Walt Disney World has announced that the much anticipated new restaurant in the Italy pavilion of Epcot known as Via Napoli will begin accepting reservations on August 6, 2010 – for meals beginning on September 10th.
The restaurant will actually be open starting on August 5, 2010 when Disney holds the “Grand Opening,” but this first month of operation will be considered a soft opening. The official start of operations will not occur until September. This creates a window of about a month in which the restaurant will be serving, but in which no reservations will be available for.
It comes at an ideal time for those who took advantage of the free dining offer from Disney but perhaps still have a few meal slots available. Some were concerned if the new restaurant would accept the Disney Dining Plan, but Disney indicates it will.
As announced back in January, Via Napoli is not actually owned or operated by Disney, but by the Patina Restaurant Group which runs dozens of fine dining restaurants throughout the country. Construction is almost complete on the structure that will house the restaurant and has been completed in Florentine decor, fitting right in with the decor of the Italy pavilion itself.
The house specialty is going to be a wood fired pizza available in three different sizes. But, Via Napoli will also offer diners several other options. Disney recently released the menu for the restaurant with the text of that menu shown below:
Appetizers: Sicilian eggplant with olives and raisins; salad of lettuce, fagiolini (string beans), fennel and tomatoes; arancini (fried saffron risotto balls) with meat ragù, mozzarella and pomodoro sauce; corn-crusted fried calamari; and minestrone with basil pesto. Or share a plate of arancini, mozzarella, calamari, portobella mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini and carciofi (artichokes).
Main course salads: Manzo (filet of beef) with greens, red onion, gorgonzola, apple and cucumber with a red wine-mustard vinaigrette; chopped salad with lemon chicken, greens, cantaloupe, cucumber, red pepper, green beans, onions, almonds and pasta crisps with honey-citrus vinaigrette; calamari with arugula, carrots and fennel with orange vinaigrette.
Pastas: candele (long, tube-shaped pasta) with sausage ragù; linguine with seafood; malfadine (ribbon pasta) with guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon) and pomodoro sauce; lasagna verde.
Piatti alla Parmigiana: (dishes topped with Parmesan and mozzarella gratinée): veal, chicken and eggplant.
Wood-fired pizzas: made with caputo flour imported from Southern Italy, San Marzano tomatoes, handmade mozzarella and water from a local spring just like in Italy’s Campania region – 10-inch, 20-inch or 1/2 meter to share: a dozen choices, from a simple pizza Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil to carciofi with artichoke, potato, pecorino cheese, prosciutto and cantaloupe.
Sweets: tiramisù, zeppole di ricotta (ricotta cheese-fried dough, whipped cream and chocolate sauce); apple cake with almond sorbetti; gelatie; and vanilla gelato with almond cookies and amarena cherries.
Those planning a trip this fall will want to mark their calendars for August 6th to call in on that date for their Via Napoli reservations. It is sure to be a fantastic time.