Cafe D’Antonio – Celebration – Orlando – Italian Restaurant Review
From our base near Four Corners, just along the 192, Celebration’s beautiful waterfront location seemed the perfect option for our lunchtime visit to Antonio’s second restaurant in the Orlando area.
The Front Street in Celebration is just about as idyllic as you can imagine, and this charming recreation of the ‘perfect American town’, has a little bit of a buzz going on amongst the shops and restaurants along the lake front. No matter how many times we visit Celebration, you can’t help smile as you get out of the car and stare in wonder at the one time Disney creation.
With lots of street parking and walkways in and around the picturesque front street area, visitors to Cafe D’Antonio have no complaints as they head to the restaurant.
Inside, during daytime, the main area of the restaurant might seem a little dark and uninviting, but by evening time, the natural outdoor light and indoor light balances nicely and makes it much more inviting. As an alternative, most lunchtime guests head over to the separate windowed area of the restaurant for a brighter and more up-beat sitting area for lunchtimes. We’d suggest booking these tables in advance during daytimes.
The service is good at Café D’Antonio, and the Menu quickly fills diners with an expectation of great things. With a wide selection of traditional Italian dishes, including; meat, fish, pastas, calzone and pizza alongside daily specials, there’s an assurance of something that will suit your taste.
The fresh bread and flavoured dipping oil might not seem to be something you’d normally take note of, but here, it’s different. It’s the best.
Any restaurant must be judged by the quality of the food courses however, and here Café D’Antonio seemed to be a little ‘mixed’ during our visit. The appetisers were good, and well prepared, with the stuffed mushrooms being the best choice from our group.
Apart from the outstandingly good Pizza, the main courses were however a stunning disappointment. We all wanted this to be a great place (not something you’d normally hope for during a review!), yet it seemed that the glowing reputation that Antonio’s Maitland restaurant enjoyed, had not been deserved here at Celebration. Perhaps it was an ‘off day’, but out of 4 adults meals, only one arrived at the table hot enough to enjoy. The other four were touch warm. The vegetables were well prepared and seasoned and the roast potatoes were a great choice, however, not greatly appetising when cold!
Portion sizes are often controversial, and we are definitely comfortable with smaller portions at ‘fine dining’ spots, but Café D’Antonio sits somewhere nearer good food than fine dining, making the portion sizes look tiny in the case of the veal and fish dishes.
In the fiercely competitive restaurant market, it’s not good enough to offer cold food, particularly when you head to a restaurant that aims to be well above the mark.
We do realise that restaurants have those kind of days, so we will go back and check things out again soon, but for now, we feel that the Cafe D’Antonio needs to improve to retain our recommended rating at Celebration.