Bistrot Chez Rémy is a new table service restaurant in the Streets of Paris Ratatouille mini-land at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris known as La Place de Rémy. Serving traditional French cuisine, this is modeled after the restaurant that Remy opens in the Disney-Pixar film Ratatouille, and the premise of the restaurant is that guests shrink down to the size of rats and are served in a larger than life environment where champagne corks, silverware, jam jar lids, and other “kitchen stuff” are all integrated into the restaurant.
I haven’t reviewed many restaurants from Disneyland Resort Paris, but those I have reviewed haven’t been exactly favorable. On our first visit to Paris, after a few disappointing and overpriced meals, we opted to eat most of our remaining meals in the Disney Village at Earl of Sandwich.
I might have done the same thing this time around but for the fact that this was a popular new restaurant, so I thought things might be different. Plus, it looked sort of cool, and anything that could redeem the maligned Walt Disney Studios Park in my eyes was probably a good thing.
I’m glad I gave it a try, because it ended up being a bright spot in terms of Disneyland Resort Paris dining.
Before we get to the meal itself, let’s take a look at the decor…
I think it comes as no surprise that Imagineering chose to model the restaurant after the one Remy opens in Ratatouille. It’s an obvious way to allow theme park guests to enter one of their favorite films, so it was a natural fit. Admittedly, it felt a little odd that the higher end dining experience was in a location that’s ostensibly less refined than some of the counter service restaurants in Parc Disneyland next door, but I still completely get why the “giant kitchen stuff” design motif was chosen here.
I do think that in some cases the design flourishes were a tad superficial and done on the cheap when they could have had a bit more depth and detail. Despite all of the different props to give dimensionality to the restaurant, in places it felt a bit flat as a result, if that makes any sense.
This is really a minor criticism, as overall, the restaurant was very charming and fun. It was enjoyable to peruse the various elements that had been pulled from the film, and although it’s been a few years since I’ve seen Ratatouille, I recall several nods to the film throughout the restaurant. The idea of being able to step into a scene from the film obviously has a lot of allure for many Disney fans and families, and I think the execution here is largely on-point.
Thematically, it’s not the kind of flagship dining experience you’d expect to find in an area themed to France, nor is it the kind of restaurant you’d expect to find in Fantasyland. It’s sort of an alternate-reality Paris where rats operate restaurants with an interior akin to what a rat would design, and cuisine and an exterior akin to what a human Parisian would create.
It’s the same type of world where you might find a real-looking Route 66 that is inexplicably inhabited by talking cars. If you start to think about it too much the illusion all falls apart, but you don’t really have occasion to think about it, because it just feels right, sort of like a castle next to an alpine mountain at the end of a turn of the century United States main street. That’s probably commentary better reserved for a comprehensive look at the attraction and land, but it applies here, too, because I think it helps explain why the restaurant works despite not being what you’d expect it to be.
Moving right along to the food, Bistrot Chez Remy has multiple tiers of prix fixe menus at different price points. You can find the lower tiers of these menus here. Each of these menus are extremely limited in terms of choices (in some cases, there is no choice). As I understand, two upper tiers were added to the menu after the restaurant opened to make it more of a fine dining experience.
Not being too discouraged from my previous visit to Disneyland Paris, I decided to go all in and order from the Gusteau Menu (the highest tier of the menu), which was 59.99 Euro per person; this included a starter, entree, dessert, and drink. At nearly $70 for just me, this wasn’t going to be a cheap meal…
As soon as my carafe of water arrived, without thinking, I slipped into blogger mode and started photographing it. Now, I think it’s probably an odd sight no matter where you are to see a dude eating alone taking photos of an ordinary container of water, but I feel like in the United States, it’s slightly more commonplace, so you don’t draw quite as many looks. Well, in France that apparently is not the case–or at least it isn’t in a restaurant that has just opened for the day where the staff aren’t exactly busy–because I could feel a lot of eyes on me. Ha, whatever…
By the way…you’re welcome! Without my odd dedication to documenting every aspect of my meal, you would have never known what a carafe of water looks like, would you?! 😉
Next up was the bread course, which was fairly standard. Nothing earth-shattering about this or the accompanying butter.
Following that was the starter course of foie gras. This is the starter that comes with the premium prix fixe menu, although I’m sure you could downgrade to the salad on the Remy or Emile menus if you have ethical qualms with foie gras. I’m guessing most Americans have not had foie gras due to its controversial history here, but it’s a common dish in France served at most bistros. (Given the predominance of CAFOs in the United States, who are we to snub our noses at the serving of foie gras in France?)
I’ve only had foie gras a few times, but this seemed like a thicker spread whereas elsewhere it has an almost buttery quality. Regardless, the foie gras was excellent, having a nice texture and creamy, rich taste.
Next up was the main course, consisting of a premium filet of beef with candied potatoes and mustard jus de meaux chef’s sauce. I ordered mine rare with a bit of trepidation, as last time at Disneyland Paris, I ended up with cold, flavorless chunks of meat.
I don’t even know where to begin with this filet. It was, in a word: perfection. Wonderfully cooked with a great texture on the outside, and pink inside. The meat was tender and incredibly flavorful. It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had at a Disney restaurant, totally shattering my very low expectations.
I only tried a bit of the sauce, which was good, as I didn’t want anything interfering with the succulent taste of that meat. The candied potatoes were also good, with an unexpected sweet taste.
The main course also came with “premium” ratatouille. I believe all of the menus come with ratatouille; I’m not sure what distinguishes premium from regular ratatouille.
I’m not a huge fan of ratatouille, but I cannot deny that this was well presented and pretty good for what it was. It had a tough act to follow with the filet, and it certainly wasn’t that good, but it had a complex taste; the flavors contrasted and complimented one another pretty well. Again, it’s not my favorite dish in the world and I wouldn’t order it on an a la carte menu, but that’s more about my preferences than the quality of this ratatouille.
For dessert, I opted to go with the tiramisu. I was running on very little sleep and not thinking, and for some reason when I saw it on the menu I thought it was a French dessert. (It’s not–it’s Italian, which I knew…) This was the only thing about the meal that didn’t blow me away. It was a good dessert, but as far as tiramisu goes, it tasted relatively simple and had a mass-produced feel to it. I’ve heard the mousse is good, so I’d probably opt for that next time.
Overall, Bistrot Chez Remy totally defied my expectations. Not only based on prior experience, but based on the size of the restaurant and limited menu, both of which suggest this is a place looking to churn patrons as quickly as possible. Although my bread did come out quickly, my server adjusted the pacing on the fly (I think) seeing that I was looking for more of a leisurely dining experience. Given its cartoonish interior, I was expecting a restaurant that would pander to families with small children, but that was not the case at all. Service was excellent, and my meal rivaled the best meals I’ve had in real world French restaurants. It’s the best meal I’ve had at Disneyland Paris by a wide margin. The decor doesn’t match the quality of the menus, but it’s a nice, fun touch, and I don’t think there’s any law requiring fine dining to have a stuffy or pretentious atmosphere. After all, the theme of Ratatouille is that “anyone can cook.” Well, it turns out that Remy sure can cook!
For the basics of planning a visit to Disneyland Paris, check out our Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Guide. Want to see more photos or read about Disneyland Paris in agonizing detail? Check out our Disneyland Paris Trip Report! For more dining reviews, check out our Disneyland Paris Restaurant Reviews (scroll down on that page). Have you dined at Bistrot Chez Remy? What did you think? Would you like to see this area, along with all of the Ratatouille mini-land come to Walt Disney World? Your comments are half the fun, so please share any questions or feedback about Bistrot Chez Remy that you have in the comments!