Via Napoli (Epcot)

It seems to me like Via Napoli just opened up yesterday – but my friend Beth says that it’s been open for a couple of years now.  Somehow though – Derek and I had never tried Via Napoli out until this May.  The day that we were running in the Expedition Everest Challenge, we decided to make late lunch reservations at Via Napoli in Epcot.  Three of us went – Derek, my Team Peacock teammate Beth, and myself.

First of all – when we walked in, I was really impressed by the space.  Because this restaurant is tucked into the back of the Italy pavilion, I had not imagined that it was so spacious and airy.  The ceilings are high and there’s a lot of light – very pleasant surroundings.

We were seated promptly.  Our server (who’s name I have forgotten) was very cute, but he, well, he wasn’t the greatest server. He was fine, but nothing special and a little on the clueless and slow side.  Oh well – he was adorable looking and had a fine Italian accent.

We decided to share a pizza.  For Derek and I this was a bit risky – as, living in New Haven, we get some pretty darned good pizza at home.  But it seems like the specialty at Via Napoli and it did sound delicious.  We ordered the Prosciutto e Melone which was a white pizza with fontina, arugula, prosciutto, and thin cantaloupe slices.  We also ordered an appetizer – the Gamberetti Fagioli:  jumbo shrimp, cannellini bean salad, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice.  Both dishes were fabulous – but the pizza really wowed me (pictures courtesy of Beth Chaney – her camera was much better than mine).

The crust was not too thick but not too thin – a nice crustiness with just the right touch of chewiness.  It was baked with the cheese (and likely some olive oil and garlic) and then the arugula, melon, and prosciutto were layered on top of it when it came out of the oven.  It looked incredible and tasted even better.  The prosciutto was a really high quality – very little fat (so much less than the stuff I can get at the grocery store) and the flavor was beautiful – not too salty, but just that right savoriness.  I do wish there had been just a little more melon on the pizza, as the flavor of the melon didn’t really stand out in anyway.  The arugula was fresh and flavorful – it reminded me how much I like arugula for its spiciness and flavor and how terrible salads used to be when they were just iceberg lettuce.

We finished off the whole pizza and ended our meal by sharing a pistachio gelato.  You can’t go wrong with gelato!

All in all – it was a fabulous lunch.  Via Napoli is definitely on our must-do-again list, and since it didn’t seem particularly crowded – it seems like we could make fairly late reservations (or, dare I say it, walk-up?).

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