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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: Culinary Cabaret (Part 2)

4 November 2012

'You will [enjoy] this dinner! That's not a request!' Honest, dinner at the Be Our Guest Restaurant was probably among one of the best meals I've had on Disney property, even if it was still in testing mode. In last week's article, we shared some interesting facts about the outside view of the restaurant as well as a sampling of appetizers. Today we'll be looking at four entrees from the menu, inspired by classic French dishes dating back to the 1400s.

First up, we'll feast on some seafood, likely inspired by the catch of the day on the shores of Normandy. The Pan-Seared Salmon on Leek Fondue is a heaping filet of Salmon on a creamy bed of Saffron-crushed potatoes. Of the seafood family, salmon is probably my favorite, so my expectations are a little biased. Even still, everyone at the table agreed, while good , compared to the other entrees, this one was a little boring and bland. I guess the good thing is that it is a very safe entr'e choice for the pickier eaters in the party. The salmon tasted nice, maintaining its natural flavors with a seemingly simple seasoning, though I feel the dish could be improved with some sort of sauce other than the Leek Fondue. The Leek Fondue was hard to find, but it was there and the creamy potatoes were great, but just had a tiny hint of saffron. Saffron is expensive, so I think it would be worth it to put in a little more so the guest knows it's actually there. The Disney quality and presentation was alive in this dish, though the 'wow' factors and flavors we saw with the restaurant and the other entrees must've died with the fish.

Next we continue our seafood servings with the Saut'ed Shrimp and Scallops. Being allergic to shrimp, I relied on my dinner companions to rate this for me. The dish was a very French and creative presentation; along with mushrooms, carrots, and spinach , the saut'ed shrimp and scallops lay on a puff pastry shell on a sea of an excellent tomato based lobster sauce, with the shell cover on the side. This was my friend's favorite things of everything we tried and stated he would totally eat this everyday if he could.

Our dinner adventure in France goes from fish to fowl as we travel to the countryside for the Rotisserie Cornish Hen. This plate had a lot to it and truly emulated the farm to fork theory with roasted fingerling potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables. Upon first whiff of the hen, I immediately was transported to the winter holiday season as it reminded me of the rotisserie chicken my dad used to cook. The herb rub used seemed to be thyme and tarragon or one of the other. The chicken was so juicy and tender, perfectly roasted. The carrots and yellow squash were cut thin and was almost like pasta, making for an interesting new way to eat vegetables. The Cornish Hen was overall a delightful plate we all really enjoyed.

The clear winner of the night, at least in my opinion was the Layered Ratatouille. No other dish could be more French and fittingly Disney than Ratatouille. The best part was that the recipe for this version of the classic French stew was Remy's recipe from the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille. The chefs at Be Our Guest are using the actual recipe by Chef Thomas Keller, the culinary research consultant for the film. Just like in the film, the vegetables 'zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and tomatoes ' are sliced crosswise on a mandolin and arranged in a circular presentation on a bed of Spanish onions and roasted. The vegetables sit on a bed of quinoa, a type of grain that is prepared similar to rice. The quinoa did not really taste like anything, which was fine because the Ratatouille was the real star of the show. A bell pepper salsa accompanied the dish and really helped bring out the savory flavors of the roasted vegetables. For a completely vegan dish, the Ratatouille was hearty and filling. Though the quinoa lacked flavor, it provided body and support to a delightful presentation of a classic French dish.

Though there is no Beef Ragout, Cheese Souffle, Pie and Pudding en Flambe, the cast at Be Our Guest did prepare a serve with flair a culinary cabaret. After some great appetizers and an impressive main course, next week's article takes a step back from the meal and steps into the Beast's Castle as we explore some of Walt Disney Imagineering's finest creative output. With three incredibly themed and beautifully designed dining rooms, the restaurant has a lot to explore. Below is a clue to where we dined for our test meal and also an example of Imagineering at its best.

The final week's article of Sunday Brunch's look at Be Our Guest finishes the meal portion of this restaurant review with a look at the sweet endings with dessert. The 'serve with flair' portion really is exemplified during the dessert course, and I cannot wait to share it with you. Until then, I hope you've hungered enough to plan your journey to the Enchanted Forest and make reservations to Be Our Guest.




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