“Monsieur Paul restaurant introduces the culture and the authentic taste of French cuisine that Chef Paul Bocuse has been preaching to the world,” says Jerome Bocuse, son of the famous French chef and president and owner of the company that runs Monsieur Paul, re-opening in December 2012 in the France pavilion at Epcot World Showcase.
Upscale but less formal than the former Bistro de Paris, the new decor captures classic French architecture with bright colors and a touch of modernism. ”The new restaurant inherits the air of hospitality of my father’s restaurant as each staff member goes above and beyond to offer the warmest, most inviting service possible,” says Jerome.
Monsieur Paul is decorated with mementoes of Chef Paul Bocuse’s extraordinary culinary honors – he achieved three Michelin stars for 48 straight years at his famous Lyon restaurant, Auberge du Pont de Collognes. The Bocuse family has an important place in the culinary world, most recently with Paul Bocuse being named “Chef of the Century” by The Culinary Institute of America. “Monsieur Paul” was the name cooks used in the 1950s to address a young Paul Bocuse in the kitchen to differentiate him from his father George Bocuse, also an established chef—and the nickname has stuck throughout Paul’s life.
“My father, Paul Bocuse, first opened Les Chefs de France here at Epcot in 1982 with Chefs Gaston Lenôtre and Roger Vergé – it was the first and only Bocuse-affiliated restaurant in America,” says Bocuse. “Things have now come full circle, with me having the opportunity to open a restaurant here bearing my father’s name – I’ve seen the dining scene change and we are evolving with it.”
The aim is not to replicate the dishes from the Lyon restaurant, but to serve both classics and interpretations of them in a setting that’s more contemporary.
The white linen tablecloths and tuxes for servers are gone, creating an upscale-but-less-formal approach to French dining. Crisp white shirts, purple ties and long black aprons give the servers an “elegant-but-approachable look,” says Bocuse. “Guests visiting Epcot are not here to go to elegant, time-consuming dinner,” says Jerome. “They don’t have to dress up and spend a lot of time . . . we want guests to feel comfortable.” (But tanks tops still are off limits, says Bocuse.)
The new menu, created by Chef Francesco Santin who worked with Chef Bocuse in his restaurant in Lyon for 15 years, is built on the Bocuse tradition of French classical cuisine with “the freshest ingredients, the perfect temperature and just the right seasoning,” says Jerome.
“Chef Santin brings invaluable experience from Lyon to the restaurant, including his knowledge of the classic dishes, techniques, and flavors of France,” says Bocuse. ” However, it is still important for us to showcase ingredients American ingredients.” For instance, a classic Bocuse fish entrée prepared in France with rouget (red mullet) is re-imagined at Monsieur Paul with red snapper from Florida.
Guests can expect dishes such as Soupe aux Truffles V.G.E. (black winter truffle and beef broth soup), Homard du Maine à L’Armoricaine, riz Pilaf (Maine lobster, vegetable brunoise, bisque, rice Pilaf) and Carré d’Agneau en croute d’herbes, pissaladière Niçoise, cassolette de flageolet (herb crusted rack of lamb Niçoise style tart with goat cheese, onions, arugula cassoulette of flageolet beans). For a sweet finish, Soufflé chaud au grand Marnier (warm Grand Marnier soufflé) and Entremet au trois chocolats (triple chocolate cake) are just two of the desserts.
“We want guests to experience authentic French cuisine – but they don’t have to dress up and spend a lot of time,” says Jerome. “We’ve thoughtfully adapted Monsieur Paul to our guests’ vacation experience. ”
Monsieur Paul is open seven days a week for dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. Call 407-WDWDINE, or online at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/