Executive Layoffs brings change to Disney Dining Leadership

Scott Joseph at the Orlando Restaurant Guide has one of the first actual signals of change occurring at Disney’s executive level. In this case it’s Dieter Hannig, who was the Vice President of the Food & Beverage Division. Dieter Hannig, who is credited with changing… Read More »Executive Layoffs brings change to Disney Dining Leadership

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.

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 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!)

Changes afoot at Jiko, California Grill

Orlando Restaurant Critic Scott Joseph is keeping an eye on the Disney dining scene for everyone. He recently noted that Brian Piasecki left his chef’s toque at Jiko the Cooking Place to take over as the chef de cuisine at California Grill. Now the question… Read More »Changes afoot at Jiko, California Grill

Disneyland Dining Reviewed on Chowhound

With a review titled, “Disneyland Dining: The Mediocrest Place on Earth” you may not immediately know you’ll be treated to some useful advice from a regular visitor. But that’s the case on the very nice Chowhound site. It’s been too many years since I was… Read More »Disneyland Dining Reviewed on Chowhound

Helpful Thanksgiving Tips from Disney’s Experts

With the holiday season officially here, the helpful experts at Walt Disney World have put together a few instructional videos that will make your Thanksgiving celebration easier. First make your tables sparkle with clever themed floral decorations. The Disney Florists make it simple to do.… Read More »Helpful Thanksgiving Tips from Disney’s Experts

How To Make the delicious Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup from Epcot

The Le Cellier restaurant at the Canadian pavilion at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center features this out of the world Cheddar Cheese Soup. It’s also featured in the Canada booth during the popular Food & Wine Festival. Now you can learn how to make it yourself from Master Chef Brian Piasecki of Jiko-The Cooking Place (although he’s at neither restaurant for this demonstration)