*This is a guest post from writer Emily Clay. Make sure to check out her bio at the bottom of the article and leave her a comment.
Epcot is, hands-down, the best park for foodies. With the offerings around World Showcase, it’s hard to decide where to eat, what kind of service you want, and the type of dining experience you should have. In the quest for good steak, however, there is only one choice: Le Cellier Steakhouse. I make at least one reservation here per trip, though it is very possible to find me here up to three times in a two-week span. In case it hasn’t been made obvious, I am a steak lover.
The Canadian pavilion is home to this restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner. Steak is an important part of their menu, but you can also find salmon, chicken, and pasta there for diners with other preferences. The restaurant brings in meats, vegetables, wines, and other ingredients from Canada directly, resulting in a noticeable increase in quality compared to some of the other restaurants around. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance and because of Le Cellier’s popularity, you should consider booking your time when you know that you’re interested in a meal here.
The restaurant is a few steps below ground level, keeping true to the restaurant’s name (“cellar” in French). This also means, unfortunately, pretty terrible phone service, so be prepared to lose contact through your mobile devices. This is not a completely bad thing, though, because that means fully focusing on your friends and food. The space is surprisingly small for how popular it is. At the times I’ve gone, there are usually a number of empty tables despite the hostess turning away walk-ins. I’m not sure what the reasoning is for this, but I’m always happy that I have a reservation. The steakhouse is divided into different sections, each meant to represent a different region of Canada. Your server will give you some fun facts about the region and make some food and drink recommendations before bringing out the bread service.
I am a sucker for carbs, bread in particular, and the pretzel bread here is addictive. I truly mean that. I would eat an entire basket (or two or three) of it if I could do so while still maintaining any level of decency. My obsession with this pretzel bread also means I don’t really pay attention to what the other two kinds of bread in the basket are, but there were two rolls. One had sunflower seeds and the other was something that I can’t remember. I didn’t touch them, as I was too busy devouring the pretzel bread. The butter comes topped with maple and sea salt and melts into the warm bread.
My friend and I went in very different directions for appetizers. I ordered the beet salad and she went for the snow crab and pear salad. My beet salad had a beautiful presentation, but seemed to be more of a salad with other stuff and a few beets hidden at the bottom type of plate. The beets weren’t the star here, and that was a bit disappointing as a beet lover. I removed the onions and edible flower then went to work eating the Brussels sprouts, cheese, and the few beets. It was fine as a salad, but didn’t meet my expectations for a beet salad. I rolled my goat cheese in the pumpkin seed-bacon crumb, but ate the other components mostly separately. It was okay, but I would have liked more beet presence. In the past, Le Cellier has done superb beet salads and other appetizers, so I will have to give the next version of beet salad a chance.
My dining companion ordered the snow crab and pear salad. I did not taste it, so my review on this is limited to her comments, which mostly included “really good”. Neither of us expected fruit to pair well with crab, but she said it worked surprisingly well. It certainly looked beautiful. We were both interested to see what the shredded Phyllo would look like, as Phyllo dough is delicate and, for me, difficult to work with unless you know how to handle it properly. We were impressed with the execution on that part. The cucumbers and greens remained untouched, but the big “cake” part of her appetizer was completely gone, which seems like a good indication that it was good.
On my recommendation, my friend ordered Le Cellier’s signature filet mignon with me. My friend normally doesn’t eat red meat, but I convinced her that this was the kind of place where you make an exception to your rules. She was very happy with her decision to listen to me and said her steak rivaled those found in famous restaurants in New York City and Chicago. Le Cellier deserves that praise, as their meat is always incredibly flavorful and prepared well. I absolutely love this dish. I don’t try anything else at Le Cellier unless someone else orders it and lets me take a bite because I can’t imagine other dishes being anywhere near how good this one is. Let me describe it this way: filet mignon with mushroom risotto and truffle butter sauce – truffles, butter, risotto, and steak. There really is no better combination. The one thing that throws me off are the little toy box tomatoes that come on top. Otherwise, the flavor profile is out of this world and worth ordering time and again. I also ordered an extra side of the risotto because I can never have enough. It’s that good. Because I like to over-indulge, I also get extra truffle butter sauce to dip my steak into on the side. I cannot say enough good things about this lunch/dinner. It’s pretty simple, but full of flavor, cooked well, and risotto is always a win in my book.
We were too stuffed to order dessert, but I have enjoyed the maple crème brûlée and a couple of other desserts that are no longer on the menu.
Overall, everything at Le Cellier is fantastic. If you’ve never been, it is time to make a reservation. The menu has several offerings for steak lovers, but considers those with other preferences as well, as I’ve only ever heard rave reviews about those dishes. Head to the Canada pavilion, savor your steak, and fill up a doggy bag with pretzel bread to send to me.
Emily escapes the craziness of New York with her trips to Disney World. She always keeps some part of the magic with her by carrying a Disney bag or wearing a stack of Disney Alex and Ani bracelets. She travels to Disney World for at least two weeks every year and hopes to make it over to Disneyland and the international locations sometime soon. She is currently facing the challenge of finding a new favorite Disney snack, which were the sweet cream cheese-filled pretzel at Lunching Pad and the chocolate-covered pretzel rods from Goofy’s Candy Co.