Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante opened at Disney Springs on January 4th, 2018, so we made the trip out that evening to check out how the new Italian restaurant would fare. With the Patina group we expected a really solid meal knowing their Italian restaurants in Epcot, Via Napoli and Tutto Italia, are both very good.
This restaurant plays very well with the theme and faux history of Disney Springs, taking place in an old airport terminal with decor and Cast Member costumes to boot. The main dining area is a gigantic two-story room with murals depicting the original travel locations the airport terminal serviced, with gigantic two story floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Lake Buena Vista. It’s a very beautiful dining room if you enjoy Art Deco styling (which we do, see any article we’ve written about Hollywood Studios). We were seated on the first floor, in a side room called the First Class Lounge.
You can take a full video tour of the restaurant below:
We started with a really great line-up of drinks. There’s still lots more to try, but below are reviews the few we started with. As you can see, the drink menu is quite sizable:
Mt Etna Palmer – Amaro Averna, Solemn Blood Orange, Kettle One, Fresh Lemonade, Black Tea – $14.00
It’s an Arnold Palmer, which is a good thing. We’re not sure if it was light on alcohol or if it was very dangerous, either way it was refreshing and a good way to start the meal.
Sicilian Mule – Caravella Orangecello, Tito’s Vodka, Q Ginger Beer – $14.00
First off, it wasn’t a mule. The Edison was able to create a mule that was more traditional and actually tasted like a mule, this one felt like they forgot a mule includes a lot of ginger beer. If you wanted a mule, try The Edison.
Ligurian Sunrise – Caravella Limoncello, Maestro Dobel Tequila – $14.00
A very enjoyable drink that was heavy on the limoncello, which is a good thing especially being an Italian restaurant. We recommend it.
Enzo’s Escape – Antica Formula Vermouth, Knob Creek Rye, Lexardo Cherry, Angostura Bitters – $14.00
This was an Italian take on the classic Manhattan drink. If you’re not a fan of Manhattans, we don’t recommend ordering item, but if you do enjoy the up-front bourbon flavor this one will be a pleasant surprise.
European Mai Tai – Fernet Branca, Cruzan Rum, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Pistachio Orgeat – $14.00
Something we never anticipated mixing: Italian and Tiki. A little weird of a mix, but it works well. Fans of drinks at Trader Sam’s will enjoy this twist on the traditional Tiki drink.
Arnacini di Carne – Fried Rice Stuffed with Meat Ragu, Peas, and Mozzarella – $14.00
For being stuffed with meat ragu, it was certainly lacking in meat. You’re better off getting them at Via Napoli or even Citricos where the quality is much higher and packs a larger percentage of meat.
Caciocavallo Fritto – Fried Sicilian Cheese, Spicy Tomato, Pomodoro Sauce – $13.00
A really good dish, everyone in our group enjoyed this. The sauce had a nice kick to it as well, plus there was plenty of it to mop-up with the complimentary bread served to the table. Recommended
Calamari – Fried Calamari with Hot Peppers and Spicy Tomato and Garlic Aioli Sauce – $16.00
The calamari was really good, which is no surprise because the calamari served at Tutto Gusto and Via Napoli is very similar if not the same thing. We would comment on the price, but it appears to be difficult for a Disney location to prepare calamari correctly so when we do get proper calamari it’s a welcomed treat.
Spaghetti Alla Chitarra – Burrata and Meatballs – $26.00
Solid spaghetti and meatballs. The spaghetti was expertly done and the meatballs were tasty as well. It’s unfortunate that the cost is so high, the portion doesn’t align with the cost at all. A few dollars less on the entree and we would recommend it.
Petto Di Pollo – Breast of Chicken, Pomodoro, Mozzarella – $27.00
One of the best chicken parmesan dishes we’ve had on property, absolutely a huge portion and well worth the price paid. It was a little light on the sauce, but that’s easily fixable if you ask for a bit more on the side. The meal also comes with a small side of pasta, as if you needed more food.
Nodino Di Vitello – Veal Chop, Pomodoro, Mozzarella – $34.00
The best piece of veal we’ve ever experienced, let alone at Walt Disney World. It’s seriously that good. Similar issue with the chicken parmesan where it just needs a bit more sauce, but again this item really is amazing. Absolutely recommended.
N’Casciara Al Forno – Classic Sicilian Layered Baked Pasta, Meat Ragu, Peas, Zucchini, Caciocavallo Cheese – $24.00
Again, a gigantic portion for the price. It’s similar to a lasagna dish, with zucchini on top. All of the items involved were very flavorful and really good. There’s a similar portion at Enzo’s without the zucchini on top, but the same flavor profiles. This one really was a better dish and really really good.
Busiata Con Granchio – Spiral Shaped Pasta, Lump Crab, Yellow Cherry Tomato, Parsley – $27.00
Citrusy without any reason. There’s absolutely no reason why this was really citrusy, and it still perplexes us. Out of all the dishes on the menu this one soundest the most appetizing and ended up being one of the most disappointing. It’s unfortunate, really, because it can be a really amazing dish.
Cassata Siciliana – Traditional Sicilian Ricotta Layered Sponge Cake – $10.00
Really a mediocre dish, the taste wasn’t all there for what was labeled as a ricotta cake. Your mileage may vary, there’s potential here.
Cannoli – Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, Chocolate Chips, Candied Orange – $9.00
We don’t want to discuss this. It’s bad, even worse than the ones available at the Epcot festivals. If you want a better cannoli we recommend going to your local grocery store, buying a bag from the freezer section and defrosting those because they’re going to be the same and cheaper. It’s a shame that the entrees are so good whereas the staple Italian dessert was horrible.
Enzo’s Torta – Chocolate and Mascarpone Cheesecake – $10.00
It was fine, nothing to write home about. Forgettable.
Affogato Di Vesuvio – Crema Gelato, Espresso, Chocolate Whipped Cream, White Chocolate Snow – $12.00
Amazing. It’s unclear if it’s a drink or a dessert, it tries to be both at the same time and it works very well. The espresso with the gelato in it tastes great, everything left over tastes even better. It’s a must order, one of the best desserts at Disney Springs.
After years of suffering through Portobello, there is a viable Italian Restaurant at Disney Springs in Maria and Enzo’s. Not everything was amazing, but there were some spectacular stand-out items that will make revisit again and again. Sadly, Enzo’s Hideaway is a different story…
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