Alfresco Tasting Terrace is a quasi-table service restaurant in Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort. This review features food photos, thoughts on the cuisine and ambiance, and whether this Disneyland restaurant is worth your time and money. As basic background, Alfresco Tasting Terrace offers Disneyland Annual Passholder discounts.
I called it a quasi-table service restaurant because I don’t really know what else to call it. It’s sort of like Italian-tapas (there’s probably a name for that), or a cross between counter service and table service. Basically, it’s like appetizers priced at or slightly above counter service prices, plus a bar. All told, it’s a pretty neat concept, and it has given new life to this upstairs area since it opened.
As that suggests, Alfresco Tasting Terrace used to be called something else. The thing is, I’m not sure what. In our Disneyland Bar Crawl Guide, I refer to it as Alfresco Lounge, but that’s only due to a reader comment informing me of the new (at the time) name. It had a different name even before then. “Back in the day” it didn’t have any prominent signage and often didn’t have a host at the bottom of the stairs. Half the time, you had to just wander up, which made it almost like a speakeasy for the Secret Society of Disney California Adventure Lushes. Towards the end of Disney California Adventure 1.0, we always just called it the “Lasseter Bar” because it offered a great view into the construction of Cars Land…and because John Lasseter was a double-secret member of the SSoDCAL. (So secret that even he didn’t know he was a member!) 😉
In any case, Alfresco Lounge is now hardly a secret, and it’s much more popular. Part of the Golden Vine Winery in Pacific Wharf (which makes no sense, but whatever), Golden Vine Winery also contains a craft beer counter, Wine Country Trattoria (which we recently reviewed), and Blue Sky Cellar (which hasn’t been open for a couple of years, but hopefully will return with Star Wars Land on the horizon).
With that background in place, let’s climb the not-so-secret steps up to Alfresco Tasting Terrace…
The ambiance up here is great from late afternoon into the evening when those popcorn lights are turned on. It’s pretty much an undisputed fact that places with wine are best with the golden light of late afternoon illuminating the wine glasses. For proof of this, see footage of any movie about wine, ever.
The main thing that’s served here is the wine flights from “Disney Family” wineries. Big surprise that wine is the main thing at a spot in Wine Country Trattoria. As for the wines in these flights, I can’t help but express that I felt they were austere, with high acidity and a round, opulent profile that was reminiscent of a cassis with seedy and gritty character of black currants. One was especially complex and robust, with a cigar box flavor hinting toward sweetness and cedar-wood with an abundance of smoke.
…Just kidding. I Googled “words to describe wine” and strung together a bunch of terms from this. I’m pretty sure what I wrote doesn’t even make sense. But, if you know nothing about wine, it sure sounds insightful, right? Maybe? Unfortunately, I know nothing about wine, so I can’t speak to the quality of these wine flights.
As far as food goes, the options here are really quite strong. I am hopelessly addicted to calamari, so I tend to go for the Fritto Misto. While I could do without the breaded vegetables, this dish is excellent. The breading is light, and the flavor is excellent–not overly salted. Plus, as I always say, if you’re going to make the mistake of eating vegetables, at least eat fried ones.
The flatbread is another good, high-quality option, and at under $10, this is a great deal. I wouldn’t say its of a particularly greater quality than the flatbreads served at Disney counter service restaurants, but with those having disappeared from Disney California Adventure, it’s this or normal pizza. This is most certainly better than the heat-lamp regular pizza at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta.
Then there’s the Aged Cheddar Risotto Bites, which I don’t see on the current menu on Disneyland.com, but we just got these a little over a month ago, so I hope that’s a mistake. You can never go wrong with cheddar balls, and these are pretty good, although the flavor isn’t as rich as I would’ve expected (or hoped for).
Overall, I’m a big fan of Alfresco Tasting Terrace, not just for its secluded and relaxed location, but for a menu, prices, and quality. You’re going to spend about as much here as you would at a counter service restaurant (assuming you don’t order wine) for a comparably filling meal that is typically higher quality than a counter service meal. Whether you want to share plates of appetizers among friends or order an entire plate of Fritto Misto or two for yourself (pro tip: go with the latter option), it’s a great place to eat and watch the sunset. The menu isn’t quite as extensive as it could be, but it’s a solid entry into the Disney California Adventure restaurant lineup for what it is.
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OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10
Read our other Disneyland Resort restaurant reviews.
Have you dined at the Lasseter Bar a/k/a Alfresco Tasting Terrace? What did you order? Did you enjoy your meal? Do you have any fancy words to describe the wine here? Share your thoughts in the comments!