Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mama Melrose's - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Yesterday, we had dinner at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios.  

Before we moved to Orlando, and PC (pre-celiac), my husband and I used to eat at Mama Melrose's every year during our annual trip to Disney World  in January.  

When our server came to the table last night and asked about my "allergy," when I said gluten, her response was "oh, that's easy."  This is why I love to dine at Disney World.  Chef Royal came out to discuss the gluten free options on the menu with me, which were plentiful. 

My meal started with GNI rolls served with butter.  They were well heated and tasted pretty good.  

For an appetizer, I chose the fresh mozzarella and vine-ripened tomatoes.  It was very good once I added some extra salt and removed the onions.  My daughters certainly loved it, because they kept begging me for more.  I could have also ordered the bresaola salad, the mixed greens salad, and the Caesar salad (minus the crouton) for an appetizer.  My daughter Emma ordered the Caesar salad as her meal, and ate every last bite.  I think she liked it!  

Chef Royal recommended the pork osso bucco for an entree, which he said was naturally gluten free and the best dish on the menu, but I had my heart set on the wild mushroom flatbread.  I was really happy with my choice.  The wild mushroom flatbread, served on Udi's pizza crust, was perfectly cooked, and I loved the mix of roasted cremini and button mushrooms with the garlic-shallot spread, cheese, and balsamic reduction. 

I could have also ordered the other flatbread options on the menu, the Pollo alla Cacciatora, which is naturally gluten free, the charred strip steak (with vegetables instead of macaroni and cheese), or the chicken campanelle and other pasta dishes with gluten free pasta.  

For dessert, Chef Royal recommended the gluten free chocolate cake, which was a decadently rich and fudgy cake served with chocolate sauce.  I tried a bite, then shared the rest with my daughters.  They both said it was very good, and I enjoyed it as well, but would have liked to see it served with some ice cream or whipped cream, and berries.  

When I am pretty full, I prefer to eat ice cream for dessert, so I ordered the spumoni gelato, a combination of vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio gelati.  It wasn't the best gelato I have ever had, but it was the perfect dessert after a big meal.  

June 28, 2014 Update

Our plan today was to eat at a quick-service restaurant at Hollywood Studios, but food snobs one, two, and three, also known as Mitch, Kate, and Emma (my husband and daughters), decided that they wanted to go to Mama Melrose's.  Thankfully, we were able to walk in around 3:45, and get a table after a short wait.

I was hoping to order the pork osso bucco that Chef Royal recommended on our last visit, but it is no longer on the menu.  We decided to try the Braciola Di Maiale, a herb-roasted pork chop served with creamy polenta, swiss chard, and fig marsala sauce.  The pork was so tender, and cooked to the perfect temperature.  The fig marsala sauce was so good, I could have licked my plate clean.  I have a fondness for sweet sauces, and it complemented the pork and polenta perfectly.  The creamy polenta was just heavenly.  I really need to figure out a good polenta recipe to make at home, because I enjoy it so much when I eat out.  The only part of this dish I wasn't crazy about was the swiss chard, but I am not sure I have ever met a piece of swiss chard that I like.  It's just not my thing. 

We also ordered the wild mushroom flatbread again, but I didn't like it as much this time around.  I think it had a little too much of the garlic-shallot spread on it, which made it a little soggy. 

For dessert, we chose the chocolate cake and the spumoni gelato again.  I had forgotten how good the chocolate cake was.  I enjoyed my ice cream, but I wanted to steal my daughters' cake!  :-)

June 19, 2015 Update

Mama Melrose's now has an allergy-friendly menu that covers the top 8 food allergies.  The following dishes are safe for people with gluten/wheat allergies:

Appetizers - fresh mozzarella and vine-ripened tomatoes, mixed greens salad, seared fennel-crusted tuna

Entrees - Charred Strip Steak (five-cheese macaroni with pancetta, aged balsamic shallot butter, and a Chianti wine reduction), Seafood Arrabbiata (shrimp, mussels, calamari, and fish of the day tossed with spicy seafood sauce served on pasta), Saltimbocca (pork tenderloin served with prosciutto, sage, fontina cheese, Tuscan mashed potatoes, broccolini, and lemon-caper sauce), Pasta alla Vodka (pancetta and sweet onions finished with tomato-basil sauce, cream, vodka, and Pecorino Romano; option to add chicken or shrimp), Chicken or Shrimp Pasta (shrimp or wood-grilled chicken and pasta tossed in a four-cheese sauce with broccoflower , sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, and sweet onions), Fish of the Day (shrimp risotto with brandy cream sauce topped with preserved lemon and tarragon), Primavera (fava beans, mushrooms, and carrots finished with Parmesan and truffle oil served on pasta)

Desserts  - cheesecake, chocolate or vanilla gelato, flourless chocolate cake, Rice Dreams vanilla nondairy ice cream, Tofutti nondairy vanilla or chocolate ice cream

You can read my friend Sarah's recent review on her blog Gluten-Free & Dairy Free at WDW.  Even though they are not listed on the allergy-friendly menu as safe for people with gluten/wheat allergies, Mama Melrose's has Udi's pizza crusts to make gluten free flatbreads.

You can read more about Mama Melrose's, make advance dining reservations, and view their menu on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Mama Melrose's?  


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