After I had decided against eating at Napa Rose, Disneyland’s deluxe restaurant located in the Grand Californian Hotel, I wanted to find a decent substitute, one that offered a more elegant dining experience than the fare served at the parks’ many quick service (cafeteria style) restaurants. When I found out that the Wine Country Trattoria offered World of Color dining packages (World of Color is California Adventure’s nighttime show that incorporates water, color, fire and light), with guests who dine there receiving premiere seating to the show for the night, it seemed like a good place to try. The World of Color dining package is available for both lunch and dinner and offers a full service prix fix menu, choice of soup or salad, entree, and a dessert sampler.
The Wine Country Trattoria is located in California Adventure’s Golden State area and is designed to resemble California’s famed Napa Valley (in fact there is a small area adjacent to the restaurant in which actual grape plants are growing). The restaurant offers an al fresco lounge area where guests can relax with a glass of wine (the restaurant boasts more than 25 wines by the glass) along with small bites. It is situated on two floors with what seemed those who had booked the World of Color dining package being seated on the second floor. I was fine with this since it offered lovely views of the park’s Pacific Wharf area as well as the soon to open Cars Land.
While the prix fix menu was a very good deal overall ($39.99 for people age 10 and over), my only disappointment was its limited number of pasta options whereas on the regular menu there is the enticing option of “pasta your way,” allowing diners their choice and style of pasta.
To start I went with the minestrone soup while D opted for his favorite, Italian wedding soup. The soup was good and thankfully, since we were sitting in the shade and there was a constant breeze, it wasn’t too hot to enjoy it. There is nothing special or elegant about minestrone soup, it’s your standard Italian comfort food and the Wine Country Trattoria offered a decent version.
For my entree I ordered the Braised Lamb Shank that came with polenta, pinot noir reduction, spinach and gremolata, a chopped herb condiment. Although I rarely eat lamb, this was a special occasion and so it called for a special meal. The lamb was excellent and fork tender, literally falling off the bone. The polenta was delicious, namely because it was more crispy than I’ve ever tasted before (I’ve usually eaten polenta that had a slightly spongy texture to it).
D went with the Filet Mignon that was served with herb roasted potatoes, sauteed green beans, and a bleu cheese butter. It was met with approval by him.
Although past reviews of the dessert sampler at the Wine Country Trattoria were less than favorable, clearly those reviews must have been outdated because ours were superb. The sampler featured two shot glasses of tiramisu (I greatly enjoyed this because sometimes the amount of alcohol in tiramisu is overpowering), two shot glasses of vanilla bean panna cotta with fresh fruit, European macarons (raspberry and pistachio flavored), and chocolate caramel espresso tart.
While obviously an expensive meal when compared to the park’s quick service eateries, the quality and fare offered at the Wine Country Trattoria is much better and well worth it, especially if you opt for the World of Color dining package. The only thing that could enhance it if it were an adults only restaurant. The location and ambiance were lovely and romantic, but the presence of little ones definitely detracted from it.
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