With a scheduled opening next week on December 18th, the Disney Parks Blog has provided another look at the restaurant, this time revealing the concept’s backstory. Missy Renard, Walt Disney Imagineering resorts art director, notes the restaurant was, “inspired by the authentic Italian menu and the rich storytelling of the turn-of-the-century boardwalk setting.” Working with the Food & Beverage Concept Development, the story, menu, and design shared together a vision.
According to the story, an Italian family ran a “modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. The menu’s mix of authentic and innovative dishes supports the story of the restaurant being handed down, with each generation adding their own touches to the meals and the restaurant’s design. The color palette throughout is inspired by the fresh ingredients used to make the flavorful dishes.”
The restaurant is arranged as a series of rooms, starting with the original Entrata (entrance), which is anchored by an arched brick wall with an aged keystone medallion. Here, traditional building materials that are found throughout the restaurant are also introduced. A wine cabinet showcases the regional wines found on the menu, and photos of generations of family are on display.
The story states that as the restaurant expanded, boardinghouse room were refitted to become dining spaces. Four distinct dining rooms are furnished relative to their original character of their original boardinghouse room:
The Cucina – This space was originally the eat-in kitchen for guests. The forno (oven) is the centerpiece of this room, and features a wood mantle and copper hood.
The Sala da Pranzo – This formal dining room features the family’s fine silver, glassware and china in a hutch, and two crystal chandeliers decorate the vaulted ceiling. The room features carpet, draperies, and a communal table where guests can watch the show kitchen.
The Salotto – The former living room of the boardinghouse now features a dining area with tufted circular booths and upholstered chairs. Decorating the walls are Italian market scene photos.
The Taverna – This secluded dining area is created from the boardinghouse’s original tavern, where a mirrored back bar hangs in front of brick walls.
The Cucina, Sala da Pranzo, and Salotto all have views of the show kitchen as well as each other, allowing for stylistic differences between the rooms, yet still making for a large, open dining space.
While I know many of our readers are far from excited for “another Italian restaurant,” I am looking forward to seeing how this space comes together. Do you think you’ll be stopping by for breakfast or dinner to give it a try?