*This dining experience took place in January 2014. It also contains a vegan dinner review in addition to my gluten free & dairy free review.
Bonjour! It has been over a year since my last dinner review of Be Our Guest Restaurant. With Advance Dining Reservations being incredibly hard to get, it’s no wonder that it’s taken me so long to get back to this table service location in the Magic Kingdom. My last visit was during the Tables in Wonderland preview before the restaurant officially opened, and I was looking forward to checking out the new menu changes.
I was so excited when my friend Krista Joy from Disneyways.com sent me a message that she got a last minute ADR and asked if I would join her. How could I say no to the good company and the chance to go to Be Our Guest?! The dinner was set for 8:30 p.m. which was a wee bit late considering I was running a 5K early the next morning (4:30 a.m. wakeup call), but I was up for the challenge! In addition to Krista, I was also joined by Tony Caselnova from Disney by the Numbers who also happens to be vegan, so you’ll see some of the photos from his meal here as well.
I have to say that the castle is so pretty at night, and the interior is even more impressive when visiting in the evening. When we got in line to be seated, a cast member brought us out something I’d not seen before — our very own table candelabra. Why it was our very own Lumiere! We were given it and were asked to bring it with us to our table. Pretty cool! Don’t believe us? Well..you know the rest!
We were then greeted by our server who was quite lovely (and who’s name I can’t remember) who then said she would notify the chef. The chef then came out and she seemed…well, a bit perplexed by me. She looked at Tony and immediately said, “Oh vegan, I’ve got you covered.” and then sort of looked at me. She went over options, and it seemed strange that some might have dairy. When I double checked that there was no dairy in certain dishes, she said, “OH, you can’t have dairy either. Well that changes everything.” Oh boy, statements like that always worry me!
The pork, shrimp and scallop dishes were completely out, but she said she could do most of them gluten free & dairy free modified. She tried to sell me on the Layered Ratatouille which is their vegan & vegetarian dish. She said this was gluten & dairy free, but I really wanted something more substantial. I ended up going for the Pan Seared Salmon minus the leek fondue. She said she would serve it with roasted potatoes and some type of seasonal vegetable. I was given several options, and I asked her to choose what she thought complimented it best and was seasonal. She also offered me gluten free rolls with Earth Balance.
While I didn’t get an appetizer, Tony did, and surprisingly the French Onion Soup is gluten free (without the crouton) and dairy free and vegan without the cheese. They use a vegetable broth base instead of beef broth, which is what French Onion Soup is traditional made with. Who knew?! He did say it was quite good.
While appetizers were served our rolls also came out. They were the Ener-G rolls which is surprisingly uncommon these days on Disney property, so I’m always surprised when I see them and that they were still at Be Our Guest. I will say, they were very hot when they came to the table, but as with most Ener-G rolls, they get hard quite quickly. Eaten hot though, they really aren’t bad.
Our entrees came out fairly promptly, and I will say that mine had a nice presentation.
Here’s Tony’s vegan (and gluten free) Layered Ratatouille
Tony said his dish was good, and it looked nice. I’m not sure I personally would have been satisfied by the entree, but I’m glad that the restaurant created a vegetarian dish that was also vegan. Still, Disney seems to be on a quinoa kick lately. I wish they’d offer some variety of vegan & vegetarian dishes that weren’t quinoa based.
For my dish, I thought it was just OK. First off, I find the portions at this restaurant strangely small given the price. Second, this fish was not the greatest. It didn’t taste as fresh as I would have liked and hoped. It was cooked medium, which was not told to me. Thank goodness I don’t mind it cooked this way, but I could have been quite off put by semi-raw salmon if I didn’t like it in general. The sear on the skin was not good at all, which means the skin and anything touching it was not particularly tasty (more fishy and not in a good way). The roasted potatoes were good but not very hot. Honestly, my favorite thing about the dish was the brocollini which accompanied my salmon. It was the only thing properly cooked on my plate (in my opinion) and was bursting with garlicky flavor and sauteed well. It can get bitter if over sauteed, and this was just perfect.
Both Tony and I did not get desserts, though we were both offered sorbet and fruit (and Rice Dream for me).
After our meal, we did get a chance to explore and also see the Beast who was walking through the restaurant and posing for photos.
Overall, I love the ambiance of Be Our Guest. It’s just a gorgeous restaurant. And I like the food for lunch, but dinner I find to be underwhelming. The meal should have been fantastic but instead it just wasn’t. If there had been some tweaking and better preparation it could have easily been an awesome meal. I hope that in the future, they’ll continue to work on making their menu the best it can be and work on the food timing. I’ll definitely try again, but I have a feeling it will be a while before I go again for dinner (especially considering how hard it is to get ADRs). I’m so glad though that Krista & Tony joined me at dinner — their company made this a great meal experience.
I’m giving this restaurant a 6 out of 10 for lukewarm and mediocre food.