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Epcot Via Napoli Media Preview…Review

Thanks to Amanda Tinney of Disney Every Day for sending over her report of the Via Napoli media preview! For pics of the restaurant’s decor and atmosphere, check out our First Look! photos! Take it away, Amanda!

I don’t know about you, but for me and my family pizza is something that we order when there are no groceries in the house or we are crunched for time and don’t feel like cooking. It’s not something that we actively seek out, which is strange considering the fact that my hubby is Italian with a grandmother that came to the US from Sicily.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening for Epcot’s newest dining experience, Via Napoli in World Showcase’s Italy Pavilion. Being the huge Disney fan that I am, I’m ashamed to admit that I may have never tried the new pizzeria if not invited to the event, but after sampling some of the cuisine, I will be back for sure.

Knowing that I would be writing this post for the Disney Food Blog I just HAD to take a sample of everything that was offered to me so that I could report directly to YOU the Disney Foodie Fans! The things I must do for you… :)

Upon entering the restaurant we were offered an array of beverages. The first thing I grabbed was a glass of Sangria (Glass $8; Pitcher $19). I am not a wine drinker so my opinion is from a very non-sommelier perspective. The Sangria was… ‘good.’

Sangria - Glass $8; Pitcher $19

I also sampled the Fantinel Borgo Prosecco, which is a sparkling wine. It was light and slightly fruity. I could have probably gone for another glass of this. Can you tell I’m a beer drinker?

Via Napoli Fantinel Borgo Prosecco

I hesitantly took a glass of the Limonata Acqua Fresca ($5 for a 14 oz glass).

Via Napoli Acqua Fresca Limonata

Lemonade will sometimes give me a belly ache and make me even more thirsty that I was to start, but this one did not. It was delicious! Via Napoli also serves up Blood Orange and Strawberry Acqua Fresca. The following photo is just to illustrate what the beverages will look like; this was set-up for the preview only.

Via Napoli Acqua Fresca Trio of Limonata, Blood Orange and Strawberry

Bring on the appetizers! First up…Arancini. Arancini are fried risotto balls filled with mozzarella cheese with a meat ragu ($10) and are served with a pomodoro sauce. I have made these at home but with regular rice instead of risotto and salami instead of beef. These were small and delicious with the sauce. If you run out of sauce you may find these to be a bit bland.

Arancini

My favorite thing by far was the Fritto Misto. Finally…a dish on Walt Disney World property with SALT!!!! Many of the dishes here at WDW seem to be lacking in the sodium chloride I love so dearly. Not this. The Frito Misto is an assortment of fried seasonal vegetables, fish and cheese to be shared by the table ($24) Ours were served to us in paper funnels (for the preview).

Via Napoli Fritto Misto

Jackpot in my funnel! I was able to sample the calamari (squid rings), zucchini and carciofi. OMG…the carciofi was the ULTIMATE! “I’ll take an entire funnel full please!” Carciofi is basically an artichoke heart. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If you order the Fritto Misto you may get any of the following: Arancini, mozzarella, calamari, melanzane (eggplant), asparagi, zucchini and/or carciofi.

Via Napoli Fritto Misto (left to right calamari, zucchine and carciofi)

On to the Wood-Fired Authentic Pizza Napolentana! The menu describes the pizza as: Caputo flour imported from Naples, San Marzano tomatoes, handmade fior di latte mozzarella, water from our own wells identical to the water found in Naples to make our pizza as authentic and delicious as that found on the streets of Naples. (Individual $16; Large $27; 1/2 Meter to Share $36)

Our table was able to sample four different varieties. Girl Scout’s Honor, I tried every single one…just for you =)

Amanda Tinney sampling pizza at Via Napoli

What was our favorite? It was a tie between the Margherita and the Quattro Formaggi.

Via Napoli Large Margherita Pizza

The crust on this pizza is great. The Margherita is simple and full of flavor and topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and large pieces of basil. I LOVE basil. My family does not but the pieces were big enough to be picked off easily. The tomato sauce was light and delicious. Here’s a closer view…

Via Napoli Margherita Pizza Slice

These pizzas are made in a wood fired oven which gives them a fantastic flavor. They do not run through an electric oven on a conveyor belt. I wanted to take a pic of the bottom of the pie considering that this is Walt Disney World and some children may have a problem with the bottom side of the crust. This didn’t bother me in the slightest but I just wanted to give the parents of picky eaters a heads up.

Pizza Crust

The other fan favorite was the Quattro Formaggi or Four Cheese. This is a sauceless pizza topped with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina and provolone cheeses and seasoned with luscious garlic.

Via Napoli Quattro Formaggi

The photos don’t do this cheesy masterpiece justice. Here’s a closer look at the Four Cheese…

Via Napoli Four Cheese Pizza Slice

Next up…is the Carciofi which is another sauceless pie topped with artichoke, pecorino, mozzarella and truffle oil. I had a hard time believing that there were actually artichokes on this pizza. It tasted like green beans and was not one that I would order again. Don’t get me wrong, I love green beans but this one was just *meh*.

Via Napoli Carciofi Pizza Slice

And the most popular pizza in America has got to be topped with this…Pepperoni!

Via Napoli Pepperoni Pizza

I was still dreaming about the Quattro Formaggi pizza, but how can you go wrong with pepperoni? Two thumbs up!

Via Napoli Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Although I didn’t get a sample of this, I snapped a picture of what looked like the Lasagna Verde ($20) which contains spinach, parmesan and besciamella.

Via Napoli Lasagna Verde

Hold the phone! It’s time for dessert!

Feast your eyes on the Zeppole di Caterina ($10) which are ricotta cheese fritters served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Via Napoli Zeppole di Caterina

For the preview we were not offered the whipped cream and chocolate sauce and our fritters were dusted with powdered sugar. (Editor’s Note: Check out a pic of the Zeppole with chocolate and cream here.) I had a hard time trying to find the ricotta in this dessert. It looked exactly like a donut hole and tasted precisely like kettle corn. If you’ve never had kettle corn before, think sweet popcorn. I now have to go back and try it with the chocolate and cream so I can experience a different flavor profile. These bite size beauties can be addictive. Once you pop, you can’t stop.

Via Naploi Zeppole

Another one of my favorite desserts is Tiramisu and this one didn’t disappoint. The Via Napoli Tiramisu ($8) is made with mascarpone cheese, espresso coffee, lady fingers and chocolate. We joked that the chocolate art topping had gold lips printed on it but they were actually coffee beans. Tiramisu = Outstanding.

Via Napoli Tiramisu

For guests with food allergies, the restaurant also offers gluten free brownies as a dessert.

Via Napoli Gluten Free Brownie

A manager told us that they can attempt to make gluten free dishes if given advanced notice but warned that there is flour “flying all over the kitchen”.

And the sleeper hit of the dessert service….Gellato Frizzante. The gellato frizzante ($9) made with San Pelligrino’s “Aranciata” (orange soda) and vanilla gellato topped with whipped cream and garnished with mint and a chocolate straw.

Via Napoli Gelato Frizzante

The overall experience of dining at Via Napoli was good food and good fun. I would definitely eat here again. My next meal…Fritto Misto Appetizer, Quattro Formaggi Pizza and the Gelato Frizzante for dessert. Have you tried Via Napoli yet? What did you think?

Thank you Amanda!! You can check out our other coverage of Epcot’s newest restaurant here on our Via Napoli post. Also, check out these other great reviews of the restaurant: Jess’s Via Napoli Review, Gloria’s Via Napoli Review. To see photos of the restaurant’s decor and atmosphere, check out our First Look Via Napoli! photos. And click here to see the full Via Napoli menu!

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19 Comments

  1. Dana says:

    Mmmm….every review of this place makes me want to go MORE and MORE!!

    I was so excited to read that they can make a gluten free pizza for you. My sister has a gluten intolerance (by no means celiac), but my parents were excited to hear that they can attempt a pizza for her. This is helping in my quest to get them to go for free dining in January!

  2. Griffin says:

    Great review! I really like the looks of the four cheese or “White” pizza. We get that around here at our local pizza place quite often! The tiramisu looks a little funky, reminds me of the worms in dirt dessert for kids, :P Still though, i’m just not 100% sold on getting pizza around the World Showcase, too many other choices win out for me!

  3. Gray says:

    OMG, everything looks SO good! But seriously, are you saying there is no single-portion size of the frito misto? So I, as a solo traveler, would not be able to order it? That would just break my heart.

  4. Ashley says:

    MMMMMM…so yummy looking!!! I’m going to WDW next Thursday and plan on making a stop at Via Napoli. Thanks for the reviews on the different kinds. This will definitely help when ordering.

  5. James (Disneynorth) says:

    The one comment that made me go, “huh?” was: “Many of the dishes here at WDW seem to be lacking in the sodium chloride I love so dearly.”

    Amanda has obviously not eaten at Coral Reef. Ugh…. Too much salt!!!

  6. chris says:

    Wow. That would have made me so happy. Good point on the bottom side of the crust. My oldest is picky. Will keep that in mind.

  7. jill says:

    Just made my ADR because of those zeppole! Wowzer!

  8. tperlmutter says:

    Just wanted to comment that despite their gluten free desert option (something you can walk into any counter service on property and buy btw, so it’s nothing special), they absolutely do not have any means to modify anything in the restaurant to support a gluten free diet. You have to make due with what’s already on the menu, and there is really only one choice: eggplant caponata – basically a cold eggplant & sweet pepper mixture. It was really good, but not good as an only option.

    Seriously they told us point blank, “we do not do that.”

  9. Josh says:

    Wow, very enticing post! I love all of the wonderful pictures.

    It’s interesting that they have a variety of pizza, and it looks like Via Napoli has finally broken the Walt Disney World Resort of its pizza curse (such as Pizzafari and Pizza Planet) with some pretty decent pizza. If I ever get my father to Florida the words “sauceless” and “pizza” in the same sentence will have him dragging me to Epcot in no time!

    Out of all of these the Tiramisu looks the best. I had some Tiramisu a couple weeks ago for my birthday at this all-you-can-eat Italian place and everyone in my family was saying it had some sort of liquer in it and to not let me drive afterwards. Are the sticks that are coming out of the Tiramisu with the Coffee Beans on it actual chocolate?

    I like how Disney makes there Gluten-free food look normal and like every other food that comes out of their kitchen. Funny how they say there is “flour flying all over the kitchen” as I guess it’s predictable with all those pizzas being made.

  10. John M says:

    I can’t wait to try this to compare with Naples Ristorante in DL. The pizzas look similar (and its the same company) but I still gotta find out for myself (and we don’t have Zeppoli).

  11. Dana…manager told us that you would have to give advanced notice for gluten free options. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

    Griffin…thanks so much. I agree with you on the plethora of yummy temptation around World Showcase.

    Gray…They gave us a menu to take home and I just see the $24 serving of Fritto Misto. Don’t rule it out though. Wouldn’t hurt to ask for a smaller portion. If they get enough requests maybe they will add a single serving on to the menu.

    Ashley…Glad I could help…Mangia!

    James…Thanks for the recommendation. It’s officially on “the list”

    Chris…I hope you still give it a try.

    Jill…they should come with a warning they’re so good.

    Tperlmutter…Good to know. We specifically asked a manager about gluten free and she said that they would have to have advanced notice but that they could accommodate. Did you just walk in? Maybe someone else with a gluten allergy who has experienced Via Napoli can expand.

    Josh…be sure and save room for dessert =)

  12. CanadiansloveWDW says:

    will be at the world in 8 days. does anybody know how the pizza will work on the dining plan .. any help would be good… thanks

  13. AJ says:

    Canadians — Dining plan is one credit per person, so if you order one big pizza to share OR four smaller pizzas, it’s still one credit per person :-)

  14. James (Disneynorth) says:

    AJ, so you are telling me, that if there are 4 people at a table, we could order 4 large pizzas, and it only costs 4 Dining Plan Credits??? That’s crazy good! Leftovers to take back to the room for a midnight snack! LOL!

  15. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this detailed review! This is the first review I’ve read that they’ve actually clarified that the”tomatoes” on the margherita pizza is in fact tomato sauce. Hopefully there are no whole tomatoes. I am a “simple eater” and don’t like eating tomotoes whole or in chunks–just tomatoe sauce for me! Also, you gave a great description of the four cheese pizza. I think I’ll pass since there’s no sauce and I’m not a fan of garlic. Also, I would order the arancini if they gave you as many as your picture shows. Unfortunately, I belive they only give you 4, which is not worth the $10, in my opinion. Thanks again for the detailed review!

  16. Susanne says:

    Please, please don’t waste your money or time with this sub-par restaurant. We gave up our ressies at Tutto Italia to try the new spot. BAD idea. The spaghetti and meatballs was sauced with something straight out of a Ragu jar. The bread was absolutely inedible. The strawberry fresca was okay, but the tiramisu was actually good. Our bill for our family of 3 was $103.00. This was a rip off, even by Disney’s high pricing standards. If you have a choice between a can of Chef Boy R Dee and Via Napoli, spring for the $2.00 on the chef and save yourself $101.00.

  17. Alan says:

    Tutto Italia has become my favorite WDW restaurant for a couple of years and a great bargain on the DDP. And now a second less formal place right next door is unbelievable. Between the two I probably would eat in Italy four times in a seven day trip. If the pies are as good as they look my old NYC craving could be answered in Orlando. I live in NC now and after being here 20 years we just started getting decent pizza for the last 4-5 years.

  18. Ginny says:

    We at here in June 2013 during our stay and were just blown away. We were tired and figured we’d just get a quick pizza to eat, but were we ever surprised. We ordered a pizza and got half of the Quattro and half of the Carciofi. (if you order a large you can do this!) I was in absolute heave. The Quattro was amazing, but the Carciofi had me drooling and wishing I didn’t get full after two pieces. The wood fire adds so much flavor. You have to try this place.

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