Today, guest blogger Shayne Newell, author of Shayne’s Project 365, is back with a review (and some gorgeous photos) from her recent Wine Country Trattoria World of Color (WOC) Dining Package meal! Take it away, Shayne!
Like the previously reviewed World of Color Dining Package meal at Ariel’s Grotto, the Wine Country Trattoria package meal is a fixed-price, limited menu that can be reserved up to 30 days in advance.
Atmosphere and Menu
It was pretty hot the day we went (Saturday, 9/4/10), so we were happy to be seated in the upstairs portion of the restaurant, where it was under cover and cool; we still had a nice view of the park. Everyone on the upper level seemed to be ordering from the WOC menu, so perhaps they segregated the WOC diners from those ordering off of the regular menu? On both the adult and kids’ menu, the appetizer/salad course and the dessert course were pre-determined, but each diner could choose their entree from the available options. (Click image for larger version.)
The kids’ appetizer (they each received one) was 2 carrot slices, some grapes, and some fresh mozzarella cheese. My kids are pretty picky and didn’t care for it much, but I ate one of the pieces of mozzarella and it was nice and fresh.
The adult salad was an arugula salad with fennel, red onion, spiced walnuts, and goat cheese in a fig-balsamic dressing. It was quite good. There were also some figs in the salad itself. The portion size was just right and the dressing was nice and light. Very enjoyable.
For the entree, the kids chose spaghetti (one with turkey meatballs and one with just marinara). My husband ordered the herb-roasted chicken breast and I got the seafood pasta.
The kids’ spaghetti appeared to be whole wheat pasta, which I was happy about. That is what I serve at home, and I like that as a slightly healthier option. But perhaps because it was whole wheat pasta, which cooks differently, the pasta was not cooked too well and was very al dente. I tried one of my son’s turkey meatballs, and it was relatively flavorless and pretty dry. That was a big disappointment because I’ve certainly cooked whole wheat spaghetti and turkey meatballs at home and know that it CAN taste a lot better than that.
The herb roasted chicken breast was flavorful, but the accompanying pasta, which the menu says has a white wine garlic sauce, tasted instead like it had some kind of lemon-flavored sauce on it. It wasn’t bad, but the lemon flavor was a little too overpowering for the rest of the dish. My husband also ordered the wine pairing, but didn’t feel that the food complimented the wine particularly well. I hadn’t paid close enough attention to the menu to recall what kind of sauce it was supposed to have, otherwise I would have inquired. It was definitely lemony rather than garlicky.
My seafood pasta was OK. The pasta was not whole wheat spaghetti, which I thought was interesting, given that the kids had whole wheat pasta. It had several large shrimp and two or three scallops in it and was tossed in a pomodoro sauce. My pasta was definitely cooked better than the kids’ pasta. The dish was fine, but wasn’t anything outstanding.
For dessert, the kids received a small chocolate tart, which they enjoyed. The adult dessert was a sampler plate of vanilla bean panna cotta, berries, and chocolate espresso tart with caramel sauce. On a hot day, the creamy and cool panna cotta was perfect. The berries were sweet and also good. The tart had a soft center (not like a lava cake, but softer than the outer crust) and was good. It had just the right amount of coffee flavor — not too strong but not completely lost in the chocolate either.
The other frustration we had was that we repeatedly had to ask to have our water glasses refilled. As I said, it was a hot day and so we were pretty thirsty. While I enjoyed a glass of wine with my dinner, I’m not going to be gulping that down to quench my thirst!
When we paid our bill, we were given 4 tickets that entitled us to enter the reserved WOC viewing section, which was directly in the center of the lagoon. We had tickets for the 9:00 show and the reserved section opened at 8:00. We didn’t arrive until about 8:20 and it was already quite crowded. We were able to get pretty close to the front, but there were still several rows of people in front of us (5-6 people deep), so we still had to pick up the children and put them on our shoulders for them to be able to see the show.
I’m glad I did it because we really wanted to see World of Color, and I didn’t want to worry about running for the Fastpass first thing in the morning. The appetizer and dessert were good, but the entrees left a little to be desired. I probably wouldn’t choose to eat at Wine Country Trattoria again given that there are still several restaurants at Disneyland Resort I’d like to try.