• Story and food tie together new dining venues at Walt Disney World

    By: Shelley Caran


    Orlando, Fla. - It is always an exciting experience to step behind a construction wall at Walt Disney World, and as a guest of The Patina Restaurant Group and Walt Disney World I toured four new dining venues opening at Disney Springs and I was blown away by the level of detail that guests will experience when these venues open in early 2018.

    Earlier this year in October Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, shared a glimpse at how each location will tie into the Disney Springs storyline of a restored Florida Waterfront town.

    “...we will be opening a trattoria named Maria & Enzo’s, as well as Enzo’s Hideaway, a separate restaurant in what were said to be rum-running tunnels, which is destined to become a local favorite,” said Valenti. “They are inspired by the cuisines of Sicily and Rome, the Italian family, and the best of Italian modern cooking.”

    Let's take a look at each restaurant, which will have its own distinct menu as well as price point.

    Pizza Ponte is a fast-casual concept and the perfect place for a quick bite serving pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. Pastry specialties include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice. There is dining available inside of this location, but it is also a great place to pop in to take your food to enjoy outdoors.

    Maria & Enzo’s is an Italian trattoria set in the town’s storied abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s, now transformed into a restaurant. The dining room is open and airy, featuring 50-foot ceilings with views of Lake Buena Vista. The restaurant interiors showcase artifacts that reference air travel of the time, with maps and historic flight paths. The menu is inspired by Sicily, with a range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) – and handmade pastas – Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside. Other highlights include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops. Guests will also be treated to stunning views of Lake Buena Vista as they dine.

    Then under Maria & Enzo's, in the actual tunnels under Disney Springs, is Enzo’s Hideaway is a speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper). I could spend all day taking in every detail of the graffiti wall!

    The shining gem of this group of dining locations can be found either with its main entrance or a secret tunnel passageway from Enzo's Hideaway, which is The Edison. The Edison is a lavish “Industrial Gothic” –style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination, The Edison is famous for exceptionally good classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret and music. With multiple levels and a performance space, The Edison is open for lunch and dinner. The menu is executed by Chef PJ Finneran, and consists of contemporary American fare such as Pork Belly Pops with a chile-brown sugar glaze, Crispy Fried Chicken with cast iron buttermilk biscuits and its signature The Edison Burger, a juicy combination of house-ground sirloin, shortrib and brisket, topped with Cabot cloth-bound cheddar, onion rings, smoked bacon, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and served with hand-cut fries. The Edison’s beverage program places a huge focus on artfully crafted cocktails, interesting beer and wines and house-made punches, made to serve from two to 10 guests. The main room features a dance floor and stage, where each night The Edison will feature an eclectic lineup of live entertainment including musicians, aerialists and dancers.

    Reservations are currently not available for these four dining locations at Disney Springs, but we expect them to be available soon!

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