*This gluten free dining experience took place in July 2018.
*Full Disclosure: We were invited guests of Terralina Crafted Italian Restaurant for a complimentary dinner; however, I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.
Dinner at Terralina Crafted Italian
Terralina Crafted Italian, located in Disney Springs, is the newest table service restaurant to open in Disney Springs. Occupying the space where Portobello Country Italian Trattoria was located, Terralina is a newly themed restaurant from James Beard Award winning chef, Tony Mantuano, highlighting the food and decor of Italy’s Lake District. Recently, the team at Terralina reached out to us after I sent them a note asking about gluten free options at the restaurant and invited us to check out the options ourselves in person.
Admittedly, we had never dined at Portobello Country Italian Trattoria while it was open. So, we can’t really compare the theming and decor from the original restaurant. Brandon’s parents were huge fans of Portobello and did mention to us that they were excited for Terralina to open, as they felt the original decor at Portobello was feeling a bit dated.
Terralina features bright but clean colors on the entrance sign and throughout the restaurant.
When we walked in to the restaurant, we noticed a cozy fireplace with cushy chairs. This is a great spot to sit while waiting for your table.
With a theme based on Italy’s Lake District, you will find a lot of rustic charm throughout Terralina. Even the light fixtures and wood beaming, help reflect that theme.
One thing that we noticed is that they had a variety of different seating areas and seating area styles.
If you’re seated towards the back of the restaurant, the decor is a little darker. But, you get some great views of the kitchen.
They also had a lot of seating available for larger groups too, which was nice.
We were seated in a brightly lit front area of the restaurant with wicker chairs and a great view of the lake and Disney Springs. Perfect for recreating that Lake District vibe at Disney.
Our meal was a bit earlier in the evening. So, initially, we had this brightly lit room all to ourselves (as you can see by the photo with me in it!). But, as the restaurant got busier and the evening got a bit later, the room was quiet full. Thankfully, there’s lots of seating in the restaurant and even al fresco dining outdoors to accommodate.
Terralina Crafted Italian Restaurant is not a Disney owned and operated restaurant. This means that they do not offer an allergy-friendly menu. However, upon being seated, our server Yarielly (who was awesome throughout our entire meal) told us that she would have the chef come out and speak to us about options.
Chef Claudio walked us through the menu, noting that they offer gluten free pasta for guests. Unfortunately, they do not currently offer a dedicated fryer. So anything fried, like polenta fries, roasted potato planks, or the house-made potato chips are not currently a safe option for guests with celiac disease. But, there are definitely some sides you can swap out or substitute easily. For those who are interested in gluten free pizza, Chef Claudio did note that they do not have gluten free pizza crust, although they are looking at this as an option in the future.
Photo Taken by Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW
Prior to our appetizers, I was brought a plate of Ener-G gluten free and dairy free bread served with a side of house-made giardiniera (pickled vegetables). Overall, I enjoyed the house-made giardiniera, as I thought the flavors were well-balanced and the vinegar wasn’t too overpowering.
But, I have to say that I preferred my bread a bit more with the Terralina blend of extra virgin olive oil. It was slightly grassy and fruity and definitely a high quality EVOO.
Up first for our meal was the Antipasti Tower with Prosciutto, Spicy Capicola, Grana Padano, Bocconcini, Tomatoes, Pickled Vegetables, Grilled Zucchini, Parmesan Crisp, and Olives. This is entirely gluten free, except the House-made Pecorino-Truffle Potato Chips due to a shared fryer. They did bring Brandon a bowl of these on the side, and he said they were really delicious.
As you can see, this is a huge appetizer. It is listed as serving 4 people, and I definitely believe that! That’s a lot of food.
Without question, this was my favorite part of our meal at Terralina. I absolutely adored the different kinds of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. There was a ton of variety and ways to mix and match your antipasti plate.
I appreciated that there were lots of vegetables on the tower too. From an arugula tossed in lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to pickled carrots and grilled zucchini, there was a lot of variety in both textures and flavors.
My favorites on the Antipasti Tower were grilled zucchini, pickled tomatoes, roasted red peppers, prosciutto, marinated olives, and the various cheeses. This is truly one of those appetizers that Brandon and I could order and make an entire meal of. Add in some gluten free bread and a wine flight, and you have a perfect summertime meal. The price of the Antipasti Tower is absolutely worth it for what you get with it.
We also enjoyed a few drinks with our Antipasti Tower. I ordered The Springs with Liv vodka, St. Elder elderflower, rosemary, mint, and Zardetto private cuvee prosecco. The vodka served with this was potato based for those looking for vodka that is not made with gluten containing grains. This was a very light and flavorful drink. I’d definitely order it again.
During our meal, we ordered a wine flight and opted for the Medium & Elegant Wine Flight, which the sommelier who brought it to our table said was his favorite of the flights. If you’re eating a steak, pork, or a red sauce, this wine flight is the perfect option too. We both agreed that wine #3 on the flight was our hands down favorite of the trio.
For my entree, I has having a hard time deciding what to get. I’ll admit that Italian food, especially pasta, is probably my least favorite type of food. However, our server Yarielly recommended that I try the gluten free pasta at least once when I visited. I ended up ordering the Pasta Bolognese with gluten free pasta.
Overall, I liked this but didn’t love it. This was partially due to my personal preferences and not really enjoying pasta or red sauces. But, I’m also not sure if this is the actual Bolognese they serve or a modified version, as the ingredients did not seem to match the ingredient listing on the menu. I didn’t find any pancetta or beef in the Bolognese but instead it tasted like pork sausage and ground pork. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, but I would probably order something non-pasta based on my next visit.
Brandon ordered the Ribeye with Pickled Onions and Mashed Potatoes. The dish can be made gluten free by swapping out the Polenta Fries, which we did. It’s also made fish/shellfish free by swapping out the Polenta Fries too, due to the same issue of a shared fryer with seafood. Brandon loves mashed potatoes, so this was totally fine with him.
He really enjoyed his steak and said it was well-cooked and very flavorful. He also said the mashed potatoes were some of the best he’s had in a long time. They looked super rich and creamy too. Since we didn’t specifically ask for this dish to be gluten free, I did not try it. But, everything looked and smelled great.
As if we could barely eat another bite at this point, we just couldn’t resist dessert. I had heard rave reviews about the desserts at Terralina. And, they did not disappoint. We tried two gluten free desserts (both contained dairy).
The first was a Lemon Panna Cotta with Candied Thyme. Brandon was not a fan of this, but I loved it. Super bright in flavors, I really enjoyed the tart lemon and the addition of candied thyme. That was very unique and added a nice texture and flavor to the dessert. It’s weird to describe it as such, but the textures were both super rich and light if that makes sense. I suppose that’s a sign of a really good panna cotta!
We both agreed that the Flourless Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut-Mascarpone Filling was the definite winner of the two desserts. This was rich, decadent, and just pure chocolate goodness. The exterior included a rich chocolate coating, and the inside was filled with a Mascarpone. I could have sworn that the nut used in this was walnut, but the menu did note it included Hazelnut. Either way, we both thought it was a delicious dessert.
We really enjoyed our dinner at Terralina Crafted Italian Restaurant. For us, we thought the appetizers, drinks, and desserts were the absolute stars of our meal. While we both liked our entrees, we both thought on our next visit, we would order the Antipasti Tower, desserts, and a wine flight for a perfect meal. They were all that good. We were also impressed that the restaurant is working hard to ensure that guests with special dietary needs are able to enjoy a safe and delicious meal. I’d love to see a dedicated fryer and gluten free bun for sandwiches added in the future too and look forward to seeing how the restaurant grows and evolves over time. Thanks again to the team at Terralina for inviting us and for working to accommodate special dietary needs guests.
Are you interested in dining at Terralina Crafted Italian Restaurant? What are you most interested in ordering?