Tony's Town Square

Magic Kingdom

Review by Jack Spence
September 29, 2006

Editor's Note: As of October 1, we learned that Tony's changed their menus. There is now a separate dinner and lunch menu. In addition, a number of individual desserts are now served.

I have eaten at Tony's Town Square Cafe at the Magic Kingdom twice in the last month. Both times I have been disappointed. First, Tony's menu for both lunch and dinner is identical (including the prices) and only two entrees cost under $15. Most hover around $20 and above. (Note: As of October 1, 2006, there is a separate lunch menu.) This is a lot of money to spend for lunch. It's also a lot of money to spend for dinner when the food isn't very good.

The atmosphere is typical of what you'd expect from a theme park restaurant -- loud with lots of hustle and bustle. Tony's is neither a place for quiet or romantic (which one sometimes thinks of with an Italian bistro).

On my first visit, I had the spaghetti with meatballs in Tony's own tomato sauce for $18.99. Even though the meatballs were big, the sauce tasted like it came right out of a can. My dining companion had the Chicken Caesar Salad and he said that the chicken tasted like the pre-cooked, pre-packaged chicken you buy in the grocery store when you're not in the mood to cook.

Tony's Town Square
Tony's Spinach and Artichoke Dip
House Salad
Tony's Soup

Most recently I was part of a party of four.

A few of us started with Spinach Artichoke dip ($7.69), which was passable, with lots of cheese melted on top, and was accompanied by several slices of plain Italian bread. Another in our group tried the House Salad, which came with crispy fresh greens and a large bowl of dressing on the side.

I had the Grilled Salmon with risotto. I felt the salmon was tasty and the sauce it came with was good, but the risotto had been deep-fried and this made it taste more like hash-browned potatoes. Also, there was no vegetable offered.

Another in my party had the Eggplant Rotini - roulade of eggplant and ricotta, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese $19.49. Her complaint was similar to mine about the spaghetti and meatballs -- that the sauce tasted like it came out of a can. The cheese that was underneath the eggplant slices (not rolled, by the way, as the name implied), was very savory, she said, but at $20 for a helping of spaghetti, a few slices of eggplant, some ricotta cheese and tomato sauce (without any meat) she felt the dish was outrageously overpriced.

Salmon at Tony's
Eggplant Rotini at Tony's
Chicken Florentine at Tony's
Strip Steak at Tony's

Another in my party had the New York Strip Steak with roasted potatoes tossed in a warm pancetta vinaigrette, topped with red wine gorgonzola butter for $25.49 (the diner chose to order the steak without the mushrooms and caramelized onions). It was mostly dry, almost like compacted sawdust. The only redeeming quality was a stingy but tasty serving of the vinaigrette. After the entree arrived, a side of asparagus was requested and a generous portion provided.

The fourth person in the party had the Chicken Florentine -- topped with prosciutto, spinach, melted cheese, served with fennel mashed potatoes, and marsala mushroom sauce for $22.49. He felt that it was overcooked and tough. It also came with mashed potatoes (bland) and believe it or not, asparagus. Why the chicken warrants a vegetable and the salmon and steak don't, I'll never know.

There is only one selection on the dessert menu. It's a combination of three small portions, one each of Amaretto Cheesecake, Tiramisu, and Cannoli. There are NO substitutions. For instance, you cannot get two cheesecakes and one tiramisu. (Note: There is, as of October 1, 2006, a separate, more extensive, dessert menu.) A member of our group requested a sugar-free dessert, which the server went into the kitchen to check on. She came out to say none was available. Speaking of the server, she was pleasant and always kept our glasses filled with beverages. We thought we had a gem until she brought our dinner silverwear and plopped it all in the pile in one corner of the table.

Also, no complementary bread is served. If you want bread, you have to pay for it. Every street corner Italian restaurant I know serves you bread as soon as you're seated.

Overall, I feel that Tony's Town Square is extremely overpriced for lackluster food. We agreed that a better choice would be Crystal Palace or Liberty Town Square.