This photo is to get you into an Epcot frame of mind.
THIS photo is to get you into an Italian frame of mind.
Alright - everybody in the right frame of mind? Nice and relaxed, ready for some amazing Italian food?
Excellent - now on to the main attraction: Via Napoli Ristorante and Pizzeria! That facade rises up so impressively - I love the warm buttery color against the blue sky. Just standing in front of it gets you excited-like.
As soon as you step inside you're greeted by an absolutely fabulous chandelier. It's like a rainbow of blown glass, hung with beads and swirls and bunches of glass grapes!
I know the chandelier in the entryway doesn't seem like it would be an important part of the meal; but the decor of a restaurant really adds to the experience. It can make you immediately relaxed and happy - and happiness makes even the most delicious meals just a little bit tastier!
With Via Napoli, you are immediately immersed in the decor of the restaurant, because the entryway has these big beautiful walls of windows, so you can see right into the dining room.
This is a view from the main dining room - you can see the windows and the entryway to the lower left. And check out those high ceilings! They, along with the colors and those little square windows set high up in the walls, made the restaurant feel SO bright and airy.
Totally Random Tidbit: windows set above eye level (for the purpose of bringing more light into a space) like those ones are called clerestory windows and are common in cathedrals!
Italian travel posters adorn the walls!
It is my mother's ambition someday, years hence, to come back to Via Napoli with my brothers and I and our families and have enough children and grandchildren to completely fill up that counter. I think it sounds pretty fun.
Close-up of the tiles. I assume those are all famous Italian sights - it would be fun to try to identify them all!
The centerpiece of the dining room are the pizza ovens, with their larger-than-live faces! Strumboli, Vesuvio, and Etna are names of volcanoes in Italy. I think it's funny how their moustaches are starting to turn black from the smoke.
I really loved how the kitchen was open to the dining room. While we were waiting for our meals, I went up to watch all the scrumptious action!
The pizza dough the chefs were tossing in the air looked as thin and delicate as some fine fabric!
That knife looks kinda scary, but the dish of lasagna looks delish! Also note that big bowl of flour - at another station, I watched the cooks frying up zeppole (you'll hear more about those in a minute!).
I loved how there were different spaces within the main dining area - this side of the room had lower, latticed ceilings and charming painted walls.
One more dining space, off of the main room.
Time to look at the menu! It's at restaurants like Via Napoli that I have the most difficulty choosing, because everything sounds so delicious! I went with the lasagna verde - lasagna with spinach, Parmesan, and besciamella. (Besciamella is Italian for that white, creamy, delicious Bechamel sauce!)
Mine is usually a tap water family - we like to try to save money by not ordering drinks. But this time I just had to try a strawberry aqua fresca.
Everytime I type "aqua fresca" I can feel myself relaxing and mentally saying, "Ahhhhhh."
It was just that good! Fruity and smooth, without the carbonation of soda pop. The epitome of refreshing. And how cute is that glass??
The aqua fresca was one of the celebrities of the meal; but the lasagna verde definitely had a starring role as well. It was SO ENTIRELY DELICIOUS. So good I would put it right up there among my very favorite Disney foods!
As my brother Porthos said: "Every bite took me to Italy."
Porthos didn't even order the lasagna verde - he split the pepperoni pizza with my dad. I tried a sliver, and it was very tasty.
Another meal ordered by another brother was the eggplant parmesan, or tortino di melazane. My brother Athos considers himself something of a connoisseur when it comes to eggplant parmesan, and while he liked it, it surprisingly wasn't his favorite E.P. ever. I thought it tasted very gourmet and delicious.
Don't forget about dessert! We decided to share the zeppole di caterina, fried doughnut balls filled with ricotta. They came with a dish of chocolate and a dish of whipped cream!
And obviously I liked the chocolate so much I couldn't bare to miss a single lick of it!
I would highly recommend Via Napoli - I mean, look, they even had adorable little business cards (perfect for Disney scrapbookers!). It was a bit pricey, even at lunch, so it would be a great thing to do if you're on the dining plan or with the Table in Wonderland discount. The entrees were nicely sized but didn't leave us stuffed.
Definitely a new favorite Disney meal for my family!