Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano reviews
Streets of America, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Average Reader Rating:
"Great food and service"
Reviewed on Sep 11, 2014 by JeffPriz
We ate at Mama Melrose's for a late dinner/early lunch on our last trip to WDW. We booked it with the Fantasmic! dining package to get priority seats for Fantasmic! that evening.
We LOVED the food! and the atmosphere was terrific. Really can't say a bad word. This is one of the nicer/fancier/more expensive options to eat (compared to going to Pizza Planet) but it's really worth doing something like this at some point on a visit!
The Fantasmic! package works out (if you're not on a dining plan like us) such that you pay a flat fee for an appetizer, main course, and a dessert... the price for the package is kind of steep, but you can make it worth it by eating whatever you want from the menu, price is no object. I had the steak, and it was wonderful. My older son (12 at the time) ordered the calamari appetizer just because it was the most expensive app on the menu, the waitress was great and assured him he'd like it.. and he loved it. Everybody LOVED the food, and we've sworn we will do this again on our next trip.
One other thing Disney "gets right" so well with the food, is allergy concerns.. My youngest son has a severe Nut allergy, so we are always careful wherever we eat. Disney is always great at handling these things, and at the sit-down restaurants like Mama Melrose's they really go all the way. The chef came out of the kitchen to talk with us, understand our concerns, tell us what was and wasn't possible for my son, and made us feel safe about the care that would be taken in his food preparation. Love it!
"Good spot for lunch!"
Reviewed on Jan 15, 2013 by MissAlmyra
I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, but Mama Melose's pleasantly surprised me.
The restaurant has a fun and cozy atmosphere, it was a great place to decompress for an hour or so. Our CM was friendly and was very knowledgeable about the offerings on the menu.
I had a wonderful chicken flat bread that really did surprise me! The dessert was a sampler that came with the Fantasmic! Package, and was very good.
"Delicious Italian Food"
Reviewed on Jan 11, 2013 by MacMom2
On this one I'm going to say it depends on your travel party and/or your preference. If you are a couple who just wants to enjoy some delicious Italian food than this is a great option for you! Food was fabulous, service was great and well..the atmosphere is perfect for a photo reinactment of the spaghetti scene from "Lady and the Tramp". Haha. Now, if you're traveling with kids and/or you just prefer your Disney trip to feel a little more "Disney" meaning that you experience things you can't experience elsewhere..I would probably skip this and try something like 50's Prime Time Cafe or the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater or for Lunch..Pizza Planet!
"A Great Lunch Spot!"
Reviewed on Oct 23, 2012 by Loweschevy
Mama Melrose’s –lunch--- September 25th
Being on the smaller side, DHS does seem to have a decent amount of table service restaurants, but finding an open one on a busy day can be tough to come by for guests who are not prepared. Hollywood Studios was jamming this Tuesday and people were walking up to see if they could wait standby, but there was nothing available. 50s Prime Time and Sci Fi Dine In have their fans and these places are normally booked solid, but Mama’s hangs in there-it has been full to the brim every time we have visited at lunch. This is a venue that gets its fair share of negative reviews, but we have always had great food and great service. This year was no exception!
We waited about 10 minutes before we were seated, but Mama’s opens after 12:00 PM, so it takes a while to get parties seated at first. Like I said there were people in and out seeing if they could get a table, but they were booked solid all day and not taking any walk in parties. We were taken to our booth in the front room and right after we were seated Karen arrived and welcomed us. She was very friendly and took our drink order.
By the time she came back we were ready to order our buffet of mixed salad, Caesar salad to start and a carne pizza and a margherita pizza to share. Gone is the house salad with walnuts, gorgonzola and cherries, but the new mixed salad has sopressata, marinated vegetables and house Italian dressing. It is a little more on the small size, but along with the larger Caesar salad was plenty for the three of us to split. The flatbreads are a really good size-about 12”. The carne D’Italia flatbread is topped with pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto and mozzarella. Sorry no picture on this one. The toppings are not loaded on, but there are a few pieces on meat on each slice. The margherita is topped with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. Nice and simple for the non adventurers. There were only two slices left, but we were totally stuffed!
The time frame between courses was good and Karen was at the table many times checking with us to refill drinks etc. Mama Melrose offers Italian food with a Californian twist, not your typical chain style Italian menu. Another solid lunch performance by Mama’s and we will definitely be back next year!
"Average "American Italian" Cuisine"
Reviewed on Oct 08, 2012 by Jessnwonderland
We booked here mainly because I had seen a tv program that featured the Chocolate Cannoli Cake. Turns out that the cake is the one thing that tipped the rating over to the mid mark for me. The atmosphere is relaxed and rustic with dimmed lighting. We were surprised to receive rolls before dinner and they were very good. Crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. We also received some oil and italian seasoning to dip the bread in. I ordered the 4 cheese flatbread. It arrived after a 15 minute wait or so and looked like a plain ol' cheese pizza to me. So how did it taste? Like a plain ol' cheese pizza. Only the tomato sauce was on the sweet side. DH ordered the Parmesan chicken and it was just your average baked chicken breast and noodles smothered in the same sweet tomato sauce as the flatbread. The chicken had a pink tint to it that I was skeptical about at first but DH chalked it up to the sauce. Dessert was the Chocolate Cannoli Cake topped with Nutella Ganache, drizzled with a chianti sauce. It was very good! My only complaint was that the cake itself was a little on the dry side but the chianti sauce was a great remedy to that. Service here was a little on the lax side and it was very slow. We waited about 10 minutes for a refill and another server noticed and refilled ours because our server went MIA for quite a while. All in all I would not return to Mama Melrose because there are far better places to eat at in Disney World.
Reviewed on Sep 07, 2012 by Deb
Love this restaurant. We have never been disappointed. Our server was attentive and a lot of fun. She was joking around with all of us especially my teenage family members. The food was delicious. The chicken parm is tasty. Be prepared for large portions. They definitely do not skip on the food. I highly recommend their salad appetizer. The dried cherries, pecans and cherry vinegarette is wonderful. If you like tiramisu, they have changed it again. It is served frozen and tasty but not as good as Tutto Italia.
"Nice Wait Staff"
Reviewed on Sep 03, 2012 by bethymouse
You have a choice of many Italian dishes as well as others if you don't want Italian, but others in your party do. It is difficult to find: hidden near the Muppets 3-D. We had reservations, and still seemed to have to wait a while to be seated. The food was not spectacular, but it was good.
Reviewed on Aug 24, 2012 by disney1077
Love the fried calamari. Perfectly fried and not over salted. My mom llikes their strip steak they always cooks just the way she likes not overcooked but not raw. I like the chicken parmigiana but I dont like the pasta served with it. I dont like the texture of the pasta.
Reviewed on Aug 21, 2012 by Cris P.
The food I've had here has been good especially the penne alla vodka and the flatbreads. We have always had service issues at this restaurant, though, which leaves me reluctant to visit again. We have had long wait times even after making an ADR, bills the were inaccurate, and either rushed or inattentive service. My daughters did love the spaghetti and meatball cupcakes so we will probably give this place another shot.
Reviewed on Jun 20, 2012 by Ex-Floridian
After eating at so many places in the World, this was a hidden gem we tried.
It was the BEST we ever had!
Get the Fantasmic package even if you are not going to see Fantasmic. You get more food for your money!
"One of our favorites in Disney World"
Reviewed on Apr 26, 2012 by
We eat at Mama's on every trip the last being in September, 2011. The calamari appetiser is very, very good and my spaghetti and meatballs (a favorite) was excellent. My wifes margherrta(sp?) pizza was delicious. We enjoy Mama's so much that we have an ADR there this August for my 70th birthday. Service is prompt, the lobby is cramped but servicable.
Reviewed on May 31, 2011 by guardboy21
I ate there for lunch on the 25th. I had the mageherita pizza, and it was very good. I thought that the service was great as well.
"Good food, better than Tony's"
Reviewed on Mar 28, 2011 by Madhatter06
My 3 friends and I had dinner here in June 2010. We had the penne alla vodka and the grilled chicken flatbread both of which were to die for! The venue isn't as themed as Tony's but the food was much better. It looks like a NY brick facade restaurant.
Our waitress was friendly and attentive, even offered to take a group picture of us. The desserts were good too.
"My wife's favorite no longer"
Reviewed on Jan 13, 2011 by elw316
Over the past decade we have had eaten here at least a dozen times. In 2006 we ate lunch and dinner here the same day. One time our dinner ran late and the mananger gave us reserved seat tickets to Fantasmic so we would not miss the show. I am sad to say things have changed. We have never had a problem with the wait staff. The lobby is small and getting into the bathroom can be a chore but we could overlook all of that becasue of the food. Well on our last visit my wife and I both said the same things -- the sauce has changed. It is no where near as good as it use to be. I don't know if this is because of cost cutting or what it could have been but my wife said we might skip Mama Melrose in the future to try other places. This was a shock to me it was a place we use to look forward to going now it is just another option.
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2010 by wdw93
my husband and I had lunch on 10/26/10 and loved it. wonderful atmosphere, great food, and exceptional service. We can't wait to go back.
"Excellent service - Great Food"
Reviewed on Sep 09, 2009 by
My family and I have gone to disney since 1975. I was four then, and fell in love with the place. We've continued to go twice a year at least. My husband's family also goes at least twice a year and are DVC members. Between the lot of us, we have pretty much tried every single dining spot on the Disney World map, and this is hands-down 100% unanimously our favorite sit-down dining experience in all of the Disney Parks.
The atmosphere is cool and relaxing once you are seated. We each have our favorite dishes and we are ALL Italian and from NY and LI. The food is not the traditionally authentic homemade italian, but come on people we are in florida...the only places for real authentic italian food is either NY, NJ, and maybe a few spots in Chicago. As far as disney food goes, there is nowhere better in the parks to eat with the exception perhaps being The Liberty Tree Tavern (entirely different genre of food). For excellent Italian food on Disney Grounds, give Il Mulino at the Swan a try...it was absolutely out of this world, but beware it is pricey. Portabello in Downtown has gotten better since the renovation, but again is pricey. DON'T expect great things from Tony's in Magic Kingdom, trust me.
"Park food" as we refer to it, has over the years improved somewhat, but even the best restaurants have often tasted overprocessed and it is expensive for what you get. Here, the prices are reasonable for sit-down...anyone who says differently is not really familiar with sit-down dining prices at Disney. I get the pasta w/ meat sauce every time (it's not always listed on the menu, but is always available upon request). The pasta is ALWAYS perfectly al-dente, and the sauce (at least the kind I've ordered over the course of 20 years) does NOT taste like it's from a jar, and is one of the best I have ever had anywhere(excluding homemade). Aside from Alfredo's famous Fettucine Alfredo, the sauce at Mama Melrose is FAR better than Alfredo's in Epcot's Italy ever was, despite how I loved it...sigh, may it rest in peace :(
Anyway, don't pay attention to the reviews that say the food was bad, and give it a try. As far as service, you take your chances everywhere. Even the counter people aren't always such a treat.
It is obvious that Disney has had to cut corners where they can, and they have started with taking on less experienced castmembers they can pay less for. But that's happening all over Disney. Just look at the Great Movie Ride...I haven't seen the Western Version in years, and the Guides who used to be engaging, articulate, and fun because they were enjoying themselves are now obviously too young to have heard of the actors and movies prior to their employment with Disney. Unfortunata, their performances are now usually lackluster at best, with no energy and often sounding like 4th grade readers reciting from a cue card.
But hey, people, this is Disney...as far as I'm concerned there is nowhere else I'd rather be eating, no matter what restaurant I'm in!
"Would not return"
Reviewed on Aug 10, 2009 by elizs77
We ate here for dinner on 7/30. It was absolutely pouring down rain when we got in, so the lobby area was jammed packed, and the floor was very slippery. They really need the pagers like at Liberty Tree Tavern! We had to wait about 20 minutes past our ADR time because diners weren't in a hurry to leave due to the rain. That was okay, not the restaurants fault.
As far as the food goes, it wasn't anything special. I enjoyed my Penne alla Vodka, but DH was less than impressed with the Chicken Pipette. I tasted it as well - the fresh green peas totally overpowered the dish. Additionally, there wasn't much chicken on it, either.
For dessert, I ordered the tiramisu, and DH had the warm chocolate truffle cake. The marscapone cheese section of the tiramisu was pretty tasteless, and DH likened his chocolate cake to the kind that you get at the MK at counter service. We had indicated at the time of our ADR that we were celebrating DH's birthday. Our celebration consisted our our waitress sticking a candle in DH's chocolate cake, lighting it and handing him a card. Probably would have been fine if we weren't really ticked at her for her earlier and continued attitude - see below.
I did have a serious issue with our server. Once we were seated, our waitress greeted us. She wasn't very friendly, especially by typical Disney standards. She explained that since we were on the dining plan, we could get a non-alcoholic drink, entree and dessert. I had misunderstood the 2009 change in the adult dining plan, so I asked if they still did the appetizer in lieu of the non-alcoholic drink. She said no, the dining plan NEVER included an appetizer. At this point, I'm tired (we'd been up since 5 as this was our arrival day!) and confused. I explained that in all of our prior trips, we did get an appetizer, and I asked if the dining plan had changed. She said again that it had NEVER been that way, and she'd been there for 16 years. I was absolutely speechless.
After she took our drink order, DH went and got the manager. The manager was very nice and showed us a little card that explained the plan. At that point, I realized I had misread the initial info I had on this year's dining plan. The manager told us what the waitress COULD HAVE told us but didn't - it changed back in January, and tons of people were coming in asking the same question I did, and the fact that kiddos got an appetizer and adults didn't did not make sense to her, either. We graciously thanked the manager for giving us the info that the waitress easily could have given.
The waitress returned with our drinks, and she asked if our question was resolved. I said yes, it HAD changed. The waitress replied that yes, it was a change. Why suddenly the change in her answer? We were kind of laughing and trying to lighten the mood, and I remarked that I was just so tired and confused as I'd been up since 5 and had been traveling. I mean, it was my misunderstanding after all. Her response was given very curtly: "Well, I've been at this all day." That was pretty much it for me and the waitress.
"My Favorite Restaurant in any of the Parks"
Reviewed on Aug 10, 2008 by The Disney Kid
I eat here every time I visit. I've tried it all, and it's all great! I can make an Entree out of the Calamari, and the sangria is as good as I've ever had.
"Good Spot for Lunch"
Reviewed on Jun 11, 2008 by brucie
We had a last minute lunch here. we were seated in about 10 min. Not bad Italian Food. Nothing was amazing but it makes for a nice break in the day without spending a fortune at other places. Good Fresh Quality food, we would go back!
"Our Visit 5-23-08"
Reviewed on Jun 05, 2008 by TinkerChelli
We at here on 5-23-08 we got in around noon at our hotel and took a bus striaght to Hollywood studios, we had a reservation for 2pm but decided to try to get lunch a bit earlier around 1:30 and we were seated immediately.
Our waiter I think his name was Kevin, he was great very nice man, he kneel down to speak to you eye to eye.
Everything was clean and the food was delicious.
We got for appeitizer the sampler with different type of spreads, very very good.
Then I ate primevera with pasta and veges, delecious, my husband had the chicken parm and he loved it, we shared our dessert that was great too. Chocolate Raspberry cake, very good.
I would go back to Mama Melrose I thought the price and service were both great.
Reviewed on May 31, 2008 by maryszhi
really good italian, reminds me of the old italian neighborhood. Very vintage
Reviewed on Apr 27, 2008 by MADIZFAN
Our family of 5 ate here 4/21 and we loved it! We had an excellent waitress, Barbara from NY, who made great recommendations and provided outstanding service. I had the bruschetta and chicken parmagiana, both were delicious. DH had the calamari which he raved about, and the shrimp, pasta and vegetables in a four cheese sauce which he also loved! All of the kids had the soup (vegetable minestrone) which was fabulous, and the penne pasta. They loved it, and ate every bite. The chocolate cake dessert was wonderful, but the tiramisu was a bit dry. Overall, we loved it and would eat here again!
"very good meal"
Reviewed on Apr 07, 2008 by RussJT
We visited Mama Melrose for our first time on Thursday 4/3/08. We booked the Fantasmic Package. Our waiter was richard (from Caracas, Venezuela). He was wonderful. Very friendly and kept up with drinks, etc.
For an appitizer, I had the tomatoes and mozzarella. This was very good.
I ordered the spaghetti fra diavolo (spaghetti with calamari rings, shrimp,clams & mussels in a spicy marinara sauce). I thought it was excellent. I was surprised at the amount of seafood in the meal. I don't think I ever had a forkful that did not include a bite of seafood. The calamari which can be a bit rubbery if nort cooked right was perfect.
My wife started with a Ceasar salad which she enjoyed and then had the Oven-baked Chicken alla Parmigiana. She was quite pleased with both. My kids both had pizza. Neither of them have ever met a pizza they did not like, so they were happy with their meal as well.
My wife and I each had a piece of the Honey-Hazelnut and Ricotta Cheesecake which was spectacular.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the experience and would definitely eat there again.
"If you like overcooked pasta and sauce from a jar, go to Mama Melrose's "
Reviewed on Jan 01, 2008 by timbeth
This was our first and last visit to Mam Melrose's. The service is substandard and the food was not good. My daughter, who would eat pasta 7 nights a week if she was able, didnt even eat the pasta at this restaurant. Pasta was way overcooked. The sauce was obviously from a jar, too.
No reason to go back to Mama Melrose's. Food was tasteless and overcooked. Service was unfriendly and slow.
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2007 by nile6000
this was the 1st time we tried this resturant. While not authentic italian it was OK.
Pizza was good, kid loved the spaghetti, however penne alla vodka was NOT like any I had ever seen or eaten before ( and that is not a compliment). Minestrone Soup was awesome , so so service.
Reviewed on Mar 19, 2007 by DDuckFan130
We really enjoyed this restaurant. We tried it for the first time last May and the food was great, and filling. I don't think I finished my chicken parmesan. My sister ordered the 4-cheese flatbread and that was also good. The atmosphere is great, the service was great, and I'd highly recommend trying this place once.
"Not too Shabby"
Reviewed on Mar 15, 2007 by WEDisney
I have eaten here 5 times over the course of the restaurants existence. The first time I swore not to come back but my belly talked me into it and I was glad it did. I believe every restaurant deserves a second chance (except for Bongos) and I am glad I gave Mama Melrose’s one. One of those nights I did use the Fantasmic option and it turned out to be a bit pricey but other then that the food is worth the price. One different occasions we had the veal, several flatbreads and a couple of the pasta dishes and we were not disappointed. The setting is a California type Italian restaurant with the walls looking like they are trying to make the setting authentic but it is all planned. The wait staff were young and friendly and knew a lot about the menus. My one critique of this restaurant is the waiting area. It is very cramped and tight especially if there are a number of strollers parked indoors. I know they are closing this one down soon and I only hope that when they reopen it it will be with a little better setup. If you like calamari get that as an appetizer. After dining in this airy restaurant your mouth might say Mama Melrose but your belly will say Mama Mia!
"Not for me"
Reviewed on Jan 27, 2007 by Computer Magic
I was not impressed with this place. There is far better places IMHO at MGM...
Reviewed on Jun 19, 2006 by Philharmagician
We love the food and service here. This has always been on our list of restaurants to do. The value for the food and the option of the Fantasmic dining package makes this a must. Try the Veal Osso Buco, it is great,
Reviewed on Feb 18, 2006 by jamierobins
Wow...it's not always easy to find a decent place to sit and eat with table service at MGM. We were looking for somewhere to eat before going to watch Fantasmic (which we missed because it was so busy and we were turned away 40 mins in advance!!!!) and everywhere was packed with long waiting times. But then, tucked around the corner from Muppets 3D was this Italian. And it was a God send...seemingly quieter than the other more obvious eateries and no line. The food is good enough (some sauces are a little watery) and although food is clearly on a circuit, it doesn't feel too much like this because of the lovely atmosphere and the relief on every diner's face for having found somewhere decent to sit and eat in peace! Phew!
Reviewed on Sep 19, 2005 by mstinkherbell01
My partner and I never miss a chance to dine here. We love the pasta and chicken(me)/shrimp(for her). The portions are HUGE.Honestly, the service you get depends on the server. The service can sometimes be hit or miss, it depends on your server. We have a favorite and when she's not there we don't expect to be "wow'd". All in all, the food is yummy and the atmosphere is nice. Try it..you just may walk away a few pounds heavier and a fan for life!
Reviewed on Sep 05, 2005 by dvcnut39
The Fra Diavolo was one of the best tasting meals I've eaten. I will eat there every trip! It was really that good!
"Best Italian Dessert"
Reviewed on Jul 07, 2005 by colliera
This was my third trip to Mama's. Once years ago with my family. I liked it then but the DW didn't appreciate food that was Italian that didn't taste like it can out of a can. Second time was the lunch you get on the Back Stage Magic tour which is served family style with nearly everything they have on the menu plated. I discovered several dishes I loved that I would not have picked from the description on the menu. Most recent visit was June 05. I had the seafood/pasta dish described earlier which was very good. One off point - they served a clam that was unopend. My understanding is cooked unopend clams are NOT good and should not be served. I bypassed that one.
The real focus was the Italian dessert tiramisu. The quest, which is better tiramisu, Tony's Town Square Resturant in the MK or Mama's? I know it is suppose to be ladyfingers soaked in coffee/liquor but I'm afraid Tony's took it too far. It was a sloppy mess of flavors. Mama's wins this one hands down.
As I told our server, this resturant is the standard to which I judge all other resturants Disney or not. For attention to service and a willingness to accomodate your needs they are unbeatable. Like our tour guide on the Back Stage Magic tour said, "It's a kitchen! They can make anything.", AND they are willing to do whatever is reasonably in their power. I have a special drink I like mixed when there is a full service bar and they were able to match the mixture exactly. No prob, Bob!
"Hidden for a reason"
Reviewed on May 07, 2003 by trendymagic
The idea and theme to this place is good but the food came out on the bad side. Lots of mixing of flavors and food that do not normally go together. It is hidden near the exit to Muppetvision, maybe for a reason.
They will let you write in crayon on the walls inside, just ask.
"Food decent, prices not"
Reviewed on Mar 24, 2003 by T1nker_Bell
Although Mama Melrose's has food that an entire family (even with picky eaters) can eat something they like, the food is VERY overpriced. However, Mama Melrose's is a nice place to sit and relax. It is a very out of the way place and a great way to relax after a stressful day touring MGM Disney Studios1
"Not all that great"
Reviewed on Oct 05, 2002 by EthylCooper
I got the Fantasmic Dining Experience one trip and chose this as the restaurant because I love Italian food. The menu items all looked great, but our food didn't turn out all that well. I got some kind of pasta dish with several kinds of seafood, but my seafood wasn't very fresh & tasted "fishy". My parents weren't much happier with their meals, either. The portion sizes were larger than we expected, but a lot of not-that-great food isn't any better than a small amount of good food. Overall it felt like we should have had a much better dinner experience for the amount it cost us. (Incidently, we weren't as pleased as we expected with our Fantasmic Dining Experience seats, either. We still had to arrive early and we've had much better views just walking in through the main entrance.)
Reviewed on Sep 08, 2002 by RAYROBBINS
I WAS HERE AS PART OF A BACK STAGE TOUR. I DON'T GO FOR ITALIAN FOOD BUT THIS WAS REALLY GOOD SO I GUESS IF YOU LIKE THIS TYPE OF FOOD IT WOULD BE GREAT.
Reviewed on Sep 08, 2002 by meeko_33785
Another enjoyable restaurant at the Studios. Theming is nice and the food is great. What more can you want? This is also an option for the Fantasmic dinner package which is also a plus.
Reviewed on Sep 01, 2002 by Genius7777
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano is a great restaurant for the whole family. Theres a lot to choose from on the menu and great desserts. Its a good idea to come here if you need to relax from walking and get a good meal. Make sure to come here on nights where they are showing Fantasmic! because you get special seating, if you ask. Then when fantasmic starts you get great seats without the wait!
"Well Worth the $"
Reviewed on Aug 23, 2002 by GenerationX
The Linguini Fra Diavolo (clams, shrimp, mussels, calamari in a spicy marinara sauce) was outstanding! The kids loved the pizza and spaghetti. Portion sizes were large.
This restaurant offers the Fantasmic! Dinner Package - a great meal and minimal waiting for a great show. Highly recommended.