Monday, April 8, 2013

Dining: Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

As with everything at Disney, telling the story is vital to creating the magical fantasy that make Disney so special.  So much of that story is told in the minute, often subtle details.  As Disney claims, however, “everything speaks”, so – though you may not have known it – even the restaurants have a story to tell.  And, that story sometimes involves a backstory. 

Such is the case with Mama Melrose’s Ristoriante Italiano.  Legend has it that Mama Melrose found her way from a Sicilian village to somewhere beneath the shadow of the Hollywood sign for the same reason so many others have ventured to southern California – in search of stardom.  However, whether for herself or for her starving fellow actors, Mama soon began recreating her father’s Italian recipes.  Before long, she had opened her restaurant in a vacant backlot warehouse.
Regardless of the reason given, this is one Disney guest who is glad Mama left stardom behind for her ultimate recipe for success.  (I couldn’t help adding that pun.)  Located around the corner from MuppetVision 3D, right behind the Streets of America in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this restaurant offers a great variety of Italian dishes that are sure to please even those guests who consider themselves Italian food traditionalists. 
Open for lunch from noon to 3:25pm, and dinner from 3:30 to 10pm, Mama Melrose’s offers a great atmosphere to accompany the fine dining.  As with any other dining location throughout WDW, Mama Melrose’s offers a menu full of fantastic selections.  However, my favorites include the Mama’s Antipasto for two (Italian meats and cheese), Seafood Arrabbiata (shrimp, muscles, calamari, fish, whole wheat pasta), and Chocolate Cannoli Cake (it has Nutella!)   
Worth mentioning is the kids menu.  As many parents may attest, though Disney offers decent meal selections for kids, there are times when the kid’s menus at Disney dining locations seem to be limited to burgers, pizza, and the like.  There are some notable exceptions, however, and Mama Melrose’s is one.  Whole wheat spaghetti and Chicken Parmigiana are wonderfully tasty options that you won’t find in so many of the other locations.  The Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcake is a pretty cool treat for kids too.  This chocolate cupcake features spaghetti (frosting), a meatball (chocolate), marinara sauce (strawberry) and cheese (white chocolate) and is surely to elicit a reaction much like the one pictured below.  Needless to say, your kids may find this to be a nice change to some of the meals they may have eaten as well. 
Finally, I suggest that anyone who desires to try this treasure do so by also purchasing the Fantasmic! Dining Package.  This way, you will not only find yourself filled with delicious Italian fare, but will be able to enjoy Fantasmic! in a premier reserved location.  That alone is highly worth it!  
Have you tried Mama Melrose’s?  If so, what are your thoughts?  What are your favorite dishes?

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