Disney Dining – Trattoria al Forno

Honestly, the newest Italian eatery at Disney’s Boardwalk, Trattoria al Forno, was never on our radar.  We love the Boardwalk to be sure, but we usually visit for dinner at Flying Fish or as I’m running down the actual boardwalk during a runDisney event.  Even when the Trattoria was Kouzzina, it never occurred to us to eat there.  Too many dining choices, too little time!

All of that changed when I was making plans for our most recent visit to Disney World (last December).  I wanted to see the Candlelight Processional and I didn’t want to wait in a long, LONG line only to find out that all the seats were taken.  We needed a dining package!  I was surprised to find that Trattoria al Forno was a choice for the dining package and that breakfast was an option.  SCORE!  We could sleep in, head to the Boardwalk, try out this previously unnoticed restaurant, spend most of the day in Disney Springs and arrive in Epcot just ahead of the Candlelight Processional.  To me, breakfast wasn’t a risk and not a substantial investment to get preferred seating for the Processional during Christmas week.

We were very pleased with the entire experience!  The atmosphere and décor are fantastic.  The breakfast menu is unique and the service was fine.  Shorthanded on the morning we were there, the restaurant’s manager jumped in to serve coffee and chat up the patrons.  Clearly out of his element, we appreciated his willingness to pitch in.  We were in no hurry and didn’t mind sipping Mimosas (I ate the orange slice before I took a picture…oops) while we waited for our food.  This ended up being a welcome respite from rushing around, dealing with Christmas crowds.  Raymond had the Breakfast Calzones, I had the Poached Eggs (with sausage over polenta) and Joseph had the Scrambled Eggs (with sausage and potatoes) we shared a  big bowl of fresh fruit.  We were all satisfied and thought the Italian-inspired menu items combined with traditional picky-eater-pleasing choices meant there was something for everyone.  We would definitely return again!

In early February, Disney World announced that a Trattoria al Forno character dining experience will soon be available!  This sounds like a wonderful option and excellent alternative to Akershus in Norway (a popular Disney Princess meal).  This new offering will allow guests to meet their favorite Disney couples!  Different from other character dining options and convenient to Epcot, this new experience will definitely put Trattoria al Forno on many people’s to-try lists.  If it has fixed pricing and takes only one table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan, all the better – this should be a big success!

Rumor Alert!  I heard that today (February 23, 2017) is the first day to make ADRs for this experience, so if you’re headed to Walt Disney World this summer and are interested in dining with beloved Disney couples (Like Rapunzel and Flynn & Ariel and Eric), you might want to get busy on the reservations.  If you are able to book this new Character Dining Experience, please let me know the details!

Favorite Options – Disney’s Beaches and Cream

One of these days, I will finally make my way to Beaches and Cream on Disney World’s Boardwalk.  This super popular eatery is home to some very famous Disney dishes!  Just in time for summer weather, Nick gives us some recipes for ice cream treats we can make at home!

Favorite Options – Disney’s Beaches and Cream

By Nick

On Episode 32 of The Disney Exchange Podcast, Lisa, Dave and I share our choices for a progressive dinner around the Epcot area resorts. For those who don’t know, a progressive dinner is a group meal where each course is served at a different venue.

Both Dave and I chose to have our dessert at Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, and that is because the ice cream and atmosphere is wonderful.

My wife, Barbie and I have eaten here many times through the years. I’m going to share some of our favorites, in no particular order.

The No Way Jose. Below is a photo of me encountering this absolutely delicious (especially if you like peanut butter) dessert for the first time!

 PA020941
What’s in the No Way Jose?
  1. 2 scoops Chocolate Ice Cream
  2. 2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
  3. 1/2 cup Jif Smooth Peanut Butter
  4. 1/2 cup Hot Fudge Sauce
  5. 1-2 tablespoons Peanut Butter Morsels
  6. 1-2 tablespoons Chocolate Morsels
  7. Reddi-Wip (or good quality) Whipped Cream
  8. Cherry

Next, we have The Banana Split. Barbie doesn’t even like bananas, but loves this.

PA050095

This “Classic” consists of Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry ice cream, pineapple, strawberry and marshmallow toppings finished off with hot fudge, caramel, toasted almonds, whipped cream and a cherry.

Then there is the famous Kitchen Sink, which is, well…this.

Barbie and I have shared this monstrosity with our friends Kandi and John on a few occasions.

Here’s a listing of what this amazing dessert includes:

  • fudge topping, warmed
  • butterscotch topping, warmed
  •  peanut butter topping, warmed
  • 1 medium banana, sliced in 1/2 –inch slices
  • 1 cinnamon spice cupcake, quartered
  • 1 angel food cupcake, quartered
  • 2 4-oz. scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 4-oz. scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 2 4-oz. scoops strawberry ice cream
  • 1 4-oz. scoop mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1 4-oz. scoop coffee ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  •  marshmallow crème
  •  strawberry topping
  •  pineapple topping
  • 1 14-oz can dairy whipped topping
  • 1 brownie, quartered
  • 1 regular-sized (2 ounce) candy bar, quartered
  • 4 chocolate cookies (oreos-basically) with cream filling
  • 1 tablespoon sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon dark and white chocolate shavings
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate cookies with cream filling, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jellied orange slice
  • 1 tablespoon milk chocolate chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries

But Beaches and Cream is more than just ice cream. They also have really tasty burgers, fries and onion rings.

PA050087

Have you ever eaten at Beaches and Cream, and what did you have?

 

To read more about Nick’s amazing Disney adventures, visit the Disney Musings Blog and follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.  You can also listen to Nick, our friend Dave, and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about our love for all things Disney – new episodes every Sunday morning.

Disney Dining Review: Trattoria al Forno

Welcome to the weekend, Disney fans!  Today’s post for Saturdays With Nick needs no introduction – It’s about food.  At Disney World.  Enjoy!

Disney Dining Review: Trattoria al Forno

By Nick

A few months ago, Trattoria al Forno opened at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Walt Disney World, replacing Kouzzina by Cat Cora.

Trattoria al Forno takes it’s patrons on a taste tour of Italy featuring regional specialties as well as classic dishes, such as wood-fired pizzas made with house-made-daily mozzarella and pastas prepared al forno, which is Italian for baked in an oven, using authentic ingredients and recipes hailing from all over Italy.

There is a wonderful back story created by Walt Disney Imagineering that tells of an Italian family that ran a modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. As the establishment was handed down, each generation added their own touches to the meals and the restaurant’s design.

The interior helps to convey this story, starting with the original Entrata, or entrance, where the story begins, with vintage family photos lining the walls introducing the generational story. A custom wine cabinet displays authentic regional wines offered on the menu.

The story continues into the dining areas, which were once boarding house spaces. There are four distinct rooms, with furnishings, finishes and lighting relating to the character of each original boarding house room.

The three main dining rooms are open to the show kitchen and to each other.

On to the important part. The food!

My wife and I had dinner here in January, and it was the best meal of that trip.

The meal started with a warm loaf of Ciabatta Bread.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a beer guy, but I chose to go with the Romantic wine flight on that evening, primarily because I wanted to try the Sogno d’Italia Chianti, which is made exclusively for Disney.
Trattoria al Forno has an extensive, 100% Italian, wine list with over 60 offerings by bottle and more than 25 by glass.

For an appetizer, we shared the Fried Calamari with White Balsami and Lemon Agrodolce which is a traditional sweet and sour Italian sauce. Calamari is one of my favorites, and this was in all honesty one of the best I’ve ever had. Perfectly cooked and the sauce was excellent.

While our entrees were very good, we both agree we’d try something different next time.

Barbie had the Eggplant Rollatini with shaved fennel-arugula salad.

She actually preferred my meal which was the Braised Beef with house-made cavatelli. The beef was very tasty, but it could have used more sauce, as it was a huge hunk of meat, which would have benefited from more of a flavor variety.

Desserts were terrific. Barbie had the Tiramisu, lady finger-soaked espresso and layered with Italian mascarpone cream.

I had the Bomboloni, essentially an Italian doughnut with dark chocolate, served with vanilla gelato.

Both my wife and I look forward to returning to try more meals at Trattoria al Forno in the future.

This article was originally published on The Disney Exchange Blog and Podcast, which Nick co-writes and co-hosts.

For more great reviews, trip reports and all manner of Disney delights, follow Nick, his wife Barbie, and friends:  Disney Musings Blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, On Instagram, On Pinterest.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

My Walt Disney World Wish List

DVC Resort Bay Lake Tower / Walt Disney WorldOur list of “must-do’s” for every visit to Walt Disney World is pretty long and seems to get longer all the time.  Sometimes I think we may need to shorten that list or stay longer on vacation, otherwise we may never have enough time to try some of the items on my Walt Disney World Wish List.  (I’m humming that song from Tangled, “I’ve got a Dream” as I type.)

This is not the pie-in-the-sky list of things I’d do if money were no object (that’s a list for another day).  I’m not talking about extravagant or expensive add-ons here, I’m talking about things I know about and have always wanted to experience, but have never made the time.  This list, if I gave it enough thought, would actually be pretty long – so I’m narrowing it down to 5 completely random items.

1. Spend more time on the Boardwalk.  I’d like to stay there someday because I love the The Boardwalk at Walt Disney Worldresort’s proximity to Epcot, but I’d be happy just visiting again at a leisurely pace.  I’ve only been there once, to eat at the Flying Fish (delicious with great service), and didn’t have time to fully explore and experience all the area has to offer.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to eat at the Trattoria al Forno – the restaurant replacing Kouzzina.  We love Italian food!

2. Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World.  We’ve visited Walt Disney World at Christmastime on more than one occasion, but we’ve never been away from home for Christmas Day.  A time in our lives – a window of opportunity – will open in the future that will allow us to take some of our most beloved holiday traditions on the road.  When that time Christmastime at Walt Disney Worldcomes, I’ve got a list of things I want to see and do.  For example – I love doing the resort loop to see all the gorgeous Christmas decorations at the resorts, but I’ve never seen the Wilderness Lodge at Christmas and I hear it’s spectacular!

3. Bowl at Splitsville.  We’re not avid bowlers, mostly because the closest lanes are 30 miles from home and are pretty rundown (a little sketchy, to be honest).  We’d bowl more if we had a better facility – bowling’s fun!  The thing about Splitsville is that I’ve heard so many great things about the food!  So bowling would be a treat, I think, and if it were combined with great food and beverages, it would be an experience!  The next time we find ourselves at Disney World on a rainy day, I’m going to suggest we make our way to Downtown Disney/Disney Springs for some bowling action!

4. Rent a watercraft.  I want to cruise around in a little boat and see the Walt Disney World property from a different perspective.  I’d rent my boat at the Contemporary Resort’s marina so I could explore Bay Lake.  Zipping around on the water and seeing the sights sounds both fun and relaxing to me.Crossing Bay Lake

5. Skip a day in the parks to go exploring.  Except for the days we arrive and leave, we’re always gung-ho for park action.  The luxury of skipping a day has never been mine.  We usually spend between 5 and 7 days on a Disney vacation.  I want an 8th day.  Stuck right in the middle of the week to go out and see what’s at all the resorts I’ve never visited before.  If staying at Bay Lake Tower (our home resort), I could walk over to Magic Kingdom and catch a bus to a resort I’m curious about, then return to Magic Kingdom and do it again.  For sure if I had the time and I was at Disney World at anytime during the last four months of the year, I’d love to see the guests’ decorations for Halloween or Christmas at Fort Wilderness – I hear they are a fantastic sight to see.

That’s it!  Those are the first five things that came to mind.  Have you done any of these?  What’s on your Walt Disney World Wish List?