By Sarah Chapman
I am a big fan of resort dining at Walt Disney World. I feel like some of the best restaurants are located within the resorts, and that it gives a more relaxed feeling to the dining experience to be outside of the hustle and bustle of the parks. Dining at the resort where you are staying adds an extra level of convenience, but I also love being able to visit and tour around other resorts when I have a dining reservation at one of their restaurants. One great place to do that is the Boardwalk. A dinner reservation there will not only get you a great meal, but you also have all of the entertainment options on the Boardwalk in the evenings that can make for a fun night away from the parks. On a recent trip so fellow travel agents and I tried out Trattoria al Forno for dinner, it was the first experience here for all 3 of us.
Dining reservations for dinner are fairly easy to come by for Trattoria al Forno, we made our reservation just about 3 weeks in advance, and the day of we decided we wanted to eat earlier so that we could get back over to Epcot. Using the My Disney Experience app I was able to go in and modify the existing reservation to an earlier time—and still had my pick of a few different times. This is a great trick to remember if you need to see if you can modify your dining last minute, the app is very easy to use for this.
We arrived and were seated very quickly in the main dining room. If you did encounter a wait the very fun “Abracadabar” is right next door. Trattoria al Forno also has a side dining room that can be reserved for private events. The main dining room is an open space with views into the kitchen. The décor was very tasteful and understated, yet felt very comfortable with the dark woods, exposed brick, a copper ceiling, leather banquettes and an understated color scheme.
We chose not to order any appetizers as we had been eating all day at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, but we did enjoy the complimentary bread service. It was fresh and had a great texture and was served with olive oil.
For our main course I selected the lasagna, because I really cannot pass up a lasagna. It was very good. So good that I forgot how full I was from eating around World Showcase and polished it off. The layers of pasta were stacked very closely together and there were a lot of them. The pasta itself was very well made and had a great texture and flavor. I enjoyed the flavor of the tomato sauce and just thought all around it was a well done dish. The lasagna is served with a shaved fennel arugula salad which was a very nice & light complement to the lasagna.
My colleagues both had pizzas which looked very good with a thin, crisp crust and just the right amount of browning. One had the Margherita Pizza and said it was very good, the other had the Pizza di Verdure topped with roasted garlic, pepper-olive relish, caramelized onions, artichokes, and mozzarella, and she also said it was very good. The presentation of the pizzas is also fun on the oven peels.
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We passed on dessert with the idea that we would get ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery on the Boardwalk later in the evening.
Our server was attentive and helpful, nothing over the top but good solid service—no complaints.
Overall we really enjoyed our meal at Trattoria al Forno. The atmosphere was quiet enough that we were able to have great conversation, the dining venue was casual and comfortable (great for families), the food was delicious, and the service was very good. And the Boardwalk is really one of my favorite places, lots of fun without requiring park admission. I would recommend Trattoria al Forno for dinner to a variety of guests—particularly if you are having trouble getting a dining reservation in World Showcase, it is an easy walk (or boat ride) over to Boardwalk and then you could go back to Epcot for the rest of the evening.