Le Cellier Steakhouse: "Canadian" Cuisine at its Finest

It isn't 100% clear to me what constitutes "Canadian cuisine." I'm extremely partial to Nanaimo bars and ice wine, both of which I credit to the Land Up Yonder, but I'm not sure that if I began a "Canadian" restaurant I would have any idea whatsoever of what standards to put on the menu. That said, if Canadian cuisine is in any way represented by the fare at Walt Disney World's Le Cellier restaurant in Epcot, I'm moving to Saskatchewan.

What is interesting to me is that Canada has always been a safe mix of dozens of other ethnicities-French, Russian, Scandinavian, British; one can't quite pin down what Canada is supposed to "be." As a result, Canada loses out on having a lot of stereotypes-including those regarding its food. And while Epcot's Canada pavilion relies thinly on lumberjack attire and totem poles to give it any sense of place, Le Cellier embraces Canada's melting pot of cuisine and uses that broad palate to its advantage. The outcome is a group of beloved dishes that any Disney addict knows and holds dear.

The Breadsticks

Every good Le Cellier convert knows that at the beginning, when diners are seated within one of the invisibly assigned Canadian provinces, your waiter greets you with three types of (to die for) breadsticks. The bread comes along with a story about why these three types of bread were chosen: the sourdough bread represents the Yukon territory, which, every Spring, holds a Sourdough Festival to welcome back the sunlight (during the winter, they have only 3-4 hours of sunshine per day); the multigrain bread, which represents the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, which produce over 50% of the world's grain; and the pretzel bread, which represents the Kitchener/Waterloo area of Ontario, which holds the world's second largest Oktoberfest each year.

The Cheddar Cheese and Moosehead Beer Soup

Moosehead Beer is just about the only thing served in Le Cellier that's exclusively Canadian-at least Canadian enough to export to other countries. And coupled with the sharpest Cheddar cheese around-Black Diamond-it makes a tangy, heady, rich soup that, paired with those breadsticks, will make you understand immediately why the restaurant books up faster than breakfast with Cinderella.

The Filet

Ain't nothin' uniquely Canadian about steak, but after a taste of Le Cellier's cut-it-with-a-butter-knife Filet Mignon, you won't want to order steak in any other country. Paired with an incredible mushroom risotto that I devoured in spite of my "no mushrooms ever" policy (yes. It's that good.), this steak is matchless in Disney parks.

So...no. Bread, soup, and steak aren't considered to be ethnically Canadian dishes in the way the cous cous defines Moroccan cuisine and bratwurst defines German. But Le Cellier took what they knew best and accented it with their own Canadian spin. In my book, as long as it's Canadian enough to meet Disney criteria, it's Canadian enough for me. Now where's my table?

Author Info: 

AJ is the webmaster of http://www.DisneyFoodBlog.com and truly loves touring and dining in Disney World. Check out the Disney Food Blog for a photo review of Le Cellier and for other info and reviews on Disney Dining.

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