Five Incredible Reasons to Eat at Maria & Enzo’s
When’s the last time you ate some delicious Italian food? The pandemic has messed up everything, hasn’t it?
Well, when you visit Walt Disney World, you can feel safe while dining at the delicious restaurants. So, it’s the best of both worlds right now.
You want to pick the best place, though, and I’d suggest that you choose one of the newest places at Walt Disney World.
Here are five reasons to eat at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.
At Walt Disney World, all roads lead to Disney Springs these days.
With the parks closing earlier than usual, guests have little choice but to look elsewhere for dinner plans.
The best current options come from the Disney resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk, and Disney Springs.
You’ll find plenty to eat at all these locations, but let’s focus on Disney Springs today.
To reach this entertainment complex, you’ll board a bus from one of the parks or official Disney resorts.
Once you arrive, your destination is The Landing, which you’ll have no trouble finding.
The most noticeable eye-catcher at Disney Springs soars into the sky. I’m speaking of the Aerophile, the giant balloon.
Walk in the general direction of the balloon, and you’ll approach The Landing.
There’s a bridge just to the right of the check-in desk for the Aerophile.
Maria & Enzo’s resides just past the bridge, near its two siblings, Pizza Ponte and Enzo’s Hideaway.
Before I discuss the theming, I need to mention the backstory, which possesses relevance for everything you’ll notice in the restaurant.
Apparently, Maria and Enzo grew up together and fell in love as childhood sweethearts.
Alas, the cruel world got in the way, as Maria’s family moved to America, breaking up the star-crossed couple.
Enzo wouldn’t let a body of water stand between him and true love, though. He earned his pilot license so that he could fight in the Great War.
Once the battles had ended, Enzo commandeered a vessel and flew to The Landing, where he, well, landed.
Hungry after a busy day of piloting, Enzo wandered into a bakery. And do you know who was waiting to serve him tasty sweets? YES! It was Maria!
Reunited by destiny, Maria and Enzo decided to build a family restaurant where she could put her fabulous recipes to good use.
Meanwhile, Enzo could recount stories of the Great War and other amazing piloting adventures to the diners.
And they lived happily ever after in a previously abandoned sea-plane air terminal.
True love always wins.
You won’t understand the theming at Maria & Enzo’s without that backstory.
I say this because airplane paraphernalia is seemingly everywhere. You’ll know this the instant you walk in the door.
The hosts and hostesses wear old school pilot outfits that vaguely resemble the legendary Pan Am look of the 1960s.
The main dining area rests on one floor, but there’s a second floor with some seating above it.
This style isn’t coincidental, as it again ties back to the theming and backstory.
You’re eating in an airport terminal, a massive space. So, the roof towers above you, even when you dine on the second floor.
The Patina Restaurant Group owns and operates this establishment and the other two places, the pizza joint and speakeasy bar.
However, Disney Imagineers liaised with Patina on the theming, which explains why it’s so detailed.
The host stand says Passenger Check-In, while you enter the dining area through doors that state, “All Gates.”
For a moment, you may believe you’re at an airport before you notice the dining room tables everywhere.
You can even eat in the First Class Lounge, although it’s just a section of the restaurant rather than anything upscale.
Perhaps my favorite part of the décor resides at the top of the restaurant. A giant globe doubles as the chandelier at Maria & Enzo’s. It’s the perfect touch.
The Antipasti and Secondi
As if the names didn’t give it away, Maria & Enzo’s specializes in Italian cuisine.
Now, you may wonder whether this place compares to the options at the Italy pavilion.
Since I’m not doing a review today, I’ll leave that discussion for another day.
What I will say is that the place unquestionably crushes Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and Tony’s Town Square, the lesser Italian establishments.
Walt Disney World certainly isn’t lacking for spicy meatball options. In fact, Disney’s BoardWalk offers Trattoria al Forno as a superb choice, too.
So, I understand the need to be picky. You don’t want to have lousy Italian food when Tutto Italia Ristorante usually has open tables.
Thankfully, I have good news on this front.
The menu at Maria & Enzo’s will put a smile on your face. Sicilian dishes are plentiful and mouth-watering.
You can go simple with Arancini de Carne or Melanzane Parmigiana. Alternatively, you can get a bit adventurous with a seafood dish like Aragosta Fra Maria.
Then again, maybe you’re like my wife and want pure Italian. If so, you’ll want chicken parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs.
The menu will call them Pollo alla Parmigiana and Spaghetti alla Chitarra, of course, but you know the deal.
Shameless carnivores like me who don’t care for Italian food are even in business here.
Maria & Enzo’s thoughtfully includes a 12-ounce sirloin steak on the menu. You can get it with or without Pizzaiola sauce.
Those of you who want appetizers should get the Caprese, a cheese and tomato dish that will blow your mind.
I may not care for Italian food – shocking, I know – but I am all about Italian desserts.
At Maria & Enzo’s, I can happily devour any of the four current options.
— Maria and Enzos (@MariaAndEnzos) August 15, 2018
Yes, there’s a gelato dish because duh. However, the Cannoli Siciliano tastes a bit more authentic, in my opinion.
Then, there’s a grandma’s tart called Torta Della Nonna that brilliantly counterbalances a custard with pine nuts and almonds. So, it’s sweet with a crunch.
I’ve saved the best for last, though. The other dessert here is the one to try if you must pick.
The ultra-rich Chocolate Ganache includes an orange caramel flavor that will dazzle your tastebuds.
The moral of the story here is that you should always save room for dessert at Maria & Enzo’s.
The next time you’re at Disney Springs, this place is definitely somewhere you want to check out.
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Come dine with us in an elegant Italian trattoria set in a stylish airline terminal built in the 1930s's. Enjoy a stunning view of Lake Buena Vista while you feast on authentic fare inspired by Sicilian cuisine, with handmade pastas, fresh fish, steaks, and desserts! Yum! #ItalianFoodLovers #TravelDestinations #Trattoria #SicilianCuisine #DisneySprings #HandmadePasta #OrlandoEats #YesPlease #LakeBuenaVista #WineLovers #HappyPlace #OrlandoFoodie #DisneyEats
I also encourage you to visit Enzo’s Hideaway while you’re there. The theming at this lounge will warm your Disney-loving heart.
Feature Image: Disney