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Orlando - Non Chain Italian Restaurant

Has anyone been to a great Italian Restaurant in the Disney area that's NOT a chain?

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  1. not really in the disney area per se, but Bergamo's at the Mercado (Int'l Drive) is pretty good. opera singers added for a fun atmosphere. i also like Pepino's in Oviedo and Il Pescatore at Colonial and Bumby.

    1 Reply
    1. re: britterbeezer

      Bergamo's just moved to Festival Bay further north of International Drive.

    2. Have not been to either, but people I trust on this board have mentioned Primo at the JW Marriott and Ristorante Tuscany in the Orlando World Center Marriott (the big one near the parks).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Covert Ops

        Palma Maria in Casselberry is good, my fav is the Lasagna ,and they also serve a better salad than most places.

        1. re: Covert Ops

          I have to point out that the former operators of Ristorante Tuscany, who own Antica Posta in Atlanta, are no longer affiliated with the restaurant. It is now operated by the Marriott Orlando World Center.
          To my knowledge the quality of the food and service has not slipped to any degree, but I think that caveat is important.

          I've heard good things about Saucy Bella on Sand Laake -- but don't think it fits into the :great Italian" category.
          Christini's on Sand Lake, although quite expensive and a bit overdone, offers fine, old-fashioned Italian dining.
          I like Chatham's Place there also, although it is more Mediterranean than Italian.

          That, and the other reccs, pretty well cover that end of town for upscale Italian

          Bob

        2. Okay, this one is a chain... but you would never know it from eating there! Carmela's of Brooklyn on Kirkman is actually owned by the Sbarro chain but I didn't find that out until after I ate there. I really thought it was a great mom-and-pop Italian restaurant and I would highly recommend it.

          1. Not sure where to go near Disney, but just outside downtown Orlando, on Primrose (just south of Colonial) is Il Pescatore. The BEST Italian food in Orlando, period.

            1 Reply
            1. re: starbucksbrew

              If you stretch a point and include Winter Springs as Orlando, Stefano's is the original owner of Il Pescatore's new place -- fabulous. Giancarlo's, also in Winter Springs, is also quite good.

              Bob

            2. My favorite is Terra Mia in Longwood, just a few miles north of Orlando, just west of I-4 on 434.

              1. If "Disney area" includes Downtown Orlando and WInter Park I recommend Bravissimo on Shine Avenue and Limoncello on Orange Avenue. Bravissimo is a small place tucked away in a residential neighborhood. Very Mom-and-Pop. Limoncello is a bit more on the upscale side, but the food is superb. Both are definitely worth the drive from the attractions side of town.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ladyevelyn

                  FYI, limoncello has closed it's doors.

                  1. re: ladyevelyn

                    I'm curious how long it has been since you ate at Limoncello, as I would not recommend it to anyone, let alone someone driving all the way from Disney.

                    They are up for sale and the owners have stripped the place In fact, I'd be surpriosed if it is even open.

                    Bob

                  2. Old thread I know, but help me bring it up to date, please? I'm ISO a casual Italian place in Orlando. Flip flop casual, if you can. I'd prefer the west side as we'll be driving in from Tampa. We've only been to the theme parks, so easy to find is better, but we'll take what we can get.

                    Did I mention we're going there tonight (Aug 6)? I know, I'm sorry, but I just found out late last night. :-(

                    Anyway, TIA for any help you can give.

                    Duffy

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: DuffyH

                      My favorite casual Italian place is Wolfie's PizzaMia on Orange Avenue, just east of downtown Orlando, so perhaps further east than you would like. But it's easy to find, and I'll strongly vouch for it. They cure their own meats, make their own pasta, pickle their own giardinera, and everything is amazing:

                      http://wolfiespizzamia.com/

                      My top recommendations: spinach fettucine with fiddlehead ferns and prosciutto, the amatriciana pasta, the garlic bread knots with "pig butter" (trust me), and the eggplant poppers. But you really can't go wrong.

                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                        That sounds like a great choice, thanks. I just learned other members of our party have chosen Maggiano's Little Italy. I've never eaten there, but it looks like standard fare, not nearly as exciting as Wolfie's Pizzamia. That one's going into my travel file, thank you.

                        Duffy

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          Maggiano's is okay. It's an upscale chain, not bad by any means, but you're right, not terribly exciting, and pretty expensive for what you get. Many of their dishes are served family-style, which I hate, because it always involves compromising with everyone else at your table.

                          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                            Upscale likely means I'll have to rethink my usual attire, yes? Nerts.

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              Don't worry about that. In Orlando in August, people even show up to weddings and funerals in T-shirts, shorts, and Crocs.

                              And it's a nice restaurant, but perhaps I overstated when I called it "upscale."

                              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                Thanks, Lou. I hoped you'd say that. Our Tampa vibe is the same. Who wants to change into "resort dress" after a day at the theme/water parks?

                                Duffy