Foodie Friday: Dinner at Trattoria Al Forno

This was our first time eating at Trattoria Al Forno. We seldom allow reviews to misconstrue our opinion of a restaurant. Only when reviews call out a restaurant’s poor sanitary conditions or make it seem as though a restaurant is truly bad do we reconsider. I suggest you do the same.

Trattoria Al Forno opened to mix reviews. Many claimed that it was “a step above Olive Garden.” Others claimed that the service was terrible and a real downfall. Food reviews are so subjective. I’ll say it a million times: my review of pizza would differ greatly from someone from Georgia; just as my review of grits would be totally different from someone who lives in Alabama and cooks it every day. We gave the restaurant a chance despite its mixed reviews.

Trattoria Al Forno took over Kouzzina. We had breakfast at Kouzzina once and if memory serves me correctly, very little has changed decor-wise. The decor has received an update and of course, there is new signage, but the restaurant has the same open-kitchen layout. We were seated near the kitchen. The restaurant has dim lighting, which sets the mood for a nice meal.

Let’s call our server “Dana,” because I would hate to get anyone in trouble. She took our drink orders and disappeared. It quickly became evident that the servers were a bit overwhelmed. At one point, a server was running table-to-table. Literally running. Dana returned after about 10 minutes with our drinks. My sister ordered a regular Coke, while my dad and I opted for Diet Cokes. My mom got an iced tea. We always toast to the beginning of our trip. My parents and sister went with the sangria and I went with a Stella beer. Upon delivering the sodas, she couldn’t remember which was diet and which was not. She simply placed them on the table and apologized. We did a taste test and re-organized them so that the sodas were with their proper owner. Not a HUGE deal, but had someone been unable to consume sugar or if my sister couldn’t consume artificial sweeteners, it could have been a problem.

Dana brought out bread and then disappeared again. We finally caught her attention and placed our orders. We decided to get the mussels as an appetizer. For entrees, my sister ordered the linguine in a clam sauce; my dad went with the steak; my mom ordered the tuna; and I went with the bolognese. The mussels arrived around 10 minutes later. It was awesome. The sauce on the mussels tasted like it had curry, giving it a subtle spice. I loved the mussels, but enjoyed dipping the bread in the sauce so much more! I definitely recommend this appetizer! It was the true highlight of the meal.

We finished our drinks and they just sat on the table, as did the empty dish of mussels. Dana disappeared for around 30 minutes before swinging by to let us know that she “didn’t know what the kitchen is doing – she’ll check on our dishes now!” The only problem was that she ran off in the opposite direction. A different server eventually brought out our food – which I’m surprised fit on the table, which was riddled with empty glasses and the empty mussel dish.

Midway through our meal, Dana returned to collect the dishes. I asked for parmesan cheese and she looked at me as though I had eight heads. She ran off to grab parmesan. I waited around 5 minutes before my meal started to get cold. The bolognese was pretty good, but nothing special. It needed some salt, which is really rare with Disney dishes. My family enjoyed their dish. My dad said the steak was cooked perfectly and my mom loved her tuna.

I finished my meal and Dana arrived with the parmesan. She then collected our dessert orders.

My mom and I went with the tiramisu. My dad went with the cannolis and my sister chose the gelato. Again, Dana disappeared and another server brought out the food. They got my sister’s order wrong, giving her the chocolate cake instead. We tried to find our server, but she was nowhere to be found. My sister started to pick at her dessert. As we pretty much finished, Dana swung by to bring the check. She looked at my sister puzzled. “They got your order wrong?” she asked. She offered to grab my sister the correct dessert, but we were already finished with our meal.

My dad said the cannolis were not what he was expecting. My dad grew up in Brooklyn, though, so he’s a bit of a pastry snob. The tiramisu was okay, but it was definitely pre-made and had been sitting in the refrigerator. 



When it came time to pay, my dad couldn’t get his MagicBand to work. My sister joked with him, as he had done to her earlier in the day when her band wouldn’t work. Dana looked up saying “what did you say?!” My sister awkwardly explained that she was joking with my dad.

All in all, it was a decent meal that was significantly brought down by the service. The service was inattentive and distracted most of the time. The food was good, but it wasn’t good enough for us to return.


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