Have you ever left a dining experience genuinely confused by what you had just experienced? It’s not just that the food was lacking, it’s not just that the ambiance left you wanting more, it’s not just that the service bordered on offensive and condescending; it’s that, in combination, the things that the Walt Disney Company is supposed to be fundamentally good at were so absent that it left our party, as diners and as guests, unsatisfied, uncomfortable, and profoundly disappointed in how we spent our time and money at Enchanté.
During our recent journey aboard Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, we splurged on the upcharge dinner experience at Enchanté. Like Remy aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, Enchanté intends to deliver a service-focused, high-end tasting menu experience. The cuisine is contemporary French devised by Chef Arnaud Lallement and focuses on classic French ingredients and preparations, enhanced by modern presentations. Chef Lallement has earned three Michelin stars for his L’Assiette Champenoise restaurant in France. However, he has seemingly traded those Michelin stars (at least in principle) in order to participate in Enchanté, a venture that falls far short of a fine dining experience.
In terms of ambiance, Enchanté is themed after Lumiere, the candelabra from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
In fact, a not-so-hidden Lumiere is featured in the passageway into the dining area, which itself is decorated with a variety of candelabra.
Curiously, the theme of the restaurant is also inspired by champagne, with a central feature of the dining space being a chandelier that resembles champagne bubbles, and has the added (and likely unintentional) benefit of constantly shaking and vibrating as a result of transferred vibration through the ship.
Unfortunately, this same intense vibration has caused a number of the fittings in the dining space to have already fallen off during our cruise, exposing the unfinished bolts and fasteners that ostensibly held these decorative elements together. Somewhat surprising was our server’s decision to blame these missing features on prior guests who had allegedly removed them during test cruises. I guess it’s easier to blame the conduct of the guests on the media and cast test cruises than to question the design and craftsmanship of the newly minted Disney Wish.
In earlier cruises, the dining experience at Enchanté was progressive in nature, meaning that guests moved from area to area in the dining room as the dinner unfolded. We had heard that guests were welcomed to the restaurant in the lounge area and seated at circular tables there for the amuse bouche and a glass of champagne to begin the meal, and then they moved into the main dining room for the rest of their tasting menu experience. In our case, though, we were informed that this progressive dinner model had already been scrapped such that we were left sitting at cocktail tables in the foyer of the restaurant for our entire tasting menu. Meanwhile, our allegedly intimate dining experience was “enhanced” by a parade of visitors taking photos with the champagne-themed chandelier directly next to us the entire time.
Here’s what the main dining room we never ate in looks like:
In addition to a la carte options, there are two tasting menus guests are encouraged to order at Enchante. First, there is the “Passion” menu, which is a five-course meal for $125 per person, consisting of a selection of dishes listed on the a la carte menu.
Second, there is the “Collection,” which is a nine-course meal priced at $195 per person, which purports to be a “surprise” for diners that is based on the freshest and most seasonal ingredients available to the chef. There are also champagne and wine pairings available with the tasting menus, $140 per person for champagne, and $115 per person for wine.
We opted for the nine-course “Collection” menu in order to get a complete understanding of what Enchanté has to offer. Though listed as nine surprise courses that take advantage of seasonal and available ingredients, we found that this was little more than the five-course option somewhat randomly augmented by four additional dishes, most of which are already listed on the à la carte menu. As such, it was not so much of a “surprise” as a “there you go.” As a result, the courses and flavors never really made sense or told a comprehensive story in how they were coursed, but instead seemed to be a tasting menu with some additional bells and whistles.
The fact that a member of our party chose to add the wine pairing made this “there you go” approach all the more apparent. In our case, the wine pairing available was only based on the five-course Passion tasting menu and resulted in five sporadic pours of wines that arrived at equally sporadic times throughout the meal. In some cases, the wine was provided halfway or even three-quarters of the way through the dish that it was purportedly paired with. This is the sort of lapse in service that our party had never experienced aboard the Disney Cruise Line, and certainly, something that we would never hope to experience in a restaurant that purported to be as service-focused as Enchanté advertises itself to be.
We were provided with bread and butter for the table, both of which were lovely. We particularly enjoyed the smoked sea salt provided along with the butter.
Indeed, if the meal had culminated with bread and butter, it may have been for the best.
Collection Prix Fixe Menu
The amuse-bouche consisted of three pairs of small bites — an herb tartlet, a tartlet with shaved cheese curls, and a falafel bite. The herb tartlet was particularly sharp and not something that one would call an inspiring introduction to the tasting course.
The falafel with a citrus reduction was our favorite of the three but was utterly forgettable, and we’ve certainly had better falafel. Finally, the shaved cheese tartlet presented beautifully with soft curls of cheese that resembled the delicate finishing of a dessert. This, too, was fairly basic in flavor and tasted much like you would think bits of cheese in a small, crispy shell should taste.
Beeswax with Lemon Accompaniment
Next up was a crisp piece of beeswax and lemon accompaniment, topped with edible flowers as a garnish. The accompaniment was sort of soup-like; it was lemony and light. The beeswax was more like a cracker and did little to add to the experience.
Soil Grown Tomatoes
12-hour butter-poached tomato confit, bread and tomato vinaigrette, tomato water
We were next provided with the “soil-grown tomatoes” dish that is listed on the á la carte menu. This dish consists of three preparations of tomatoes: (1) a 12-hour butter-poached tomato “confit,” (2) a tomato vinaigrette served with a hearty slice of bread for dipping, and (3) a glass of tomato water served in stemware.
The butter-poached tomato, a classic French preparation, is where the lack of skill of the kitchen at Enchanté became truly apparent. What should be a tender, buttery explosion of savory tomato flavor was, in fact, tough, chewy, acidic, and generally awful. We were tremendously disappointed by this dish. The tomato vinaigrette was neither significantly different in its flavor nor much better in its preparation. It was instead a tomato soup-like dish, only far more acidic, and lacked the complexity that well-selected vinegar could add to the dish.
Finally, though, the tomato water proved a surprise highlight for the table. This savory, herbal flavor bomb is delightfully masked behind a nearly clear liquid, and we would have happily traded a multitude of courses for another glass. It was everything good about the best dill pickle, the best Bloody Mary, and the freshest bites of garden produce that you have ever experienced, all rolled into one sip. It was simple, fun, and genuinely good — definitely the best dish of the night.
Smoked haddock, fondant potatoes
The next course was caviar on top of sour cream, vodka, chive, and onion base, topped with — yes, you guessed it — a warm potato sea foam. Admittedly, this dish was one of the better ones of the evening, combining caviar that was of sufficient quality with the familiar Crème Fraiche-style accompaniment. As our second foam of the evening, we began to question whether we had missed a memo as to the return of foam to fine dining restaurants from a decade ago.
Stone Crab Tartlet
Continuing with the “tartlet” theme for the tasting menu, the next course was a stone crab tartlet covered in a langoustine jelly and topped with stone crab mayonnaise, edible flowers, and microgreens. This salute to new French cuisine circa 1995 simply didn’t make sense as a dish. The pastry base was tough and overcooked, the stone crabs — despite being a local ingredient for a ship that spends its time in the Caribbean — were of mediocre quality, and the langoustine jelly was, quite simply, inedible. The flavors and textures of this dish didn’t work and were not aided by the addition of a seemingly random sauce.
“In Homage to My Father”
Next, the dinner progressed to more substantial dishes, beginning with a dish titled “In Homage to My Father.” This is one of Chef Lallement’s more personal dishes, though judging by the quality of the lobster that was served, it’s apparent that the Chef may not actually like his father very much.
The dish consisted of an open lobster ravioli and a piece of lobster meat, again topped with microgreens and edible flowers. It was enhanced by the tableside addition of — you guessed it again — lobster stock foam. In this case, the ravioli was tough, bordering on inedible (if only they had asked the pasta-makers at Palo for a pointer or two). The lobster itself was shockingly bitter, having none of the sweet or bright seafood quality that one would expect from Maine lobster.
Onion confit and vermouth
A wild halibut dish was next. The fish was accompanied by “onion three ways,” including onion confit, an onion gratin, and a sprig of spring onion on top. It was completed with the tableside addition of a vermouth reduction.
The fish in this dish was exceptionally well cooked — tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. However, the dish overall was incredibly salty. Don’t get us wrong, we typically love salty flavors, but this one overwhelmed an otherwise nicely executed dish.
Squab Pigeon Fermiere
Puff pastry with dried tomato, foie gras, pigeon, and turnip relish
A squab pigeon fermiere was presented as our main course. This modern take on a rustic-style savory pastry pie included dried tomato, spinach, pancetta, foie gras, and pigeon inside a pastry shell, and was accompanied by turnip three ways. The turnip three ways was forgettable, and that makes it, hands down, the best part of this dish, since the rest was truly awful. As an aside, this table of diners has experienced squab, foie gras, and a number of other “exotic” ingredients before. While the waitstaff was eager to explain away certain flavors in this dish as “exotic,” “interesting,” and “not for everyone.” That was simply not the case here. Rather, what was presented in this squab pie was nearly impossible to choke down. The squab was gamey to the point of being bitter, the foie gras was of such middling quality that it presented an almost chemical aftertaste, and the spinach and tomato were dry and at times overpowering. Even if the ingredients here were good on their own (which they certainly were not), the flavors of the pie as a whole senselessly competed with one another in an unorchestrated fashion. This was the worst dish of the night.
Salad with Brisket
Fortunately, the truly random combination of ingredients that came next was a distraction, though not necessarily a pleasant one. We were presented with a dish consisting of approximately a tablespoon of braised beef topped with a random handful of greens covered in a champagne vinaigrette. The beef was akin to barbecue and was not altogether unpleasant, though the combination of it with an overdressed side salad made little sense. Thankfully, it was served in such a small quantity that one need not think about it for long.
In order to complete the “what the heck is this” portion of the meal, it was accompanied by what was described as Chinese bread with a mango puree, served on a separate plate. The bread was overtoasted and tough to the point of needing a knife to cut it, and the puree’s only purpose seemed to be to add a little bit of moisture and distraction from the rest of the dish. If you drunkenly stumbled into the kitchen in the middle of the night looking for a snack, this is what you might come up with.
Our next course consisted of a visit from the cheese cart. If you’ve been to Remy, you surely have fond memories of the cheese cart and its limitless array of delicious French cheeses. Enchanté’s take on the cheese course is not substantially different, though our service experience with the cheese cart left something to be desired.
In this case, minuscule crumbs of cheese were served up with a healthy dose of condescension. Each diner is permitted to select up to 6 different types of cheese, which are accompanied by a selection of dried fruits and honeycomb.
The cheeses themselves were predictably delicious, but the question from our server at the conclusion of the course (“Do you like French cheese now?”) fell predictably flat. It would be helpful in the future for Enchanté’s dining staff not to approach each diner with the assumption that he or she has lived under a rock prior to miraculously emerging for a voyage on the Disney Wish in order to experience French cheese for the first time.
Coffee Tartlet, Lemon Dome, Olive Oil White Chocolate Dome, Raspberry Jelly Roll-up
We finally made it to dessert. Immediately preceding dessert, though, was a combination of petit fours served in round, basket-like plates.
These consisted of a coffee tartlet, a lemon dome, an olive oil white chocolate dome (with hidden Mickeys on the bottom), and a raspberry jelly roll-up.
All of the petit fours were well-flavored and a welcome relief.
The pleasant upswing of the petit fours did not last long and did not prepare us for the dessert that was to come. Served in three parts on three separate plates were a combination of genuinely questionable flavors and terrible textures.
The main part of the dessert course was a honeycomb-flavored cake-like dish that was most reminiscent of Styrofoam. While the flavor was inoffensive, the texture was off-putting at best. The dish was enhanced by the addition of fresh raspberries, and a raspberry reduction served tableside. These were the sourest raspberries anyone at our table had ever tasted. Clearly, Enchanté is not procuring the finest raspberries to use in this dessert.
The next phase of dessert was a raspberry sorbet accompanied by our last dose of foam for the evening. The sorbet was tart but nevertheless served as a welcome reprieve from the jarringly sour raspberries.
Finally, the last component of dessert consisted of a hexagonal honeycomb-shaped base with a crispy rolled wafer on top, again garnished with edible flowers. This was truly the surprise of the evening, and not in a good way. What resembled a delightful honeycomb cookie was actually some sort of wet, thin layer of custard or mousse. Its flavor was equally thin and left us all wishing for the cookie that could have been.
Our takeaway is, quite simply, that there are better upcharge experiences available to guests aboard the Disney Wish than Enchanté presently provides. If this was your first foray into French cuisine or fine dining, it would most certainly be your last. The Walt Disney Company’s knack for making cuisine comfortable, approachable, elegant, and ultimately satisfying is, sadly, entirely absent here. Instead, the service and setting seemed deliberate in their attempt to render an elegant dining experience unpleasant. Even still, if the food was good, then we might consider a visit worthwhile. Here, however, in conception and execution, the overwhelming majority of the dishes fell meaningfully short of enjoyable, with some approaching genuinely inedible. Enchanté was simply disappointing.
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14 thoughts on “Enchanté on the Disney Wish is a Rare Disappointment for Disney Cruise Line’s Fine Dining”
Interesting take on Enchante.
I just watched the Tracker’s video where they had the “brunch” ($75) and they really enjoyed it, but did mention they heard of others giving negative reviews. Their server looked to be the same one you had. He knew them from their other cruises as he use to be at Remy’s on the Dream Ship.
Hopefully for other Enchante gets up the consistency and quality to merit the price and experience.
We have a brunch review coming, it is way more positive than this.
This was not our experience at all. I’m assuming you were on the maiden voyage and perhaps they were still working out the kinks. A lot of service staff in Enchante are new to Disney, so that may reflect any untoward attitude. We did the Passion and had a wagyu cut after the halibut and the dessert was a chocolate hazelnut mousse that was heavenly. We experienced none of the attitudes that you experienced. We also did not eat in the same room as the chandelier, so cannot speak to that.
I’ve heard better things since, but I also know for a fact several people at Enchante are from Remy.
Really appreciate this look at the menu and the review of the dishes. I think it is fair and identifies some questions many have had. A 9 course surprise is simply a 5 course and left over items no one wanted from the ala carte. A turd in pretty wrappings. Disney cutting corners once again.
Foie Gras? Why don’t they serve shark fin soup while they’re at it.
Both sound amazing!
Thank you for saving me a fortune
I’m not surprised, as we found The Wish in whole to be disappointing.
What makes a soil grown tomato special? Aren’t all tomatoes grown in soil?
We enjoyed Palo on the Dream. The upcharge for Palo when we went on the Dream was $20/person in 2018. Biden’s economics or Chapek’s bean counting is a killer.
This was pretty much exactly our experience at Enchante minus a few menu changes (we went September 2022)! Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the courses. The textures and flavors were off – we’re grateful there were some standouts when we dined there (luckily – saving grace). Also we were happy that the ambiance and service was great.
This review along with Pete’s brunch review has me worried I should have booked the Fantasy instead of the Wish. We are not cruising until July of 2023 so hopefully they can fix dinner of these glaring issues. Thank you so much for being a reliable and relatable critic. I really enjoy the integrity of WDWNT!
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