Having just returned from another wonderful visit to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I thought I would share with you an incredible festival event we were fortunate enough to enjoy on Friday afternoon. The French Family Meal Traditions at Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion is new this year to the Food & Wine Festival events and one that is well worth attending.
As we gathered at our beautifully dressed tables, we were greeted by Director of Operations, Eric Weistroffer, who offered a warm welcome and shared that for the past few years, Monsieur Paul has been delighting guests with French Regional Lunches. This year, the chefs at Monsieur Paul take guests on a trip “back home” as they prepare a favorite meal from their childhood. Eric shared that traditionally on Sundays in France, most everything is closed and families spend time cooking, eating and sharing life together. The French Family Meal Traditions is a reflection such traditions.
My husband and I have long been fans of French cuisine. We love the different sauces and exquisite flavors presented in their traditional dishes, so we were very much looking forward to an elegant approach on authentic French traditional lunch as well as the flowing French wines.
Our French Family Meal Tradition began with an Aperitif, Allumette au fromage, a light and airy but exceptionaly flavorful cheese stick.
The Allumente au fromage was accompanied by a Cocktail La Presse, consisting of Grand Marinier Titanium, lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling wine and a fresh raspberry. The cocktail was light and refreshing and all of us at our table agreed that they go down rather smoothly….maybe a little too smoothly.
Next, we were served an hors d’oeuvre of a traditional Quiche Lorraine with Gruyere and ham and a light salad.
The Quiche Lorraine and salad was accompanied by a 2014 Val de Loire Vouvray. I am usually not one to drink white wines given that they are a little more acidic than I like, but the Vouvray was a wonderful accompaniment to the Quiche Lorraine and the salad.
The quiche is not your ordinary Quiche Lorraine. It was elegant and full of flavor, served in a puff pastry and accompanied by a salad of mixed greens in a light dressing of mustard, olive oil and vinegar. Served with a wonderful warm French baguette, we could have been completely satisfied with stopping after this course.
The main course, the Plat de resistance, was Blanquette de veau en cocotte Le Creuset. A white veal ragout served with fresh carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions. This was the pièce de résistance and quite a remarkable dish.
The veal was exquisite and the cream sauce, while a bit rich, was absolutely delightful. Eric encouraged us to simply add the rice to the dish before enjoying the dish. The rice was a perfect addition to this dish and the combination of the veal and the vegetables in the cream sauce made for a perfect ragout – a very old family tradition.
The blanquette was paired beautifully with a 2014 Chinon, Le Haut de Presle, Marquis de Goulain and was served in a Le Creuset.
Our next course, our fourth if you are counting, was the Fromage or cheese course. A creamy wedge of Brie, accompanied by a delicate slice of walnut raisin bread, which takes 2 days to make, along with walnuts and grapes. The bread was wonderful with Brie spread on it and the grapes added just the right amount of sweetness to this course.
Our fromage course was paired with a wonderful 2012 Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Château de Ricaud. Our entire table commented on how well the Bordeaux was paired with the Brie and walnut raisin bread.
And last, but not least, the Dessert course! One would think after so many courses of delectable dishes, we would not have been able to enjoy dessert, right? Not quite. Our decadent dessert was a Macaron à l’ ancienne – a light almond macaron with bitter chocolate mousse in the center, resting on vanilla sauce and adorned with chocolate sauce dots, finished with a side of hazelnut ice cream and a thin layer of crushed hazelnuts. It was as incredibly delicious as it was beautiful.
Our dessert was paired with a sparkling wine, Crémant de Bourgogne, JCB No. 21, N.V. The sparkling wine was the perfect accompaniment to our sinful dessert and a wonderful finish to an exquisite dining experience.
At the conclusion of our French Family Meal Tradition, all of the chefs and the servers gathered in the dining room for a well-deserved round of applause as they proudly paraded through the dining room. This dining event was très-magnifique!
As I write this, there are still reservations available to experience the French Family Meal Traditions. The event takes place each weekend and each weekend has a new menu. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience as well as wonderful the company at our table. I highly recommend it if you are planning on visiting the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
The cost of the French Family Meal Traditions dining event at Monsieur Paul is $95 per person + tax and gratuity is included. This is one dining experience you will never forget.
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