If you are looking for a restaurant in Disney Hollywood Studios there are a number of good choices. I know this will upset devotees of Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano, but I have to say from the outset that this is personally my last choice.
The idea of Mama Melrose is of a homely restaurant with Italian food just like mama makes. For reasons which we will explain, we just don’t think the food is good enough or the theme is captivating enough. There are so many fabulous Disney World Restaurants but despite me really wanting to say otherwise, Mama Melrose just isn’t one of them.
Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano
Photo by Disney
However, as always, I try and see the positive and I do know that Mama Melrose has many fans! Anywhere else, maybe it would be fine, but with the location and the prices we expect just that bit more.
Let’s start with the theme. It is a mixture of Hollywood California and New York. There is a reason for this, but it’s slightly complicated and most people have no clue of what it is when they dine there.
The original idea for the Italian restaurant at this location was to be the Great Gonzo’s Pizza Pandemonium Parlor. This made a lot of sense as it is located in the Muppets 3D theater area. However, somewhere along the line this idea was changed and the backstory was rewritten.
The idea was that a young Italian lady, dreaming of fame and fortune in Hollywood, came to Los Angeles looking for a career in Tinsel Town. Her talent was more geared towards cooking than acting. Soon her friends were encouraging her to open a restaurant on the backlot of a Hollywood Studio. This was located in a building which was used to film movies which were set in New York. This is why you see the exposed brick walls reminiscent of New York, combined with the street signs of Hollywood.
Pictures of celebrities who have visited Mama Melrose over the years are all over the walls. Your children, and indeed possibly even you, may be hard-pressed to recognize many of them. However, the decor all adds to the atmosphere in this high energy place. String lights and vines strewn over the walls add to the atmosphere.
As you are guided to your table you will walk past the very busy open kitchen. There is a lot of frantic activity which is a lot of fun to watch.
Whilst the theming is a bit of a stretch that really isn’t the issue. The food just isn’t as good as it should be,
However, I do have to say that on our last visit I was impressed with how the chef prepared a special vegan version of the Mozzarella and Tomato Salad. Disney is excellent with any special dietary requests that you have. It can often be difficult to be trusting in restaurant situations when you have allergies or dietary requests but at Disney, you know that you are in safe hands.
The chef will always come out and talk to you personally. Frank, the chef who came to talk to us at Mama Melrose was very helpful.
For my vegan daughter, he adapted the Mozzarella and Tomato Salad to a very nicely presented Tomato Salad and sent out lots of dishes of nuts for protein. A nice touch I thought. The tomatoes were good and were actually very tasty – something which often you simply don’t find these days.
The portions of the entrees were larger than I expected them to be and we really could have shared. The cappuccino to finish was pretty good for a Disney restaurant.
Mama Melrose Menu Hollywood Studios
The menu and prices are the same for lunch and dinner.
Mama Melrose Appetizers
- Crispy Calamari – Served with Sottaceto Misto, Spicy Aïoli, and Charred Lemon $14.00
- Mama’s Caesar Salad – Fresh Romaine Lettuce, House-made Caesar Dressing, Herb Croutons, and Parmesan $11.00
- House-made Italian Meatball – With Marinara, Fresh Ricotta, and Basil $12.00
- Minestrone Soup – with Ditalini Pasta $8.00
- Vine-ripened Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella – Balsamic Drizzle, Olive Oil, and Sweet Basil Leaves $10.00
- Margherita Flatbread – Fresh Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Mozzarella, House-made Marinara Sauce, Fresh Basil, and drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil $15.00
Mama Melrose Entrees
- Charred Strip Steak – Four-Cheese Macaroni with Pancetta, Aged Balsamic-Shallot Butter, and Chianti Wine Reduction $33.00
- Polenta Cake, Mushroom and Herb Cauliflower – Polenta layered with Sautéed Mushroom, Spinach, and Red Pepper with a Cashew-Cheese Sauce $19.00
- Oven-baked Chicken alla Parmigiana – Breaded Chicken Breast with Marinara Sauce topped with Melted Mozzarella over Spaghetti $25.00
- Shrimp Campanelle – Sautéed Shrimp and Campanelle Pasta tossed in a Four-Cheese Sauce with Cauliflower, Sun-dried Tomatoes, fresh Spinach, and Sweet Onions $25.00
- Mama’s Italian Pasta– Spaghetti tossed with Roasted Garlic, Tomato, fresh Basil, and Asiago-Herb Crostini $19.00
- Spaghetti and Meatballs – with House-made Marinara, garnished with Pecorino Romano Cheese and Parsley $22.00
- Sustainable Fish (Market Price) – with Pappardelle Pasta tossed with Puttanesca Sauce and Grilled Asparagus
Mama Melrose Desserts
- Tiramisu – Layers of Mascarpone and Espresso soaked Lady Fingers topped with Cocoa Powder and Whipped Cream $8.00
- Traditional Cannoli – House-made creamy Cannoli Filling with a hint of Citrus and dusted with Cocoa Powder $7.00
- Gelato – Choice of Chocolate or Vanilla $6.00
- Chocolate and Cherry Tort – Made with Ghirardelli ® Creamy Chocolate infused with Morello Cherries served with Cherry Coulis topped with Whipped Cream $7.50
- Lemon Sorbet, A No Sugar Added Sorbet $6.00
Mama Melrose Specialty Kids Appetizers
- Garden Salad $3.00
- Vegetarian Minestrone Soup $3.00
Kid’s Create Your Own Entrees
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce – $11.00
- Cheese Pizza – $10.00
- Grilled Chicken Breast $10.00
- Spaghetti or Penne with Meatballs and Marinara $11.00
- Chicken Parmigiana over Spaghetti $11.00
All are served with a choice 2 Selections of Small Low Fat Milk, Small Dasani® Water, or Small Minute Maid® Apple Juice.
- Green Beans and Carrots
- Sliced Apples
- Whole Grain Pilaf
- Sauted Zucchini
- Ice Cream Sundae
- Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcake
Mama Melrose has an extensive wine, cocktail, and specialty drink list.
Have you ever dined in Mama Melrose in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.