Welcome guest author Paul Kuconis! Today, he shares the popular Arancini Appetizer at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy pavilion. Grazie, Paul!
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I always look forward to our Walt Disney World visits; and I look forward to the food! One of our ‘go-to’ Epcot restaurants is Via Napoli Pizzeria E Ristorante, or better known as ‘Via Napoli’.
One of the problems with dining here is that we have to walk almost to the very back of Epcot to get to Italy. But that only heightens the anticipation!
Although we had to change our reservation to a more convenient time, we were given a good table close to the pizza station.
While we waited, we took in the décor!
We enjoyed our seats under the watchful eyes of Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna. The three pizza ovens are named after active volcanoes in Italy; Stromboli on the Aeolian Islands, Vesuvius near Naples, and Mount Etna in Sicily.
It was equally interesting to watch the chefs prepare and cook pizzas. They look like they enjoy their jobs and perform them with military precision.
I would like to share with DFB readers our favorite Via Napoli appetizer – Arancini.
Arancini means ‘little oranges’, which is exactly what these round/oval, deep-fried rice croquettes look like when they are removed from the hot oil.
They are served as snack food in bars and cafes all over Sicily, and their filling can vary — meat and tomato sauce with peas, chopped vegetables and white sauce-cheese, and prosciutto — depending on the cook.
We were served by Luca, who came to Epcot via Turin, Italy. Luca agreed, “Good choice!”, and placed the order for the Arancini. I also ordered a glass of Batasiolo Chardonnay.
If I planned on more that one glass, Luca suggested the quartino. Good idea! I enjoy a nice Chardonnay, but by no means consider myself a wine connoisseur. I drink what I like whether or not it is appropriately paired. It went well with my meal.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, (but was, in fact only ten minutes!), Luca deliveredthe Arancini.
The dish was nicely plated as I would expect from a restaurant of this quality. Almost too pretty to eat! “Hah! Let’s dig in!”
The inside was nice and moist, contrasting with the crunchy outside. Prepared perfectly with a great color!
There was a nice balance of saltiness from the mozzarella and the meat in the rice, along with the tang of the tomato sauce. Delicious layering of flavors!
I have never been disappointed by any meal at Disney World. They know how to ‘get it done.’ The wait staff is always awesome, providing further details and explanations of menu items, which enhances the whole culinary experience.
If you haven’t experienced this appetizer, try it! All I can say is ‘Molto Buono’ — very good!
What’s your “go-to” appetizer when dining at Via Napoli? Let us know in the comments below!