I am a huge fan of Italian fan, and an even bigger fan of this restaurant. I find it completely charming, and the cast there are amazing. This restaurant doesn’t receive the popularity or notoriety as many other restaurants on property, but is definitely one that is worth earning a spot in your bucket list rotation! Here are 6 things you will love about Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano:
6. The location
This fabulous restaurant is nestled in the back of Disney’s Hollywood Studios right down from the It’s a Wonderful Christmas Shop and the Muppets attraction. The walkways are a stone look that perfectly fits the very Italian theme of the restaurant. The vicinity to the Christmas store to the entrance already gives you a feeling of warmth and joy just upon first entering the restaurant (and no, I am not talking about the warmth from the Florida sun, which you are also likely feeling!). Also, when you leave the restaurant, especially after dinner, you can take a nice stroll through the back of the park with less guests roaming around, so you can really look around and explore. I just love where they placed this restaurant!
5. The amazing atmosphere
I am a huge Christmas fan, and the inside of this restaurant almost reminds me of Christmas. You have the greenery and all the reds that is very traditional for fine Italian dining. There are also lights hanging all throughout the dining room that almost gives you the feel that you are dining under the stars. It’s romantic for a date, and still warm and inviting for a family meal. It is an extremely comfortable restaurant and seems like it is quieter than most of the other Disney restaurants that you have likely dined at. I am not sure why that is, but we feel like the chattering roar from other guests was much softer when we dine there. And then there are the scents from the kitchen wafting through air. The smells completely whet your appetite for the meal you are about to enjoy. If you weren’t hungry when you first walked in, you quickly will be!
4. Fantasmic Dinner Package
This location participates in the Fantasmic dinner package. For a set price, you can enjoy an appetizer, entrée, dessert, non-alcoholic beverage and then a VIP seating voucher for each member of your party to gain access to the VIP seating section for Fantasmic. You get that all-inclusive feel for your meal, and then you get to enjoy one of the best shows on property without worrying about whether or not you will get a seat. It is a great opportunity to relax and enjoy an amazing meal before the show.
3. The wine list
Of course since this is an Italian restaurant, you can expect to find an extensive wine list. If you are a wine fan with dinner, then this is definitely a great place for you! There is even a few different wine flights options so that you can enjoy 2 ounce tastings of several different wines the restaurant offers. There are also cognacs and cordials for after the meal if that strikes your fancy!
2. The amazing food
The food here is delicious and worth the trip. I feel that this restaurant is a little under-rated most of the time, and it definitely doesn’t deserve it. To start they bring amazing breadsticks along with oil/spices for you to dip it in while you look over the menu and make your selections. The steak at this location is one of my favorites, and is served with a much stepped up version of macaroni and cheese. The chicken parmigiana is also another favorite. The portions are large and definitely leave you satisfied. If you are in the mood for pizza or pasta, this is definitely a great place to stop, especially since these are crowd pleasers for most picky eaters! Don’t forget to save room for dessert as these desserts are as tasty and decadent as they are visually appealing! I am a huge fan of the cannoli, but they also have a sampler if you can’t decide which one you want!
1. The story
The story for the basis of this restaurant is absolutely charming. It goes that there was a girl from Sicily who wanted to become a famous movie star in Hollywood. She moved to Hollywood to pursue this dream but found that she was more talented in cooking and preparing delicious meals. She opened a restaurant in a backlot warehouse and she quickly became known as Mama Melrose. She brought her spin of Italy to Los Angeles and her place was then known as “where Italy meets California in the heart of the Backlot.” How adorable is that?