Touted by the Disney World resort as some of the best Disney dining available, Monsieur Paul is a Disney World Signature restaurant located in the France Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.
This is a table service location that specializes in French cuisine. Monsieur Paul is one of the most upscale dining options offered inside an actual Disney park, rather than in one of Disney World’s resorts, and if you have time to visit this after experiencing more exciting locations, or if you prefer traditional, less adventurous menu items at an unpretentious, less gimmicky locale, it’s a nice option for date night.
- Nice, quiet spot
- Signature dining located conveniently inside Epcot
- Tasty desserts
- Kind wait staff
- Feels like actually being in Europe
- Less gimmicky than other Disney World dining options
- Great for seafood lovers
- Expensive (though not as exorbitant, comparatively, if you’re eating on the Disney Dining Plan)
- Service speed isn’t as quick as it might be at other locations
The menu at Monsieur Paul offers plentiful, varied meat options. As of November 2018, main courses offered include the following:
Seared tuna steak with smoked fish mousse and fennel
Black sea bass in rosemary sauce with spinach and thinly sliced potato
Rolled baked salmon with parmesan, potato, squash, and beurre blanc
Poached chicken breast in cream sauce with chestnuts and butternut squash
Beef tenderloin in cream sauce with pureed rutabagas, Brussels sprouts, and a beef jus reduction
Numerous options for h’ordoeurvres are offered as well, and include items like escargot, endives and poached pear, and rainbow trout. Dessert choices include meringue, almond cake and cream in a crunchy, spherical chocolate shell, caramelized apples, and vanilla ice cream.
Two prix fixe options, one with three courses and the other with seven, are available, and include menu items not listed on the regular menu.
Monsieur Paul has a fantastic wine list and servers are generally knowledgeable and ready to offer recommendations. A children’s menu is available too, and choices include beef, salmon, and seared chicken tenders. This is not a restaurant for extremely picky eaters.
Vegetarian menu options are available but they are not listed on the regular menu and MUST be requested at the time of booking a reservation. Monsieur Paul can be very busy during peak visiting periods, so make sure that if you have any dietary restrictions, you inform the restaurant well ahead of time. The vegetarian menu varies. Read a great review of a vegetarian Monsieur Paul experience here.
Breakfast and lunch are not offered at Monsieur Paul.
Main courses: $40-$50
Wine and beverages: Subject to variation
Location and Ambience
Monsieur Paul is located directly above Le Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion. To arrive at the restaurant, ascend a burgundy carpeted spiraling staircase to the main dining room. Pause a moment on the steps to consider the photos on the staircase walls chronicling Chef Bocuse’s illustrious career. The dining room itself is simple and elegant, dominated by a color palette of deep reds, the chocolatey browns of polished wood, and creamy eggshell.
The ceiling is lower than you might expect, mimicking the architecture of a similar restaurant you might visit in Paris, and ornamented with twinkling chandeliers. The restaurant is always bright: in the late afternoon before the sun sets, sunshine pours through the windows that line the walls, and in the evening there is ample light from glass fixtures between the windows and overhead.The setting is romantic, but not in a dark, candle-lit sense. There is no booth seating at Monsieur Paul, although larger parties can expect to be seated in a high-backed bench configuration.
The location is very convenient if you are spending the day at Epcot. In fact, it is advisable to visit Monsieur Paul only if you are already visiting Epcot for other attractions. There are a myriad of fine dining options at Disney World, and it would be a better use of time to visit the restaurants closest to places you’re already visiting, rather than using up sizable portions of your day traveling to one park or resort to the next. Plan your trip and reservations accordingly.
This spot feels like a restaurant in France. They have done an excellent job recreating a really European ambience.
There is a dress code in place at Monsieur Paul, although it isn’t strict. Don’t walk in wearing a sports bra under a mesh tank top, and you’ll be fine. It is a formal establishment, but it isn’t stuffy.
The location is wheelchair accessible.
You can view fireworks if you have a window side table at Monsieur Paul! This really makes the location more enjoyable and more special. When booking reservations, don’t hesitate to ask for a table next to the windows during a fireworks display!
Children are welcome, but if your kids won’t eat anything other than pb&j or macaroni, they aren’t going to find those options here. That being said, the staff treats kids very well, as all Disney cast members do. According to one review, the waiters and waitresses were even playing games with the kiddos.
There are only 120 seats available at this location, so Monsieur Paul tends to be (mercifully!) quieter than other dining options at Disney World.
Prices and Affordability
Monsieur Paul is one of the most expensive of the Signature restaurants. Main courses alone are around $40 a plate. You are paying for ambience and ingredients like black truffle and escargot, the extremely convenient in-park location, and for the culinary work of Monsieur’s head chefs, Paul and Jerome Bocuse.
The Prix Fixe meals may be a better bargain than ordering your meal in individual courses, especially if you’re a by-the-bottle wine drinker.
You may not find the portion sizes satisfactory if you’re used to typical American cuisine.
Food here is very simple. Seasonings are light and the cuisine is described as traditionally French with an American flair. If you don’t like French food, don’t choose Monsieur Paul. If you want high-end and adventurous, again, try an option like Jiko at The Animal Kingdom.
If you’re eating on the Disney Dining Plan (which is always, always advisable for anyone staying at Disney World longer than two days), Monsieur Paul will cost you two table credits. If you’re interested in getting the most out of your Dining Plan by visiting the most expensive options, this is a much better monetary bargain on the Dining Plan when compared to the prices at other two table locations.
Service and Cast Members
All of the waiters and waitresses at Monsieur Paul are French! Feel free to ask questions and have a little chat about whatever you want to know. The staff is always very friendly, especially when you are friendly, even on very busy evenings. Working at Disney World can be an extremely demanding job, and the nicer you are to your servers, the nicer they will be to you. Show them you appreciate them, and everyone will have a fantastic experience.
The service can be a bit slower here than at other restaurants, especially during peak visiting times. Rather than being annoyed by this, enjoy it. People watch from your awesome second story vantage point or take in the fireworks if you book a reservation at that time. Take advantage of the bread refills and sip your delicious wine slowly. Savor the time that you have with the people in your party. Some customers have complained that it took too long to receive food between courses…there is a reason for this. Your palette will be refreshed between courses so that you can really enjoy the food.
There are no character-themed cast members here. Members of wait staff wear black aprons over white shirts with cast member name tags. As expected, everyone is extremely professional and attentive.
How to Make Reservations
Reservations are recommended six months in advance, but if you can’t plan that far ahead, don’t worry; table space is usually available within a few weeks of your preferred dining time (as long as you aren’t trying to book around holidays like Christmas, New Years, or Fourth of July).
If you’re staying at one of the Disney World resorts, a Disney Dining Plan is a great option that will save you and your party a lot of money if you’re staying at the park for multiple days. These plans include specific menu options. Dining Plan credits can be redeemed at the time of payment by presenting your Disney World identification, which will be either a Magic Band or a card. Visit the Disney World website for information on the Deluxe Dining Plan, the best plan to choose if you want to dine at Monsieur Paul. Monsieur Paul requires two table service credits.
My Thoughts on Monsieur Paul
Monsieur Paul serves some delicious meals, and though the menu doesn’t vary all that much from season to season, it is always a good idea to ask your server for their recommendations for the best dish of the day. Take their advice if you can’t decide!
Who WILL enjoy Monsieur Paul?
Seafood lovers won’t be disappointed by options like the incredibly delicious black sea bass and “potato scales.” This is one of Monsieur Paul’s signature dishes, and it has earned it’s status for a reason. The potatoes are crispy, the bass is perfectly cooked, and the rosemary sauce is delicate and flavorful. The seafood in general is a great choice if you like fish, because the natural tastes aren’t covered up by extensive or overpowering seasoning. In my opinion, it is the best item on the menu.
If you like French-inspired food, you will find many menu items promising. The escargot is particularly tasty: it is light, chewy, and delicate.
There aren’t many desserts to choose from, but the chocolate sphere is the most popular. As it contains hazelnuts, if you’re an allergy sufferer, opt for the mango and coconut sorbet in meringue instead. The desserts are definitely a highlight at Monsieur Paul, so dessert lovers won’t be disappointed.
This is a really nice spot for couples and adults. As stated above, it does have a dress code, it is only open for dinner, and it has a somewhat limited children’s menu. Even at its busiest, it is always quieter and more peaceful than other dining options, especially those inside the park. You want adult time? Monsieur Paul is generally a good pick.
Bread lovers rejoice! The complimentary pre-meal bread offerings are fresh, chewy, and (most importantly) tasty. They will bring you as much bread as you want, so if you don’t find smaller portions satisfying, get your bread on! I actually find the plain baguette to be the best of their many bread offerings.
The chef knows his stuff, and I trust his authority on what is and isn’t French food. I actually liked having a dress code enforced, because the formality made the experience feel more like a proper date night rather than a rushed face-stuffing session at a crowded theme park normally would. It was actually a nice break in the midst of all the hustle and bustle and commerciality of Disney World.
The waiters are incredibly nice, especially if you show genuine interest in learning more about what you’re eating. In fact, the staff seemed almost nicer after I started asking questions.
Who WON’T enjoy Monsieur Paul?
Monsieur Paul is not your best choice if your heart is set on Disney dazzle. This isn’t it. In fact, if you haven’t been to Disney World before and this is your first Disney dining experience, do opt for something a little flashier. Come back and try Monsieur Paul on your next visit with your partner! As stated above, great alternatives that give you a real Disney experience include Be Our Guest in The Magic Kingdom (which takes place in a recreation of an actual European castle) or Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort (styled after high-end restaurants in Hawai’i and featuring a fun character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at breakfast time).
Do. Not. Eat here if you’re looking for big portions and big values. These are small, gourmet dishes that cost a lot for what they are. Personally, I think the price is a reflection of convenience for guests who are already spending the day at Epcot. You won’t appreciate it if you’re disappointed in the money you’re going to spend. Go for the awesome buffet at The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma if you want a ton of fantastic food at a smaller price, and don’t mind a more crowded, super colorful dining experience.
This spot isn’t, for lack of a better word, cool. This location is home-y and comfortable, and it really feels like any restaurant you might visit in Paris, which is the entire point. The decor has a very subtle, retro bubble theme, it isn’t dark and deeply atmospheric, and you won’t find hyper-creative dishes like the Inguday Tibs in Brik at Jiko. If you want cool and high-end, Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs is a fun choice.
Kids who want McDonald’s all day everyday are not going to find a lot of dishes they like at Monsieur Paul, and it might actually be a little quiet and subdued for the little ones generally, especially if they’re already tired after a long day at the park.
If the idea of a dress code just isn’t your thing, skip Monsieur Paul. You probably will find it a bit snobby. If you still want really nice French dishes but you don’t want formality, you’ll be happy with Le Chefs du France downstairs or the FANTASTIC Les Halles Boulangerie, a delightful little quick serve spot just a few doors away.
Is it actually worth the price?
Is this one of the best restaurants at Disney World? That depends on what you want. If you need convenience and you don’t like eating at really crowded, noisy locations, I would actually give Monsieur Paul a solid YES. If you want to feel like you’re in France (although the food is more French-American fusion than by-the-book French cuisine), then yes. If you have any reservations based on any of the factors stated above, then no. Try one of the listed alternatives instead.
Overall Star Rating: 4/5
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