Welcome to another edition of restaurant reviews Disney style! On my list trip I tried a few new-to-me places and decided to do some reviews for you. This time I took a stroll down the Boardwalk to try the semi-new Italian restaurant there Trattoria al Forno. This particular location has undergone a few different restaurant changes in recent history, and while it may have something to do with the close proximity to Epcot and the amazing dining choices there…somehow I just don’t think that’s it. Let’s review it!
Location: Situated between the Boardwalk Resort and Epcot this Italian eatery is nestled between other restaurants along the boardwalk entertainment area.
Ambiance: When you walk in the door you are greeted by the friendly hostess staff. I had a reservation but was pretty early, they still let me check in and told me to have a seat. In the seating area you can see some of the wines available and let me tell you there are a fair few. Within 5 minutes I was being escorted to my table. While the restaurant was busy it was no where near full (this was around 7pm). Overall the restaurant has a Tuscan vibe to it but I loved the open kitchen the best. When I dine alone its nice to have something other than the table to look at. It was nice to sit and watch the cooks prepare all the food.
Service: First, I have to say I sat for 5 minutes before I was greeted by my server or brought water. My server was also a trainer so that was pretty disappointing (they have a special pin they wear so you know they train others). While she did apologize for making me wait and was friendly enough I could tell she was more interested in her larger tables than my party of 1. My food came out quickly and cooked correctly so no issues there but it was very rushed and everything almost came out right on top of everything. No time to enjoy the bread before the appetizer came out, no time to sip my wine before the dinner plan was basically thrown on top of the appetizer plate. Yes people dining alone tend to get in and out of a place faster, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy my experience.
Eats/Drinks: I really wanted to be wowed by this place but sadly that wasn’t the case. I wanted to try an appetizer and entree with some wine but no dessert (I was going to Disney Springs for that). I had read quite a few blogger reviews before heading here so I knew the caprese salad was a must order. A lot of the bloggers chose to get the ragu with homemade pasta but I was more interested in the lasagna. From the menu it sounded delicious and I love lasagna. I also ordered the “Taste of Tuscany” it seemed to compliment the foods I ordered the best.
First up was the wine, meh at best. None of them were particularly great and overall pretty forgettable. The fresh ciabatta bread was good but the olive oil available overpowered the bread and not in a good way.
The caprese salad came and it was delicious. I wish there would have been more balsamic but I love balsamic. What I really liked about the caprese was there was sea salt on the mozzarella giving it an extra bit of crunch and zip. There was no basil but I didn’t miss it.
Almost right after I finished the caprese the lasagna was brought out and was too hot to eat. Oh lasagna you could have been amazing. The layers were way too thin, bechamel sauce sad and lacking flavor almost no meat to speak of and the tomato sauce had a very strong canned flavor. There was way too much cheese on the lasagna, and I love cheese. Its too bad because this lasagna could have been great (take the lasagna at Tutto Gusto in Epcot) but this was a big miss. I mean, its better than what you get in the freezer section of the grocery store, but as someone who has spent hours on homemade lasagna this was a big disappointment.
Overall: There is better Italian and on Disney property. If you want a quiet dining experience with decent service at a great location then this would be a good option. If you want great Italian food though you need to go to Epcot’s Italy pavilion. This is definitely not the worst dining experience or food I have ever had but it was forgettable and not somewhere I would seek out to go again.
CHIME IN!!! Have you been to Trattoria al Forno before? What’s your favorite Italian dish? Ever made homemade lasagna before?