Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante is a southern Italian-inspired table service restaurant in the Edison Complex in Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs. Officially open to guests in January of this year, it’s the new kid on the block, but it’s making a lot of noise with its classy theming and solid eats.
Maria and Enzo have transformed an abandoned airline terminal into an airy, bold restaurant with soaring ceilings and plenty of mood lighting.
Sounds weird, right? Yeah, well, it kind of is. But I was super impressed with how nice the dining room felt with all that S P A C E!
The dining room is wide open, with seating available at both tables and booths and on two levels. A colorful mural of travel destinations encircles the room, and a metallic globe anchors the space from above.
Upholstery in the booths and carpeting throughout the space lend some bold color to the space as well.
The menu at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante is just as colorful on the outside — but offers southern Italian staples on the inside.
Start by perusing the massive — seriously massive — wine list.
If wine doesn’t put the wind beneath your wings, there are tons of drinks to consider, including Daily Flights which is just so clever.
We told you about the Rainbow Punch that Maria & Enzo are serving through the month of June (and perhaps a bit longer, we hear!). With colors like that, I had to give it a try. It’s fun and fruity — but whether or not it goes with the classic Italian meal, I’m not too sure. That said, WHAT MEAL DOESN’T GO WELL WITH GUMMY ROBOTS!??
When you’re ready for eats, the menu isn’t so overwhelmingly large. There are a few options in each category: Antipasti and Soup, Salads, Pasta, and Main Courses. On our first visit, we enjoyed some small portions of the Rigatoni “Norma” and the Spaghettie & Meatballs, as well as a Vegetable Lasagna that’s no longer on the menu.
Meals at Maria & Enzo’s start with complimentary bread — rustic Italian bread and golden focaccia. I received a round of butter and a plate of olive oil with the bread this time.
The bread is seriously good, with the focaccia being the winner for flavor and the Italian bread the winner for homey-ness.
I ordered the delicious Caciocavallo Fritto to start. These fried Sicilian cheese fritters were a big hit on my first visit, and they did not disappoint. The sauce is a Spicy Tomato Sauce, and it’s killer.
The cheese is creamy despite being on the dryer side, and in the fritter, it’s irresistible. Such a great way to start the meal. (And I still think that spicy sauce would be terrific to dunk the bread in, so consider making that request when you dine here!)
For my pasta course, I ordered the Three Cheese Ravioli at the suggestion of my server…who was from Italy. The titular cheeses are Parmesan, smoked pecorino, and ricotta, and they impart a standard cheese ravioli flavor. That’s to say, they aren’t anything special, but if you’re looking for a standard cheese ravioli, this will fit the bill.
The colors on the plate are pretty fantastic, though, owing to that Almond Pesto and the bright Tomato Sauce.
In fact, the almond pesto was pretty tasty and added the only slightly unusual flavor to the plate. (If you or your picky eater don’t care for pesto, feel free to request this without.)
The Chicken Parmesan was my Main Course, and it is huge! This frisbee-sized Fried Chicken breast is crispy and delicious, particularly with the Tomato Sauce and melted Parmesan Cheese.
It’s kind of hard to go wrong with that combination of components, but this is a decent version of Chicken Parm. The chicken was a bit dry and overcooked, sadly; but the flavors were spot on.
And because it’s so huge, it’s definitely share-able. Vegetarians note that there’s an Eggplant Parmesan on the menu that I expect would also be delicious.
We’ve heard from some DFB readers that Maria & Enzo’s service is a little hit or miss, but on my visit, the service was good. Between the vibrant atmosphere, the solidly tasty eats, and the decent service, I feel confident saying that Maria and Enzo have established a good restaurant.
But there’s nothing here that really makes it stand out, and with so many new and interesting options in Disney Springs, it’s hard to imagine returning to the Ristorante very often. My picks in Disney Springs are still Morimoto Asia, Raglan Road, and Homecomin’!
What’s your favorite new dining location in Disney Springs? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!