L’Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante is located at the Italy Pavilion at the Epcot Theme Park World Showcase, Walt Disney World. For priority seating arrangements or for more information, call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).
Food: For a restaurant that we chose at the spur of the moment, and whose food and ambience we’d found rated on either side of the scale in our research, we were certainly most impressed. Though I can barely contain my excitement about the restaurant’s signature entrée, I will begin at the beginning with the Antipasti. We tried the Mozzarella alla Caprese con Funghi di Bosco for $9.75, a surprisingly hearty and filling portion of vine-ripened red and yellow tomatoes, thick slices of fresh Bufala Mozzarella dressed with Virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and marinated wild mushrooms. The Bufala Mozzarella (imported from the Naples region) is the real star of this dish, with its mild, pleasing taste and creamy-firm texture. Several generous slices of this excellent cheese were layered between fresh, slightly sweet vine-ripened tomatoes. The oil and balsamic vinegar dressing was light and flavorful, letting the primary flavors of the mozzarella and the tomatoes shine through. The only disappointment here was the mushrooms, which were decidedly not wild but rather, “a la tin can”, so to speak. Overall, quite good, and very generous portion-wise.
For our entrée, we sampled the Lasagnette Pasticciate alla Modenese (Lasagna “Modenese style” – $16.95), fresh lasagna noodles, handmade on site, with a rich Bolognese and cream sauce, topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Delicious, and very generous in terms of the portion served.
We also had to try Le Originali Fettuccine all’Alfredo – (Fettucini Alfredo – $17.50), the restaurant’s signature dish. The recipe was created at the turn of the century by Alfredo di Lelio (the namesake of both the entrée and the restaurant), and, I must say that other attempts at this rich, creamy dish are only shadows of “Le Originali”! Fresh, handmade egg noodles are combined with butter and a Parmigian sauce. Incredibly simple, but I’ll be the first to admit that you can’t do this at home! The flavor of the Parmigian sauce was the perfect texture, and incredibly rich and flavorful. Somehow, and this is the genius behind the recipe, the egg noodles held their own despite the rich sauce and could be thoroughly appreciated as well. Though the portion was generous and I was very full, I have a feeling that I could have found room for one more melt-in-your-mouth bite! Through no fault of their own, I will probably ignore the other entrees on the menu next time so that Le Originali Fettucine all’Alfredo can enjoy a well-deserved encore!
When we had finished our entrees, we had absolutely no room left for dessert. Despite an incredibly tempting display of beautiful, freshly baked desserts of all sinful, rich, chocolaty, creamy descriptions, we were defeated. Next time!
Wine: 1999 Zenato Valpolicella, Ripassa. A very pleasant wine ordered at the enthusiastic recommendation of our server. This very drinkable red wine paired well with our pasta dishes.
Exceptional Features: The Fettucini all’Alfredo is absolutely incredible and tops our list of “things to eat” on our next trip to Walt Disney World. Also, the service was of a remarkably high quality. Our particular server was extremely pleasant, helpful, and informative.
Service: Being such a busy restaurant full of vacationing families, we were impressed with the genuine friendliness and attentiveness of our particular server. When we asked him to help us pronounce the names of the dishes we were ordering, he lingered long enough to make sure that our accents were perfect (or at least satisfactory). He also introduced us to a very enjoyable wine, the 1999 Zenato Valpolicella, Ripassa, which he pronounced to be his favorite.
The atmosphere of the entire restaurant was friendly, welcoming and even festive. Toward the end of our dinner (near closing time for the restaurant) the wait staff burst into a hearty Italian song, while waving cloth napkins in air to the bouncy rhythm. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves doing the same along with everyone else in the restaurant! This was a fun experience with excellent food, service and infectious Italian joy.
Décor: The restaurant is modeled upon the parent restaurant in Rome, and was designed by direct descendants of famed turn of the century chef Alfredo di Lelio, creator of Fettucini Alfredo. It has an old world, elegant feel and is surprisingly attractive for a busy family restaurant. Crystal chandeliers, large windows, and floral arrangements all contributed to the restaurant’s charm. Tables were placed rather close together, so this may be an intimate dining experience with fellow diners rather than your partner. If you are looking for a quiet, candlelight tete-a-tete, this is not the place to do it. (There are a few more private al fresco tables on the patio, although availability is not guaranteed. If you are interested in these seats, we suggest inquiring about patio dining upon making priority seating arrangements.) Though certainly not a tranquil place, L’Originale Alfredo di Roma offers such a jovial atmosphere, especially with its friendly, sometimes singing wait staff, only the most determined grouch would mind the close quarters.
Dress Code: This is a restaurant at a Disney World theme park. Most of your fellow guests will be attired in the comfortable clothing they chose for spending the day at Epcot, including shorts and even battery-operated, mouse-eared headgear. You do not need to make any special plans with regards to dress here.
Price: Like most dining experiences at Disney World, L’Originale Alfredo di Roma is an expensive choice for family dining with entrees alone (no accompaniments ) in the $15-$20 range. However, the food is delicious, especially the incomparable signature dish, the original Fettucini Alfredo. A more than worthwhile break from the hamburgers and hotdogs sold throughout the Disney parks!
Reservations: L’Originale Alfredo di Roma is busy and bustling but very large with room to accommodate plenty of guests. We did not have priority seating arrangements and waited less than twenty minutes for our table. We did, however, dine later in the evening (~7:30pm) and the week of our trip was one of the least busy in the Walt Disney World calendar (December 8-14th – after the busy American Thanksgiving holiday and before the Christmas rush). Having said this, it is Disney, do it’s always worth making reservations. To do so, call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).
Overall Dining Experience
We give L’Originale Alfredo Four Barrels – Excellent!