Friday, October 28, 2011

My Long Awaited Lunch at Via Napoli

I’m so excited to finally be able to bring you this review!  I have been to Walt Disney World three times since Via Napoli opened last year, yet this is the first opportunity I’ve had to visit and enjoy this newest of Epcot’s Italian eateries for lunch.   Envisioned as a culinary tour of southern Italy, Via Napoli is the renowned Patina Groups’s homage to the art of the classic Neapolitan Pizza.

Situated at he back of Epcot’s Italy Pavilion Via Napoli the building doesn’t seem to quiet fit in with the rest of the pavilion to me.  The depth that most of the pavilions have seems to stop at this building’s façade.  Inside however the walls are pained in fresco and the archways and wood beamed ceilings soar high above.  This restaurant is rather notorious in the #DisneySMMoms community on twitter for being staffed with cute Italian boys, and I soon understood the obsession. 

Via Napoli Pizzeria Via Napoli Chandelier Geordon at Via Napoli

Down the center of the main room there sits an especially long center table used to seat large parties.  There is an open prep area and three massive stone pizza ovens dedicated to the volcanoes Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna that have the most unique and fearsome faces to them.  The menu highlights authentic pastas, salads, gelato and of course the famed Neapolitan, wood-fired pizza.

Main Table Via Napoli Via Napoli Ovens

I was really excited to try the Cocktails here.  Though it was very tempting to order the extraordinary cult favorite wine Rosa Regale, instead I decided to go with the Italian Margarita which is a blend of frozen limoncello and grappa.  Oh Italian Margarita, how I love your sweet and sour lemony goodness.  You have quickly become one of my Disney drink favorites.  Geordon decided to try the Blood Orange Aqua Fresca, which is not a cocktail but a delicious freshly made orange Italian soda which he found very light with an almost creamy texture.

Italian Margarita 2 Blood Orange Aqua Fresca

During this trip I was very excited to try the Italian dish called "Arancini."  Arancini are balls of rice stuffed with cheese or ragu, coated with breadcrumbs, then deep fried. They are said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century and I've been wanting to try some since the first moment I heard of them. I ordered arancini at Citricos the night before and was very disappointed, but the arancini at Via Napoli were everything that I hoped they would be. Fluffy rice mixed with creamy cheeses, deep fried and sitting in a plate of tomato sauce covered in Parmesan. I could eat these all week!  They were positively heavenly!  Geordon ordered the Salami e Provolone and declared it the best salami ever.

Salami & Cheese at Via Napoli Arancini Goodness

For his main course Geordon tried the Lasagna Verde, a very rich and creamy lasagna with spinach, parmesan and besciamella in a white sauce. It was very rich with a fantastic flavor and hint of spice. I ordered the Pizza Margherita, which had a wonderful crust and delicious sauce. I'm a sucker for fresh basil though and I thought that it could have used a little bit more. Neither of us was able to finish our plates due to the large portions of rich flavorful foods presented.

Geordon's Lasagna Verde
Pizza Margharita

Orange Cream Dessert!Dessert
I really wanted to order the Zeppole Di Catarina (Ricotta Cheese Fritters with whipped cream & chocolate sauce) but I just didn't have any more room in my tummy. Instead we went with the Gelatoand Italian Soda Floats.  Mine was Orange Creme and Geordon's was Cherry Vanilla, they were both heavenly!  And that's coming from a girl who doesn't usually like ice cream sodas.

Overall we had a very good experience at 
Via Napoli, 
the food was rich and flavorful, the staff was very attentive, the atmosphere was fun and inviting. 
I can't wait to go back again!

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