PHOTOS - A look inside the dining room at Trattoria al Forno on Disney's BoardWalk

Dec 18, 2014 in "Trattoria al Forno"

Posted: Thursday December 18, 2014 8:46am EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

The new Trattoria al Forno on Disney's BoardWalk opens to guests today, and we have a first look inside the new casual Italian restaurant.

“Trattoria al Forno is true Italian cooking,” says Chef Lenny DeGeorge, executive chef, Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “We’ve challenged ourselves to come up with authentic recipes that will wow our guests – this restaurant is the next chapter in Disney dining.”

“We’ve got an authentic prosciutto slicer, we’re making cavatelli pasta in-house, pickling peppers, making mozzarella, and serving spectacular pizza pies.”

The restaurant may be in the same space as the former Spoodles and Kouzzina, but it has undergone a rather spectacular makeover.

“The Trattoria al Forno story was inspired by the authentic Italian menu and the rich storytelling of the turn-of-the-century boardwalk setting,” says Missy Renard, Walt Disney Imagineering resorts art director.

The story holds that an Italian family ran a modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. The menu’s mix of authentic and innovative dishes supports the story of the restaurant being handed down, with each generation adding their own touches to the meals and the restaurant’s design.

The new restaurant is arranged as a series of separate rooms, starting with the original Entrata, or entrance, where the story begins. An arched brick wall with an aged keystone medallion anchors the room and introduces the traditional building materials used throughout the restaurant. Along the back wall, a custom wine cabinet displays authentic regional wines offered on the menu. Vintage family photos line the walls and introduce the generational story. The color palette throughout is inspired by the fresh ingredients used to make the flavorful dishes.

“As the restaurant was growing, boardinghouse rooms were converted into additional dining spaces,” explains Renard. “There are four distinct dining rooms, with furnishings, finishes and lighting relating to the character of each original boarding house room.”

The first room, the Cucina, is designed as the eat-in kitchen for the boarding house guests. The forno, or oven, with its rustic wood mantle and copper hood, is the centerpiece. Next is the Sala da Pranzo, the formal dining room, which showcases the family’s fine silver, glassware and eclectic china in a grand hutch, with two crystal chandeliers above in the vaulted ceiling.

“The finishes are more opulent – carpet, draperies, settee-style seating and a communal table in front of the show kitchen,” says Renard.

The Sala da Pranzo leads into Salotto, or living room, of the old boarding house, now a dining area with tufted circular booths and upholstered chairs, and photos of vintage Italian market scenes decorating the walls. Finally, the Taverna is a secluded dining area located in the structure’s original tavern, where the mirrored back bar still hangs in front of exposed brick walls.

“The three main dining rooms are open to the show kitchen and to each other, but the styling differences in each create individual dining experiences,” says Renard. “The result is a combination of intimate and lively dining spaces with a tailored progression of storytelling.”

Trattoria al Forno is open from December 18 2014 - 7:30am to 11am for breakfast and 5pm to 10pm for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan. 

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SnarkyMonkeyJan 09, 2015

Early reviews of this restaurant sound amazing to me. I am very impressed with all the food made from scratch daily on site. My mouth waters when I hear about their pasta, mozzarella and bread. So, I do hope it sticks around for a long time. I think it's about time that Disny puts some effort into Italian offerings. Most of the others I have tasted aren't great.

BigTxEarsDec 28, 2014

Will miss Cat's but this looks good as well :)

IncomudroDec 19, 2014

Sounds quite nice then! This one will definitely be a do on our next trip.

neoianDec 19, 2014

So we decided to dine here last night and I must say that I am impressed with what they are doing so far. We had the Caprese Salad, Fennel Sausage Pizza, and Lasagna. The taste for these items were above average so it's a lot better than Olive Garden. The portions are a fair size, especially the pizzas. The fresh mozzarella really improves the taste of the pizza and other dishes that use it. The pasta is freshly made and to those who were worried about the quality of the water, it's filtered 3 times for both when it's served at the table and for when it's used in dishes. So worry no more about the funky taste of the water showing up in your $21 dish of pasta. They serve freshly baked focaccia bread once you order your meal, and olive oil is provided for your dipping pleasure. The only issue we have with this restaurant is the price. Yes, it's on Disney property, it's located on the Boardwalk, but there is much better Italian fare located nearby. I would have to recommend Ravello at the Four Seasons over this place if your looking for somewhere new to dine within the Italian cuisine. The price is around the same (maybe add a few more dollars), but the quality and service are miles ahead of what's offered here.

MarkTwainDec 19, 2014

I agree with this. It wouldn't have been my first choice for an new restaurant theme, but it looks nice. Lord knows it's a troubled location, so if this turns out to be the thing that sticks, then good for them. I'll give it a shot on my next stay at Boardwalk, just as we tried (and really enjoyed) Kouzzina on our last one.

GymLeaderPhilDec 18, 2014

Sorry for three posts on this, but I really appreciate the changes they've made. First off the seating is spaced evenly - you don't have that Be Our Guest issue in the main room where you're practically dining with the people at adjacent tables. It also appears like they've lowered the cealing and addressed the issue with Kouzzina's in which it was an echo chamber which is something that Via Napoli suffers greatly from. Their cocktail menu and wine list is distinct with only some carbon copies from the rest found across property. Pasta is made in house daily. They have the huge machine on display towards the left of the open kitchen. I'm surprised they did not open with a bar in the lobby area, given the space that could greatly accommodate it. Makes me wonder if they have plans to add it later on. All in all, I think it's a great addition and I hope they are able to sustain what they have at opening into their day to day operation for years to come.

GymLeaderPhilDec 18, 2014

Also, the lighting is brighter in the photos, it will be much lower.

GymLeaderPhilDec 18, 2014

Calamari app was the best I've ever had at Disney. If you're gluten intolerant, they have a menu already ready for you. No special arrangements or requests.

aladdin2007Dec 18, 2014

No I miss it as well. But this does look beautiful. Im just having a hard time figuring out how this fits into the Boardwalk theme/decor wise. Even with the backstory they threw together. oh well. It looks like it belongs in the Bohemian Hotels chain.

IncomudroDec 18, 2014

I'll admit that the pictures of the food were les than impressive. But, being a New Yorker of mostly Italian decent I don't expect much authenticity even in good theme park restaurants. I believe that to a certain extent, there may actually be a purposeful effort to keep the fare at an Olive Garden level because that's what the theme park masses think Italian is. In any event, I welcome its proximity to Beach Club and will very likely take the family there.

Cesar R MDec 18, 2014

certainly looks good from inside. I will have to see it by myself as photos always makes everything look better.

ScarDec 18, 2014

I might be the only one, but I still miss Spoodles. Sigh.......

IncomudroDec 18, 2014

Looks great! We'll be staying at Beach Club (spent the past four vacations there) and this is a great dining option just across the pond!

wdwmagicDec 18, 2014

PHOTOS - A look inside the dining room at Trattoria al Forno on Disney's BoardWalk