Ovens are hot at Via Napoli! Three beautiful wood-burning ovens at the new restaurant in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot are ready to go. Doors open Monday for walk-ins (you can start making reservation Aug. 6 for Sept. 10 grand opening and onward).
Crazy candy apples. When you’re on vacation, a gourmet candy apple seems like the ultimate indulgence, especially when it’s covered in white-chocolate caramel apple pie or M&Ms with peanuts, walnuts or pecans. Almost too cute to eat are the “Mickey and Minnie Specialty Apples” dipped in caramel, then chocolate, then decorated with little marshmallow ears to resemble Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
Disney Chef Dee Foundoukis on “Iron Chef.” Fans of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” competition can keep an eye out for Walt Disney World Chef Dee Foundoukis – she’s off to New York to assist Chef Cat Cora in an upcoming episode that tapes Friday. Cat is the only female Iron Chef, and Dee runs the kitchen at her Kouzzina by Cat Cora restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk. The two chefs have worked together in the Kouzzina kitchen, and Cat obviously thinks Dee is up to the task as she battles the legendary Iron Chefs of America.
New on the menu. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, try the veggie options at Hollywood & Vine, the twist on tiramisu at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano (it’s in a shake glass!), shrimp cocktail at 50’s Prime Time Cafe and the new pork chop creation at Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant.
Seasonal is in. Disney chefs sure have a lot of fun in the kitchen. Starting Sunday, Chef Phillip Ponticelli’s menu at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will feature a dazzling combo of smoked pork belly and poached duck eggs on potato and summer truffle gratin with orange blossom honey and mustard glaze. (The duck eggs are from Ocoee, Fla.) Less challenging is the yellow tomato gazpacho with orange-scented lump blue crab, made with local tomatoes.
More tastes of summer. At California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Chef Brian Piasecki’s menu for sultry summer days features heirloom tomatoes from Huron, Ohio; corn from Brentwood, Calif.; squash blossoms and baby summer squash; Black Mission figs with Pacific salmon; and Masumoto Suncrest peaches from California. Reservation, please.
Narcoossee’s summer seafood. On the menu through August at the restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are Alaskan King Crab Legs, split and chilled. Sip a nice Chardonnay and indulge. Or try the grilled shrimp with Brentwood corn cakes – Brentwood corn is considered among the best in the world, says Chef Joe Wilson.
What’s a SlimCado? It’s a Florida avocado (trademarked from Brooks Tropical) with a lighter taste (and fewer calories). It’s delicious tossed with oranges, hydroponic greens and a tangy vinaigrette at The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We paired it with Chef Frank Brough’s wonderful smoked tomato bisque – made without cream and butter, but brilliantly thickened with red lentils. And for a slim ending, The Wave’s no-sugar-added mini-desserts are bliss: chocolate mint mousse, fresh berries with panna cotta and vanilla bean crème brûlée. Your waistline is (mostly) intact.