Guest Author: Kim White
During our recent family vacation to Walt Disney World, we decided to try a few restaurants we’ve never been too. We have never used the dining plan, and because this time we were on the club level at The Polynesian we decided any of the Disney dining plan options would be too much food.
We are like most families that LOVE pizza and Italian food so this time we decided to head over toVia Napoli in Epcot. Located in the Italian Pavilion in World Showcase, this open and busy restaurant offers authentic Italian cuisine, wood-fired pizzas and pasta.
We had reservations and were seated within 10 minutes of our reserved time. We sat back by the kitchen. This wasn’t a problem really as you can see the brick ovens where the pizzas go in and out. But it was noisy and there is a lot going on. The staff is constantly walking by and the restrooms were on our side, so there were a lot of people walking by for that as well.
Via Napoli offers three different sizes of pizza: individual, large (serves 2-3), and mezzo metro (serves 3-5). We settled on the Mezzo Metro pizza. My husband ordered pasta (Candele – candle stick pasta, sausage ragu, polpettine meatballs, mozzarella, ricotta) and we couldn’t wait to eat. I had heard wonderful things about the pizza and the crust. The water they use to make the pizza crust is actually imported to match the water from Naples. We used to live in Chicago so we’ve had our share of fabulous pizza.
When our pizza arrived we were a little overwhelmed by how large it was. However, my kids can eat so I knew we’d finish it one way or another. We were not going to waste it, and we weren’t going to walk around Epcot with leftovers.
OK, now I will try not to be too harsh, but honestly, I was disappointed. The pizza actually ‘underwhelmed’ me. The crust was good where it wasn’t a little burnt. I know in wood-fired pizzas that can happen. A little burned crispiness is expected, but this had a bit too much and my kids were picking it off. The outside pieces you could pick up but all of the inside pieces were super floppy and the crust may have been underdone. We were rolling it up and folding it over just so we could eat it. The sauce, although good, was splattering all over because the crust couldn’t hold the pizza. The toppings fell off and we were sort of fighting with our food. The flavor was good, but not great. I think the size of the pizza was the cause of this. If we had each got individual pizzas maybe it would have held up better. But we were trying to save a bit of money and the kids would have all ordered the same thing anyway. My husband did like his Candele pasta and it was more than enough. We usually don’t order desert, but this time we did. We got the Zeppole di Caterina – Ricotta cheese fritters, served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. These were amazing! I think I was so happy when I took a bite, I forgot to take a picture. Trust me, they are something I would order again.
Overall, our experience here was good. It was not great. We would probably choose another place next time. I’m glad we tried it and we did get plenty to eat! That’s always a good thing when you are doing a lot of walking. Via Napoli is offered on the Disney Dining plan as 1 table service credit. Reservations are highly recommended.