Alfresco Tasting Terrace Review
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. (Updated May 22, 2021.)
As background, Alfresco Tasting Terrace has taken many forms and a couple of different names over the years. At its heart, the location has always been a quasi-table service restaurant. It’s sort of like Italian-tapas (there’s probably a name for that), or a cross between counter service and table service.
Basically, Alfresco Tasting Terrace is 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 that opened. However, it’s worth noting that Alfresco Tasting Terrace isn’t always open–right now, it’s operating on a limited time basis…
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.
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 reviewed separately), and Blue Sky Cellar.
With that background in place, let’s climb the not-so-secret steps up to Alfresco Tasting Terrace…
Currently, Alfresco Tasting Terrace has reopened for a limited time just for Disneyland Legacy Passholders. This means that if you were a Disneyland Annual Passholder when the parks closed, you can access this location now with a valid ticket and theme park reservation for Disney California Adventure. One Legacy Passholder can bring up to 5 guests.
Alfresco Tasting Terrace is now serving a special menu packed with references to extinct Disney California Adventure attractions and other offerings. The drinks menu features park-inspired cocktails and a selection of wines and beer that were offered previously! Legacy Passholder discounts are available on food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Here’s what’s on the current Alfresco Tasting Terrace appetizer menu:
- Condor Flats-Bread – Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Seedless Grapes, Green Salad and Fig Jam – $16.00
- Bountiful Valley Charcuterie – Chef’s selection of Cheeses and Meats – $18.00
- Screamin’ Cauliflower Ceviche – Citrus-marinated Cauliflower, Cucumber, Tomato, Mango, Onions, Cilantro, JalapeÃ±os and Avocado, with crispy Tortilla Chips and Mango-Habanero Sauce – $14.00
- Mulholland Meatballs – House-made Meatballs, Spicy Creamy Tomato Sauce, Charred Broccolini, Orange Segments, Pickled Red Onions, Whipped Burrata, and Shaved Crostini – $16.00
- Slider Invasion – Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Chimichurri and Pickled Red Onions – $18.00
The current Alfresco Tasting Terrace specialty drinks menu for Legacy Passholders:
- The Stinger – Dulce Vida Pineapple-JalapeÃ±o Tequila, Cointreau and House-made Orange-HabaÃ±ero Simple Syrup – $15.00
- Specialty Manhattan – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, MacMurray Estate Pinot Noir and Simple Syrup, garnished with a Charred Cinnamon Stick – $16.00
- Drop In… If you Dare – Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh Lemon Juice, and Maraschino Cherry Mix – $17.00
- Ultra Flight – Trio of Gin-based Cocktails featuring flavors of Orange, Pine and Sea – $17.00
- 5… 4… 3… 2… 1 – Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Bols Blue CuraÃ§ao, Coconut-Pineapple Cream, Simple Syrup, fresh Lime Juice – $15.00
- Pizza Oom Mow Wow! – Pizza-inspired Bloody Mary with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and flavors of Pineapple, Pepperoncini, and Mushroom – $17.00
- A Bug’s Drink (Non-Alcoholic) – Minute Maid Lemonade with Granny Smith Apple Syrup, with fresh Watermelon – $5.75
Note that the reviews that follow are based on a prior version of the menu, but should be instructive for cuisine quality and presentation.
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.
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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Have you dined at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace? What did you order? Did you enjoy your meal? Do you have any fancy words to describe the wine here? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Thank you for updating this article THIS year, since the reopening. I have one simple question. How are they verifying the status of our Legacy AP’s? Ours had expired just prior to the 2020 covid closing and we had intended to renew on our next trip (we live in Hawaii). And we’re finally headed back “home” next month. Would you think we’re able to simply show our old AP’s and they’d let us in? Or are they electronically verifying the status of the AP’s at Covid closing time?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
We love going to this little tasting area that no one used to know about – thanks a lot. 😉 It’s quiet and is usually a place where you don’t find screaming children running around, so it’s a nice place for a respite from the crowds.
I don’t know if this is necessarily the name of the bar you encountered, but back in 2006 or so, one of the first times I was in DCA, the second floor of the Wine Country Trattoria was called the Vineyard Room. It was a more upscale restaurant – I’d say it was the best they had back then. It’s most certainly been supplanted by Carthay Circle. I was sad to see it go…but I was way happier to see the new DCA.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I go to DLR about 6 times yearly and have NEVER walked up those stairs. Honestly thought it was all wine service there (which I do not drink). Will definitely try the calamari…looks delicious!
“It is an impudent little wine…”
I still have no idea where this is compared to Sonoma Terrace and that other outdoor terrace…
Those aged cheddar risotto bites look incredible! You can never go wrong with fried cheese!
Wine without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze. 😉
I feel really stupid….we went to Disneyland this past June and ate at Wine Country Trattoria and stopped by the outside wine/beer bar on the way out, sat out there for a few minutes, and I had absolutely no clue this place existed until I read your review. I guess I saw the stairs, but didn’t think anything of it and I think I thought the sign belonged to the outside wine/beer bar there! Wow, wish I would have paid a little more attention! Good to know this is here!