Trattoria al Forno, BoardWalk’s newest restaurant to open its doors, officially opened on Thursday, December 18. While many were disappointed that Kouzzina was being replaced by “another” Italian restaurant, I wanted to reserve judgement until I actually dined there. Now, I can’t compare dinner service at the two restaurants as I never made it to Kouzzina for dinner, but I experienced breakfast there on numerous occasions and had a good feel for the restaurant.
The lobby remains quite large, and seating is relatively sparse. There are four comfy-looking chairs, and there were two small benches behind me where I took these photos, with enough room for 3 or 4 guests each.
As the story of the restaurant goes, there are four distinct dining areas that flow into one another: the Cucina, the Sala da Pranzo, the Salotto, the Taverna. Our hostess noted the area as we walked through them and took us to our table in the Salotto.
Behind us was the Taverna, which is a much more intimate space. I could see this being used for guests hosting a small party.
One thing I noted to Matt was that the space seems very full of tables and chairs.
The chairs now are much more comfortable.
Each table has a black stand with red plates, as well as a cruet of olive oil. The waiter will being a carafe of water and leave it at the table. As you can see in this picture below, our table for two was very cramped with all the accoutrements.
We placed our drink order, and the waiter brought us their house-made ciabatta bread. I thought the bread was quite good, but it was a denser ciabatta than I usually have at restaurants. The olive oil was decent, but some added seasonings or fresh-cracked black pepper (a la Mama Melrose) would have been a nice touch.
Matt ordered the Italian Manhattan – a combination of Jim Beam Black Extra Aged Bourbon, Amaro Nonino Liqueur, and Angostura Bitters garnished with a Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherry. Matt’s a fan of Manhattans, and he seemed to like it enough, but I don’t think he’d necessarily order this one again.
I ordered the Sicilian Iced Tea – a combination of Amaro Averna Liqueur, Caravella Orangecello, Iced Tea, Agave Nectar, and fresh Lemon Juice. I like the twist of the Orangecello for the hint of citrus here.
Matt and I placed our order for an appetizer and went for the Thin-sliced Italian Cured Meats. I was really excited to try the House-pickled peppers back when I saw the photo released by Disney.
Imagine my disappointment when there was only a single HALF pickled pepper accompanying the tray. Matt was sweet and let me have the entire (half) pepper.
The appetizer was delivered to us by a runner with no explanation of the meats. Based on looking at them, counterclockwise from top left was Bresaola (which we’ve enjoyed at both Mama Melrose and Palo on the Disney Fantasy), Coppa, Sopressata, and Prosciutto. My favorite was the Bresaola, while Matt leaned toward the Coppa and Prosciutto.
The Caponata was slightly sweet and quite good on the grilled bread.
My lone pickled (1/2) pepper and around 10 assorted olives (note that not all were pitted, so nosh carefully! 😉 ). That pepper was quite tasty, which makes me even more sad that there weren’t more!
Matt ordered the Semolina Tagliatelle alla Carbonara which is made with Guanciale. Matt’s more of the pasta fan between the two of us, and he liked the dish. While it doesn’t appear to be a lot in the huge dish, it’s quite filling, especially when paired with bread and an appetizer. He ended up leaving a few bites uneaten. I managed to snag a taste, and while i thought it was good, it’s not something I would order myself.
Of course, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you probably know I’m a pizza fan. I was torn between some of the options, but ultimately went with the Smoked Prosciutto, Potato, Rosemary, and Mozzarella Pizza. The crust had some good char to it, though the dough itself was a bit bland on its own. The mozzarella – and the toppings touching it – had a tendency to slide around a bit, so it was a bit tricky to get a little bit of everything in each bite. The potatoes crisped up nicely, and the prosciutto had a nice, light smokiness and saltiness that enhanced the overall pizza. Overall, this is something I’d order again.
Here are the food, drink, and wine menus:
At the end of the meal, we were quite full so we passed on dessert. I ended up taking just under half the pizza home. We thought the food was quite good and reasonably priced, and our server was fairly attentive despite being a full restaurant (though the Tables in Wonderland/check process took a little while). I think that if you are interested in visiting the restaurant because it is new, you’ll likely enjoy the food. If you go in still bitter about Kouzzina closing, then that might translate over to your experience. As for our experience, we’d certainly return. There are still several other items we’d like to try, and we look forward to our next visit.
Have you had a chance to try Trattoria al Forno? Will you be visiting on your next trip to WDW?