Grab your maschere (that’s “masks” in Italian!), it’s time for Carnevale in Disney Springs!
A few days ago, we took a peek at the menu for the month of Carnevale at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante in Disney Springs. This year, the celebrations of this iconic Venetian holiday are taking place in the evenings from now to February 29th. Of course, a huge aspect of Carnevale (besides the costumes and parties!) is the FOOD! So, you know we had to be there to check out what Maria & Enzo’s is serving up for the festival this year! Here’s our REVIEW of our evening at Maria & Enzo’s Carnevale Celebration!
Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante is located in Disney Springs and serves up a variety of Sicilian-inspired eats. The theme of the restaurant suggests that you’re dining in an abandoned airport terminal (how neat!). Where better to celebrate the traditional Italian party festival of Carnevale?
We love the theming and space at Maria & Enzo’s, but this month Carnevale is giving the restaurant a special kick.
There was entertainment galore, including a roaming violinist to set the mood. He was seriously talented and even took requests!
There was also a balloon animal artist!
Of course, you must dress the part for a Carnevale! Masks and beads were handed out to guests upon arrival.
There was also a station featuring hand-painted masks. We even had the opportunity to request a mask color! How cool?!
As we mentioned, there’s a special menu just for the Carnevale celebrations. Being it’s a celebration! We had to kick off the evening with some Carnevale drink specials.
The King Carnival featured Ketel One Vodka, pomegranate juice, Rosa Regale, lemon juice, and was topped with a sprig of rosemary. This was heavy on the pomegranate flavor but very refreshing. We couldn’t really taste the booze so be careful or it might sneak up on ya! 😉
The Red Mask featured Maker’s Mark Whiskey, fresh strawberry puree, pineapple juice, simple syrup, lemon juice, and a pineapple wedge. This one packed a punch! It was heavy on the whiskey and reminded us of an old fashioned but with a fruity flair.
The Fire Dancer featured Leblon Cachaca (a spirit popular in Brazil), lime juice, simple syrup, muddled jalapeños, and a jalapeño slice for garnish. This was hands down our favorite cocktail of the evening. We loved the zest from the citrus and thought it worked very well with the subtle heat from the jalapeños.
Now it’s on to the eats!
No matter what you plan on ordering, your meal will start off with Pinzimonio (an Italian Crudite) and Giardiniera Cremosa.
A nice Ciabatta bread course is definitely the way to our hearts and this one didn’t disappoint!
We were also treated to their Homemade Sfincione Focaccia.
For our Antipasti Course, we went with the Caesar Salad. We absolutely loved the dressing on this one. While nothing original about it, this was a very good salad to start the meal off with.
We also selected the Arancini. These were great and oozed with cheese when you cut into them.
Just look at all that cheesy goodness!
The Pasta Course featured a selection of 6 options, including their signature Lasagne Bolognese.
We opted to try the Torchio Al Pollo. This dish featured spiral-shaped pasta, roasted chicken ragu, toasted garlic, and a parmesan cream sauce. This was fantastic and one of our favorite dishes of the evening. It was creamy and rich while not being aggressively heavy.
We also tried the Ravioli Al Tre Formaggi. This dish had Parmigiano-Reggiano, smoked pecorino, fresh ricotta, tomato sauce, toasted garlic, and almond pesto. We enjoyed the pesto but overall this wasn’t anything special.
Now it’s on to the Secondi Course! The entree course is accompanied by something extra just for this event. To be specific, we got a taste of Mamma Maria’s Mini-Meatballs. The meatballs themselves were tender and moist, but we found the sauce to be a tad on the watery side.
For entrees, we tried the party exclusive Costina Di Manzo. These were Braised Angus Beef Short Ribs with creamy mascarpone polenta, oyster mushrooms, and a broccoli rabe gremolata.
They hit a home run with this one! The short ribs were extremely tender and the accompanying polenta was so good we could gladly eat an entire bowl of it!
And to top off your meal, your evening includes a complimentary dessert of Bugie e Chiacchiere (basically a fried sweet pastry). You really can’t go wrong with fried dough and powdered sugar! They also threw a little salt on there that balanced out the flavors.
You will also have the option to order something off of the Dessert Menu.
We had to try the Chocolate Ganache with toasted marshmallow meringue and orange caramel. This was super rich but surprisingly fabulous. So good, in fact, that we couldn’t stop eating it (even though we were SO full by this point)! The orange did a nice job of balancing this dish out and we loved the marshmallow.
For those who prefer to drink their desserts, we also tried the Nutella Martini. This cocktail featured Grey Goose, Nutella, Frangelico, Irish cream, and a Nutella and Amaretti crumb rim. That’s right…a NUTELLA RIM! The drink was delicious and obviously on the sweet side, but not over the top. You could definitely taste the booze!
It was a really fun night! While they didn’t have live performers like last year, we had fun with the entertainment that was there. We’d say the food was good overall with a few standouts! Carnevale at Maria & Enzo’s is happening nightly from 5:00 to 10:00 PM now through February 29.
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Will you be making a reservation at Maria and Enzo’s for Carnevale this year? Tell us in the comments!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Disney World to attend their media preview of Carnevale at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ