Be Our Guest Dinner Review, Menu Updates, Chicken Provencal – Magic Kingdom 5/17/13

by josh on May 26, 2013

We’ll revisit Be Our Guest Restaurant for a look at the menu changes and price increases.

Since I’ve spent a lot of time recounting the theme of the restaurant, I won’t reprise those details here.  You can check out my original review here, which includes a look at the French Onion Soup, Salad Trio, Saison Dupont, Chimay Blue, Grilled Strip Steak, Shrimp and Scallops, Passion Fruit Cream Puff, and Chocolate Cupcake.  Or a second visit with a look at the Potato Leek Soup, Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages, Thyme-scented Pork Rack Chop, Layered Ratatouille, Lemon Meringue Cupcake, Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake, Grey Stuff, and a visit with Beast.

I didn’t notice any changes to the restaurant’s decor.  The ballroom remains a little cafeteria-y in my opinion.

The West Wing remains dark – darker than it looks here with my flash bouncing off the ceiling.

The Rose Gallery was completely walled off to guests.  I had read Disney could use this room for large parties when demand was high, but Be Our Guest remains one of the most difficult reservations to secure.  We’ll see what they do over the busy summer.

The original menu:

And the new menu:

While the items are the same, appetizer prices have gone up across the board by 50 cents to $1.50.  Disney increased prices back in January.

Old menu:

New menu:

Entree prices are also up $2 – $3 or about 15% since the restaurant opened.  Dessert and Beverages prices remain the same.

Kids’ Picks.  Disney continues to stick to their guns on the kids’ menu.  No chicken  nuggets or hamburger to be found.

Original Beer Menu:

New Beer Menu:

They’ve recently added a Kronenbourg Blanc and Castelain Blond Bierre de Garde.  The Blanc is similar to the Hoegaarden, though the Blanc has more of a citrus kick with some coriander undertones.  The Blanc is much rarer than the 1664, which is available at your local Total Wine in a six pack for around $9.  The Castelain Blond is an excellent 6.4% “Beer for Keeping” and probably the best value on the list.  An 11 ounce bottle would cost you around $6 at the store if you could find it.  My personal preference is the Dupont.

Dinner is again avec Darcie and Tim, whom you may recognize from February’s Raglan Road review.  They opted for a bottle of Lasseter Paysage.  At $69, the markup is lower than most of the other wines.  A bottle would run you $40 plus $22 shipping from their online store.  According to the Lasseters:

Winemaking is an art form to us, from the vineyard to the glass, and this philosophy inspired the name Paysage, a French word meaning ‘landscape painting’ or ‘countryside’, evoking fond memories of St. Emillion’s beautiful terrain and scenery and the blended wines made there. As our inaugural wine, it signifies the inspiration for Lasseter Family Winery. To us, this wine represents a painting of estate grapes nurtured on a rocky bench in the heart of Sonoma Valley and epitomizes how the family views different elements blended into a plein air painting, or in this case, blended into a Bordeaux-style wine. With intricate brushstrokes and meticulous blending, we crafted this wine along with our winemaker, Julia Iantosca, to reflect the French style.

Yeah okay.  It’s a blend of 42% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Malbec, and 2% Cabernet Franc.  The smart wine reviewer would tell you it’s an intense wine with blackcurrant and plum notes that are brought out by 18 months  of French oak aging.  It tasted like wine to me.  I have a John Lasseter signed bottle ready for corkage if anyone wants to come over.

Prior to arriving, I had spent about eight hours walking around in circles at Hollywood Studios for the first Friday of Star Wars Weekends and was terribly thirsty.  We ended up being seated 26 minutes after our reservation time.  With a group of 11, we were split up into a table for four and a table for eight nearby, but not within chatting distance.  It may have been the thirst that made me annoyed by the fact that our server arrived and threw the drink napkins on the table in the exact same way they would at Whispering Canyon Cafe or 50′s Prime Time Cafe with a flick of the wrist from a ways back from the table.  And it seemed to take an excruciating amount of time for the waters to actually come out.  One other nitpick – bread didn’t come out until ten minutes after the appetizers arrived.

I started with the Potato Leek Soup, which is now 50 cents more expensive at $6.49 a bowl.  That’s a pretty stiff price point for a fairly rudimentary soup that’s probably made in 50 gallon batches.  It’s served hot and thick with a distinct potato flavor, but the relatively small bowl doesn’t come cheap.  It still remains my favorite of the appetizers, but you can probably skip it on a budget.

Interested in the new Chicken Provencal, I went ahead and ordered it – Pan-seared and simmered in a rustic blend of Heirloom Tomatoes, Olives, White Wine, and fresh Herbs with Seasonal Vegetables and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – 21.99. It was not actually on the menu and when I asked about a “new chicken dish,” the server mentioned that there were two chicken dishes on the menu, this Provencal and the Cornish Hen. He explained that the Provencal was being tested and he’d ask me what I thought at the conclusion of the meal.

With the poor lighting, the pictures aren’t great.  It’s a large breast of chicken served over asparagus and fingerling potatoes.  Most of the flavor seemed to come from the chili powder, cumin, and olives.  The wine, combined with the tomatoes and chiles, made for a slightly spicy sauce that didn’t overpower the other flavors.  I would have preferred a little more fire, but Disney is in the business of blander tasting food that is less likely to offend the chicken nugget and macaroni crowd.  I enjoyed the dish and it’s likely one of the healthier options.  The potatoes weren’t much to write home about – lukewarm and without much seasoning.  The asparagus was better – slightly crunchy and rubbed in butter and salt.

Overall, I thought it was a filling, tasty, less expensive, and potentially healthier meal than the steak or shrimp/scallops.

Tim and his son Liam ordered the Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops with Seasonal Vegetables and Mushrooms served in Puff Pastry with a Creamy Lobster Sauce – 25.99.  The menu now notes the mushrooms and the puff pastry is square instead of circular.  Both of our tables had the same server.  I found it interesting that he described the Shrimp and Scallops as the restaurant’s signature dish at our table and the steak as the restaurant’s signature dish at the other.

This is what the dish originally looked like back in December.  It’s my favorite dish at Be Our Guest – creamy and full of saturated fat with a generous number of shrimp and scallops.  My only complaint is the dryness of the pastry that’s cut out and placed on the side.  I wish they would drizzle some sauce over it or something.  It’s otherwise dry and nearly inedible on its own.  Save some sauce for dipping.

Darcie ordered the Layered Ratatouille – Oven-baked Zucchini, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onions sliced and layered on Quinoa served with a Bell Pepper Sauce – Now $17.49.  She wasn’t sure she’d enjoy it, but ended up loving it.

The Gluten-Free dessert option is sorbet – I believe raspberry or lemon.  This is the raspberry served alongside fresh berries.  They also have gluten free rolls available and the chef came out and discussed the gluten-free entree options.  The Provencal wasn’t because of the light flour batter.  On a hot summer day, ending the meal with a nice light sorbet may be preferable to one of the cupcakes or cream puffs.

Tim ordered the Passion Fruit Cream Puff.  At $3.99, it’s a pretty painless way to end the meal with another 500 calories of something sweet – topped with cream and a fresh raspberry.  He enjoyed it.

Liam’s Strawberry Cupcake – another favorite with a distinct strawberry flavor and creamy frosting on top.

And my Lemon Meringue Cupcake with a lemon custard filling inside of a vanilla spongecake.  It had a sweet lemon flavor balanced nicely with the meringue topping.

Regardless of whether you’re planning to order dessert, it’s hard to say no when the cart rolls up.  Keep that in mind.

As far as dining options inside Magic Kingdom, I don’t think you can do any better than Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Your other options are the expensive Cinderella’s Royal Table and Crystal Palace or the lackluster-at-best Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.   Be Our Guest’s ambiance is a lot of fun and you can take a picture with Beast at the conclusion of your meal.  If you can’t score a reservation, head over to the podium at 4pm and put your name in on the standby list.  Note that a restaurant opening at Disney World is not like a Krispy Kreme coming to your neighborhood.  The “newness” and popularity that comes with it are not going to wear off anytime soon.

For lunch, the Steak Sandwich has been replaced with a “Carved Prime Chuck Roast Beef Sandwich.”  I have not had an opportunity to try it, but word is that it’s similar to the “steak” version.

If dinner isn’t in the cards, the same soups and desserts are available for lunch for about $1 less.

I still recommend getting in line for lunch between 1:45pm and 2pm when lines will be shorter and you won’t be wasting precious morning touring time in line for lunch.  This is 2pm during the busy 24-hour Monstrous Summer event on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.  The line is still open for another few minutes and you’d only be waiting ten minutes to get inside and order.  If you were to get in line at 10:15am, you’d be waiting 20 minutes to get inside when wait times are shorter at most attractions.

So that’s Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Compared to your other options in the theme parks, you really can’t do much better on Disney property.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

JenniferS May 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

For me, dinner at BOG was a “one and done”.
I’d rather hop on the monorail and dine at the infinitely better Kona and The Wave.
I haven’t had lunch here, which may be in the cards for our next trip. If I actually wanted to eat at “lunch time” though (I think McDonald’s should serve hotcakes and sausage until noon. I mean really who wants a Big Mac at 10:30 am?), I would probably still go around the corner to Columbia Harbour House or Sleepy Hollow.

Melissa C May 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

thanks Josh. I am dining here for the first time in a few weeks and looking forward to it. I think the ballroom is sort of cheezy looking….Hope I can request the other room. You talked me into eating here and thanks to your detailed review of the Enchanted Belle visit thing that you must do first thing in the morning – I wrote that off for this trip, felt like I already experienced it with your great video footage!

Ann May 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Am I the only one totally distracted by the little girl laying down on the chair on the second pic inside the restaurant? Her legs could easily trip someone, specially with the low light.

Jessica May 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Josh, thank you- I like the get in line around 2pm idea. Has anyone done this? Did you feel rushed once inside? what time do they actually stop serving lunch?

Kevin May 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I hadn’t noticed the little girl. And no – I doubt she is a tripping hazard.

Anonymous May 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I had to go look for the kid laying down on the chair. It appears she has some sort of braces or orthopedic device on her legs, I may be wrong and it is footwear that is are part of the costume. It does seem like a person could trip if not looking down .

Allan May 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Can’t wait for you to hang out at the bridge during the summer mid-day sun and see how many collapse on that solar oven of a bridge.

dusty cheatham May 27, 2013 at 4:01 am

yes josh take one for the team & stake out a position to watch “SADLY ” people fall out in the florida hot sun & humid day. i have no doubt your new side job would be working for some ambulance chasers . but then you would be banned from our happy place & then we would all be sad.

Prof. Brainard May 27, 2013 at 5:14 am

The kiddie draped over the seat of the chair in the third picture is clearly a juvenile drunk who has passed out and been laid there by her family. I knew this would happen if they sold alcohol in the Magic Kingdom!

Jimmy N. May 27, 2013 at 5:38 am

We tried to get in line for BOG for lunch two weeks ago around 10:15 a.m. and the line was almost back to the fountain outside Gaston’s Tavern. YIKES!

Schmoodle May 27, 2013 at 5:59 am

Seriously? There were chili powder and cumin in the chicken Provencal? What kind of craziness is that?

Anonymous May 27, 2013 at 7:21 am

Prof B ,
I missed the obvious , drunk as a skunk. What would Walt think?

Marc May 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

Went to BOG for lunch last time. Won’t go again, with a line like that. My take is : meh. No reason to line up for this place, now that we’ve done it.

Julia May 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

I have had lunch there 4 times, and enjoyed them. I agree with Schmoodle, chili powder and cumin are not usual ingredients in chicken Provencal. To Jessica about getting in line about 2PM and feeling rushed–the first time I dined there it was late like that. I did feel a little “please finish up now” at the end, as they were wiping the tables and setting up for dinner. They were very nice, but it was clear lunch was over, and I had just finished my entree, and about to start my dessert. I LOVE the chocolate cream puff, and also reccomend the braised pork. My daughter really wanted to try the “grey stuff”, but we were never able to get a dinner reservation.

Jessica May 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

Ok, thank you !! What would you think about getting in line at 120-130?

Bunny May 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Yes! The Finger Salad is still on the Kids’ menu! Can’t wait to try some tasty digits!

Julia May 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Jessica, depending on how slowly your party eats, I would think 1:45 should be fine. (I am a slow eater). Lunch ends at 2:30, but I don’t think they move you out until almost 3. You will want get a few pictures by the mosaic, the rose and portrait in the West Wing, and the pillars out front as you exit. I don’t think you want to miss this. As Josh said, it will remain popular for a loooong time, so if you can’t get dinner, enjoy lunch.

Christine May 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

They really pack a lot of tables into that main dining room! I appreciate the pic of the kids’ menu, thaniks!

sonja May 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

We ate there in December and were disappointed. The steak was good (maybe a solid B) but my husband’s shrimp and scallop pasty was bland and barely warm. Our server didn’t come back so there was no chance to get a fresh one.

We didn’t regret eating there and enjoyed the newness and the atmosphere but were unimpressed. My girls and I will be in WDW in July and may consider eating lunch there to try that out too.

Jogoco May 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Question: Is BOG standby only for lunch? I haven’t been able to get a res and started trying 180 days before visit. Anyone know?

RebeccaMcK May 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I figure it’ll be a “one and done” place for me, too, and we won’t get there until probably October 2014 (fall break). I’ll try for a dinner reservation but lunch would be okay, too. Hubby is a picky eater, but he’d get the steak for dinner I’m sure. When I was there in March I should have just tried for lunch with the kiddo, but at the time I forgot about lining up before 2 pm and going for a late lunch. We’re 11/11:30 am lunch eaters (especially when we eat little-to-no breakfast most days), so we went with the usual CHH – which was alright.

Bettabeth May 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I third the opinion about the oddity of cumin and chili powder in BOG’s chicken Provençal. From what I know the traditional recipe isn’t meant to be spicy in any way. Regardless it sounds tasty! Thanks for the tip about getting on the waiting list, so far I’ve only been able to accomplish lunch.

Bettabeth May 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm

@Jogoco it’s a quick service at lunch, so no reservations accepted.

Gretchen May 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Yes, Jogaco, lunch is strictly “standby”. It’s considered a Counter Service place for lunch – so no reservations taken. Dinner, on the other hand, is considered sit-down table service and at this time reservations are required, tho a lucky few have been able to score a table by putting their name on a stand-by list when the restaurant first opens for dinner around 3 PM . HTH!

Figaro May 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

Josh please read this before you delete it. I was trying help you not critique your photos, as you have started using flash. If you’re going to use mixed lighting, like flash and tungsten, you’ll need an attachment for your flash (Sto-Fen) and an 80B color balancing filter on your lens. Otherwise your background that the flash doesn’t reach turns out bright orange. There’s different filters for fluorescent as well. The gray card makes neutral color balancing easier – eg WhiBal. As Craig is coaching you photographically, it would have been better for him to explain it to you personally. OK, bye.

BayGirl22 May 28, 2013 at 8:17 am

We had a BOG dinner ADR then got into a FP+ trial for BOG lunch, and ended up eating there for both. The FP+ trial allowed us to either reserve a table or pre-order and arrive to select a table and receive our food. I chose the latter, just to see how it went. Technical/training glitches every step of the way, but we did get to bypass the standby line and sat for maybe 5 minutes before we got our food. We liked the food both times but preferred the atmosphere at dinner. The main dining room was too chaotic at lunch. We are not really counter service people though, and part of the annoyance was having to get up for drinks, silverware, napkins etc. The setting lends itself better to Table Service in my opinion.

Kuleen Lashley May 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I had hoped that the drink & roll issue was unique to our visit in January. I guess not. We also had an issue with one half of our table getting served their meal a full 5 minutes before the rest of the table. From check-in to the time we walked out the door the experience took us 2.5 hours. And that wasn’t because we were wasting time taking pictures (we took pictures while waiting for the rolls to show up). The service was very slow.

However it was one of the best tasting meals we have had at Disney World, but I wish the steak came with a potato instead of fries.

Mary -Lynne May 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

When I asked about the Cornish hen the server said “too many small bones, have the steak instead. It’s our signature dish.” Not particularly impressed, certainly not filet mignon quality beef. As you previously advised, the onion soup was very bland. Next time I’ll listen, I promise!

Jogoco May 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thank you, BettaBeth and Gretchen.

Kevin May 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Not “one and done” for us. We ate there twice in February and if going back to WDW it would be a high priority for me. Good food and great ambiance.

Stephen May 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

The family and myself ate lunch here last month. The line was extremely long at noonish, but it moved fairly fast and we were inside within 20 mins. The food was as good as you will get at Disney in terms of pricing. I always prefer to eat at Epcot if given the choice…

Angela May 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Does anyone know if you can request a certain seating area for dinner?

dusty cheatham May 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

angela yes you can . !!!! i suggest the rose garden room { if that is what it is called }

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