Ever since word got out that Via Napoli, the new Italian restaurant that opened this past summer at Disney World, had pizza that cost $39 and featured flour imported from Italy and well water with the same characteristics as acqua in Naples, I've been dying to try a slice to see if it lived up to the hype. Last week I made it over to the Italy pavilion at Epcot and ordered a pie. The verdict is: meh.
Granted, I'm something of a pizza snob. And I'm probably spoiled since I live in the Boston area and regularly visit my son in New York City, two pizza havens. I prefer my pizza crust crisp with a slight char; the tomato sauce and cheese should provide the perfect complement of acidity, sweetness, and saltiness; and the toppings should be fresh, plentiful, and well balanced. Via Napoli disappointed in almost every category.
Despite the use of wood-fired ovens (and the hoity-toity water and flour), which often produces decent pizza, the crust was surprisingly limp and void of any char. There wasn't enough tomato sauce, and the cheese was nondescript. For toppings I ordered eggplant and white mushrooms. (I originally asked for portabella mushrooms since I saw them listed on the menu, but the waiter said that they were only available for one of the specialty pies. It seemed odd that they couldn't fill my request.) The mushrooms were bland, and the eggplant, instead of being roasted and crisp, was baked and mushy.
The grand total for the mediocre pizza was $23 -- for a four slice, mini "individual" pizza. Yikes! "Large" pizzas start at $28 and serve two to three, while $39 will get you a pie that serves three to five (and toppings cost extra). That's mighty pricey. To be fair, the Via Napoli pizza was probably the best I've had at a theme park -- although those of you who have suffered through what parks pass off as pizza know that's damning with faint praise.
Have you tried Via Napoli's pizza? Is my mini review on target or way off base? Chime in by clicking "comments" below.
- Disney World's Best Restaurants- Via Napoli may be just meh, but there are some fabulous restaurants throughout the Florida resort.
Photo: © Arthur Levine, 2012. Licensed to About.com.