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Review: Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure

Today, we are heading west for a visit to Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure! Located within the Pacific Wharf section of the park, Wine Country Trattoria is part of the Golden Vine Winery, celebrating the bounty and goodness of California wine country.

Wine Country Trattoria Plaque

Located centrally within the park, this spot makes for a beautiful haven during a busy day of park sightseeing. And if you’re planning to take in the spectacular World of Color light show, then you may also be interesting in booking a Dining Package for viewing the show later in the evening. The package includes a three-course prix fixe meal as well as access to a special viewing area for World of Color.

But would the food measure up to the beautiful surroundings? We wondered, too. Time to find out!

Atmosphere

I love the look and feel of WCT. It has a relatively big footprint, with lots of indoor and outdoor seating. Your first view is this hand-carved limestone fountain and a low, wide arch into the dining room.

Fountain at the Entrance

Cool and rustic touches are all around you, with tile floors below and beamed ceilings above. The variegated plaster walls give way to murals depicting California wine country.

Indoor Seating with a Wine Country Mural

There’s ample seating indoors, even if tables are situated a bit close together for my preference.

Additional Indoor Seating

But unless it is extremely hot, I heartily recommend that you eat al fresco on Wine Country Trattoria’s terraces. You’ll find a wide selection of seating choices, both shaded and in the the sun.

Covered Outdoor Seating

The terrace is dotted with beautiful plantings, and vines cover the building. The whole effect is lush, like you’re dining in a Mediterranean garden.

Outside View of the Arches

One of the most charming places to sit is under the beautiful curved pergola, which offers some shading. There are also tables with umbrellas in the sunniest spots of the terrace.

Outdoor Seating Beneath the Pergola

Looking at the restaurant from beneath the pergola, you also catch a glimpse of the Al Fresco Lounge upstairs — perfect for watching the crowds pass while catching a breeze.

View of the Restaurant's Exterior from Beneath the Pergola

Now that you’re excited about the setting, let’s dig into the menu!

Eats

You would expect a restaurant with a name like this to have a fairly extensive offering of wines, and Wine Country Trattoria delivers. With more than 25 wines from around the world available by the glass, you’re sure to find one that will complement your dinner choice.

Wine Menu -- Click to Enlarge

More Wines! -- Click to Enlarge

Not sure you can narrow it down to just one? Not a problem. They also offer wine flights. On our visit, two were available — A Tour of Italy, and California Wine Country. Housemade Sangria is also available, as is a selection of beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

Beverage Menu: Wine Flights and Other Options -- Click to Enlarge

The menu displays a decidedly Italian influence (of course), and there are plenty of classic and well-known dishes in addition to a few more adventurous ones. The combination makes Wine Country Trattoria a good choice for large groups with varied tastes.

Appetizer and Entree Menu -- Click to Enlarge

We began with complimentary bread service, a mixture of plain and herbed Focaccia. The rolls were fresh and rich, with flavors of olive oil and rosemary.

Bread Service

I opted to start my meal with the Chef’s Soup Selection of the Day, which happened to be a favorite of mine — Minestrone. The flavorful broth was full of beans and vegetables, and the bright pesto garnish made was a fun kick of flavor and color. It was a simple idea, but really added to my enjoyment of the hearty soup.

Chef

My husband chose the Italian Insalata. Cradled inside an iceberg lettuce leaf, the chopped salad consisted of pepperoncini, Kalamata olives, tomatoes and cucumbers.

It was dressed with a simple red wine vinaigrette and was finished with big ol’ flakes of parmesan cheese. Again, the presentation was really beautiful with all of the bright colors, and was so much more interesting than a run-of-the-mill dinner salad. Pretty, right?

Italian Insalata

When it came time to order, we were in the mood for pasta, and both went that direction. I chose the Lasagna Rustica on the recommendation of some friends, and being a big fan of sauce, was absolutely delighted when I saw the dish!

Lasagna Rustica

There are no real surprises here. This was a hearty helping of traditional lasagna, smothered in a rich Bolognese sauce that was full of meat. It was hearty, and the sauce was not too sweet. Perfect.

Lasagna Rustica -- Up Close

My husband went for the Spaghetti Bolognese. It could have used a touch more sauce, but was fine otherwise. Very standard, though a step above chain Italian restaurants.

Spaghetti Bolognese

The real standout of the meal was the Seasonal Roasted Fruit Crostada for dessert. During our visit, the featured fruit was Apple, and it was fantastic!

The caramelized crust was rich and tender, and complimented the fruit inside perfectly. The ice cream provided a nice creamy contrast, though we always wish there was MORE of it. And again, I have to give marks for presentation. The drizzle of caramel and sprinkle of chopped pistachio took the look from good to great.

Seasonal Roasted Fruit Crostada -- Apple

And with that, we were ready to tour once more!

Overall

A meal at Wine Country Trattoria probably won’t be the finest or most memorable that you’ve ever had. The menu, aside from the wine offering, is fairly small, and many of the dishes are somewhat predictable if you’re acquainted at all with Italian food. Still, if you’re looking for someplace within California Adventure to sit and relax and enjoy a glass of wine, it might fit the bill nicely. I can imagine happily spending a cozy evening dining with friends under the stars on that terrace.

Also, if you long to see World of Color but hate to face the crowds, the lunch and dinner packages here could be just what you’re looking for. After all, you’ll be eating anyway; why not get a special reserved seat for the price of your meal?

It may not be a destination for us every time we are in Disneyland, but Wine Country Trattoria is a good solid choice for a relaxing meal away from the chaos that can be a park day. I suggest you give it a try.

Have you dined at Wine Country Trattoria? Share your thoughts in comments below.

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5 Comments

  1. Madoka says:

    The Wine Country Trattoria is my favorite moderate table service restaurant at the Disneyland Resort (including Downtown Disney). For just a few dollars more than a counter service meal, you can enjoy some familiar but well-executed and very nicely presented Italian favorites.

    I have always been impressed with the quality of the food (salad and veggies are fresh and crisp, pasta is not overcooked, and the flavors are balanced with the seasoning just right), especially for a theme park restaurant. The lush plantings and mediterranean architecture really do make the terrace feel like a cafe overlooking the vineyards in Napa Valley.

    A leisurely lunch under the pergola with a glass of wine, fritto misto, and a plate of linguine with clams makes for a delightful respite from a busy park day. :)

  2. Deneice says:

    I did the World of Color Dinner a couple years ago and loved it! I am looking forward to going back. Totally worth it and the spot to watch WoC of awesome!

  3. Riley70 says:

    I have eaten at WCT twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, and really loved it both times. As stated the restaurant itself is absolutely lovely and relaxing. Food-wise, I think overall it is a step above chain Itallian. I had two very good meals there. They seem to have Minstrone most of the time, and it is very good. Tiramisu is also very good. I’ve found the pasta well cooked and hearty. I will certainly return, as it seems to offer good food at a moderate price.

  4. Shayne says:

    I think your conclusion is spot on — WCT isn’t exceptional, but it’s a good meal in a lovely atmosphere. We did the WoC dining package a few years ago, and that really limited menu wasn’t our favorite. But 2 years ago when we ended up with a very last-minute change of dining plans (due to a fire in the Blue Bayou kitchen!), we enjoyed our meal on the patio at WCT.

  5. Pancho Villa says:

    I ate there once with my kids. Right after lunch, I had to tell the waiter to grab the manager. I told the manager , their food was great. I had breast chicken with sun dried tomatos.
    It was incredible.
    My kids also loved their food.
    Best of all, the prices were very reasonable. It wasn’t much more than Denny’s across State College. And I kid you not.

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