Per tradition, we’re kicking off our in-depth coverage of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts with a review of L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio, which is the Italy booth. In this post, we’ll share ‘real world’ photos of every food and dessert on the menu, and offer our reviews & tasting notes.
Italy has always been a divisive booth among Walt Disney World fans. Some have defended it for serving approachable, comfort food, whereas it has been a punching bag for people like us who like to make cheesy jokes about the frozen food caliber cuisine.
That all changes for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. I had to stop and double-check where I was standing, because the cuisine at L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio was actually good. Arguably the best booth of the entire festival!
Of course, L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio wouldn’t be an Italy booth without at least one complaint, and that’s the price points. While these items taste amazing, the value for money here is laughably bad. You’ll spend $28 for 3 items the sum of which is less filling than your average counter service meal.
Anyway, here’s what’s on the menu at the L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio:
Spuma al Miele d’Arancio: Orange Honey Mousse with Peaches and Mint Marjoram Cream
Now our photos and reviews of each food item…
The presentation of the Barbabietole Dolci, Caprino Fritto left a lot to be desired, with the balls of goat cheese rolling around our plate as we walked over to the Italy Isola.
However, taste-wise this was off the charts. We were bracing for frozen food caliber fritters, but these were rich and delicious with the fried outer shell giving nice texture to the inner cheese. The beet salad was also shockingly good…for beet salad.
I’m hesitant to give too glowing of a review of the Costine di Maiale Aceto Balsamico. For starters, this is two ribs and some sweet potato fries (ah, the iconic Italian dish) for $11. So it doesn’t exactly scream “good value.” Second, we’ve found dishes like this can be so hit or miss, with one serving being lean and meaty and another being fatty or overcooked.
With that said, these are the best ribs I’ve ever had at Walt Disney World. Flavorful, tender, lightly charred, and just the right amount of sweetness in the glaze. Highly recommended if money is no issue.
Finally, the Spuma al Miele d’Arancio. This mousse is a light and airy dessert, given flavor primarily by the accompaniments. I didn’t have any problem with this, as it gives you some control over the sweetness and flavor. All things considered, it was a strong finish to an excellent duo of savory food items.
Again, the issue here is price. You’re looking at a table service dessert price point, and it’s definitely not that caliber of an item. For a snack credit, it’s a no brainer, though. (As is the case with each of the two food items.)
In terms of Italian alcohol, here’s what’s on offer this year:
Moretti La Rossa Double Malt Beer
Prosecco, Villa Sandi
Moscato Fior d’Arancio, Montegrande
Pinot Grigio, Bosco del Merlo
Amaretto Bellini: Amaretto, White Peach Purée and Prosecco
Vodka Rossini: Vodka, Strawberry Purée and Prosecco
Overall, L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio is exceptional from a culinary perspective, which is a rare, resoundingly positive review for the Italy booth. To be honest, this isn’t a huge surprise, as this booth has been trending in this direction the last couple of years, but usually even our positive sentiment is qualified with “good…by the Italy booth’s standards.”
Price and portion size are the major stumbling blocks, but those are going to be a persistent issue throughout these reviews at (literally) every single booth we review. If you’re paying out of pocket and looking for items that are a ‘good value’, you might want to just stop looking, because there aren’t any. There’s good news for those on the Disney Dining Plan, because L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio is one of the rare booths with everything valid for a snack credit. These are some of the absolute best (and best value) uses of a snack credit at Walt Disney World for the next couple months.
What do you think of the L’Arte di Mangiare Food Studio? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? Do you agree that Italy is huge improvement for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Questions we can help you answer? 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!