cheddar soup I got sick. It was too creamy for me (although I loved it and didn't realize that until later). Have you eaten in the new Italy restaurant? I went during Food & Wine and liked it a lot.

  7. I really am not a Le Cellier fan - I agree, everything is super salty. I remember once having a to-die-for crab cake there, but haven't had anything else good since.

  8. I liked LeCellier (it was our first time this past trip)...unless the menu changes, I definitely don't think it's worth 2 dining credits, though. The pretzel bread and soup was my favorite! :0)

  9. Sorry your stuff was so salt! :0(

  10. @Ronda...I know Dan (my token vegetarian Disney bff) has found things at most places so you never know what they can whip up for you!

    @Jenny...yeah, I'm bummed too! I went once with my dad and it was pretty good so was hoping for more of the same. I'll def be going back to try it again though!

    @mismari...I don't think the race made a difference. Salt is salt and there was just WAY too much of it. Would I have ordered something different if the race wasn't the next morning? Definitely. But there's no excuse for them to make ANY of their food that salty. :( It definitely wasn't a ruined dinner by any means, I just don't think it lived up to the hype and cult following it has. :)

    @Andrew...def agree that the DDP has upped the reputation of Le Cellier. People are looking at it from a value perspective...they're getting 'good' steak for free!

    @Daniel...mmmm pretzel bread....

    @Victoria...LOVED Via Napoli! Ate there a few days after this actually. I've been a few times so far and have always had a great experience.

    @Savannah...Yeah, the good items are few and far between for me. I'll give it one more shot before totally saying never again.

    @Karen...I've heard that the menu will be changing when it goes to 2 credits. Can't wait to try it out!