A Delicious Dinner at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios is home to a hidden gem of a restaurant, tucked way back in the Streets of America section of the park. Of course, we're talking about Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano. This popular Italian restaurant was recently added to my "must-dine here" list thanks to an exceptional dining experience last November.

A new favorite spot for dinner!A new favorite spot for dinner!

If you aren't familiar with Mama Melrose's you'll find the restaurant near Muppet Vision 3D. The backstory for the restaurant is odd to say the least. According to legend, Mama was an aspiring actress who spent her time cooking for friends while waiting for her big break. And while she didn't become famous for her acting she is well-known for her cooking skills.

The decor of the restaurant is a mix of Hollywood and Italian kitchen, and it's all rather kitschy. On our visit last November the restaurant was teeming with guests so it was really difficult to get a good look at the themeing.

The waiting area and podium at Mama Melrose'sThe waiting area and podium at Mama Melrose's

If you happen to have an Advance Dining Reservation on a busy night you might find yourself standing outside the restaurant with a buzzer in hand. Trust me when I say this option is much better than standing inside with no "personal bubble" of space. Plus, you can check out the menu that's posted on the outside wall.

The dining room area is spacious and doesn't feel crowded, even if you're a party of 10. The walls of the dining room are covered with fun decor including old school vinyl records.

The night we dined at Mama Melrose's was a very busy night, right in the middle of Thanksgiving week. The park was full of guests headed to The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and this meant the restaurant was buzzing with guests. Our waitress seemed a bit flustered (especially after dumping an entire tray of drinks on several of us) but she recovered nicely and the service was wonderful.

A cozy seating area with fun themeing!A cozy seating area with fun themeing!

I was impressed with the way they handled my daughter's food allergies, quickly bringing the restaurant's food allergy menu. This menu featured about nine entrees, four flatbreads, seven appetizers, and all the "regular menu" desserts plus two non-dairy ice cream options. Each item on the menu listed what allergies the item was safe for (ex: Safe for peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and dairy).

One minor misstep: the waitress said the Chicken Parmigiana was safe but when she delivered it to me she said "Oh, don't let your daughter eat this. The breading has sesame seeds in it." So, if you have an allergy to sesame seeds you'll want to avoid the Chicken Parm. Just a word of caution.

The most popular item at our table was the Charred Strip Steak served with Five-Cheese Baked Macaroni, Aged Balsamic-Shallot Butter, and a Chianti Wine Reduction. Five out of 10 members of my group ordered the steak.

Charred Strip Steak is a must-order item!Charred Strip Steak is a must-order item!

I will admit that I wish I would have ordered it too. The macaroni and cheese was divine and the steak was pretty amazing too. I know what I'll be ordering next time I visit.

Two members of our group ordered the Fish of the Day and spent the rest of the meal raving about how amazing it was. The shrimp risotto served with the fish was also a big winner that night. The Chicken Parmigiana was OK but it wasn't anything I'd hurry back to order. But that steak...I will be ordering that!

Chicken Parmigiana at Mama Melrose'sChicken Parmigiana at Mama Melrose's

The kids in our group were looking forward to ordering the spaghetti and meatball cupcake but our waitress said they had changed the cupcake, making it much smaller than before. She actually advised against ordering it because in her opinion it wasn't very good anymore.

So the kids settled for ice cream sundaes. My dessert choice was cannoli and sadly it was another miss. I should have taken the suggestion of our server and picked the Ghirardelli Chocolate and Cherry Tort. Someone else at our table ordered that and it was delicious.

Overall, dinner at Mama Melrose's was memorable and delicious. The staff was attentive and went out of their way to make sure we had a lovely experience. We highly recommend this spot for lunch or dinner. Mama Melrose's is one table credit on the Disney Dining Plan and we strongly recommend making Advance Dining Reservations.

Is Mama Melrose's on your "must dine here" list when you're at Disney's Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments.

Many thanks to the Disney Food Blog for use of their photos.

LouisianaMike wrote on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 14:48:

LouisianaMike's picture

I decided to go ahead and book it for our up and coming trip next week (05-14 February 2016). This'll be our first time at this restaurant, so thanks for the review. It definitely helped in my decision on what food to order and not to order. I'll definitely take your advice and order the charred Strip Steak, although I've already heard great things about this plate.. It looks wonderful and ooh that Mac n Cheese!! I can't wait to give Mama's a try.. Thanks again..


Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!!

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 14:54:

Kristen K.'s picture

I've never eaten here but it looks good :-)

Marc wrote on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 20:58:

Marc's picture

I miss the Citizens of Hollywood that used to roam the restaurant -- made the restaurant feel special!

Janelle Brookman wrote on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 21:16:

Janelle Brookman's picture

I have always had a good experience. I enjoy the flatbreads and always start with Fresh Mozzarella and Vine-ripened Tomatoes

Sean wrote on Wed, 03/15/2017 - 19:25:

Sean's picture

We went to MM's this past June and had one of the best meals we've ever had. I had the Steak with 5 Cheese Mac, Wife and son #1 had Chicken Parm and son #2 had Spaghetti & Meatballs. Calamari and salad for appetizer. The steak was literally one of the best I have ever had. Perfectly medium rare, fantasitcally seasoned and that 5 cheese baked macaroni is magical. Wife and son #1 LOVED the chicken parm and they're both picky as heck !! He even liked the Calamari with all the dipping choices. Son #2 still raves about the spaghetti 9 months later ! LOL... It was pretty busy so you'll absolutely want to make reservations early on this one. One table service credit on the dining plan. I would SUPER recommend Mama Melrose's.

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