Disneyland's Red Rose Taverne: Be Our Guestby Lisa Stiglic, contributing writer
With the upcoming release of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast feature, Disney is in full marketing mode. Disneyland is no exception with t-shirts, mugs, and even a rose cake pop. But nowhere is more prominently Beauty and the Beast-influenced than the new pop-up restaurant in Fantasyland, Red Rose Taverne.
A QUIET VILLAGE…
Moving into the quaint Village Haus location, Red Rose Taverne is everything a Beauty and the Beast fan could want: stained-glass windows, a glass-covered glowing rose, antlers, and—of course—the grey stuff. Wanting some adventure in the great wide somewhere, I took it upon myself to visit this petite slice of Belle's France soon after the initial opening.
Since social media reported that lines were long during the inaugural weekend with the possibility of the restaurant running low on popular items, I wasn't sure what to expect during a mid-week visit prior to lunchtime. I arrived just after 11 and the queue was longer than I anticipated.
Although this location is deemed a new restaurant, it still resembled Village Haus on the exterior other than a few sign alterations. Large red curtains with the Red Rose Taverne logo were prominently displayed in the foyer which were obviously covering Village Haus decor but offered a great photo op.
The line moved quickly once in the building, but during my wait two separate cast members informed those of us in the queue that the popular, glowing red rose cup was currently sold out. Not to worry—after all this is France—so I was here for the food.
BE OUR GUEST…
Red Rose Taverne's menu is a delightful change from the familiar Disney fare of turkey legs, corn dogs, and churros more notably strewn throughout the park. Although a French theme would fit in well with this location, New Orleans Square already has that covered, so Disney chefs went with various sandwich options and a few Canadian-based poutine offerings. Guests can choose several burger selections including the one-third-pound Beast's Burger complete with grilled onions and Gruyere cheese, or the Chicken Sandwich a la Lumiere which consists of a grilled chicken burger piled with onion-bacon jam, fried cherry peppers, and apple slaw. All burgers and sandwich items are served with frites (fries) or apple slices.
Now I would have loved to have tried everything on the menu, especially the poutine (which is basically a gravy covering frites with cheese curds on top), but my budget was tight so I opted for the Enchanted Cauli-flower Sandwich. This selection came with lettuce, tomato, spicy aioli, and tempura-battered green beans atop the cauliflower steak. Although I found it too spicy (my husband says I think water is too spicy so I'm not one to gauge by), there wasn't a lot of aioli on the bun so it was a bit dry.
The rest of the menu included the poutine selections (on frites or flatbread), a few other flatbread varieties, and a chef's salad.
And, although Red Rose Taverne was sold out of the popular rose sipper cups, guests could still purchase Gaston's Famous Brew in a souvenir-style stein to mark their visit to the new location.
So now that the entree was eaten, I was ready to try the main attraction—the grey stuff—and it was delicious. (Sorry, I had to). The Grey Stuff Gateau was a tasty, white chocolate mousse generously covering a petite red-velvet cupcake complete with a tangy raspberry center, which was actually a raspberry encased in a berry jam.
A second dessert was also on the menu—Lemon Rose Cake—which was a lemon mousse with a strawberry-rose center, similar to a jam. Although aesthetically pleasing, I found this offering to be a bit tasteless. But in defense, I did eat the gray stuff first, which was very rich.
WHAT A GUY…
After finishing my meal, I took an interior tour of Red Rose Taverne which was almost divided into two houses based on decor. On one side of the restaurant, I spotted nods to Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and—of course—Belle.
On the other side of the restaurant, I could tell that a certain dark-haired patron used plenty of antlers in the decorating. What a guy!
From start to finish, my dining adventure was roughly an hour from entering the restaurant queue to leaving. Upon my exit, I noted the line was much shorter than an hour earlier. I would recommend visiting about an hour after opening, at least on weekdays. That gives enough time for the line to decrease before any large onslaught of newer arrivals. On the weekend, I would get to the destination as soon as you enter the park, especially if you seek a red rose cup. They sell out quickly if in stock upon opening.
And although there was no sign of Belle and her Beast while I was there, I did inquire if the couple periodically visits the location. I was told the duo does make appearances in Fantasyland more frequently now as does Gaston. Remember to have your camera ready for some Beauty and the Beast memories.
Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Red Rose Taverne, from the refreshingly new menu offerings to the lovely stained-glass rose windows to the familiar Beauty and the Beast songs playing throughout the location. Be sure to add this one to your "must see list," as it is a temporary location. Hopefully, you will find it as "enchante" as I did. And be sure to watch the new live-action release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on March 17. "Au revoir"!