When it comes to Disney World restaurants, it’s ALL about the theming. OK, THAT…and good food and drinks help too. 😉 One location with a stellar backstory and some pretty neat theming we RARELY visit though? Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar in Disney Springs.
We have a confession to make: we haven’t been back here for another review since it opened back in early 2018. Our first experience was…underwhelming, to put it mildly. But, every place deserves a second chance. Especially when you have a killer backstory and fun theming, right? So we’re heading back to the tunnels for a second round.
The name of the game here is atmosphere. Secret hidden Prohibition-era tunnels under Disney World’s mega shopping district? Umm, yes please. And as we mentioned, that atmosphere comes with a story. Think of this corner of Disney Springs near the Edison as the fictional couple Maria and Enzo’s little slice of Italy in Florida. These two immigrants moved to Florida and started a successful lil’ pizza by the slice joint in the old air terminal of Disney Springs (ahem…that would be Pizza Ponte). It did SO well, they opened their own Italian restaurant (that would be Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante). What does the husband of the successful duo do next? Opens a bar in the abandoned rum-running tunnels he discovers under the air terminal. Obviously. 😉
Florida actually has quite the colorful history with rum-running (and you thought the only pirates in the area were the ones over on Pirates of the Caribbean!). In real life, during the 20s and 30s, liquor was BANNED in the U.S.. While most alcohol was bootlegged (AKA homemade) and not…very…palatable, Floridians had the luxury of both Cuba and the Caribbean islands just a couple hundred miles off the coast. These spots manufacture some famously good RUM, among other things. Some…err…entrepreneurial souls took to the waters and skies, smuggling a LOT of it back into the U.S.. Even the likes of famous gangster Al Capone got in on the Florida rum game. The rest is history. This spot tells that tale.
This bar/restaurant is the result of Enzo discovering the abandoned tunnels. He must have had a lightbulb moment and decided creepy tunnels+booze=business opportunity! The result is that this restaurant OOZES atmosphere. We feel like we’re in a secret bar in the 1920s because, well, we kinda are!
The whole place feels like actual abandoned tunnels converted into dining spaces. Not really, of course, It’s just Disney magic, but it’s fun to go with it.
Graffiti riddles the walls. This is a space that invites you to slow down and check it all out (and you should!).
In the main dining area, comfy red booths line the walls…
…with tables spread out to allow for social distancing in the center of the room. By the way, this place is HUGE.
Who would have thought that all of this was hidden away! This was actually one of the eyebrow-raising elements of this space on our initial visit. It’s almost TOO big. The cool, creepy tunnel vibes are a bit lost when you get in the main dining area. If this space had embraced the small and cozy vibe you’d expect of a REAL speakeasy, it would have really cranked the atmosphere to 11. But, a full restaurant and bar is more mass appealing and lucrative than a small intimate space, so here we are.
There’s a lovely bar area in the space as well. (Since booze is kind of a big deal here ‘n all.)
Also, don’t miss the walkway that leads to The Edison. We won’t spoil the fun, but if you’re dining here, you’ll want to scope it out!
Menus are available via a QR code. However, paper menus are also available.
So let’s take a look at the menu, shall we? There are a variety of Family Style Beverages available, two types of Sangria. And Martinis (because, when in a speakeasy, one must have the option to sip a martini!).
But we’re more interested in the Giggle Water Menu, AKA Cocktails! What a great name! We may call it Giggle Water from now on because that’s just so much fun! (In reality though, it should probably be less “Giggle Water” and more “After too many, I might decide bangs are a good idea…water” or “Confidence I’m a fantastic breakdancer…water.” Just us? No? 😂)
There is an extensive beverages list also includes rums, bourbons, whiskeys, scotches, wines, and pretty much anything else you can imagine! Like any self-respecting speakeasy, Enzo’s has one of the largest selection of scotches and “antique” and specialty rums in Disney Springs, so if you want to sip on something classic, this is your spot. Just ask your server and you’ll receive a selection of liquor listings as long as most yearbooks!
Let’s see what’s on the FOOD menu! First up, the Appetizers…
Now on to the Entrees! If you haven’t figured it out, the food here is Italian, so there’s going to be pasta — loads of pasta. And we see you down there, Desserts.
And the Kids’ Menu offers some classic Italian favorites…
While reviewing the menu, servers brought out some Italian bread with a nice crunchy crust. You know, the kind of bread that is perfect for dipping into some fragrant olive oil?
It’s like we predicted it! They came with nice olive oil and balsamic mixture to dip in. If you’re a fan of simply dunking your bread in olive oil, you’ll like this. SO good. Some Italian restaurants provide olive oil filled with herbs and spices for dipping, but this is all about the oil.
But we can’t fill up on bread because we’re here for the drinks and food!
We started with the Hazelnut Old-Fashioned, which is Enzo’s Hideaway Single Barrel Limited Edition Knob Creek, Frangelico, Orange, and a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry. So um…this $15 drink is NOT for the faint of heart. This baby is STRONG. Like we can imagine this being one of those cocktails underground bars served during Prohibition. You couldn’t taste the hazelnut (provided by the inclusion of Frangelico), though — we got mostly bourbon with a hint of orange with each sip.
With our eyes still watering (in a good way), we started sipping on the Dirty Martini. It’s a classic and for a reason. Maybe it’s not unique, but this $17 version is made with quality ingredients — Ketel One Vodka, Carpana Dry, Filthy Olive Wash, Filthy Gorgonzola-Stuffed Olive.
Overall the drinks here will please those people who want good solid Giggle Water… er… cocktails that aren’t fruity beach drinks. These are drinks focused on liquor, and plenty of it. It’s kinda the thing here, after all. 🙂
Drinking works up the appetite, doesn’t it? It was time for food! We checked out the Appetizers first. That Polpettine for $19 is made with Classic Braised Meatballs, Whipped Ricotta, and Parmigiano Cheese. The meat in these is a Pork, Beef, and Veal mixture and these are some super tender meatballs. Were they the best meatballs we’ve ever had? Probably not. But we liked ’em and they were a hearty portion that anyone’s Nonna would approve of.
We also ordered the Burrata Caprese for $18 because well…CHEESE. These are made with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Sea Salt with Housemade Focaccia. The tomatoes were marinated in olive oil, salt, and basil. The House-made Focaccia that came with it was soft, warm, and delicious. And the Burrata cheese? Well, it’s the closest to cheese-heaven anyone can really get. Burrata is the creamy, sophisticated, (dare we say) bougie version of mozzarella. But here’s the thing — burrata is yummy, that’s why a LOT of restaurants have it on their app menu. Makes sense here especially, being an Italian eatery. But Burrata is nothing particularly mindblowing for an app — we can find it on lots of menus nearby in Disney Springs alone (often for a bit cheaper to boot). This was good, but it’s creamy cheese, so of course it’s probably good. If you like Burrata or Mozzarella, this is a safe bet.
Pasta time. Last go round, we were seriously underwhelmed by the pasta here. The portions weren’t much to write home about, especially considering their high prices. We were generally pretty “meh” with the ones we tried. Not bad by any means, but it was more of a value issue. So we went for it and ordered the Pasta Della Nonna for $38, which is Rigatoni Pasta, Short Rib, Meatball and Sausage, Pomodoro Sauce, and Parmigiano. You know — all kinds of yummy stuff. Think of it like a meat sampler with pasta. The meatball was actually the same as the ones with the appetizer we had, so we knew we were going to like that. The sausage had a nice sweetness to it and was well-cooked.
However, we found the short rib to be a bit dry. The sauce had just enough kick to it and everything worked well with the gigantic noodles. Here’s the thing: it was fine. It’s not the best pasta we’ve had on Disney property by a long shot. Although it was our favorite of the two entrees we tried, we had a big issue with the price. Does that bowl look like it costs $38? Yeah, almost $40 for a smallish plate of fairly generic pasta. We were starting to get flashbacks to our last visit. Uh oh.
Next up was the Spaghetti E Polpette, which is Marinara, Meatballs, Calabrian Chili, Parmigiano, and Basil. So basically, a (slightly) elevated spaghetti and meatballs. Not surprisingly, we found it pretty generic. These are the same meatballs, again, so tender and flavorful, but still, plain ol’ spaghetti.
We did get a taste of heat from the pepper, but nothing overwhelming. The noodles were thick and doughy (although they weren’t undercooked, they were also not al dente). The sauce had a hint of sweetness to it, too. All in all, a decent spaghetti and meatballs, but nothing to write home about for $30.
So, with our bellies full of starchy noodles and bread, we revisited the dessert menu to see what we could add to our waistlines. We all know it’s the most important part of the meal, so it was decision time! And we went with the Torta Della Nonna, which is Grandma’s Lemon Custard Tart with Pine Nuts and Almonds and a Raspberry Sauce. Now, THIS surprised us because it was tart and zippy with a nice flaky crust. We also liked the crunch from the pine nuts.
However, we didn’t feel like we got much of the raspberry flavor from the sauce — it sort of gets lost with everything else going on. But overall, this was a good dessert. But (surprise surprise) it’s also pricey at $15 and, if we had to confess, we would have rather just grabbed a cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse at this point.
This dessert was nice and light, with bright citrus flavors that didn’t feel too filling on top of an already dense meal. We generally adore lemon so this landed with us, but it’s definitely not something we’d go out of our way to seek out in the future. But if you have a group of chocolate lovers, there are other options here (or all over Disney Springs) that you’d probably enjoy more.
Nosh or Not?
Say the secret word at Enzo’s if:
- You want to dine somewhere with a super immersive theme. The backstory here, the details, the secret tunnel all make this an immersive experience and super fun to explore and see all of the stuff on the walls and throughout the restaurant.
- You want to sip on some well-made classic cocktails. Giggle Water aside, this place boasts an in-depth spirits menu filled with bourbons, rums, whiskeys, scotches, and more. And likely if you don’t see a “Giggle Water” on the menu that you fancy, chat with the knowledgeable bartender!
- You don’t mind paying a little extra for food and drinks. This isn’t PizzeRizzo, folks. You’re paying quite a bit more for the atmosphere, the experience, and the food. The intention here is to take the time to sip, eat, and converse with your family over a homestyle Italian meal. (that said, we don’t know if we’d necessarily pick a speakeasy in a tunnel to have a wholesome family meal! 😂).
Skip Enzo’s if:
- You get a regular Sunday Supper at Nonna’s house every week. This is homestyle Italian food that you can find at a lot of homes in Chicago and New York, and really all over, but these meatballs likely won’t beat your grandmother’s. Nor will the marinara. Or the pasta. Or really any of it. It’s good, but it’s not great.
- You’re looking for a “Disney touch” with your meal. There aren’t any characters here, and though this spot is “family-friendly” the theme and backstory aren’t geared toward the young crowd, so they might get bored or restless quickly.
- You’re on a budget. Entrees hover around the $40 mark and Giggle Water, though quality and delicious, doesn’t come cheap either. If you want something quick and budget-friendly you might want to head over to Pizza Ponte, instead.
So here’s the thing — there are far better Italian restaurants at Disney World than Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, especially considering the prices here. Although the cocktails and selections of liquors are great, this is more of a place you’d want to go for drinks and maybe an appetizer or two, but probably not for dinner. THIS was one of our biggest grievances with the space. If you want that gritty secret speakeasy vibe (you know, because speakeasies were BARS), this should have been just a bar with some light appetizers. Making the space so large, open, and cramming tons of tables in to try and turn this into a restaurant still doesn’t work for us. It takes away from the theme and dilutes some of the good we get from the cocktails, apps, and other drinks here, leaving it just lackluster.
Now we’re not going to knock the atmosphere because that is, in and of itself, great. It certainly makes for an exciting visit. It feels like you’re stepping back in time, letting you sip on illegal cocktails in a 1920s speakeasy. And that part of the experience is fun.
We’ll also hand it to the servers — we had great service this time around (we didn’t last time), and that made this experience a little better. We were well-attended to and didn’t have to wait too long for our drinks and food to arrive at our table. Our server also had some great recommendations, which we always appreciate.
The food, you’ll notice, is the LAST thing we’re talking about here when it should really be the first. But it’s just not. It’s basic, average Italian fare served in meager portions with lofty price tags. Most people can make a halfway decent plate of spaghetti, but they don’t charge upwards of 40 bucks for it. But in the end, you have to ask yourself — is it really worth overpriced food that’s only OK just to experience good service and atmosphere? Our answer leans towards no, but that’s ultimately your call.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Have you been to Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar? Let us know what you thought in the comments!