James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano will debut his newest dining concept, Terralina Crafted Italian, on June 28. Situated along the shores of Lake Buena Vista, this exciting addition to the vibrant culinary scene at Disney Springs was inspired by the lifestyle of Italy’s Lake District and will offer authentic Italian flavors, spirits, and lakefront views.
Chef Mantuano, former contestant on Top Chef Masters who is internationally respected for his role in defining true Italian cuisine, collaborated with Executive Chef Justin Plank to create the new menu. Showcasing tastes that are both familiar and new, the menu offers traditional Italian dishes – House-made Lasagna and Parmesan Duo with chicken and eggplant – in addition to specialty creations for the table like House-made Porchetta with a spicy-sweet Apple Mostarda and Slow-roasted Beef Short Rib with Honey-Balsamic Glaze. Other favorites include wood-fired pizzas, Bucatini with Clams and, from the grill, Center-cut Pork Chop with Creamy Polenta and Swordfish Peperonatta with roasted peppers.
Although busy with the opening, Chef Mantuano took the time to sit down with us for this Q&A:
You are leading the concept and vision for Terralina Crafted Italian – what are you most excited about?
Seeing the restaurant come to life. We completely altered the entire space – the kitchen is now center stage and we added a wood-burning oven and charcoal grill. With the focus on the heart of the kitchen, dishes will embody the passion and fire of the flames.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Terralina Crafted Italian?
Relaxed and welcoming. It is inspired by the design and lifestyle of Italy’s Lake District – transporting guests to the shores of Italy. We expanded the outdoor dining area to include a veranda bar overlooking Riverboat Square to take advantage of the sweeping waterfront views.
How would you describe the menu?
Approachable. We stay true to the Italian spirit and culture. When I had the opportunity to apprentice in Italy, the chefs were so generous in sharing their talent and culinary techniques. I feel I owe it to them to represent the cuisine in the truest sense possible.
What do you anticipate to be a Guest favorite on the new menu?
Definitely the Antipasti Tower with its unique visual presentation. We went “vertical” with this display of cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and house-made pickled vegetables with pecorino truffle potato chips – the perfect appetizer to share with family and friends.
Any returning fan favorites from the Portobello Country Italian menu?
Chicken and Eggplant Parmigiana, hand-tossed pizza, and house-made pastas will again be on the menu. But Italian cuisine is much more than tomato sauce – and we want the food to jump off the plate with layers of flavors based on ingredients and cooking methods. The addition of the wood-burning oven and charcoal grill takes the dishes to the next level.
Your thoughts on this evolution of Disney Springs?
In the over 12 years I have been involved with Portobello Country Italian and now Terralina Crafted Italian, the evolution has been amazing – attracting top culinary talent, many of which are good friends. It has truly become a dining destination for locals and vacationers.
Which Disney Character would your family and friends say you are most like and why?
I think they would say Mickey Mouse. Like Mickey, I am positive and appreciate the people and talent on my team. I give my team leeway to make decisions and, in turn, build trust.
Terralina Crafted Italian will be open daily for lunch and dinner starting June 28 and is located on The Landing at Disney Springs. Walk-ins are always welcome, and reservations are now available for bookings starting on July 30, 2018. To make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).