Dining

Dealing With Early Morning Dining Reservations at The World

It’s one of those classic Disney conundrums: What do you do when you have an early morning breakfast reservation at another resort but you don’t have a car? Without question, one of the trickiest aspects of getting around Disney World is the fact that there’s no resort to resort transportation, forcing you to treat the parks as transportation “hubs” from which you transfer to other resorts. This usually poses no problem at all, but what do you do when the parks aren’t open yet? Well, you get a little crafty.

Probably the easiest solution is to take a cab, but it’s also the most expensive option, at around $25 for a ride anywhere on property. The good news is that it’s a direct route, so you’ll get there a lot faster. This is ideal if your family is like mine and likes to lollygag in the morning. Even better, because Disney is always looking out for guests, you can be assured that cab drivers who are allowed to operate on Disney property are fair. Nonetheless, make sure you establish a price before you get into the cab. Tips are welcome but not required.

The more complicated solution is to take Disney transportation. As noted above, since there’s no resort to resort transportation, you’ll have to take a bus (or boat or monorail) to the park nearest to your destination and then go from there. Officially, Disney transportation starts running 60 minutes prior to park opening, which isn’t at all reassuring when your reservation starts at 8:00 and the park opens at 9:00. Worse still, you have to allow time to get not only from your resort to the park and then to the other resort! The good news is that Disney “unofficially” runs buses sporadically about 90 minutes prior to opening. The bad news is that part where I mentioned the word “sporadically. I’ve been late more than once to a reservation because I missed the one bus that was running that early.Read More »Dealing With Early Morning Dining Reservations at The World

Disney World’s Food Options and Food & Wine Appetizer

There’s a very nice profile of Disney’s changing food options on MSNBC.com. Apparently, they’re just catching on to the fact that it’s more than just hot dogs and hamburgers (although those were upgraded recently too). Disney now recalls Las Vegas in its celebrity-chef-backed establishments, with… Read More »Disney World’s Food Options and Food & Wine Appetizer

Yamabuki to close April 11th

Ever since Godfather Pizza was forced to close to make way for an expanded Disneyland Resort (and eventually a parking lot), no restaurant closing has been so sad for me to hear about. But we knew it was coming. Last year Yamabuki at the Paradise… Read More »Yamabuki to close April 11th

Tutto Italia Ristorante at Epcot celebrates Carnival of Venice

The Carnevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice) has arrived at the Tutto Italia Ristorante, located in the Italy pavilion at Epcot! During the Carnival, a specially priced dining menu will be available to guests February 23 to March 4 Venice’s Carnival began in the 11th… Read More »Tutto Italia Ristorante at Epcot celebrates Carnival of Venice

Portobello at Downtown Disney Remakes its Image & Menu (plus a recipe!)

Those who were following my short tweetfest from Downtown Disney last night probably caught my mention of the new look, and lovely scent, of Portobello. The restaurant, which sits between Pleasure Island and the Downtown Disney Marketplace, has recently completed a transformation from the old stuffy ‘Yacht Club’ theme into an eatery reminiscent of the Italian countryside.

portabello-chef
Chef Steven Richard

According to Executive Chef Steven Richard, the change is a natural one. “America has had a love affair with Italian food for decades,” Richards said. “What we’re seeing now is more and more people knowing the regional nuances of the cuisine – having more vivid notions of what Italy feels and tastes and smells like. More families have been there themselves, and the ones who haven’t, want a life-like recreation of that trip they haven’t taken.”

The space, inspired by Italy’s trattorias and hidden corners, features warm tones of red, orange and yellow, with terracotta tile and rustic irons designed to make guests feel transported to the Italian countryside. Guests can also enjoy dining outdoors with the new alfresco patio. The revamped trattoria will offer authentic regional fare and warm rustic décor with a reinvigorated wine list.

Portobello’s new menu was developed by the culinary trio comprised of James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, of Chicago’s noted Spiaggia restaurant, John Radcliff, Regional Chef of Levy Restaurants, and Steven Richard, Executive Chef of Portobello.

As it turns out Orlando Food Critic Scott Joseph recently visited Portobello and found the experience a pleasurable one (which is saying something considering what he writes about the other restaurants run by Levy in Downtown Disney). Now, I am really looking forward to my first opportunity to dine there.

Portobello is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and accepts all major credit cards. Visit www.portobellorestaurant.com to learn more.

Finally, Portobello has also been kind enough to share its recipe for Ravioli Gigante which you can find below the cut in case you want to try it at home:

Read More »Portobello at Downtown Disney Remakes its Image & Menu (plus a recipe!)