In preparation of Epcot’s 30th Anniversary this October, I thought I would look back at some favorite eats that are no longer in the park. To begin this series, I had to visit a restaurant that was a must-do for my family when I was a kid and that was L’ Originale Alfredo di Roma, or Alfredo’s as it is often known.
Alfredo’s was a restaurant in the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase located where Tutto Italia is now. The restaurant was a branch of the Roman restaurant where Fettuccini Alfredo was invented that was a celebrity hot spot throughout the 20th century. Alfredo’s was said to consistently have the highest revenue of any Epcot restaurant but when the 25 year contract ended, I, along with many other of the restaurant’s fans, cried a silent tear when the restaurant closed for good on August 31, 2007. It is rumored that Alfredo’s company was dissatisfied by the Disney Dining Plan may have led to the nonrenewal of the contract.
As the name suggests, the restaurant’s signature dish was Fettuccine Alfredo. It was unlike the creamy Fettuccine you would find at an Italian restaurant at home. The dish featured handmade semolina egg noodles and was topped with Parmesano Reggiano cheese melted in high-fat butter. Sounds healthy right? Good thing calories don’t count in Disney! This dish was AMAZING! I got it every time we dined here! Eventually I want to share the recipe with you but I’m not sure where you can buy that special butter…
Anyway, besides the fettucine, there were several other pastas on the menu as well as various meat dishes. From Taglioglini Alla Vodka Con Gamberoni (Taglioglini pasta with vodka shrimp sauce) to Ossobucco di Vitello in Gremolata (slow-roasted veal shank in a wine and mushrom sauce served with saffron rice). They also had some very delicious appetizers from Mozzerella Caprese to Paste e Fagioli.
Looking at the menu, even their children’s offerings sound better than some of the choices seen at WDW restaurants today: Spaghetti al Pomodoro con Polpette di Carne (Spaghetti & Meatballs), Penne alla Panna e Formaggo (Pasta with cream and Parmesan cheese), Italian Chicken Nuggets, and Penne alla Bolognese (Pasta with meat sauce). While its tame enough for children, I like how authentic the kid’s menu was!
Beyond the food, this restaurant was gorgeous! The lobby was filled with photos of celebrities dining at the Rome location. Ornate chandeliers dressed up the dining room while detailed murals lined the walls.
I have yet to experience Tutto Italia, but I have a feeling that (even with the new menu), it will not live up to my memories of Alfredo’s. If you miss Alfredo’s as much as I do, you can still visit the one US location in New York, or of course, the original in Rome.
For more information about Alfredo’s visit Yesterland.com
What are your memories of Alfredo’s? How does it compare to Tutto Italia?