Or, as we like to call it, Please No More of that Froofy Cherry Blossom Beer Because I Don’t Care What You Say, it isn’t Ethereal. It’s Just Gross.
Le Cellier is the Canadian steakhouse in Epcot. Rumor has it that getting a table there requires the 180-day cha cha.* I guess I’m just lucky, because I’ve managed to score a table here twice in the last year. The boy loves it. His father and I are less enamored.
As the name suggests, Le Cellier is located in a basement that doesn’t pretend to be anything but a basement. In true Disney fashion, it’s part of the theming. The menu is pretty steakhouse, the beer and wine list are Canadian, and the service is good. The steak is just okay, and slightly less than okay when you factor in the prices. We’ve found in the past that it lacks seasoning, and the over-use of black truffle oil doesn’t improve things. Not that it ever does, but that’s a different rant.
This trip, however, we had the poutine. If you’re not familiar with it, poutine is a French-Canadian dish that has, at it’s heart, a pile of French fries. The most classic version is topped with cheese curds and a light brown gravy, often with a sprig or two of fresh thyme. The variations, however, are as endless as a good imagination. And right now, Le Cellier has three different interpretations on the menu, making it all but preordained that we would each order a different one. The boy had their house version, (Canadian cheddar with a red-wine and beef stock reduction), The hubs went for the Farmhouse, (tomato jam, bacon, and a soft-poached egg), leaving me with the pulled pork poutine–I do love alliteration, so it was okay. Unlike the steaks of our last visit, the poutines were pretty damn good.
Before I talk about the variations, I have to give Le Cellier serious credit for their fries. They were crispy, salty, and stood up beautifully to the potentially sog-making toppings. Not an easy thing to do.
As for the toppings, the wine reduction on the house version skirted that easily-missed line between meaty and winey, not unlike the sauce on a really good, rich beef bourguignon, while the cheddar added just the right balance of salt and creaminess to the plate.
The Farmhouse, because of that poached egg (see the chakalaka post for my diatribe against soft egg yolks), worried me a little; I was careful to try the not-eggy parts. The tomato jam was sharply acidic, crossing the line into astringence, and curiously enough it worked well with the bacon and fries. I suspect the egg yolk would add a needed creaminess but cannot confirm this.
I was skeptical of that pulled-pork thing. I love pulled pork; it’s probably my second-favorite cut for smoking and because of that I tend to be picky. But it worked. The meat was smoky, but not overly so, gently sauced (compared to, say, Memphis-style pulled pork nachos which are sauced to within an inch of their lives), topped with a smoked cheese then balanced with just a bit of aioli. I might have to try this one at home.
Pulled Pork Poutine
The Farmhouse Poutine. See the runny egg? Blecch.
Throw in a charcuterie plate with Quebecois boudin and some funky venison pate, and it all made for a pretty fantastic lunch. Especially since I avoided the not-so-ethereal beer, choosing instead a darker, malty brew called Maudite (French-Canadian for “Damned Dead”) that I’d definitely drink again.
f you’re not familiar with that dance, it goes like this. Here at WDW, you can make dining reservations up to 180 days ahead of your visit. Certain restaurants and meal experiences are in such high demand that people wishing (hoping and praying) for a table start calling at exactly 7 am 180 days before the first day of their trip, and every day thereafter hoping to get lucky. Cinderella’s Table (meet princesses! In the castle!)* is one of them, as is Le Cellier.
Charcuterie plate and cheese board.
I took my then-10-year-old to the princess breakfast in Cinderella’s castle the day after we ran a family 5K. He didn’t hate it (and will never forgive me if I say more than that).