Warning: This post will very likely make you incredibly hungry! I’m hungry just at the thought of it!
Now, some might wonder why I’m doing a combined spotlight on two seemingly unrelated restaurants on different coasts. One is a standalone location themed as a Scottish inn and situated in Los Angeles, California, not far from the Walt Disney Studios. And the other is a park restaurant themed to a French-Canadian wine cellar in the Canada pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida!
The answer is because they have two major things in common – Disney and STEAK!!!
Setting aside the amazing chateaubriand that is sadly no longer available at the revamped “nouveau” Club 33, which still to this day stands as the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten, these two locations serve my favorite two steak dishes ANYWHERE!
Let’s start with the West Coast…
The Tam O’ Shanter is located a few miles from the Walt Disney Studios and was a place Walt Disney knew well, along with being friends with the owners. He even presented them with a drawing of the restaurant’s founder surrounded by Disney characters. Walt Disney enjoyed dining there, as did his Nine Old Men. And who can blame them? This family-owned establishment has treated its guests to amazing meals for over 90 years. But the signature dish here is the Prime Rib. This is not just a meal; this is a celebration for the senses! The dish comes with your choice of creamed corn or creamed spinach (GET THE CORN!!!!), plus mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.
I’ve also had soup and salad sides here, which are also delicious, and I absolutely love the beef sandwiches you can get in their Ale & Sandwich Bar. But do your taste buds a favor and go here for the Prime Rib. And the creamed corn.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is charming, as well, with Scottish tartans and heraldry as decorations over the dark wood interiors.
All of which gave my first (and absolutely not last) visit to Le Cellier at EPCOT a certain sense of déjà vu!
While this location is definitely French-Canadian in its theming, the dark wood beams and European style of the place absolutely made me think of The Tam O’ Shanter.
And that was before I even got to the headliner of the show here – the classic Le Cellier Filet Mignon in mushroom risotto!
This dish is ambrosia in your mouth. It’s just perfect. Each time I’ve gone, I’ve wanted to save room to try the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup or one of the Poutine offerings, but between the truly magnificent pretzel bread that you just want to keep stuffing yourself with, along with saving room for dessert after your signature main course, I’ve yet to manage it. One day though…
Mousertainment Tip: Speaking of dessert – sadly, my favorite chocolate trio, including a chocolate lava cake sampling that was so good it should have been illegal, is no longer served here. (The menu can change seasonally, but some version of the classic Filet Mignon should always be available.) So I’ve had to resort to my backup dessert choice, which is actually not on the menu – at least, not on the grown-ups’ menu! But it is a star on the children’s menu – the Chocolate Moose! It’s yummy, it’s chocolate, it’s simple, it’s good. If you’re a chocolate fan and the grown-up menu’s dessert offerings look a little over-complicated, go for this option! It’s adorable and tasty!
Both of these meals at each of these restaurants are amongst my favorites anywhere and I strongly recommend them – although they are definitely expensive! However, Le Cellier in particular, being a very popular park restaurant, can fill up its reservations quickly. So if you want to eat there on your visit, be sure to make your reservation as early as possible – and preferably right at the six months’ mark from your visit when the availability opens!
Whereas for Tam O’ Shanter, the most popular meals and mealtimes tend to be around the holidays – and not just Thanksgiving or Christmas. The Tam has great St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and festivities, too (yes, celebrating an Irish holiday at a Scottish restaurant, don’t ask, just enjoy it!)! So if you’d like to visit at any of these times in particular, along with general popular weekend dinner times, I’d recommend a reservation in advance there, too. But you probably won’t need six months’ notice there!
Have you eaten at either Tam O’ Shanter or Le Cellier? Are either of these dishes your favorite or do you prefer something else there?