Benvenuto to Terralina Crafted Italian!
Terralina Crafted Italian is the newest restaurant in Disney Springs. The location itself is the former home to Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, which closed in The Landing of Disney Springs last year. But location isn’t the only thing that Terralina shares with what was previously Portobello. James Beard Award Winner Chef Tony Mantuano has returned to create Terralina’s menu, and he’s joined once more by Chef Justin Plank to run the kitchen. In fact, even a few favorite items from Portobello can be found on the Terralina menu.
With so many likenesses, then, what makes Terralina Crafted Italian stand on its own as a new option for dining in Disney Springs?
With the April 2017 closure of Portobello, the space that is now Terralina Crafted Italian underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment.
The basic architectural structure of the building feels familiar, as you’ll note the rounded entrance way with the new Terralina Crafted Italian sign.
However, stepping inside you can see a few changes to the decor, which has been inspired by the “lifestyle of Italy’s lakefront district.”
The footprint really hasn’t changed much. The dining areas are all where they used to be, as is the bar. They all present a neutral color palate balanced with deep reds, browns, and black.
Cozy elements include wooden tables and exposed stone.
And the inviting atmosphere is further enhanced with a lovely fireplace surrounded by chairs in the entryway.
The kitchen, with its wood-burning ovens, is now the central focus.
Artwork hanging on the walls does more than provide decoration.
It helps to deepen the story that guests have been transported to the shores of Italy.
And — intentional or not — you KNOW there have to be more than a few Hidden Mickeys in this hanging plates design!
The outdoor bar and seating areas are still offer nice water-side dining.
And, naturally, the space makes the most of the waterfront views.
Overall, you’re not going to see too much change if you have dined at Portobello in the past. A refresh for sure, but…honestly…my first thought was that it felt kind of like a nice Olive Garden inside. Don’t get me wrong — I have no problem with Olive Garden — but I didn’t see a lot of truly unique aspects to the space.
Eats — The Menu
Authentic Italian flavors are celebrated in both traditional and new ways at Terralina Crafted Italian. The full menu features some favorites from Portobello, but also new dishes created by Chef Mantuano. The Antipasti Tower for four headlines the Antipasti menu.
As our server said, “this is basically very similar to the old antipasti, except now it’s got two levels.”
Salads and the popular (from Portobello) Wood-Fired Pizzas are next, including a Pizza of the Week option.
What Italian menu would be complete without Pasta?
For the Table features shareable entrees, each served with shaved fennel salad and a choice of roasted potato planks, crispy polenta fries, or Yukon mashed potatoes. (These serve two, and are priced per person.)
The final portion of the large menu focuses on options From the Hearth, From the Grill, and Sides.
The Wine List is extensive (click either image to enlarge).
Drinks features cocktails and beer, of course, but also offer Italian Specialties like Orange Blossom Lemonade.
Note that several of the signature craft cocktails are infused with muddled herbs.
The popular Biramisu is back on the Dessert menu, but now uses a vanilla beer for more sweetness!
And, for the record, Happy Hour takes place Sunday through Thursday!
Eats — Dinner
I started with the Spaghetti Fritters from the Antipasti menu.
These were a great way to start, because not only were they interesting and unique, but they really grew on me. At first bite, the breading was way too hard and crunchy. But after a took a few more bites I enjoyed them more.
You’ve got to check out the inside to get a better idea of how the pasta itself remained tender inside the fried breading. Plus, you gotta love the gooey mozzarella!
From the Pasta dishes, I chose the Housemade Lasagna, which is a vegetarian dish (as ordered from the menu) with spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, pecorino, and a spicy tomato sauce.
Honestly, this would have been better, I think, with a meat sauce — and it’s worth noting that you can indeed order it that way, even if you won’t see it listed on the menu. It’s decent as is, and the flavors are good, but I found the spicy tomato sauce itself to actually be too sweet…there wasn’t any spice to it that I could find.
I chose an array of desserts because… DESSERTS 😉 ! And here’s what I can tell you… they’re somewhat hit-and-miss, but I’m going to start out with the definite HIT: the Gelato Sandwich (which is listed as an Ice Cream Sandwich on the menu, but it’s totally gelato)!
YES, it looks like the Millennium Falcon, if that’s what you’re thinking… because that’s what I was thinking 😉 . But that’s not the only awesome thing about it. Pizzele (thin waffle-like cookies) surround salted caramel gelato. The end is dipped in chocolate and the edges are further coated in a toffee crunch.
I was SUPER impressed with this dessert. So much so that I would actually call it a destination dessert…as in go there now and get it, even if you don’t get anything else. The gelato was wonderful, and the meltiness gave a just-slight-enough softness to the crunchy pizzele. The chocolate dip was the perfect accompaniment. Sometimes a dessert combines all the right textures and flavors, and this one succeeded.
The Cappuccino Creme Brulee was, unfortunately, a miss.
The really strange thing about it was that it wasn’t creamy at all. It had more of a panna cotta-ish, jello-like texture. And since that creamy consistency is a hallmark of creme brulee… well, I can’t recommend it.
I finished with the Flourless Chocolate Cake served with fresh berries, sweet cream, hazelnuts, and brittle.
This was more impressive. First of all, it was HUGE. And very rich. I kid you not when I say this thing could serve three people. Inside is a sweet cream filling that offsets the semi-bitter chocolate a tiny bit. It’s the perfect chocoholic treat.
So, that was my first visit to Terralina Crafted Italian for its regular operations. But! We have more for you to see, thanks to a generous DFB Reader who has kindly shared his pics — and impressions — of his lunch with us!
Eats — Lunch
DFB Reader Mark H. enjoyed lunch at Terralina on its opening day. (Thanks again, Mark!) Though he ordered items also seen on the dinner menu (as the majority of the menu is the same), here’s a shot of some the Sandwiches available just for lunch.
And here’s a look at the Kids’ Menu.
Mark enjoyed the Ciabatta bread, saying it was “excellent,” though he noted that he didn’t try the pickled veggies that came with it since he is not personally a fan. (I hear you.) Note that the ciabatta bread is free with both lunch and dinner — it’s just the standard bread service.
He also tried the Calamari appetizer, and shared that it was lightly breaded and slightly chewy, “which for me means great.” 🙂
For the main course, he chose the Seafood Cannelloni. He shared that though it looked just so-so, his impression changed upon tasting it due to the superb lobster sauce! He also said the two Cannelloni were giant, and could be shared by two people. (But he didn’t share. Which is why we’re now friends.)
And for dessert, the Lemon Panna Cotta, which he thought was very light, with not too much lemon.
Overall? He recommends! BUT! We have even MORE for you…
… because we were able to attend a Media Preview for Terralina Crafted Italian the night before it opened!
For the Preview, the items were set up buffet-style, featuring various parts of different entrees, so typical plating is not displayed here.
But we’d love to give you a look at the array of items.
What really stood out the most was how incredibly fresh everything was, bright and refreshing in both appearance and flavor!
A favorite of ours among the dishes came from the Pasta Station.
The Pork Ragu was an absolute standout (even though, judging by the people gathered around this station throughout the evening, just about everything was pretty popular)!
You can just tell from the imperfections on the pasta itself how incredibly fresh it is, with fresh cut marks on the pasta.
SERIOUSLY good and abundantly flavorful!
We were also impressed with the Apple Mostarda for the Housemade Porchetta from the For The Table offerings. (During the Preview, components from various menu items were featured separately.)
Fresh Parmesan was available everywhere!
And here you’ll see bottles of Chef Mantuano’s signature olive oil, which is imported from Italy.
Interestingly, the Cannoli we were able to try for dessert is not currently listed on the menu.
But I did enjoy it, and will be curious to see if it becomes a regular addition after all. Until then (and probably after, too), I’m sticking with that Gelato Sandwich!
So now, you’ll want to consider whether you want to…
Nosh or Not?
You might want to visit Terralina Crafted Italian if:
- You were a fan of Portobello and want to try some of the dishes you loved and sample some new items.
- You are looking for decent Italian food in Disney Springs.
- You want to enjoy some of the new outdoor bar areas, which are especially inviting here. (Plus… Happy Hour!)
You might want to pass on Terralina Crafted Italian if:
- You’ve already booked other Italian restaurants in Disney World for your trip.
- Dining in Disney Springs isn’t in your vacation plans (though it really ought to be, IMHO).
Terralina Crafted Italian is what I expected it to be. It’s a decent Italian restaurant in a nice setting. Which is what it was before.
Chef Mantuano certainly has his share of fans, and I think they’ll be especially pleased with Terralina Crafted Italian. There are a few new menu items to enjoy (definitely get that CAR-AZY gelato/ice cream sandwich), and we’re looking forward to further updates.
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Are you hoping to dine at Terralina Crafted Italian? Please let us know with a comment!