Looking for a little hideaway? Then Enzo’s your guy…
Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar and Restaurant is now officially open in Disney World’s Disney Springs, and we have a full review for you today.
Together with Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante and Pizza Ponte, Enzo’s Hideaway is the lounge option (which also offers full table service) within this trio of new Italian restaurants in Disney Springs. Like Maria & Enzo’s, the Hideaway is headed by Chef Theo Schoenegger. But the Tunnel Bar puts forth its own spin on Italian cuisine inspired by apertivo bars in Rome.
When you step inside Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, you’re entering a speakeasy in what are said to have once been rum-running tunnels with the story also inspired by the true Florida history of rum-running. (Hence, the Prohibition-era cocktails you’ll spot on the menu.)
Between this and Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, it’s clear that Enzo is one busy guy.
Let’s see what he’s been up to.
So, who exactly is Enzo? He is Maria’s husband, and together this immigrant couple from Italy ran a bakery in what was formerly the Air Terminal for Disney Springs. When the air terminal closed, they made a name for themselves in the town by opening up Pizza Ponte.
The success of their pizza-by-the-slice business allowed the couple to purchase the former terminal and transform it into Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.
So, I guess the next question, since it is a “Hideaway,” after all, is where is Enzo’s Tunnel Bar?
During the process of purchasing the terminal, Enzo came upon an area below the air terminal connected to the now-abandoned power plant next door (that would be The Edison).
He discovered the space which once served as a hideaway during the Prohibition’s dry years for a team of flying rum-runners. (“Nobody knows how dry I am..”)
These days, you can discover it, too, by entering a small “tunnel” to the check-in area.
The check-in area connects to a room that oozes of a bygone era.
Enzo decided to leave lots of the old details right where they were.
From the (one…and only) tunnel, you enter the main dining area, which is large and not at all tunnel-like. The graffiti walls still stand to tell some of the stories of times gone by.
You could spend some serious time taking in the details of signatures, drawings and quotes dating back to 1919.
It’s highly recommended that you stay a while and do some exploring of the walls… you may just find some words of wisdom (or, at the very least, some cool artwork).
With the decor from the past still in place, Enzo transformed the spot into a dining destination where he could serve his Italian family’s recipes. The space is lined with red booths that make it easy to imagine lounging for a while.
It’s complete with a bar (but, of course!), and seating for many modern day guests.
Guests include those who will be attending Enzo’s Sunday Supper at the large shared table (we’ll talk about this more a bit later).
And finally, there is a small walkway that eventually leads into The Edison…and the restrooms…which are in the Edison and not in the Hideaway. This is weird, in case you were wondering.
But we’ve already explored The Edison a bit (and we’ll do so again with our full review!). So, let’s stay right here and see what our new buddy Enzo has to offer.
When we first learned about the Tunnel Bar, we knew the lounge would highlight Prohibition-era and craft cocktails.
We also learned it would boast the largest selection of scotches and “antique” and specialty rums in Disney Springs, now known as “Enzo’s Smuggled and Stashed Collection.” (You can click any of the menu images to enlarge for easier reading.)
Enzo’s Stash is listed alongside the Martinis, Beer, Specialty Beverages, and Mocktails.
You can also look over the Wine List.
But the list goes on… Featured Drinks include Sangria, the Luciano Spritz, Housemade Lemonade, and Freshly Brewed Iced Tea.
Family Style drinks serving 2-4 guests are also available.
Our own selections of “Giggle Water” included the Strawberry Fields (in the forefront), the Limoncello Gimlet (garnished with thyme, according to the menu… but ours seemingly had a sprig of rosemary, not thyme), and the Luciano Spritz. Strawberry Fields features Bulleit Bourbon and Fernet Branca combined with strawberry syrup, lemon, ginger, and cucumber with the fruit flavors lending a softer edge to the strong liquors in the drink.
The Limoncello Gimlet (a must-try for me, due to the limoncello) is Nolet’s Gin and Caravella Limoncello with simple syrup, garnished with roasted thyme (according to the menu, but mine was definitely garnished with rosemary…). And the Luciano Spritz is a fruity wine cocktail with Solerno Blood Orange, Aperol, and Villa Sandi Prosecco with blood orange juice.
The drinks were decent and I like the variety of spirits offered. That’s one thing that Patina group is doing well with these new restaurants — the mixology is pretty on point. Note that you really need to stir up your spritz to get all of the flavors.
Now, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar was originally announced with exactly that name. The “and Restaurant” was added after that, since the spot would be serving much more than an extensive drink menu.
Enzo, you see, wanted to serve specialty dishes from Rome and nearby regions in Italy. All guests are poured their own olive oil dish from an oil can labeled “Beautiful oil for beautiful people.”
And on the menu, this Italian culinary tour begins with Dolce Vita — Meats and Cheeses and Antipasto — along with a selection of appetizers, soups, and salads.
The Salumi e Formaggi is comprised of Prosciutto (aged 24 months), a spicy Salame Piccante, and Finocchiana (flavored with fennel) for the meats.
Reggiano-Parmigiano (aged 24 months), Pecorino Romano, and Fontina Val d’Aosta are the cheese offerings. Olives, pickled vegetables, and breadsticks (in the Grissini packaging) complete the presentation.
This was excellent, though the Parmigiano and Romano cheeses were practically impossible to tell apart.
But this dish brings up an interesting point. I asked our server to let me know the difference in food philosophy between this location and, say, Patina group’s Italian restaurants in Epcot. He mentioned that he’d never been to Epcot and hadn’t eaten in the other restaurants (and, yes, we had pretty bad service on this visit), but that Hideaway was supposed to be more like you were being invited into someone’s home. He said that if you finished the items on your charcuterie, they would bring you more for free. I was surprised by this — free refills on your meat and cheese board? But perhaps at the price point of this restaurant that’s the least they can do.
Under the Antipasti selections we chose the Carciofi, which are fried Roman-style artichokes.
These were very good, and very easy to eat despite my having had trouble with fried artichokes in other restaurants. If you’re just getting one appetizer, go with something else. But if you’re a huge artichoke fan or looking for a decent vegetarian option, this one fits the bill.
The Suppli alla Romana is meat ragu inside of arborio rice cones.
I don’t see any cones (do you?), but these were basically giant risotto/arancini balls. Each was about the size of my fist. They were great, and this was probably the only dish that we wanted to finish entirely.
The Entree menu puts the spotlight on Roman pasta dishes; however, Secondi (meat and seafood dishes), have a place as well.
At the top of the list is Nonna’s Paccheri: it’s billed as large pasta tubes, braised shortrib, meatballs, and sausage in tomato gravy topped with “Nonna’s fonduta” (cream and cheese sauce). Here’s what I received:
It’s so unlike what I imagined from the description that I wasn’t even sure if I had been brought the correct dish. (Which, honestly speaking, the service I received was poor enough that it wouldn’t surprise me if I hadn’t received it after all.)
In any case, what I did get was not worth the $28 I paid for it. The pasta was severely al dente. I know it’s supposed to be al dente, but this was…basically…crunchy. The concept of the dish is a good one, but the portion was relatively small and I didn’t see too much of the promised short rib, meatballs, and sausage.
I fared better with the Bucatini alla Carbonara.
It’s a heavy, satisfying bowl of bucatini (which is beefaroni noodles — you know what I mean) with pecorino cheese and egg yolks combined with panchetta, then doused with black pepper. This was basically what you’d expect, and the pasta had slightly better texture here.
Of course, as with any Italian spot, it’s not hard for vegetarians to find more than a thing or two on the menu. For instance, the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe is similar to the Bucatini alla Carbonara, only without the panchetta and egg yolks. This, for all its simplicity, was the best entree of the night, by far. It had good flavor, texture, and portion size.
Finally, the Capesante is a Secondi dish of Diver scallops with cauliflower and an Italian sweet and sour sauce.
On the menu, they’re also listed with green beans, but my dish came with Brussels sprouts, which leads me to believe they’re still tweaking the menu a bit.
On this one, the scallops were pretty chewy and I didn’t get a lot of flavor from the sweet and sour sauce. It wasn’t something that I wanted to continue eating after the first bite.
The Dessert Menu offers a few traditional Italian desserts like Tiramisu and Cannoli. But it’s the Gelato and Sorbet that gets top billing, including the Coppe Gelati Sundaes.
And it’s gotta be said: they’re a pretty penny, with the Sundaes coming in a $14 a pop. We picked all three of the Gelato versions: the Amarena Sundae, the Cannoli Sundae, and the Doppio Panna Sundae.
Yep, each one is $14. But can you spy a difference? The one in the front is the Doppio Panna Gelati Sundae with hazelnut gelato and “double cream.” According to the manager, the use of “double cream” — as opposed to whipped cream — is why it’s so much smaller than the others, but still the same price. The cream was great, but this is not worth $14.
Fortunately, the Cannoli Gelati Sundae is more impressive.
Made of Crema Gelati topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream and garnished with orange candy, pistachio, and cannoli cookie bits, this is certainly shareable and much closer to what I expected, portion-wise. And it was pretty delicious.
The Amarena Gelati Sundae also has a Crema Gelato base with chocolate, and toppings include pistachio, whipped cream, and cherries. They aren’t listed on the menu, but Pizelle-style cookies also top the Amarena.
The real whipped cream used here is epic — truly delicious. And the size of these last two is certainly shareable, so $7 for a dessert is more palatable than $14. These will be a great value on the Disney Dining Plan for sure.
Of the three, the Cannoli Sundae has the most bang for the buck. And I LOVE the chocolate gelato in the Amarena sundae. But really, I would go for the less expensive — and more impressive — Coppe Delazia Sundae in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion over any of these.
What we’ve seen so far are the everyday dinnertime eats and drinks, but the plan is that Enzo’s will also host a few special events like Enzo’s Sunday Supper. Every Sunday, participating guests can enjoy a menu featuring items like short ribs, meatballs, and sausages. AND guests will be able to bring their own wine… with no corkage fee!
The Smugglers Series will be another monthly hard-ticketed event that will feature its own unique menu and specialty cocktails, with an emphasis on mixology. We’ll share the details on these when they are released.
Nosh or Not?
Pay Enzo a visit if:
- You’re a fan of immersive atmospheres in Disney World.
- This Disney movie quote is one of your personal favorites: “But why is the rum gone?” (Or you are further inspired to visit upon viewing the list of Enzo’s Smuggled and Stashed Collection.)
- You want to try one of the new trio of Italian eateries in Disney Springs, and prefer the setting which is mostly focused on adults.
Pass on Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar and Restaurant if:
- The whole “underground” thing kinda creeps you out (that is to say, lack of windows makes you feel claustrophobic).
- You appreciate more whimsy in your Disney lounge settings (in which case, you might prefer Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto or AbracadaBar).
- And — finally and frankly — you don’t want to pay too much for mediocre Italian food and bad service. (Read on, my friends…)
Here it is, plain and simple: Enzo’s is overpriced for what you get if you’re visiting for a meal. Though many may appreciate the selection of rums, bourbons, scotches, and the like — and that is a cool list in keeping with the theme — Enzo’s is not, in my opinion, working with the whole “and restaurant” concept. I think it would have worked better doing cocktails and small plates — similar to Tutto Gusto — and keeping the size of the place MUCH smaller…with actual tunnels, which are cool, instead a giant restaurant room, which is not cool.
It bums me out to say it, because of all four new spots which now make up The Edison Complex — the Hideaway along with Pizza Ponte, Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, and The Edison itself — I really thought that Enzo’s Hideaway held the most promise for great theming with terrific drinks. I think they overshot by making it a full restaurant, ultimately going for more tables to fit more people over depth of story and creativity in cuisine.
My experience included bad service and mediocre food, for which I paid WAY too much. This meal — three drinks, three appetizers, three nothing-special-there’s-no-filet-mignon-in-there pasta dishes, and three desserts — cost $300. $300?! And the meal took four hours?!?!
Now I have no problem with Patina group. They run a good ship over at Via Napoli. Morimoto Asia is my favorite restaurant on property right now. And I get that they’re basically opening three giant restaurants and a counter service location in the same month. I get that they had to train a TON of new cast members. I get that they had to work out some serious and very highly anticipated theming. I get that they had a LOT of menus to sort out. But a little more time may have been helpful before opening to work out all the kinks. Or perhaps staggering the openings a bit more.
I’m expecting and hoping to see improvements in all of these locations as the months go on and kinks get worked out. But currently, everything’s a little shaky in this corner of Disney Springs, so be prepared. And bring your big wallet.
Here are the details: the full food menu is available starting at 11:30 AM daily through 10:00 PM Sunday – Thursday and 11:00 PM Friday-Saturday. The Tunnel Bar (full bar offerings) also opens at 11:30 AM, but is open until 12:00 midnight Sunday – Thursday, and until 1:00 AM Friday – Saturday. And if you do go, I would really appreciate hearing about your experience!
Will you be paying a visit to Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar and Restaurant? Please let us know with a comment!