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Risotto Around the World

Ah…time to talk about one of my very favorite side dishes EVER!!! Risotto is often overlooked, but the creamy savory goodness that is risotto could easily take center stage in a dish (and does in some of these highlighted below)! Disney chefs have mastered the art of making this slow-cooked yumminess — rice patiently mixed with flavorful broth — and whether it’s mixed with meat, fish, or vegetables, risotto doubles as as a sophisticated recipe and mouth-watering, comfort food.

I was looking through our Disney Food Blog Flickr group and saw so many gorgeous photos of risotto that I simply had to do a post about this dark horse side dish. (Of course, I’ve added a few of my own photos as well…;-D.)

Let’s take a tour around the world…

Butternut Squash Risotto from Artist Point

This butternut squash risotto topped with pork belly is easily in my “top 5″ risottos in Disney World. Offered at Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge, the hint of sweet from the squash and tartness courtesy of the cranberry drizzle create amazing (and memorable!) flavors. Sigh. I miss it.

butternut squash risotto

Dungeness Crab Risotto with Blood Orange Sauce and Pea Shoots; from Artist Point

This ample portion of risotto is mixed handsomely with crab creating a decadent appetizer. (Looks amazing!!!) Dishes at Artist Point tend to change seasonally, yet Dungeness crab seems to be used in many dishes — like these crab cakes we highlighted earlier this week!
(Photographer: Roger Weeks)

Dungeness Crab Risotto

Mushroom “Risotto” (in reality this is white corn, but I love that they made a “risotto” out of it), served along side Seared Bison with, Turnips, Chestnuts, and Pinot Noir Juniper Emulsion; from California Grill

This striking presentation from the California Grill has a slight woodsy flavor. Points for creativity, Chef Piasecki!
Photographer: Morgan & Jeff Rooks / CharacterHunters

California Grill - Mushroom Risotto

Arancini-Crispy Risotto, from Citricos

These deep fried rice balls are a staple on the menu at Citricos. Although the recipe tends to change a bit, this app is a popular choice! We never miss it!

Citricos Arancini

Lemon and Pea Risotto served alongside Pan-seared Wreck Fish with Bay Scallops and Citrus Oil, from Coral Reef

Coral Reef in Epcot’s Future World tends to get mixed reviews from guests. While the aquarium atmosphere is special, the cuisine is sometimes disappointing. We’ve heard several kudos to this Lemon and Pea risotto, however! Photographer: Roger Weeks

Pan Seared Wreck Fish on Lemon and Pea Risotto

Mascarpone-laced Risotto di Carnaroli served alongside Oak-grilled Maine Diver Scallops with Artichoke, Fresh and Sun-dried Tomato, Basil, Pecorino Romano, and Proscuitto di Parma Cracklins, from Flying Fish Cafe

Chef Tim Keating is at it again! “Mascarpone-laced”?!??! AWESOME!! And I’d love to try the cracklins… . Photographer: Tana Murphy

Flying Fish - Risotto

Black Eye Pea Risotto, from Jiko

The risotto makes this entree a stand-out. We hope it returns to the menu at some point, but we’re glad to have the memory!

Berbere pork tenderloin with black eye pea risotto

Mushroom Risotto, from Le Cellier Steakhouse

Made with truffle butter sauce, the mushroom risotto at Le Cellier is amazing! Mushroom risotto is currently being served with the Filet Mignon entree at this Epcot restaurant. (I always get a dish on the side…can’t help it!)

Side of Mushroom Risotto Even Though Mushroom Risotto Isn't Actually a Side

Mozzarella Stuffed Rice Balls, from Portobello

I’m actually dining at Portobello TODAY, so I’m excited to share this with you again. I thought they were so innovative when I first tried them!

YUM

Risotto with Chicken, from Raglan Road

Spice up this risotto dish by adding shrimp or chicken! Raglan Road’s Risotto is constructed with shiitake mushrooms, garden peas, shaved parmesan, and rocket lettuce. Photographer: abloodphoenix

Raglan Road - Risotto

Risotto Di Gamberi: creamy arborio rice, shrimp, herbs, butter, parmesan cheese, from Tutto Italia

Made with Arborio rice, this creamy risotto features shrimp! This dish consistently garnishes rave reviews for the exquisite flavor and gorgeous presentation. I wonder if it will remain on the menu after the current refurbishment… . Photographer: Roger Weeks

Risotto Di Gamberi

Arancini with marinara sauce, from Via Napoli

While pizza is the showcase of this Epcot restaurant, the fried arancini are an excellent appetizer! Must eat!

Arancini

Mushroom Risotto, from Yachtsman Steakhouse

Another one of my top 5 risottos in Disney World! If this risotto is on the menu, order it. And if you see it return to the menu, please let us know. ;-) I’m pretty sure it was a fluke (as in they ran out of something else and had to compromise) when I got it in 2009… . Sigh.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mushroom Risotto

Risotto del Giorno, from La Luce by Donna Scala
The risotto at La Luce is exquisite. No matter the day, they’ll FEATURE an amazing risotto of the day. We love it every time we go to this fine restaurant at Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort.

Risotto del Giorno

Breakfast Risotto, from Oscar’s
At the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Oscar’s serves a painstakingly-prepared breakfast risotto every morning. I urge you to drag yourself out of your heavenly bed to dig into this!

Oscar's Breakfast Risotto

Whew!! Feeling full? ;-)

Risotto is a popular appetizer, side dish, and main entree at WDW restaurants. Whether it’s served as a decadent dish or a comforting side, we’re always on the look-out for new risotto offerings (share your favorites, please!).

Have you had a delicious risotto while at a Disney restaurant? Tell us all about it!

As always, a huge thanks to all of you who submit your gorgeous photos to the Disney Food Blog Flickr group! All photos are copyrighted to their photographers an may NOT be used without written permission.

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16 Comments

  1. deana says:

    OH MY GOD i want to eat that. ALL of that. Now!

  2. Alan says:

    I’m surprised at the large number of risotto dishes available in WDW. I guess it is because I tend to pass on them when ordering. This isn’t because I don’t like it, I do, but because so few restaurants are good at it. Risotto has to be served promptly and cooked properly or it will seize up or be over or under cooked. But the beautiful plcs above make me want to give these dishes a chance.

    At home, I make a “potatoes cooked like risotto” that is hard to mess up, can be eaten hot or cold and is really delicious.

  3. Kat says:

    I live for risotto and these all look so good!

  4. Linda says:

    You missed my favorite: Grilled Tuna on Risotto at Mama Melrose. I’d eat it every day if I could, and usually manage two trips to Mama’s during my stay just to order it.

  5. Kathleen says:

    I forgot about that Risotto!!! My mom loved the risotto from Raglan Road! I think I am a good picture taker lol ( Abloodphoenix is my code name lol)

  6. marcellina says:

    we LOVE risotto and make it at home … I can’t believe I’ve never had it at WDW! Great post.. they all look so yummy!

  7. Rebecca C. says:

    I love risotto! I’ve had four of these listed, including Yachtsmen in 2009. I guess I need to make a few ADRs to try some of these others. :)

  8. Karen says:

    love, love LOVE risotto! Disney has more choices that I realized! Now I have more things to add to my culinary “to-do” list! Can’t wait for the Food & Wine festival..that’s when I come down to get the best food bang for my buck!

  9. Erica says:

    Must be on the same train of thought today. Just before reading this I decided I was going to make risotto for dinner. Yum! Love the risotto from Raglan Road and you can get it as an entrée if you are a vegetarian. It was great.

  10. Jenn says:

    So many of those look amazing – My first risotto experience sadly was disappointing – Raglan Road 1/11 and it was undercooked. Crunchy risotto not my thing.. luckily, I’ve had better choices since, but I have to say it didn’t leave me wanting to go back to Ragland Road..

  11. Galloping Gourmand says:

    It’s just dawned on me that not only have I never had risotto at WDW, I’ve never been to Artist’s Point! I’ll need to fix that sometime this summer.

  12. shannon says:

    Ooooh! My favorite pork belly & butternut risotto from Artist Point! That was hands down the best dish I tried there.

  13. Shayne says:

    Dang it, AJ, now I’m hungry! Of all of these wonderful-looking dishes, I’ve only ever eaten the mushroom risotto at Le Cellier. Looks like I have some work to do!

  14. AFoodie says:

    That butternut squash/pork belly dish looks positively divine!!! I’m a huge fan of mushrooms, too, so all those look fabulous to me as well. Gotta get out there & try some of these. I’m sure I would make an entree out of them!

  15. Essie says:

    My favorite restaurant meal is filet mignon over mushroom rissoto from Le Cellier. It was unbelievably delicious.

  16. StitchVA says:

    We’ve had the risotto from Le Cellier Steakhouse back before it was two dining credits and I loved it, but my husband found it to be too rich for his tastes. This past trip we tried the Arancini with marinara sauce, from Via Napoli, and learned a valuable lesson. Next time we order an appetizer, we need to get one single serving pizza not two! The food was fantastic, and very filling!

    The one you’ve listed above from Jiko looks wonderful. Since we hope to dine there on our next trip I hope they put it back on the menu before we return!

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