I have eaten at all three.
Jiko is my favorite. It's more expensive but it has a great ambiance, wonderful food and a great wine list.
Artist's Point is second with a delicious menu although I find it can get noisy from Whispering Canyon depending on where you are seated.
Chefs de France, food is okay but somehow I always feel like I'm not in the Disney "magic" while I'm there.
I will say about Jiko, when I went in 2000 my mother was eating macrobiotic due to her chemotherapy. We stayed at the AK Lodge and I asked if there was anyplace that had macro meals. We were informed that the head chef of Jiko was a macro chef. She came out and spoke to us, telling my mother places and dishes that she could eat. She asked if we were going to eat at Jiko and went shopping specifically for my mom. Annette made personalized meals for my mom 3 nights that we were there. We were charged less than the price of the cheapest entree.
Chefs de france is nice. We definitely prefer Chefs over The Bistro de Paris which is incredibly expensive for what you get and the food was nothing to write home about in our experience. At Chefs we enjoyed the food and found the atmosphere nice though simple. You may want to get your dessert at the French pastry place just next door. Take a look in there before dinner. Everything is seriously amazing looking and tempting.
Jiko has a wonderful atmosphere, and it gets consistently high marks from guests. The food is so unusual that for us that it's an adventure. We also really enjoy the buffet across the hall which has a lot of the same foods served at Jiko. You get to try so many exotic foods that way. Dining in Animal Kingdom Lodge is something I really recommend, especially at night. It's just so beautiful in there.
Artist Point is a place we've never dined. We've walked through it though when we stayed there. It's a pleasant atmosphere and Wilderness Lodge is gorgeous and worth a visit. We here consistently great reports from Artist Point guests.
My Chefs de France lunch review from another thread just a few weeks ago (dined there on EPCOT's 25th Anniversary):
Originally Posted by Opus1guy
We had a fantastic lunch at Chef de France. Got a nice window seat and just in time to witness the second rain and wind blast of the day. If you didn't know how warm it was outside, you could swear you were dining in France on a gray winter day! But we were in the perfect spot.
I had Dinner at Chefs de France on opening night exactly 25 years ago today, and I wanted to have dinner there again tonight, but the rest of my party had other plans, so I had to settle for Lunch here instead.
Great waiter...Paul. I ordered Bisque de Homard, Cassolette d'escargots de Bourgogne au Beurre persillé, and then a simple but delicious Croque Monsieur et sa salade verte plate. Wrapped up with a very nicely done Crême Brulée. For today's vin, I selected a cheeky Pinot Noir from Burgundy...the 2005 Santenay, Joseph Drouhin. Excellent.
The "Retro Menu" item we had heard each restaurant was going to be offering turned out to be one item from the 1982 Opening Day Menu. In the case of Chefs de France, it was Boeuf Bourguignon at a 2007 price of $24.95...which I didn't try. But the one-item Retro Menu was on a nice pre-printed EPCOT 25 card stock. Collect 'em all, I guess.
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Re: Artist Point, Jiko, Chefs de france
Artists Point is A+. A bit pricey (and I'd say Le Cellier is better for the value) but still an amazing restaurant. Try a later meal during the week for a better ambiance (IE fewer patrons in the restaurant). We had a 9:30 dinner and by the end we had the place to ourselves.
Jiko is one of the best resturants at WDW. It changed chefs in June, but I haven't heard any talk about it affecting quality. The prices also took a major increase in June as well. But the food is great, the dining room is beautiful (especially if you wind up in the smaller private room as I did in June). They also have an extensive South African wine list. It is BY FAR the best of the three.
Artist Point is generally excellent too, but I know some people who have been less than pleased. I've never had a meal there that was less than very good. Last one was about a year ago. They have some amazing desserts here as well ... I almost always wind up with the filet, which is wonderful, but last time had the potato pot stickers (the veggie entree) and wanted to lick the plate it was that good. My dining companion had the pork chop and loved it.
Chefs de France is OK, but that's it. It was once a fave of mine, but has really dropped in quality over the years. Most of the choices on the menu (half chicken, veggie lasagna, mac n cheese, salmon, beef ribs) are not like anything you'd find in a real French restaurant. I dined there a few weeks ago and had simply onion soup, a salad and an amazing crepe for dessert. I think if you do that, perhaps with some wine, it's agood choice.
If you want REAL gourmet French food the place to get it is upstairs at Bistro de Paris. It is one of the finest places to dine at WDW.
Hi - just wanted to give another perspective on Bistro de Paris. I know many people do love it, but there are a lot of us out there who have had negative experiences. I knew that before I went, but I love french food and wanted to try it anyway. We've eaten almost everywhere at Disney (including Victoria and Alberts which was awesome) and this was by far our worst dining experience.
On our last visit my husband had steak, which was prepared in front of him. That was a decent presentation, but the steak was tough, overcooked (and he likes his meat well done), small, and tasteless. There were 6 french fries on the plate. They were tasteless. We love fries but these were not pleasant.
I ordered a lobster dish. There was only 3-4 pieces of quarter size lobster slices - sliced as thin and wide as a quarter. The flavor was not just bland but very unpleasant. Plus it had no lobster flavor that I could discern. It was so meagerly portioned that I was eating the garnishes to fill up.
The wait staff was very cold and not attentive at all.
The desserts were tiny and not very appealing. We were still really hungry, so we took off and had dessert and coffee at the french bakery - it was wonderful. I do understand that the portions will be less than what we expecit in America in a true french meal. However we felt that this was extreme. We could have lived with this and still been happy had there been nice flavors and well cooked dishes.
The portions at the French bakery, by the way, are quite large.
With our two courses and one perrier that I had, this meal was over $100. Based on our experience, and on the many other posts I've seen on other boards by folks who have had similar experiences, this restaurant wouldn't be my first recommendation - even if you love french food. That being said, I realize there are some people who love this restaurant!
Any reviews or opinions of these restaurants would be appreciated.
Artists Point is very nice. I don't think anything "wowed" me there, but it was a good place to eat. The Copper River Salmon, to me, was not worth the hype. I have had other wild caught salmon that to me was better. Don't get me wrong - it was good - but not something that stands out as a memorable dining experence. This is a very open feeling restaurant. lots of space.
Chefs de France - know what you are walking into. It's a brasserie
In France, a brasserie is a café doubling as a restaurant with a relaxed setting, which serves single dishes and other meals. It can be expected to have professional service and printed menus (unlike a bistro which may have neither), but more informal eating hours than a full-fledged restaurant.
So don't go in expecting fine French dining. It's casual French dining. Dont' go looking for Escoffier inspired cusine classique. the food is decent, but more French-American then French. The croque-monsieur, for example, is quite tasty, but very "neat". It's just as the waiters call it "a toasted ham and cheese sandwitch" not a wonderfully decadent indulgence dripping gruyere cheese and bursting with country ham, and proudly showing off its marks from the griddel. Instead it is a tidy sandwitch of toasted bread, with warmed ham and melted cheese on it. (and a nice salad on the side).
I do like the atmosphere in Chefs. I do not find it "snooty" and in fact it seems lively and upbeat, but not in a "Scream and yell at rainforest cafe" type lively and upbeat, but more of a people getting together to have a bite to eat and some good conversation lively and upbeat.
I have not eaten at Jinko's (yet).
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I have high praise for Chefs de France; it's a great restaurant with excellent food and service; it's like going to France without leaving the U.S. I go every visit and I am always pleased. For what it's worth, it was just as good this past summer as it was two years previous, so I do not see any degredation in their quailty or service.
I have had some of my worst service experiences at Chefs. Not that the wait staff has ever been unfriendly, but I've had a few very inefficient servers there. The last time we went, my DH asked for a Coke refill - about 7 times. The same server was taking care of the honeymooners next to us. They finished their meals, they ordered and ate their desserts. When they were done with that, the server brought out their special honeymoon dessert! It was really ill-timed. It definitely doesn't remind me of being in France, I have a favorite Italian restaurant in Paris - and have never had bad service there.
I remember going with a friend of mine a number of years back as well. Our server was cute, and that held my friends interest for a while. Until he didn't bring what she ordered, and couldn't understand what either of us wanted off the menu, etc. He really had no English skills to speak of. My friend didn't ever get her french onion soup.
My very, very worst dining experience on Disney property, though was at Artist Point. They ended up giving us a free meal (this was years ago), and I wasn't sure I even wanted to go back for free. But since then, I've had only good meals. Any restaurant can have an off night, or hire a server who isn't good.
My best service overall has been at Trails End. It is a buffet, but most of the servers have been there a very long time (Ken, my favorite server, has been there 20 years).