Join me in welcoming back Werner Weiss from Yesterland with his take on the Pizza and Beer Pairing at Via Napoli that he attended on October 11th! Interestingly, his menu was different from our menu, so it will be fun to get a comparison!
One of the new premium events for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the Italy Food & Beer Pairing at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, the restaurant that opened at the back of Epcot’s Italy pavilion in August 2010.
The event is held each Tuesday for the six weeks of the Festival form 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The cost is $50 per person, which includes the gratuity, plus sales tax. Theme park admission is required.
Here’s how Disney’s official Food & Wine Festival website describes the event: “A representative discusses the pairing of pizza with regional Italian beers.” Based on the official description, I assumed that there would be several types of fancy pizza, each served with an Italian beer and a short lecture. Instead, it turned out to be a four-course meal, as shown in the accompanying photos. The event was much better than I expected.
The pizza was an individual, three-part pizza. Each part was delicious, with the carciofi (artichoke) part as the highlight. Another couple at our table was back for a second week because they enjoyed the first week so much. They had been told that only the pizza would carry over from week to week, but that the other three courses would be different. And that’s exactly how it was.
After the event, I realized this was my first experience with beer from Italy, a country better known for wine and spirits than beer. The beers were served in stemmed glassware. Each beer was different and seemed to go well with the food course. I enjoyed all four. I accepted several re-pours offered by the attentive servers. I would gladly drink any of these beers again.
The event was festive and well presented. It was held in a cheerful private room with a view of Tutto Italia and the entrance to Via Napoli.
My compliments to Presenter Gabriele Uberti, Executive Chef Charlie Restivo, and the excellent staff of servers and chefs in the kitchen.
Did you attend an event at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Which one is worthy of doing again next year? Let us know in the comments below!