Quick Bites: First Taste at Via Napoli

August 9, 2010

The constructions walls have come down, and the highly anticipated new restaurant in Epcot’s Italian pavilion, Via Napoli is open to the Disney dining public. Along with some great friends, I had to opportunity to sample some of the fare there this weekend.

Just in case there was any doubt - the restaurant IS air-conditioned...

I first met up with Miss Bonnie, then we joined Mr Main Street Gazette Ryan and the  Lovely and Talented Aileen and the Senior Mr. Wilson (who is a man cut from the same cloth as I in his love for cocktails…). This not-too-motley crew made our way to the rear of the courtyard in Italy to put our names in and shortly we were seated.

Being the man that I am I started by ordering an adult beverage – a mug of what the menu noted as “NOW DEBUTING ONLY AT VIA NAPOLI”, La Rossa beer. Described as  “amber-colored double malt Italian lager” the brew was tasty and full-flavored without being overly heavy or strong tasting… I did later have to order a second just to be sure I liked it… I did…

La Rossa

Being an aubergine fan, I ordered the eggplant salad appetizer, Caponata alla Siciliana for the table to share. This combo of eggplant, olives, capers, tomato and raisins seemed to be well-received by all at the table, and I particularly liked it.

Caponata alla Siciliana

Since the pizzas are what this restaurant is really hanging it’s hat on, we decided to each order one of the individual sizes so that we could all sample a good variety of their offerings… soon our table was filled with Ortolano, Piccante, Carciofi, Pepperoni and Prosciutto de Melone pies.

Ortolano - tomato, mozzarella, vegetables

Piccante - Italian Spicy Sausage, brocolli-rabe, tomato, mozzarella

Carciofi - artichoke, pecorino, mozzarella, truffle oil (you had me at truffle oil...)

Pepperoni - spicy pepperoni, tomato, mozzarella

Prosciutto E Melone - fontina, mozzarella, pecorino, prosciutto, cantaloupe. An interesting take on a traditional combo.

In short, we all really thought these were pretty great, with the Carciofi (which our server said was his favorite) and Piccante being chosen by our palates as the two favorites on our table.

Prices here are not exactly modest, the “individual” pizzas here are a whopping $16.00 each… that being said, the portions here are typically “Disney-generous” – we all agreed that two people could easily order one or two appetizers and spilt one of the individual pizzas and have more than a satisfying meal, especially for lunch. So if you go in knowing the portion sizes and are willing to split/share without too much bloodshed, the prices here aren’t as exorbitant as they may seem on the surface for many of the items on the menu.

The service was excellent, with our server seeming truly proud of the food and honestly interested in how we enjoyed our meals. He made a point of asking how we liked their pizzas as compared to “American” pizza…

Miss Bonnie loves a man with an accent...

All the staff of course are “real” Italians – mostly young and energetic.

All in all we were very pleased with our first trip, and I’m actually looking forward to visiting again and trying more of the menu – here’s hoping the next trip to Via Napoli will be as good as the first!

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