We had our first visit at Via Napoli recently for lunch. We arrived fifteen minutes before our scheduled dining time of 2:10 p.m. We waited about 10 minutes to be seated and were taken to our table and provided with menus. The staff was very nice during the registration process. The decor and the feel of the restaurant was what you might expect. It was evident right away that they were expecting a very large party that had not yet arrived. The wall lined with three large brick ovens were my sign of Italian goodness.
We had purchased the Deluxe Dining Plan so we each used a table service credit for our meal. We opted to pay out of pocket for a pitcher of beer because, to me, pizza and beer is life’s most perfect combination that doesn’t involve chocolate. We didn’t order fancy beer, just regular Bud Light.
Since we had the deluxe plan, we were able to order an appetizer, an entree and a dessert each. My husband ordered the Arancini for his appetizer and the Veal Parmigiana for his entree. I ordered the Minestrone, Vegetable and Canellini Bean Soup and the Margherita Pizza.
Our appetizers arrived and we shared them because food is one of the loves we share and we always split things so that we are able to try more dishes. The Arancini was fantastic! They called it “rice balls” when he first ordered it, but there was a lot more going on with that dish than the typical rice balls I have made at home. They were made with risotto, ricotta, and beef and mozzarella. They deep fried the balls and served them with ragu sauce. It was a delicious dish!
Soft and crisp at the same time – they were luscious! I asked our waiter if he could get the recipe for me because I just had to try making these cheesy, rich treats at home. A few minutes later, he came back and told me that he could not get the recipe but the chef was going to come out and talk to me. Gosh, how I love Disney! Soon, Joe Darrigo, Jr. (sous chef) came out to explain the long, drawn out process of making the Arancini. It is made by cooking the risotto, mixing it with saffron sauce, then freezing it. Then mixing it with the other ingredients and the process to explain it took a while. There is no way I could make this at home. It takes hours of preparation and all I can say is that it is worth it. Get to Via Napoli and try it.
The Minestrone was a tasty broth with cannelini beans, but very few. There were pieces of carrots, potatoes, onion, celery and pesto was mixed in as well. It was very tasty but I would like more cannelini beans in the dish. It was seasoned well, not too much salt like in many other soups I have tried. The soup was good, but each time I visit in the future I will order the Arancini.
After we were finished with our appetizers, our entrees arrived at the table. My husband’s Veal Parmigiana was delicious. It had melted mozzarella over the top and was served with roasted potatoes in olive oil that were very good as well.
Before I address my entree, I will make a coveat that Margherita Pizza is my all-time favorite pizza but I am picky about it. I have tried some versions that were not up to par, but not at Via Napoli.
The crust on my pizza was perfect, and I am more picky about my crust than anyone with whom I have ever dined. It was cruncy when I bit into it and doughy and chewy while I chewed it. Yummo! It was covered with fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil sprinkled on top which made it taste so fresh and delicious. The cheese strung along just enough to make me know it was gooey cheese without ending up on my chin or my shirt. The sauce was to die for – perfect! Every single bite and every sip of my beer meant that I was in Italian feast heaven.
After dinner, our waiter came over and took our orders for dessert and offered us coffee. My husband ordered the Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni and I ordered the traditional Tiramisu. The Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni was an Amarena cherry and vanilla gelato sundae.
The gelato was rich, creamy decadence with raspberry sauce mixed in. It was served with a chocolate hazelnut meringue cookie and a meringue cookie with almonds. It also had whipped cream on top. It was cold, creamy deliciousness in a dessert glass. So very good.
The Tiramisu was lady fingers, mascarpone cream, espresso coffee and chocolate. It was layers of flavors. A powdered sugar sprinkle on the side with a stick of white chocolate swirled with dark chocolate was laying across it. This was also a rich, creamy dessert with pronounced coffee flavor and cocoa all over the top. Creamy, cold liquer in every bite was just wonderful. Creamy, rich Italian dessert – I say yes! Tiramisu is one of my all-time favorite desserts. It was just the right combination of sweet and bittersweet goodness coming together for this layered treat.
We are very glad we visited Via Napoli during this trip. We had attempted to book it during a previous trip but it was unavailable. This is going to be a family favorite for sure. The brick ovens, the ambience and the aroma alone are enough to draw us back. The service was excellent and I really enjoyed my conversation with the sous chef as well. We can’t wait to bring our family in November to enjoy this new favorite together.
Brenda writes here and at Ideally Disney. She’s also an Authorized Disney Travel Specialist with Pixie Vacations. She loves helping families plan magical Disney vacations, so email her at Brenda@PixieVacations.com or send her a message on www.facebook.com/thepixiebrenda.