There’s no certainly no shortage of Italian restaurants in Walt Disney World, and even within Disney Springs, those craving a classic pasta dinner have a remarkable number of options open to them. And here is one of the newest eateries competing for the attention of Italian food lovers – Terralina Crafted Italian, in Disney Springs. We’ve listed some things we loved about this restaurant that might set it aside from the pack. Does it make the list for your next Walt Disney World vacation?
You’ll be warmly welcomed, literally, by the fireplace in Terralina’s lobby (and if you’ve been walking around the parks all day, you’ll appreciate the comfy seating while you wait for your table). The restaurant is designed to evoke a feeling of the Lake District in Italy, which means plenty of warm shades and rustic brick and wood, and old photos on the wall – and of course, views of the waterfront. The overall effect is pleasant and comfortable, and it’s intended to look like you’re dining in an Italian home. The ambiance will disappoint anyone looking for in-your-face theming, but we quite enjoyed this understated, eclectic, homey look.
Located on the waterfront in Disney Springs, where you could formerly find Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, Terralina enjoys a prime location that’s easy to find and get to. If you knew the location in its previous incarnation, you’ll be surprised to find an open air bar and lots of outdoor seating where you can enjoy the prime waterside views.
3. Attention to Dietary Requirements
Let’s be honest: we’re used to excellent service in Walt Disney World restaurants. But the staff at Terralina went above and beyond even our seasoned WDW guest expectations. The first question we were asked was whether we had any allergies. One member of our party is a vegetarian with an intolerance to pepper and anything remotely spicy, and our server patiently and cheerfully went through the entire lengthy menu with her, alerting her to any potentially spicy or peppery dishes and making appropriate recommendations. The chef ended up creating a unique vegetable gnocchi dish for her, based on her preferences and dietary restrictions. She felt like a queen, and we knew we’d picked the right restaurant!
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4. Central Kitchen
As you walk to your table, you can’t help but see the kitchen and its wood-burning ovens, which are the central feature of the restaurant. The various dining rooms in Terralina radiate from the kitchen, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be seated close enough to watch as highly trained staff prepare calzones, hand-made pasta, cannelloni, pizza, and much more right on the hearth. We love watching as our food is prepared, and we love that restaurants with visible kitchens are becoming more popular in Walt Disney World!
5. Tastes of Italy
Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano from Portobello Country Italian Trattoria came back to create the menu for Terralina, so if a couple of offerings look a bit familiar, that could be why. There are a variety of wood-fired pizzas available, from funghi to sausage to margherita. The gnocchi was the freshest we’ve ever encountered, and the portions were so large that despite our best efforts, we couldn’t finish it. The intriguing appetizers include Crispy Eggplant Fries, Spaghetti Fritters, and Crab Crostini. Regardless of your choice, you’ll be offered plenty of fresh parmesan (grated in front of your eyes), and you’ll have abundant complimentary bread while you wait for your meal to arrive.
Dining at Walt Disney World can be a challenge for those on a budget. We entered Terralina expecting it would be one of the pricier meals during our stay, and were pleasantly surprised. While the desserts are on the pricy side (though well worth it!), the rest of the menu represents excellent bang for your buck. We were happy to see that the entrees, especially were great value for the amount – and quality – of food you receive, especially compared to other Italian restaurants that might be on your to-visit list.
Speaking of those desserts… We were so enthralled with them that they get their own section in our list. First up is a gluten-free offering, which we were skeptical about at first, since we’ve had questionable treats in this category before. But you won’t miss the gluten in the Flourless Chocolate Cake at all, trust us (you’ll be too busy drooling over the yummy Hazelnut-Mascarpone Filling and Hazelnut-Toffee Brittle). For some more true Italian sweets, order up a Gelato Sundae, or get your gelato in sandwich form in a Chocolate-dipped Gelato Sandwich complete with salty toffee cruch. Mmmm. Still not enough? The expansive dessert menu doesn’t stop there! When we visited, there were a whopping 8 desserts on the menu, including Cappuccino Crème Brûlée and Lemon Panna Cotta. So go ahead and indulge!
8. The Extra Mile
While dining at Terralina recently, two members of our party were celebrating an anniversary, and were wearing the special occasion buttons given to them by their resort to commemorate the event. They were wished a happy anniversary by all staff they encountered during our visit, and at the end of our meal, a complimentary piece of chocolate cake appeared to help them celebrate. Going the extra mile and paying attention to details like special events guests are celebrating earns Terralina a gold star!