The new kid on the block, Via Napoli has been getting quite a reception. Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to who’s been at Disney World has wanted to try it and loved it when they did. The pizza is a much needed high quality and consistently-good option for World Showcase and Epcot. What about the rest of the menu, though? What’s worth trying? I’ve now been to Via Napoli three times in total since its opening and it is quickly becoming a favorite. As with any restaurant, however, quality is sometimes dependent on the day of the week, and other conditions that you just cannot predict.
My second visit was with my husband. First, we ordered some drinks – the Lemon Drop for me and the Sangria for him. Mine was very strong and very good. The sangria was just as good as at the preview. We then ordered the Calamari Fritti appetizer, since it’s always a family favorite and was so delicious at the preview. The first thing we noticed is this is definitely not an appetizer for two people to share. It was huge! The calamari were cooked perfectly, but there was a little less salt than at the preview, which is part of what made them so good then I think. Still, they were great and we weren’t disappointed at all.
Next up, I tried the Piccante pizza, while my husband ventured into the pasta choices for the Candele, candle-stick shaped pasta with meatballs, a sausage sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. The whole thing was baked and you are served a large square of it. It was, in a word, heavenly. My husband loved it and if I was ever not in the mood for pizza, I would definitely order it. It was just the perfect combination of cheesy, pasta and meaty goodness. The Piccante is a wonderful pizza full of spicy sausage and stalks of bitter broccoli rabe. I think it was a little too bitter for me to be enjoyable, but I’m glad I tried it.
Then, as if we hadn’t gorged ourselves enough, we had to try some desserts. I decided to go with the full-sized version of the mini Gelato Frizzante we’d sampled at the opening. My husband tried the “Ugly But Good” sundae – Coppa Di Brutti Ma Buoni an Amarena cherry and vanilla gelato sundae with homemade cookies crumbled on top. My Gelato Frizzante was soooo goood. I can’t even begin to tell you. The perfect mix of the sweet vanilla gelato with the slightly sour orange Pellegrino. I have to advise again, that this is way more than one person can eat so sharing is a good idea here.
I also tried a Cafe Freddo, simply because it’s almost impossible for me to turn down coffee of any kind when it’s available. This was a delicious, sweetened espresso drink over ice. I took it with me to go since I really had no room for it after I ordered it. Good to know there’s some great coffee options here though.
My next visit was last week, meeting up with some of my fellow Walt Disney World Moms Panelists. I need to mention that two of these panelists are over 6 foot tall men, so we were prepared for a lot of food! Disney Dad Chris ordered us some Arancini – saffron risotto balls with a meat ragu and mozzarella inside – $10, as well as the Fritto Misto platter – an assortment of just-fried arancini, mozzarella, calamari, melanzane (eggplant), asparagus, zucchini and carciofi (artichokes), Agro-Dolce sauce; Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce $24. As I thought at the preview, the arancini are a little on the bland side. I know many people aren’t into spicy things though, so they might enjoy them. The Fritto Misto was, unfortunately, a little disappointing. The calamari were rubbery, while the eggplant probably could’ve been cooked a bit longer. I’m sure if we had said anything, they would’ve re-cooked the platter for us but we had so much, it wasn’t too big of an issue. Just important to note that in fried things, every second does count and can make or break a first impression of a dish.
We then ordered the half-meter pizza to share, split between the Piccante and the Quattro Formaggi. Both kinds were wonderful as usual, and in fact this time, the Piccante had much less broccoli rabe on it, so perhaps my first pizza was an anomaly. Even with the four of us, we had about 5 pieces of pizza left. We had no room for dessert that time around either. Disney Mom Amanda A. and I shared a pitcher of Sangria, which I highly recommend if more than one person is ordering Sangria. At $8 a glass and $19 for a pitcher, we got quite a few glasses out of it and still had some left over. I think Disney Dad Bernie, Chris and Disney Mom Amanda A. shared my opinions, but you’ll have to ask them!
So overall, my impression of Via Napoli is that the pizza is up to par each and every time, but just be aware that things like fried items may vary in consistency depending on who’s in the kitchen that day. Don’t be afraid to let your server know it’s not as it should be though, everyone we’ve experienced there has been more than accommodating to every request we had. Don’t be afraid to try something new and figure out what items are your favorites! I know we’ll be making a lot more visits in the future (still haven’t brought my kids there yet!) and experiencing more of the wonderful menu Via Napoli has to offer.