FIRST ON SJO — Three new venues have been confirmed for Disney Springs: Maria & Enzo’s, an Italian trattoria; Enzo’s Hideaway, a speakeasy; and Pizza Ponte, a fast-casual concept. All three are being developed by the Patina Restaurant Group and will be located next to the Edison, which is also under construction.
The trattoria’s backstory, because all venues at Disney Springs must have one, is that it occupies an abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s. Its decor will feature air travel memorabilia and maps. The dining room will have 50-foot ceilings and a view of Lake Buena Vista, so apparently the airline terminal served seaplanes. The menu will have a Sicilian accent, with Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan), and handmade pastas served tableside. Other highlights include fresh fish, steaks and chops.
Enzo’s Hideaway occupies supposed rum-runner tunnels and is accessible through Maria & Enzo’s. Back in 2015, this venue was rumored to be called the Neverland Tunnels, but someone probably thought better of associating the Lost Boys with running rum (though I’ve long suspected Tinker Bell). Enzo’s Hideaway will feature Prohibition-style cocktails but will also serve a menu of more casual Italian dishes.
Pizza Ponte will be a fast-casual dining concept with pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. It will feature Bomboloni, or Italian doughnuts, Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) and Porchetta, as well as pizza by the slice.
All three restaurants are slated to open during the upcoming holiday season.
Maria & Enzo’s will be a more upscale dining experience with an especial emphasis on fine Italian wines. Sommelier Tiziano Bugatti said that Maria & Enzo’s will be the only restaurant in the United States to feature some of the wines.
During a tasting at Tutto Italia at Epcot’s Italy pavilion, Bugatti highlighted some of the wines.
Occhipinti Nero d’Avola is one of Maria & Enzo’s exclusive wines. Bugatti, pictured at left, said that he selected it because “it’s a lady that makes this wine.” He said there are over 250 female winemakers in Italy, “We are the first country in the world that does that.” He said he likes to pair the red wine with salmon, “to surprise the guest,” and also serves it chilled. It has flavors of black cherry, plum and licorice but is very delicate.
Another wine that will be found only at Maria & Enzo’s is Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri. “The wine talks to you,” he said of the Brunello. “It’s very complex, with lots of fruit and high acidity. Bugatti said the wine has the potential to age 20 to 30 years but is made to drink now. “I don’t know if we’re going to be tomorrow here,” said the native of Brescia in North Italy, “so I want to drink the wine right now.”
Other wines that Bugatti will be pouring at Maria & Enzo’s include sparkling wines Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Saten and Bracchetto Spumante Batasiolo; Planeta Chardonnay; Montessu Isola dei Nuraghi; and Vin Santo Tenute Marchese Antinori.
-Originally published in Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide, October 29, 2017
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