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Dacor Renaissance Epicure EF36BNNFSS 19.8 Cu. Ft. French Door Stainless Steel Review$2,999.00
This particular Dacor has a traditional stainless steel finish. The French door format is unaltered, with two doors on top accessing the fridge and a pull-out freezer on the bottom.
As with all stainless appliances, this Dacor suffers from a weakness to fingerprints. Smudging will abound, especially if you've got a house full of little kids.
Controls for this model are located at the top of the fridge interior, something we never expected to see on a refrigerator that costs this much. At the very least, the thermostats still manage to use actual degrees instead of an arbitrary scale. Everything on this fridge is controlled from the main panel except for the ice maker; that is managed using an old-fashioned wire switch attached to the ice maker itself.
You can imagine our surprise when, upon unpacking this fridge, we discovered that it came without any handles! After investigating online at the Dacor website, it seems that the handles for this particular model are sold separately. On one hand...really? On the other hand, it also seems that there are different types of handles to choose from, so you can get whichever set best suits your personal taste.
While the ice maker is located inside the freezer compartment (we'll get to that a little farther down), the water dispenser is actually found in the fridge interior. A little spout protrudes from the left-hand wall near the front, just a few inches above the crisper drawers. The device is activated by pressing a grey padded button located immediately above the actual spout. There's no cavity here, and the dispenser is set in front of any shelf or drawer, so you have no choice but to hold your glass while it's filling.
Glass shelves with plastic trim in the fridge and wire shelves in the freezer feel cheap and clunky. With a bulky interior light, traditional light bulbs, and even a visible water tank, this fridge's design screams mid-range.
The layout of the main fridge cavity is pretty much run-of-the-mill. There are four half-width adjustable shelves which mount to the back using hooks. The shelves can all slide forward, granting you easy access to items in the back. A full-width, fixed shelf sits below these, with two crispers drawers underneath that. At the very bottom is a full-width drawer—albeit one without its own temperature control—for additional storage space.
As we've seen many times before, the water filter is located in the upper right-hand corner of the fridge. It's easily accessible, and as long as you don't stack tons of items up underneath it, you should be able to change the actual filter without too much of a problem.
The left-hand door holds three regular bucket shelves. Only the top two are adjustable; if you tried to squeeze the third one up there, they'd be too close together to be of any practical use.
The right-hand door has two shelves—though only enough space to adjust one of them—and a designated dairy bin at the top.
All of the shelves except the dairy bin have removable rubber inlays. They're easy to take out, and provide an alternative approach to keeping the plastic on the bottom clean, as well as preventing loose items from sliding around.
Since this is a counter-depth fridge, there's not much leeway for the freezer to get too creative. There are two main storage areas, both of which are made out of wire. The upper shelf has a left portion—slightly narrower—and a right portion; there's an ice bucket which fits into the left portion, under the ice maker. Under this is the main storage bucket, which is also divided. The lower portion is split evenly, though, for matching left and right halves.
The old-fashioned ice maker is found inside the freezer compartment in the upper left-hand corner. You turn it on or off by flipping the large wire switch. Since the freezer itself is so shallow, the ice maker—and, as such, the switch that activates it—is fairly close to the front.
Nothing terribly exciting on the back. Just a couple of tubes for water transit and a power cable.
The matte sides are colored grey, giving the fridge a uniform appearance. You may notice that the side view seems unusually narrow; that's because this fridge is designed to line up with the edge of shorter kitchen counters, giving the room a smooth, flush appearance.