Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Restaurant Review: The Childrens' Menu at Via Napoli.

Festive and pretty, Via Napoli is a grown up
restaurant kids will love.
Photo copyright Disney.

Most Disney kids' menus follow a predictable pattern:  Nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and burgers.  The exception to the rule is the World Showcase, where kids can partake in more sophisticated but still kid-friendly versions of the type of cuisine their parents and older siblings are enjoying.  Nowhere is this more true than at Via Napoli, where the kids' menu is easily as good as the adult menu.

If you've eaten there or followed the buzz, you know that Via Napoli serves outstanding wood-fired pizza with fresh mozzarella and inventive toppings. Appetizers and desserts are a pleasure, and the dining room is visually appealing, lively, and fun.  It's a must-do for us on every trip. 

If you're on the dining plan, kids start with a fruit cup or a small salad.  My kids preferred the fruit cup, which was a large serving of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes.  It's served in a fancy little glass perched on a saucer; a nice touch that makes kids feel a bit grown up.  You'll then get a choice of three entrees: A small individual pizza, spaghetti with meatballs, or a ham and cheese calzone.  Kids on the dining plan also get a choice of dessert, a chocolate gelato or cookie.


Fruit cup.

My sons chose the pizza, which is a smaller version of the adult pizza.  It's chewy, thin crust pizza with a delicious marinara covered with buffalo mozzarella. The taste is extraordinary, but if your kids prefer a traditional New York-style pizza, they may not like this.  My kids love it, but just be forewarned.  The marinara is nice and light, with the fresh taste of tomatoes and not overly spicy.  If I had one complaint it's that the cheese only covers a few inches in the middle of the pizza. I would have preferred it to go a little bit closer to the crust.

My daughter had the spaghetti with meatballs and she ate the entire thing, minus the meatballs. My husband and I actually had them and they were quite good!  Tender, lightly seasoned, these would please kids who are real carnivores, I think.  The serving is huge, so if you're not on the dining  plan and you have light eaters, you may consider having your kids share this entree.

Spaghetti and Meatballs.

After being offered cookies at almost every Disney restaurant, my kids were tired of them and opted for the rich, chocolate gelato instead.  Most ice cream that bills itself as gelato lacks the creaminess of real gelato, so I was pleased to see that Via Napoli's has that desired texture that sets it apart from your everyday ice cream. The darker chocolate flavor of the gelato gave it a grown up touch that just added to the luxurious feeling of the dessert.  It's a real surprise.

Mention must be made of the atmosphere of this restaurant, which is fun and lively at all times. Kids, and grown ups, can be a little loud without worry, but it's not so loud that you can't have a nice conversation. For quieter dining, try the covered outdoor seating, which is romantic enough for a date. Stepping into Via Napoli, you really will feel la dolce vita, right down to the friendly Italian wait staff.  Next time you're planning a Disney trip, give it a try.

1 comment:

Surrounded-By-Boys said...

Never tried it...might have to when the boys get a little bit older. Another restaurant that has items other than nuggets is Tony's in Magic Kingdom.