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  Home > Walt Disney World > Dining > Restaurant Reviews > Le Cellier Steakhouse - Wine Paring  

Le Cellier Steakhouse Welcomes Justin Vineyards & Winery
Located in Epcot - Canada Pavilion
Wine Paring

Just beyond the heavy wooden doors that guard the entrance to this Canadian Family Steakhouse is the podium where guests attending that afternoon’s Food & Wine Pairing were to check in. We had arrived ten minutes early for the 3:00pm seating and were asked to wait with a collection of other guests who would be joining us. At precisely 3 o’clock a cast member began reading from a list that contained the names of those who had paid the $35.00 per person fee to attend this special event. As each name was called they were individually escorted by a cast member down a narrow passageway to the subterranean dining room, just inside the dining room was a long table, which was preset with a white linen table cloth, three glasses of wine, the menu for today’s taste treat and some information on the guest wine consultant.

Each guest selected a seat at the table from among the 20 or so place settings. After settling in, the restaurant management that was in attendance introduced Justin Baldwin, from Justin Vineyards and Winery, who then proceeded to give us some background and explanation of the wines we would be served. Close on the heels of Justin was Christian Rumpler the chef for today’s food tastes. Christian offered a brief explanation of the foods he had prepared.

I could attempt to try and repeat all the complexities that were offered to us. For example, how the wines acidity was evenly matched with and complimented a certain dish, but this was not my intention and reason for attending. I simply went to enjoy the new experience, the specially prepared foods and some fine wines. I will resist rereading my notes and writing some long winded rendition about a subject of which I know very little about.

Selection #1
The first course consisted of Spice Crusted Salmon served over Griddled Pumpkin Bread and finished with a Butternut Squash Vinaigrette. The wine that Justin selected was Justin Justification a Paso Robles, ’02. The Salmon was well served by the combined tastes and flavors of the Pumpkin Bread and the Butternut Squash Vinaigrette. I am not a Sommelier and I am not even sure what a Sommelier is, but I do know what I like and don’t like. I thought the Paso Robles, ’02 was a little heavy and overshadowed the food.

Selection #2
For our second course Christian prepared a Seared Scallop served over Fennel and Tomato Ragout and finished with Saffron Cream. The wine selection was Justin Tempranillo Reserva, Paso Robles, ’02. I have two thoughts here. Thank you Christian and thank you Justin. Actually I had another thought as I enjoyed both the food and the wine. I quickly retrieved my menu and scanned it for accuracy. Yes, there it was in black and white, “Seared Scallop” singular. Oh, if it had only read Scallops plural.

Selection #3
Our Final course or “Selection” consisted of a Chocolate Brulee served with a Cherry compote accompanied by Justin Syrah, Paso Robles, ’02. Just before the presentation Christian had offered that the idea behind the final selection was to “mess it up” in an effort to match the wine. Now, I may still order my wine from the far right hand column, but when it comes to desserts I feel I can hold my own with the best of them. "Messing it up" would not have been the choice of words I would use to describe what happened to this dish, which was certainly different and nontraditional. Deliberately or not, the Brulee was far to dry and the peppercorn topping was interesting, but that was about it. The wine chosen by Justin may have been the culprit behind the effort to redesign our dessert, but I won't hold a grudge, because it was light and enjoyable.

As with most things in my life my decision as to whether I enjoyed something and it was worth the effort can be answered with one question. Would I do it again? My answer is yes, and I hope I get my chance again next year.


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