When: October 27, 2015, 4 PM
Alfresco Tasting Terrace is a (mysteriously) hard-to-find table-service restaurant in the Pacific Wharf section of California Adventure. The entrance is – and I swear I am not making this up – a poorly-marked staircase right behind the reception desk for Wine Country Trattoria. (Yes, really.) Just stroll over to the Trattoria, walk up to the hosts, and then … keep walking. Go up the stairs, hang a right, and you’re there. (Half the time I do this, I feel like I just took the secret passage from the Conservatory to the Lounge.)
Alfresco Tasting Terrace is fundamentally a wine bar, and serves a nice selection of wines that have a connection to Disney (e.g., wines from John Lasseter’s or Kurt Russell’s wineries). The wines range in variety and price, and there’s some pretty good stuff in the cellar.
The Tasting Terrace also has a small food menu, primarily share-able items that pair well with wine. There’s flatbread, bruschetta, and today’s choice: the Charcuterie and Cheese Board.
For your $12 you get two meats (chorizo, prosciutto), three kinds of cheese (goat, fontina, blue cheese), a smattering of marinated veggies (olives, mushrooms), candied walnuts, and some bruschetta-ish crackers.
Overall? This is a hit. The quality of all the ingredients is high, and the presentation is excellent. It’s a great snack tray. Recommended, for sure.
In terms of specifics: the marinated veggies are wonderful. The meats are top-quality. The cheeses are fine, but much milder than I like – especially the blue (I love strong blue cheese). The candied walnuts are OK, but tasted a tad burned to me. And the bruschetta-ish cracker things don’t add a single thing to the conversation, and can be safely ignored.
I like the Terrace because it’s secluded, rarely busy (nobody can find it!), and has comfortable outdoor seating with spectacular views of Cars Land and Pacific Wharf. This is a great place to put up your feet, get a glass of wine, recharge your phone with a Mophie pack, and split appetizers with good friends.
Just remember: it’s the staircase behind the Wine Country Trattoria greeters. You heard it here first.