Bistro de Paris, EPCOT, Lake Buena Vista, FL

It was probably my most disappointing dining experience of the year. My expectation for Disney World dining wasn’t even that high to be honest.

Perhaps what Bistro de Paris provided, was indeed a very ‘Disney’-ish fine dining experience. Perhaps it was my mistake to expect a real gourmet meal here. I wish someone had warned me.

The ambiance and the decor really seemed rather legit, at first. Waitstaff were prominently French and all dressed professionally. I have my hopes up right until they led me up my table. It was shocking to see how casual and noisy their dining room was. They might have fancy looking white table clothes and shiny silverware but this wasn’t a place for real fine dining. I should have known better. Any ‘gourmet’ diner that calls itself a “Bistro” can’t be the real deal.

I can live with the sub-par ambiance if the food was good. Unfortunately it wasn’t. I have tried their pre-fixe menu and various items on their al la carte menu. The only thing that stood out was their grilled beef tenderloin. Most dishes lacked sophistication and delicacy. Simple mashed potato? Way too salty. Marinated tuna appetizer was unimpressive. Desserts were a total disaster. The texture of the flan was unbelievably bad. It was cake like and coarse. Raspberry souffle was a bit better but still average at best.

I probably wouldn’t have cared as much had it not been a $100+/per person meal. At this price range I expect a really darn good meal. Maybe it is a better deal if you are on the Disney dining plan. Otherwise please don’t make the same mistake I did. Your money could be better spent somewhere else.

5A5 Steak Lounge, San Francisco, CA

It is difficult not to compare 5A5 with Alexander’s. I am sure you have heard a lot. I will try not to bore you.

My biggest surprise was from their hamachi shooter. It is actually almost a complete different recipe from Alexander’s. No truffle oil but plenty of yuzu. The citric flavor could be too bold for some but refreshing for others.

My biggest disappointment was from the prime rib. First, it was served lukewarm. Probably sat in the kitchen a little too long while the other steak was being prepared. The doneness was correct. It was cooked medium rare as requested but the meat was slightly too chewy.

Daikon soup was good. Foie gras torchon has minor air bubble. Tajima f1 Ribeye was fat, juicy and tender although the seared foie gras on top could have sat in the frying pan for another minute. Strawberry souffle was this dramatic fluffiness. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.

I wish they have petite fours or small sweets when they present the check.

Overall not a bad meal but there were things that could have been better.

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