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April 18, 2017

Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast - Trattoria al forno

Deb's Digest Blog
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CORRECTION: (4/24) For some reason, I thought this breakfast was $24/per person. It is $34 per person. At that price, this breakfast is not worth the cost until the food greatly improves.

On April 2, 2017, the Boardwalk's Trattoria al forno converted its breakfast offering to a character meal called the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled and Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid are the showcased characters. Linda and I have always enjoyed breakfast at Trattoria so we thought we'd give it a try.

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Two of the characters, Ariel and Rapunzel, you can see in the parks, but the big hit of this meal is the ability to see both Flynn Rider and Prince Eric! In fact, in all my visits to Walt Disney World, this may have been my first encounter with Prince Eric (excluding parades, of course).

The breakfast offering takes a few items from Trattoria's former breakfast menu with some twists and new names.

Our server, Mary, was great. She first approached the table and gave each of us an Adventure Journal and a set of character autographs.

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Despite our group being two adults with no children, we got the full themed treatment from Mary and we really appreciated it. The meal begins with a bowl of pastries for everyone at the table to share. Keeping in the theme, there is a clam shell pastry and also a braided chocolate bread (Deb's favorite). And they are served in a frying pan! She took our beverage orders and left us to decide on our selections.

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You have two choices for a "appetizer": a Fruit Salad or a Berry, Yogurt and Granola Parfait. We got one of each.

For me, the yogurt parfait was way too sweet. I could barely get two spoonfuls down. I typically eat Greek yogurt, and this was MUCH different. Also on top was layer of something sweet, like honey, but wasn't the right consistency. The red item on my yogurt represents Sebastian from Little Mermaid.

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Linda's fruit cup was the standard melons with a couple berries. It was supposed to come with a little crown, which was missing. The melons were good, but the berries were mushy.

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There are seven entrees to choose from, including a breakfast calzone, pancakes and Tangled eggs. You can find the complete menu HERE


Linda chose the Golden Frittata - Prosciutto di Parma, Piquillo pepper, scallions and pecorino Romano Cheese with roasted potatoes. This sounded so much like the fritatta on the old breakfast menu so our taste buds were expecting that. But that was not quite what we got at all. Linda didn't care for all the peppers in her frittata or the strong taste of the melted cheese.

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I ordered the Royale Breakfast which included Oak-grilled steak, cheesy-egg torte, and Fonduta with roasted potatoes and crispy onions. I ordered it without the onions. Our server asked how I wanted my steak prepared, and I said "medium." I didn't want it still mooing!

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The steak was actually good with a nice flavor. However, most of it was on the rare side. The potatoes were great and served hot -- hard to mess those up. Unfortunately, the "cheesy-egg torte" was bizarre and mostly inedible.

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The "Fonduta" was cheesy and almost overpowered the egg torte. The torte was full of red pepper and as I said, not good at all. I barely got my first bite down. Linda tried a bit and totally concurred with my assessment.

At some point, our server came back to explain the Bon Voyage Adventure Journal. It opens up to a cartoon map of Walt Disney World showing all four parks. Kids (or adults) can fill in their "favorite ride", "favorite snack" favorite souvenir, etc. We thought this map was a pretty cool thing that some kids would enjoy.

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Characters are the absolute best part of this experience and make it worth the money.
When we entered the restaurant we noticed most of the characters were up near the entrance. It was a good 20-25 minutes after we were seated that we saw any characters.

An announcement was made introducing the Tangled characters while "I Had a Dream" played in the background. Flynn and Rapunzel made their way partially around the dining area and then disappeared into a portion of the dining room we were unable to see. (We were seated in the far back corner.) We assumed they were dancing. Once the song was coming to an end they came to the back of the restaurant and started meeting with each table. Note that they don't visit the tables together.

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I have to say Flynn was one of the best, if not the best Flynn I have ever met and Rapunzel was pretty fantastic and reminded me of her when I met her a couple years ago at the Magic Kingdom. They were totally in character, playful, personable and in no apparent rush to leave. We had a great time with them.

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Soon thereafter, "Under the Sea" began playing and Eric and Ariel made their way into the dining room. As with Flynn and Rapunzel, The Little Mermaid characters made their way around the dining room. Again, they were very entertaining and interactive with us and all the tables, children or not. That means a great deal to us, as sometimes characters don't see kids and we get a wink and a quick pic and that's it.

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The character attendant working the room did an excellent job making sure the characters flowed through the room and checked back with each table to make sure everyone saw each character.

Please see above correction: At $34 per person this character meal is not worth the cost until the food greatly improves.

For the characters, the experience was certainly worth the cost is $34 per person (not $24 as originally stated: plus tip and tax. However, keep in mind unlike other character meals, this is not an all you care to eat menu. You can apply your Tables in Wonderland card or Annual Passport discount, though.

Go for the fun, not for the food!

P.S. At the podium, the cast members asked each party if they realized this was a character meal. For those who didn't realize that and want to dine without characters, there is a small back room for those folks. The breakfast menu back there is pretty similar to the character breakfast menu and when you add up the entrees and beverages, you are at the character meal price. The traditional breakfast menu is no longer available.

December 19, 2014

Trattoria al Forno - First Look from Opening Night

Deb's Digest Blog
Trattoria al forno Sign

Trattoria al Forno, on Disney's BoardWalk, officially opened on December 18, 2014. Linda and I had dinner reservations to check out the new place.

Please keep in mind this review is from opening night. Items are still being tweaked, chefs and servers still learning, and the place needs to "shake out" so to speak and find its rhythm. We plan to return in a few weeks. Overall we had a very fun dining experience. Special thanks to our server, Lynne, who provided great service and answered or found the answer to all our questions!

The restaurant has made an amazing transformation in just a few months. There is much to share about the theme and story of the Trattoria, but in this blog, we will focus on the food. Speaking of food, Chef Dee is back, much to our delight!

Trattoria al forno Interior

We began by looking at the menu, 99 percent identical to the pre-opening menu that had been announced. We perused the wine list and checked out the appetizers. We were tempted to order several appetizers, but after looking at the pizza, pasta and entree offerings, thought we should start slow. Plus, we hadn't seen the dessert menu yet!

There are several designated Gluten-Free items and approximately 80 percent of the menu is or can easily be made Gluten-Free.

BREAD AND OLIVE OIL

Trattoria al forno Bread and Olive Oil

The bread had a crunchy crust. Be sure to use the wonderful olive oil!

ANTIPASTI (appetizers)

Thin-sliced Italian Cured Meats (serves 2)
- with house-pickled peppers, olives and caponata served with a toasted slice of house-made ciabatta $15.99

Trattoria al forno Thinly Sliced Meats

The four meats served are sliced on the brand new, super-duper paper-thin slicer. We received Bresaola (air-dried beef); Sopressata (traditional cured meet -- think of it as a version of salami); Coppa (salted, seasoned and dry-cured cut of pork shoulder or neck); Prosciutto (dry-cured ham).

We loved the Bresaola (some of the best we've had in the US) and Sopressata. The Coppa was good but not our thing. The only disappointment was the Prosciutto. We saved that taste until last and the meat was not as thinly sliced as we expected. In fact, we've had thinner sliced at the local grocery store.

The meats are accompanied by a small bowl of house-pickled peppers and olives and caponata. Linda liked the caponata and said it had lots of tomato flavors. She also enjoyed the olives and peppers.

This was a great way to begin our meal and we would recommend you give it a try.

Grilled Treviso -- with gorgonzola dolce and pistachio gremolata $7.99

Trattoria al forno Grilled Treviso

When I read about the grilled treviso, I thought it was fish so, I'll be honest, I Googled it. Turns out to be radicchio. You can sometimes find radicchio in your local grocery -- it has the deep red leaves with white veins. You may find in it a ball or more elongated. The Treviso was grilled and topped with a mixture of gorgonzola, dolce and pistachio gremolata. It was topped by two different types of endive, also with the topping. The combination of grilling and topping took away the bitterness sometimes found in radicchio. It was OUTSTANDING. It's the hidden gem on the menu and we will certainly order it again. In addition, two people can easily share it.

WINES

Trattoria al forno Wine Quartino

Italian Wines are best enjoyed with Italian food! The Trattoria boasts an all-Italian wine menu with around 70 wines encompassing the 20 Italian wine regions; 30 wines by the glass or quartino. The quartino is a small carafe containing approximately a glass and a half of the wine. Linda and I found the quartino a great way for us both to sample several different wines.


PIZZA AL FORNO A LEGNA

There are six pizzas to choose from with an array of tastes, from a traditional Margherita (mozzarella, tomato and basil), to one with Fennel Sausage, Salame Piccante, and House-Pickled Peppers. Pizzas are prepared Neapolitan style.

We chose the Smoked Prosciutto, Potato, Rosemary and Mozzarella $16.99 (which also had tomato sauce). The pizza was a blend of flavors with the rosemary being the predominant one. The pizza was tasty, but not great. It was too doughy for me -- the Neapolitan style is more chewy. One person could have made it their appetizer. If you are sharing, two people will be happy with the size. Quite frankly, we've been spoiled by other full- service dining pizzas nearby from the likes of Via Napoli (Epcot), Il Mulino (Swan), and La Luce (Hilton Bonnet Creek).

Trattoria al forno Smoked Prosciutto, Potato, Rosemary and Mozzarella Pizza

PASTA E RISO AND CARNI E PESCI

It was difficult to choose from the Pasta e Riso and Carni e Pesci selections, so we ordered three entrees to share (we left with enough food for tonight's dinner!).


Polpetta Gigante - giant meatball with ricotta cannelloni and marinara $19.99

Trattoria al forno Polpetta Gigante

Trattoria al forno Polpetta Gigante

Indeed, as the menu describes, this is a giant meatball. What the menu doesn't tell you, however, is that it has lots of spinach and red pepper flakes, giving it a bit of heat. We were both disappointed. Too much heat and spinach for me, and Linda, who likes food with heat, said it was too much for her as well. The Ricotta Cannelloni was tender and flavorful. We both like the marinara sauce! It should also be noted the cannelloni was made with rice flour.

Semolina Tagliatelle alla Carbonara - with Guanciale $19.99

Trattoria al forno Semolina Tagliatelle alla Carbonara

For both of us this dish was the winner of the evening! It is made with an egg sauce, not a cream sauce, making it a lighter pasta dish. Pasta served al dente. The bits of guanciale (Italian cured meat from pork cheeks) added just enough contrast. We highly recommend this dish and will order it again.


Eggplant Rollatini - with shaved fennel-arugula salad $17.99

Trattoria al forno Eggplant Rollatini

This dish was recommended by our server and since Linda enjoys eggplant she ordered it. The eggplant was lightly grilled and Linda found it chewy and bland. When we spoke to the chef later, he said they are still tweaking the preparation. The shaved fennel-arugula salad is, however, a nice surprise. This salad needs to be an appetizer. It is served with several of the entrees.

DOLCI

Just about everything on the dessert menu sounded wonderful and again it was difficult to choose.


Tiramisu - ladyfinger-soaked espresso and layered with Italian mascarpone cream $6.99

Trattoria al forno Tiramisu

Our server told us this would be the best tiramisu we ever had. Indeed it was so delicious and is in our top three ever. The cream is so creamy, there is no filling so to speak, just the basics. Yummmm.

Signature Dessert Highlight Item - Bomboloni with dark chocolate, served with vanilla gelato $6.49

Trattoria al forno Bomboloni

This wasn't the signature dessert in our minds, although it is very Italian. It's basically fried dough with a tiny bit of chocolate. The gelato, however, was awesome!


Lemon Panna Cotta - with almond crunch and macerated berries (no sugar added and gluten-free) $6.49

Trattoria al forno Lemon Panna Cotta

Another great choice -- light, creamy, loved the almond crunch, although I could do without the berry foam (too sweet) on top.

COST

We used Tables in Wonderland, which gave us a 20 percent discount on food and beverages (alcohol included) and added an 18 percent gratuity.

We ordered four different wine quartinos and shared them. The cost came to $56.

Subtracting the wine from the bill, our dinner with tip and tax was $119 for two. Remember we ordered a LOT of food.

An appetizer, entree and dessert will run you about $33 each before tax/tip.

CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATIONS

This is going to be a popular restaurant and I'm certain once word gets out it may be difficult to just walk up without a reservation. Even reservations may be hard to come by.


Our RECOMMENDATIONS:

Appetizer: Thinly Sliced Meats OR Grilled Treviso
Entree: Semolina Tagliatelle alla Carbonara
Dessert: Tiramisu OR Gelato

We will return sometime in January to see how things have evolved. We have some favorites on the menu and there are many items to try, such as: the Regional Italian Soup, Fried Calamari, Baked Lasagna, Port Chop alla Milanese, and Braised Beef Bolognese, Cannoli Pizzelle, Hazelnut Chocolate Cake.

RELATED LINKS:
Dinner Menu: http://allears.net/dining/menu/trattoria-al-forno/dinner
Child's Dinner Menu: http://allears.net/dining/menu/trattoria-al-forno/child-dinner

Review Trattoria al Forno: http://land.allears.net/reviewpost/showproduct.php?product=689


Mangia, Mangia (eat, eat).


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About Trattoria al Forno

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Trattoria al Forno category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant is the previous category.

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