These days it is getting harder and harder to plan my dining while on a Walt Disney World Vacation. There are just so many amazing options it is hard to narrow it down. I’m torn between trying something new, and really wanting to go back to my old favorites. Disney Springs has become home to a lot of new favorites. This trip I tried out Terralina Crafted Italian for the first time. Full disclosure, the restaurant invited me to dine and paid for a portion of our meal. Here are 5 things I think you will enjoy at Terralina Crafted Italian.
5. The Location
Terralina is located in the heart of Disney Springs, right beside the Paddlefish paddlewheel boat. This prime location means that Terralina is located on the water, and is convenient to many of the shopping destinations everyone loves like the World of Disney. So no matter what time of day you are shopping and the hunger hits, you can pop into Terralina for Sunday Brunch, or daily lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended, especially during popular meal times and peak visitation times.
4. The Service
During our meal we had a great time with our team of servers. It was the perfect combination of being attentive to our drinks and service timing, and giving us time to enjoy our meal and conversation. Our server also had an excellent knowledge of the menu and was able to make suggestions and recommendations for us for everything from the wine list to desserts.
3. The Drinks
While I really enjoyed my meal, I think my favorite part may have been the selection on the wine and beverage menus. The cocktail menu featured some great drinks that fit the Italian menu of the restaurant. I was torn between the seasonal frozen Bellini and the Limoncello Mojito. In the end I went with the Mojito (Árvero Limoncello, muddled mint, simple syrup), and I was so glad I did. It was refreshing and delicious. The Wine menu was diverse with selections from various regions, and the beer list was equally interesting with both imports and craft beer choices.
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2. The Ambience
Several years ago I had dined at this same location when it was the Portobello Yacht Club. The renovations that were done to turn the space into Terralina Crafted Italian have really updated the restaurant and made it a very modern, yet cozy space to fit the Rustic Italian and Wood Fired Cuisine theme of the restaurant. In the lobby seating area was a nice fireplace that would make waiting for your table not so bad. We chose to dine outside on the patio which was very nice on this particular night. The weather was still warm, but the humidity wasn’t bad. The views of the water and the people watching in Disney Springs made it a great place to sit. On days when the weather is good this would be a very nice spot to end your evening with a full meal, or maybe just the awesome drinks and some appetizers.
1. The Menu
Terralina Crafted Italian is headed by an award winning team to bring a great selection of Italian dishes to Disney Springs. Chef Tony Mantuano is a James Beard award winner and appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” Working with Executive Chef Justin Plank (a decorated chef himself), they have put together a delicious menu of authentic Italian dishes with a rustic feel. To me, this rustic means cozy, filling, and “homey”—all in a good way.
We wanted to sample several menu items, so we ordered from several menu categories. The Antipasti section was probably the hardest for us to narrow down, but we selected the Mozzarella-Stuffed Rice Balls. These were creamy on the inside, crunchy on the outside and so good! It was served with the perfect tomato basil sauce for dipping. Our next selection was from the Wood-Fired Pizza menu. On our server’s suggestion we went with the Funghi Pizza (Portobello, Shiitake, Cremini, Roasted Garlic, fresh Mozzarella) as we are both fans of mushrooms. It was also very good—the thin crust was crisp from the fire, the mozzarella perfectly melted, and the mushrooms were great flavor. For our entrees we each selected an item from the Pasta Menu. The other sections “For the Table” and “From the Grill” offered equally tempting options, but if there is lasagna on a menu I’m ordering it. The House-made Lasagna was large, and quite good (Spinach, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Pecorino, Tomato Sauce, Basil Pesto). Definitely very filling. My only adjustment on my meal was that it could’ve used a little more salt to accentuate the flavors of the sauce and cheeses—and I am not one who normally adds any salt to a meal. We also had the Gnocchi (Nonna’s Pork Ragu, Potato Dumplings). This was tasty, the pork was a bit different than what we had anticipated, but I think that is because it was a more authentic presentation of the dish versus a more American-ized version we might be used to. And finally—dessert! We went with the traditional Cannoli (Chocolate Chips, Toffee Crunch). This was the perfect ending to our meal.
We were not traveling with children this time around, but I was also very impressed with the variety offered on the Kids Menu. Spaghetti options, Fried Cheese Ravioli, Hot Dog, Hamburger, Grilled Fish, Pizza, and more—there was something for every kid on this menu which makes it easy for parents to choose a restaurant with a great menu for adults and kids.
We really enjoyed dining at Terralina Crafted Italian. Most people like some type of Italian food, so if you are traveling with a group this is a good option for everyone to find something they will enjoy whether they are timid or adventurous eaters. Next time you are looking for a place to dine at Disney Springs, take a look at Terralina Crafted Italian. And keep an eye out for some of the special events they offer, like the Taste of Tuscany Chef Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Justin Plank hosted in August with a four course meal paired with Italian wines.