Abbondanza is the word. Have you noticed there has been an Italian invasion at Walt Disney World Resort? With the popularity of red sauce in America, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. This New Yorker can tell you that they are authentic and molto delizioso. Here is the menu to the best Italian restaurants Disney Springs.
How do you say foodie in Italian?? At Disney Springs it’s pronounced Patina Restaurant Group. Disney fans know the brand well; from Disneyland’s Naples Ristorante E Pizzeria to Walt Disney World’s Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzeria, to over 50 other locations worldwide. Though they specialize in ristoranti Italiani, venues such as Morimoto Asia and The Edison also operate under their umbrella. The quality of their newest restaurants, all three in The Landing, is as authentic as their roots in Sicily, Rome, and Naples. Say ciao to Disney Springs.
Best Italian Restaurants Disney Springs
Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante
My new favorite in this area of Walt Disney World, this trattoria is stunning. It takes full advantage of its spot overlooking gorgeous Lake Buena Vista. Those 50-foot ceilings don’t hurt either. And the food? I like to think of myself as a chicken parmigiana esperto. Yes indeed. This is now my #1 on the planet; pounded thin, fried delicately, and served with a side of spaghetti pomodoro. Si. The Rigatoni alla Norma was al dente perfection, though light on the eggplant. (The freshly shaved parmigiana mostly made up for that.)
While the wine list here is not extensive, it is true to its Southern Italian influence. Reds (vino rosso) outnumber whites (vino bianco) by two to one and also represent the region. Prosecco too! Service? Very impressive for a restaurant that was only one week old when I dined. Twice. The manager old world Italian, and as such, especially hospitable. He sent that sensational yet traditional Cannoli over to the table! Amazingly, it rivaled the Italian bakeries on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. And that is a high bar. In conclusion, I love everything about Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante– it reminded me that I NEED to get back to Italy. But first, I can’t wait get back to this cucina in Orlando.
My second best! Found alongside the above, this authentic pizzeria cannot be missed. Although sandwiches, pastries, and espresso are served, pizza is the reason you come here. Again, my New York City is weighing in. Pizza Ponte is a quick-service restaurant with deluxe taste. Though daily specials change frequently, some standards remain on the menu. You may have heard of “The Big Roman” and BIG it is. (Including the whopping $7 tab.) It’s also authentic Neapolitan, with a crispy crust and top quality sauce and mozzarella.
Again, I had another “best ever” dish- the square Spicy Salame (or pepperoni) rivaled only the pizza I have eaten in Italy. Sandwiches, such as the Prosciutto di Parma and Muffuletta, are also offered throughout the day. Desserts are plentiful; stop by for a pastry and Cappuccino for breakfast (after 8:00 am)! Seating inside and out is limited, but you could always fold that giant slice in half and walk around Disney Springs like a real New Yorker…
Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar
Lastly, is the novel Enzo’s Hideaway. Set in a “speakeasy” down below the previous two mentioned restaurants, this is a funky and fun spot. This restaurant seems more like a gathering spot than an eatery showcasing food. Unlike its “cousins” upstairs, wine cellars, rums and scotches (only the most extensive collection in all of Disney Springs), and oak barrels are a focus. Roman specialties, such as zuppa Pasta Fagioli, Veal Saltimbocca, and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe dot the menu.
Although on this visit we sampled the Misticanza salad, Mezzi Rigatoni Amatriciana, and Classic Lasagna Bolognese, I intend to plan my next trip strategically; Enzo’s Sunday Supper, ‘o sole mio!!
So, this is my list of the best Italian restaurants Disney Springs. That is, until James Beard award winning Chef Tony Mantuano’s Terralina Crafted Italian opens later this spring. Can an update to my “top 3” be coming? Stay tuned. And stay hungry, my friends!xxxxx
Sadly, Chef Tony’s new addition does not make my cut. (Why do the restaurants in this gorgeous location always come up short??) Aspetta!