Tag Archives: Maria & Enzo’s

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante Opens at Disney Springs

Patina Restaurant Group (PRG) yesterday opened the doors for a media preview and soft opening that showcased the stunning new Italian restaurant located at the reimagined Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort — Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.

The new dining destination brings to Disney Springs the warmth of Italy and the dreamiest Italian cuisine this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger. The restaurant will officially begin serving dinner to the public on January 5. Lunch and brunch service will begin later this month (updated hours and special events available on the restaurant’s Facebook page).

Fittingly, the media sneak peek on January 4 coincided with National Spaghetti Day, providing the perfect Italian backdrop for the occasion. A dedication ceremony featured Italian ambassadors, chefs, executives from Patina Restaurant Group, Delaware North (Patina Restaurant Group’s parent company), Disney; and very special guests Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Disney restaurants often have a backstory, part of the company’s tradition of immersive storytelling. Mirroring that tradition, Patina Restaurant Group collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the story for Maria & Enzo’s.

“The story behind Maria and Enzo is one of travel, food, love and friendship, all steeped in Italian tradition,” said Valenti, referring to the backstory of Maria and Enzo, an Italian couple that immigrated to Central Florida in the 1920s. “Their story is set in a long-forgotten sea-plane air terminal that became the setting for the restaurant.

“We couldn’t be happier to have a chef as talented as Theo Schoenegger,” Valenti continued. “A native Italian with an incredible repertoire, his cooking has a delicious authenticity that brings the story to life.”

Following the dedication, media and special guests enjoyed the food and hospitality at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, where Chef Schoenegger presented a variety of signature dishes including, of course, spaghetti in honor of National Spaghetti Day.

Three New Italian Dining Locations Announced for Disney Springs

Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group (PRG), confirmed plans to open three new modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts at Disney Springs this winter. The restaurants, all new concepts created by PRG, each with unique menus, will form an expansive dining complex showcasing authentic Italian food and entertainment. They will be adjacent to The Edison, the lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style destination also being developed by PRG.

“I’m delighted to announce that we will be opening a trattoria named Maria & Enzo’s, as well as Enzo’s Hideaway, a separate restaurant in what were said to be rum-running tunnels, which is destined to become a local favorite,” said Valenti. “They are inspired by the cuisines of Sicily and Rome, the Italian family, and the best of Italian modern cooking.”

The new concepts tie into the Disney Springs storyline of a restored Florida waterfront town. “Our inspiration is to bring unforgettable food and wine from Italy to Florida, with the stunning scenery you only find at Disney,” said Valenti.

Maria & Enzo’s – an Italian trattoria set in the town’s storied abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s, now transformed into a restaurant. The dining room is open and airy, featuring 50-foot ceilings with views of Lake Buena Vista. The restaurant interiors showcase artifacts that reference air travel of the time, with maps and historic flight paths. The menu is inspired by Sicily, with a range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) – and handmade pastas – Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside. Other highlights include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops.

Enzo’s Hideaway – a speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper).

Pizza Ponte – a fast-casual concept and the perfect place for a quick bite serving pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. Pastry specialties include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice.

Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway and Pizza Ponte are slated to open during this winter. For more information on Patina Restaurant Group visit www.patinagroup.com.