The Orlando area offers a wide variety of fine dining venues and eating out at least once at a nice restaurant is something everyone should do when on vacation. It’s okay to treat yourself right every now and then, with fine dining an experience in itself. La Luce, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s signature restaurant was an amazing meal for my family on a recent trip to Walt Disney World. This modern Italian country kitchen was created by Napa Valley chef and restaurateur Donna Scala.
We celebrated being together as a family with a special dinner at this fine dining restaurant. Located on the main level of the Hiton Orlando Bonnet Creek, it’s a convenient venue before either hitting the parks for the night or lounging around the resort’s three acre lazy river. This isn’t just a family restaurant, as we didn’t observe any families with small children, but more groups of friends and couples. My two teens really enjoyed a meal that was a bit upscale than our normal family fare.
As we walked through this elegant, yet casual venue, we noticed inspiring original artwork hanging on the walls. The decor of the restaurant is fresh and contemporary, with a casual and relaxing feel.
La Luce is a combination of Italian tradition and California innovation. It’s comfort food with a contemporary twist. The menu is extensive, offering everything from gourmet pizza to entrees like braised lamb shank. The wide array of menu choices offers something for everyone in your party. It’s not hard to see why La Luce has won so many new restaurant awards. It’s amazing.
Starters – The kids ordered the Fritto Misto, which was calamari, rock shrimp, fennel, onions, green beans, and spicy aioli. It must have been tasty, because they ate the entire platter. I wanted to try the Olive Fritte, a bowl of fried spanish olives and marcona almonds. The olives were quite addictive! We all enjoyed a delicious caesar salad before the main course.
First Course – Like any good Italian restaurant, there’s the primi and secondi courses. Guests have the option of choosing one main course off either section of the menu, or go full out. I dined on the Risotto del Giorno which happened to be an Italian sausage risotto.
My daughter opted for the Ravioli with Bellwether Ricotta, pesto, topped with a tomato sauce.
Other options for a first course are Silk Handkerchiefs with pesto and Pecorino Romano, Paccheri con Bolognese or one of the many other offerings. There’s also a Bis or Tris pasta tasting shared by the table. First course choices are affordably priced from $17-$19 with the Bis or Tris from $22-$26 per person, depending on the number of pastas.
Second Course – If you’re looking for more than just a pasta dish or pizza, La Luce has amazing main dishes. My husband chose the grilled veal chop served with roasted potatoes, garlic, carrots, and a brown caper butter sauce. My son is a big fan of lamb dishes and chose the braised lamb shank with Tuscan bean ragu, roasted tomatoes, spinach, and mint Gremolata.
Other menu options include seared salmon filet, fish of the day, a chicken dish, and Bistecca Tagliata con Pizzaiola. Prices range from $25 -$38 for regular menu items in this section.
For the Little Diners – Not every member of a family has developed a mature palate, and that’s okay at La Luce. The Pasta per Bambini offers a choice of spaghetti (macaroni or whole wheat) with a tomato and cheese or Parmesan Cream sauce. This option is priced at $6.
Dessert – No meal is complete for my family without the dessert course. La Luce was a dream for us. Many fine dining restaurants limit their dessert menu to three or four choices. Not at La Luce. There are at least 10 items to choose from for indulging your sweet tooth. I’m a chocolate freak, but this time I chose a butterscotch pudding with homemade toffee. It was decadent and divine.
My daughter chose the Bostini Trifle which was filled with vanilla custard, chocolate cake, and almonds.
My son is a gelato fan and chose one of the house flavors while my husband went with a special dessert of the night, a mixed berry rustica. All desserts priced at $9 each.
Our family fine dining experience at La Luce at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek was a pleasant interlude during our visit to Walt Disney World. We spent a relaxing evening away from the crowds and had plenty of evening left to enjoy the swimming pool and a glass of wine poolside. As the resort quieted down for the evening, we could look across the golf course from our pool loungers and see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom.
Special thanks to La Luce and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for hosting my family’s dinner.