10Best List photo 10BEST says

Universal's Best Restaurants: This casual eatery at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is quaint and a bit evocative of Nonna's house, and that's the idea. Salty-wonderful antipasto, creamy Alfredo, brisket-piled spaghetti and ricotta infused gnocchi beckon (dieters might want to stay clear, the temptation is powerful here). Hearty peasant fare in the form of cacciatore stick to the ribs. Save room and you may be in for and molten chocolate lava cake or some such confection at the meal's close. Strolling musicians sing and play, wine flows, bellies fill. Save at least a little room for the bread; they bake the garlic cloves right into it.

Take Out: Creamy pastas, hearty meats and gooey desserts draw diners to this homey Italian restaurant. Mama, the quintessential hostess, welcomes you at the door, and old-timey musicians walk the dining room, evoking fun and laughter. Favorite dishes include chicken cacciatore, rack of lamb, frutti di mare with shrimp, scallops and grouper... but be sure to save room for dessert. After all, it's not every day that you're offered chocolate lasagna with blood orange sauce!

10Best List photo Insider Tips

Local Expert A.D. Thompson Says:

Universal's Best Restaurants: "The strolling musicians, the singers in particular can be charming. Or not. Depends on the decibel level and your tolerance, really. Just show up knowing they're there."

Best for Universal's Best Restaurants Because: The ample portions and warm atmosphere at MD's may conjure a memory or two of Nonna. If not, a custom cocktail might help the cause.

Dinner Menu

Primi Piatti
Piatto Principale
Mama's Piatto Tradizionale

Dessert Menu

Dolce Finale
Italian
Amaro
Aperitifs
Grappas
Around The World
Cognac
Ports

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