Dinner - Swan Resort
I have to start by saying I absolutely think this is the best Italian restaurant on property although I would have to say Via Napoli has my favorite pizza, the pasta dishes here just out rank the competition anywhere on property.
Going way back to when this location housed the once "fabulous" Palio (which we were very sad to see them close their doors), little did we know that Il Mulino would not only be as good but maybe even a little better…
On this particular Saturday evening we had an 8:00 advanced dining reservation but ended up arriving at 7:00 instead. I had called ahead to see if this would be ok and it was no problem. Most of the time they can even accommodate walk-in's but keep in mind if there is a conference going on during that time that may make it busier than usual.
When you walk into Il Mulino you pass through the lounge area first. The decor is very modern with a European flair, yet has that Italian Bistro feel to it as well. We only waited a few minutes before we were shown to our table which was to the right side of the restaurant in the main seating area.
I told the hostess we didn't want to sit in a side room because we had a bad experience in one of those one time we dined there. There was one other fairly large and very loud intoxicated group in the room they sat us in and at first it didn't seem so bad but the longer we sat the worse it got. We eventually asked to move to the main dining area which was not a problem but from now on I know it's best to just avoid the side rooms altogether if at all possible (unless we are part of a large group).
We were greeted by a few different servers. I believe there were supposed to be 2 that waited on us but it seemed to be more like 3 which was fine. Nice to have someone available as you need them.
The menu has quite a variety of selections for a signature dining restaurant. They also have "family style" options for parties of 4 or more which is a great way to taste various dishes.
The first item to arrive at our table which is complimentary is their Eggplant Tappanede which I've had before but this time it just seemed even better. It was so flavorful and robust.
It is served with a Pork Dried Sausage that is sliced thin (similar to pepperoni). Not only was it so fresh but it was so delicious. They serve a crusty bread along with some type of tomato bread. I enjoyed it on the crusty bread. Even though they've had this for a long time, I don't remember enjoying it so much;-)
The combination of the crisp bread topped with the salty sausage and the fresh tappanede had a burst of boldness in every bite, it was addictive! (I ended up eating it all myself! My daughter is just not into those worldly flavors...yet;-)
Naturally being an upscale Italian restaurant they have an extensive wine list as well and some very nice wines by the glass. I ordered a wonderful Pinot Grigio…it was the Masi, "Masianco" Pinot Grigio and Verduzzo, Veneto 2011 to be exact. It was crisp, smooth and refreshing which was exactly what I was looking for.
The first server who came to take our drink order seemed to be a little more attentive to me and almost ignored my daughter's request. He ended up spending more time with a large party which was fine because the 2 other servers that waited on us were much friendlier and more efficient. We didn't have to ask for water fills the rest of the time we were there. They were right on it.
We started with the Arancini. We actually had Arancini for the first time at Via Napoli in Epcot recently and really enjoyed it so my daughter was really looking forward to it. However the Arancini here is a bit different, while it was very good it is served with a fairly "spicy" sauce. I found it to be quite tasty but my daughter who is ultra sensitive to spice didn't care for it. Next time I would get it on the side.
The Arancini itself was crispy on the outside with a tender filling of risotto and potato inside. They were very good.
Next, I ordered the Insalata Trattoria which featured seasonal baby greens with fennel, carrots, red onions (which I skipped) and toasted pine nuts. I asked for the citrus vinaigrette which is a light, refreshingly superb dressing.
This a rather large salad but since most of it's made of the light seasonal baby lettuces so it's not so filling. I had no problem eating the entire salad (I'd have more difficulty eating a caesar salad of this size). I've had a version of this salad in the past. It is still similar with some a minor variation but just as good, but the dressing was better this time.
My daughter couldn't decide if she wanted pasta or chicken parmigiana. The nice thing is you have the option of just ordering a 1/2 portion of any of their pasta dishes on the menu. They also have a kid sized chicken parm entree but it is still a large portion however it is not served with a side or pasta.
We figured she could share some of my pasta. The last time we were there I ordered the Tortellini alla Panna which is amazing. I ordered the 1/2 portion and that was even large. While the chicken parm was good, it was a slightly dry. I think they pounded it a bit too thin this time, but it was still very flavorful and tender.
One of their signature dishes is the freshly made Pappardelle and I heard it was wonderful so I ordered it. The biggest mistake I made was…I only ordered the 1/2 portion! WOW...I just can't say enough about this pasta, it is amazing, absolutely…superb!! I never knew pasta with just sauce could be this divine, but it is!
It is freshly made pasta cut into ribbons, boiled in salted water just until al dente topped with a tangy and luscious freshly made tomato basil sauce, oh my, it was like heaven in a bowl!
The pasta is tender, yet has just a little "bite" to it and the sauce...let's put it this way, you could never find sauce like this in a bottle! I used the rest of my bread to suck up every last drop of that sauce!
My daughter was so disappointed she didn't order it as well so I know next time it will be a FULL portion of this possibly for each of us:-D But this pasta is just probably the best pasta I have EVER had! I salivate thinking about it LOL!! You must try this if you dine here, I so highly recommend it.
This was a fabulous meal. I absolutely love this place and think that they have the best Italian in the area. (did I already say that earlier;)? Their pasta dishes are just the "bomb" 😉
They have quite a nice selection of other options like meats, chicken, seafood and traditional Italian. They even serve family style options as well as I previously mentioned. I don't like to look at the menu unless I'm there because it makes me hungry.
After your meal they bring over a pitcher of Limoncello to help cleanse the palate and they even have a kid's version (called "lemonade";-)...the Limoncello was a little too tart for me but worth a try.
For dessert we went for the incredible Torta Di Cioccolati which is a flourless chocolate cake and it was...incredible! So rich and decadent served with home made whipped cream and amaretto cream or Zabaglione as they call it. It was heaven on a plate! Oh how we love this place and will surely be back!