Five things to know about Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, a fresh addition to Disney Springs, the shopping/dining/entertainment complex at Walt Disney World.
• Entering is an a-ha moment. Diners arrive on the upper level and look down on the dining room. It sports a 50-foot-high ceiling. The room is ringed with a colorful, travel-oriented mural. A huge retro-styled globe is centered over the space. And tall, slender windows look out onto the waterfront of Lake Buena Vista.
• The theme falls under the Disney Springs umbrella (repurposed buildings from a Florida town) and sets the restaurant in an old air terminal, complete with greeters in old-school in-flight costuming. Enzo, as the story goes, was a pilot.
• What to eat? Here’s a clue: Chef Theo Schoenegger, who created the menu, is a native Italian. Look for items such as busiate con granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘ncasciata al forno (Sicilian basked pasta) and nodino di vitello (grilled veal chop). When I asked Chef Theo what was for dessert, he said, without hestation, “cannoli!”. A scan of the menu finds entrée prices mostly running from mid $20s to mid $30s.
• What to drink? There are more than 100 wine selections, mostly Italian, naturally.
• Attached to M&E, but with separate entrances, are Pizza Ponte, a counter-serve restaurant, and Enzo’s Hideaway, which has a speakeasy vibe and is accessed through the lower level.