Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

Via Napoli at Epcot – Now Thazza Pizza

posted on August 3rd, 2010 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


At last, we got a “sneak” taste of the delicious creations at the new Via Napoli – soft opening at the Italy pavilion at Epcot. (Official opening is not until August 5th for dinner.)

Via Napoli Ovens

The lively, 300-seat restaurant that is operated by Patina Restaurant Group is full of energy with an open kitchen and three wood-burning pizza ovens that represent Italy’s three active volcanoes (Etna, Vesuvius and Stromboli). Those ovens were cranked up to 700°F with oak wood, and we got a kick out of the Disney touch: each of the ovens is ornamented with an open-mouthed face, waiting to “swallow” the mouth-watering pizzas.

Elizabetta, our young server from Terni, Italy, walked us through the menu while we sipped Acqua Frescas, the house-made seasonal fruit juice coolers (the blood orange trumped the limonata). If you’re hungry or have at least four gathered for lunch or dinner, try the fritto misto, an enormous platter of fried mozzarella, calamari, eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, artichoke hearts and arancini (rice balls) – delicioso! dipped in the spicy red sauce. We also shared the beautiful insalata del contadino (farmer salad), a colorful plate of greens, fennel, radish and tomatoes in a light vinaigrette that was one of my favorite tastes.

Via Napoli Ovens

Four of us each tried a different entrée: the tortino di melanzane (baked eggplant with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses); the lasagna verde with spinach, Parmesan, béchamel sauce and a generous flourish of nutmeg; mafaldine Amatriciana (ribbon pasta with guanciale pork, a light tomato sauce and pecorino cheese); and, of course, a wood-fired margherita pizza. Every dish was well prepared and we debated what tasted best (I think the rich eggplant and pizza tied).

Via Napoli Pizza

Oh, those pies. Via Napoli Executive Chef Charlie Restivo shared the secret combo: the oven, the mixer and the ingredients. The mozzarella is flown in from Italy, the water from a source in the U.S. that is similar to the alkaline of the water in Naples, and San Marzano tomatoes – absolutely no substitutions for a “certified” Vera Pizza Napolitana, with specific rules, including hand stretching the dough. The crust is blistered and slightly charred to seal in the flavors, says Chef Restivo. The gargantuan “1/2 meter” to share is rolled to the table on a stainless steel cart.

Sweet endings are not an afterthought. We indulged with the hot, crisp zeppole di Catarina, ricotta cheese fritters with chocolate sauce and whipped cream; traditional tiramisù; pistachio gelato; and the over-the-top coppa di brutti ma buoni, a vanilla gelato with Amarena cherries and “ugly but good” cookies. Worth an extra lap around World Showcase.

The same menu is for lunch and dinner. Table service only, one meal point on the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations after Sept. 10, call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

35 Comments 7 Replies

1

Diane from CT on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I can hardly wait to eat here! YUM!

2

Bobbie from MD on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:34 pm

We have this as a Lunch option for our trip in November

3

Mary Ann from AZ on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:37 pm

You mean to tell me you got rid of Alfredo’s to make a pizzeria in EPCOT?? There’s supposed to be some adventure in dining and to not have the traditional Italian resturant there is very disappointing!

First you take away the great German food and put up a buffet that is nothing like the former german resturant and now this. WOW, just dumming it up.

Would be great for those that are not as adventurous and want to have pizza. But it doesn’t give anyone an idea of what real italian food is!

 

Pam Brandon on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Tutto Ialia restaurant is still there, and both restaurants serve authentic Italian cuisine. Via Napoli goes way beyond pizza — arancini, hand-crafted veal meatballs, pasta dishes . . . and very traditional desserts.

4

Erin from NY on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I am so excited to eat here, but I have an eggplant allergy and am wondering if they will be able to accommodate me and prevent cross-contamination… (perhaps Frito Misto without the eggplant?)

 

Pam Brandon on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Of course they can leave out the eggplant!

5

Ramiro from TX on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I’ll be there Saturday, somebody save me a seat!

6

Lisa from PA on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Will there be gluten free options here?

 

Pam Brandon on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Yes!

7

Loy on August 3rd, 2010 at 6:52 pm

We were there today and walked right in and had the most delicious pizza ever! They are still working out the kinks, but our service was great and the food was wonderful. The atmosphere around you is beautiful also. Nice job once again!

8

Jim from MI on August 3rd, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Mary Ann, Alfredos has been gone for quite some time. It has been Tutto Italia for at least 2 or 3 years and is pretty good. The new restaurant is at the very back of the pavilion and occupies a formerly vacant area.

9

tiffany on August 3rd, 2010 at 7:29 pm

My kids and I were at Epcot yesterday and was surprised they were open for walk-ins. First, this is a second table service in Italy. Second, OMG!!! It was incredible! My kids and I each got a different individual pizzas. They were all wonderful! We went wanting to try the pizza. There were other iteams on the menu, but we knew what we were wanting. Without a doubt, we will be going back! FYI, the prices were very good and they honored Tables in Wonderland, which I wasn’t sure they were going to do the first day.

10

Ladon on August 3rd, 2010 at 7:40 pm

We are so excited to be trying this on our vacation in a few weeks! However, we are on the Disney Dining Plan and are trying to plan out our restaurants and make sure we have enough vouchers to do each one we want to do…

We see that you mentioned that for Via Napoli it’s ONE voucher per meal….however…does that include the huge 20″ pizza? We are a family of 5 and if we order the 20″ that will be plenty for all of us. So, will we only be charge ONE meal voucher for that? And would we still be able to order 1 drink and 1 dessert under that one voucher taken?

Thank you in advance…

 

Pam Brandon on August 4th, 2010 at 9:42 am

The meal voucher is only for the individual pizza. The large is 2 vouchers and the half-meter is 4 vouchers. (The half-meter easily fed 6 adults when we recently ordered for lunch.)

11

William on August 3rd, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Only 59 days to go, hope I can hold out that long.

12

Kelsi on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Mouth…watering. So good!

13

Glenn on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I see you mention pasta dishes. Will they have spaghetti on the menu? My little girl loves spaghetti and I haven’t seen another restaurant in any other park that serves it. Thank you!

 

Pam Brandon on August 4th, 2010 at 9:19 am

Delicious pastas — the kids’ menu has classic spaghetti and meatballs (as does the regular menu); my favorite is the ribbon pasta with pork and red sauce. Also cork-screw pasta with tomatoes, almonds and basil — all beautifully prepared.

14

Carrie from OH on August 3rd, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I thought this was supposed to be a counter service place? Is there a place I can just get pizza for lunch and use a counter service credit?

 

Pam Brandon on August 4th, 2010 at 9:20 am

No counter service. Table service only. You can get an individual pizza. But no slices.

15

Ramiro from TX on August 4th, 2010 at 8:51 am

Lqdon, realistically , I would think that the DDP would be good for the individual size pies.

I can’t wait to try those!!!

16

Cheryl on August 4th, 2010 at 11:21 am

Cannot wait to see the finalized menu. Some of the items you mentioned sound wonderful. The eggplant sounds similar to that served as an appetizer at Tutto’s which I love and can never get enough of. Thanks again for your reviews and updates, they are both timely and most informative.

17

Lynda from TX on August 4th, 2010 at 11:46 am

Do you know if this restaurant location will be added to the Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages?

18

Kim on August 4th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

This sounds wonderful! All of the menu items sound delicious and with all the attention paid to making this authentic pizza, I’d hardly class it as just a “pizzeria”! Can’t wait to try it!

19

Erin from NY on August 4th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Pam you are the best! Your answer made my day! I love the Disneyparks Blog, it’s such a wonderful way to get new info and to talk to the people who make the magic everyday! Thanks again!

20

Raquel from NJ on August 4th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I’ll be dreaming of that pizza. When I shared this blog with my husband, his mouth just dropped! Ressie # is on speed dial for Friday.
The ovens look amazing, wouldn’t have expected anything else.

Thanks for sharing.

21

Maritza on August 4th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I can’t wait to visit!!! sound YUM!!!!

22

Caroline on August 4th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

So… I already have all our meals planned out for our trip in Feb. 2011. I want to get pizza from there. Can I get a pizza to go? So we can take it back to the room or out in the park to eat?

 

Pam Brandon on August 4th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Alas, no pizzas to go — but if you have leftovers, you can take them with you. The restaurant is so pretty, you will want to relax and enjoy the ambience.

23

matt on August 4th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

So yummy, so yummy
Theres a party in my tummy!

24

Hollis from MD on August 5th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Any word on whether Via Napoli will be a participating restaurant in the candlelight processional dinner package for 2010?

25

James from NJ on August 5th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

My family & I ate there on August 2nd! We were there first (real) guests to be seated and ordered the 1/2 meter Margareta Pizza and all I can say is WOW!! it was great. It brought me back to my childhood days in Brooklyn, NY eating at a Mom & pop bakery eating home made pizza. This will a regular stop on our WDW vacations from now on. Check out the video when it posts we will be in it.

26

Amy Lynn on August 5th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I ate at Via Napoli this afternoon and it was great. The food was good, the price was reasonable and the service was top rate. I do have one odd question. I love the chairs with the striped material backs. Can I get information on their origins?

27

Juliette from IL on August 6th, 2010 at 9:59 am

Just made reservations for our trip in the beginning of November! With this, our other reservations, PLUS the Food & Wine Festival, we’re going to have the most delectable vacation ever!

28

Catherine on August 6th, 2010 at 10:51 am

Just made a reservation and can’t wait to eat some yummy food. My kids were brought up eating “real” food. They prefer a dish of pasta and a big salad over chicken nuggets and fries, so it’s always a challenge when we are handed a childrens menu and all they offer is junk. Hopefully this place will suit their tastes. Can’t wait :)

29

penny on August 6th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Hi, I am new to Disney blog. I found it well looking around. We are passholders for many years. Ok on to my questions my first one is do you know if they will be taking the tables of wonderland?My next question is will it be part of the candlelight procession package. We have never been able to go to that before. But are going on the 30th of Dec this year. My last most important question is do you know if they can actually make something for a person who has dietary needs? I am going through several types of cancer, and have found at most of the disney restruants that they litteraly make something totally of the menu alot of times. As I cant have dairy, tomotatoes, onions, nuts, and many other things. I cant even have chocolate, and never mind even a little bit of contamination from the above foods. Do you think they would be able to help us so we can try the restruant? My hisband loves good italian food so would love to be able to take him there.Thanks in advance for your help. This is a great site.

30

Adreanne on August 7th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I am trying to make a reservation for 10 people but was told I need to call the restaurant directly. Tried that and the voice mail box is full. What should I do?

31

RICHARD on August 8th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Can you get a large pizza with one adult table and one childrens table service. Thank you have ADR for 9/28/2010

32

Pamela from PA on August 9th, 2010 at 12:08 am

I got my reservations done for our trip in September. Can’t wait to try this place out!

33

Melissa from CT on August 9th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

just booked my ADR for September..can’t wait!

34

Jennifer on August 15th, 2010 at 11:52 am

I ate there this past week and it was easily the BEST food I have ever had in any Disney park. The fritto misto was delicious and the pizza was to die for–it tasted just like pizza I’ve had in Italy, and another member of my party said it was the best pizza he’d ever had. The large pizza was enough for 2 people plus extra slices for everyone else. The gelato was fantastic (Mickey Premiums, eat your heart out!), and I recommend the blood orange acqua fresca as well. The only things our party was disappointed with was the veal meatballs on the spagetti and the canola oil the fritto misto was fried in (one person was allergic). Otherwise the meal went off without a hitch! Beautiful decor, amazingly delicious food, a very fun and relaxing meal. I was in heaven and I can’t wait to go back. I can’t recommend it more highly!

35

Deborah from FL on August 20th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Super Excited! We made reservations for the evening after an exam I’m taking at the OCCC. I lived in Italy for a while, and we ordered pizza almost every time we went out. So I can’t figure out why people are complaining about it not being traditional Italian food. I have also been to the real Alfredo’s in Rome, and it’s not considered one of the more traditional Italian restaurants over there. I’m really excited that they opened a new restaurant – can’t wait!

35 Comments