Wine Country Trattoria is a 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, Wine Country Trattoria offers Disneyland Annual Passholder discounts, and also World of Color dinner packages.
It’s part of a larger area that used to be known as the Golden Vine Winery, but is now known simply as Pacific Wharf (which makes no sense, but whatever). Golden Vine Winery contains a craft beer counter and Alfresco Tasting Terrace, and also Blue Sky Cellar (which hasn’t been open for a couple of years, but hopefully will return with Star Wars Land on the horizon).
There are also actual grape vines on a little path through which you can walk. All in all, it’s a cute little area. It’s really too bad Disney California Adventure can’t do more with the Food & Wine Festival concept, because this area of the park has the potential to be a great hub for that, and could really come alive with a more adult event like that.
Now let’s take a look at Wine Country Trattoria itself…
Little placards around the restaurant get you hyped for the ‘spiritual’ experience of having California wines.
Unfortunately, the inside of the restaurant quickly kills that hype, as it’s a fairly bland room with a bunch of tables closely spaced to one another.
The outside seating is much better, and eating here in the late afternoon sun is reminiscent of virtually any outdoor scenes in 1980s or 90s movie set in Los Angeles. Seriously, go back and watch one if you don’t know what I mean–based on the lighting, it must have always been the pre-sunset golden hour in California back in those days.
Our meal started with focaccia bread and balsamic & olive oil for dipping. This bread was fairly good, but nothing that deserves rave reviews.
We also ordered Fritto Misto as a starter, which included calamari, mussels, green beans, and artichoke hearts breaded with pepperoncini aïoli. I have never met a calamari dish that I didn’t enjoy, and this was no different. Setting aside my bias for calamari, this was another good but not spectacular dish. Probably middle of the road as far as Fritto Misto goes.
As for the meal itself, I ordered the Osso Bucco. This slow braised lamb served with creamy polenta and seasonal vegetables was fall-off-the-bone tender. The meat was perfectly cooked and had a solid flavor. It wasn’t my favorite lamb dish ever, but I was not disappointed.
Maybe I’ve just become accustomed to Disney prices, but I also felt it offered reasonably good value for $20 flat. That seems about what you’d pay for a comparable dish in the real world.
Sarah wasn’t especially hungry, so she ordered the Caprese Salad from the appetizer menu. It was a fairly simple salad, but she thought the tomatoes were fresh and juicy, and the mozzarella and other ingredients had great flavor.
One of our friends at the meal ordered the Broccolini Aglio Olio, which she seemed to enjoy.
Another friend ordered the Shrimp Scampi, and he likewise thought it was good. The nice thing about these pasta dishes is that you’re able to choose your own type of pasta for the dish.
The table next to us sent us their bottle of wine, which (per the menu) was a $50 bottle. The thing is, this could have just as easily been a bottle of Two Buck Chuck or a rare $10,000 and I wouldn’t have known the difference. I am not a wine snob, and can hear those of you who are saying, “Sacré Bleu! This simpleton does not understand the qualities that separate fine grapes and fermentation from the weaker ones? Zut alors! I have wasted my time reading this inferior blog.”
No offense meant with the word “snob” (it’s meant as a synonym for aficionado in this case), wine snobs–I’m a craft beer snob. I just don’t “get” wine, and it really doesn’t interest me. This might mean I’m missing a big part of the appeal of Wine Country Trattoria.
Finally, a note on the World of Color dinner package. We did this package when they first started at Carthay Circle Restaurant (and were significantly cheaper), and even then it was not worth it. You can get just as good of a view by pulling a World of Color FastPass midday, and you don’t have to spend $50 on an overpriced meal that way. I cannot fathom why this dinner packages are so popular, given that they offer next to no advantage for seeing World of Color. In fact, I prefer using the paper FastPass, as it enables me to get a front row view. I highly recommend skipping the dinner package and just ordering a la carte at Wine Country Trattoria.
Overall, we liked Wine Country Trattoria and felt the dishes Sarah and I ordered offered reasonable value for money. I don’t know if I would feel the same way if I paid ~$20 for pasta, but no complaints from our perspective. I will say that I didn’t feel that there was anything standout about the experience. The restaurant is fairly plain, the service was adequate, and the meal–while good–wasn’t altogether memorable or something I now find myself craving as I write this review. It’s a good enough, safe Italian option, sort of like an upscale Olive Garden. The problem for me with that is that there are so many excellent restaurants at Disneyland Resort that “good enough” and “upscale Olive Garden” aren’t exactly words that inspire me to book future reservations. Unless you’re a wine snob, I’d probably dine somewhere else: like the all-around excellent Carthay Circle Restaurant.
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OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
Read our other Disneyland Resort restaurant reviews.
Have you dined in (Disney’s) Wine Country? What did you order? Did you enjoy your meal? Have you tried the World of Color dinner package? Do you find this blog’s lack of wine knowledge offensive? Are you planning on eating here? Share your thoughts in the comments!