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Old 07-03-2011, 05:28 AM   #16
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Abby, I am here too!

Wow! That salad LOOKS yummy, shame it didn't live up to it's looks. Can't wait for more!
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:17 AM   #17
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Hi Abby! I'm joining in on this one as well

Yay on taking a solo trip - sounds like fun!

Eek that salad doesn't sound good but it looks good in the pic.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:27 AM   #18
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Joining in!Look forward to your reviews.

I'm sorry that the salad was not good. It looks amazing though.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #19
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I'm so in!
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:13 PM   #20
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I am so in for this! A solo trip would be fantastic!
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:35 PM   #21
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Looking forward to your reviews, especially Boma breakfast!
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:51 PM   #22
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I'm in - I would love to do a solo trip, perhaps one day.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #23
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:50 PM   #24
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Joining in, can't wait for more !!
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:42 PM   #25
I knew I had converted him when he started pointing out hidden Mickeys to me!
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Welcome to all the new readers and welcome back to my seasoned veterans as well! Thanks for coming along everyone.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:25 AM   #26
I knew I had converted him when he started pointing out hidden Mickeys to me!
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Dinner at Via Napoli

After my disappointing snack at The Mara, I headed over to Epcot and hit Mission:Space Orange and Test Track (yay for single rider lines!) before decided I was hungry enough to start venturing over to the Italy Pavilion.

I wasn't able to get an ADR at a time I wanted since my trip plans changed so last minute. DBF can't eat tomatoes, so he wasn't very interested in VN. The second I knew he wasn't coming on the trip, I changed my ADR's around, but couldn't find a decent time for VN. I decided to chance a walk-up since those are usually more feasible as a party of one.

I checked in at 6:30 and was told they could seat me shortly. I waited about ten minutes and then was shown to a table.

The inside of VN is cavernous and thus somewhat loud, but it had very pretty architecture and decor.

The views from my seat:

Mmmm wood-fired pizzas ovens. If only I could have one of those in my kitchen...

I noticed that 99% of the CMs in VN are CUTIES! Add in the Italian accent and ...well, maybe it was good my DBF didn't join me!

The cutie helping me that day was Luca. He was very friendly and efficient. He didn't forget about me even though he had a large party of 10 at one table in his section.

I decided to try one of VN's specialty drinks - an Acqua Fresca. It's a non-alcoholic mix of water and fruit juices. I went with the Blood Orange flavor, and they also have Lemon and Strawberrry.

There is a bread basket and olive oil brought to all tables. The bread was just ok...tasted like mediocre 'Italian' bread from the supermarket.

The bread was boring, but the Acqua Fresca was amazing! So light, refreshing, fruity, and not too sweet. It was a really great drink for a summer day in Florida. I had to pace myself from gulping it down since they're $5 a pop!

I knew what I wanted to order since I first read the VN menu - a Margherita Pizza! I got the individual size of course:

Your basic pizza with tomatoes, cheese and basil. The original, can't go wrong classic! Before I tell you how it was, I need to provide you with a disclaimer: I am a pizza aficionado. I have eaten pizza all over Italy, and more importantly in Naples at Pizzeria Da Michele, which is widely regarded as THE place for pizza in the city where pizza was born. My standards are very high and I'm not easy to please. I went through a six month period after my return from Italy where I didn't even eat pizza because there is no Italian style pizza in my hometown and everything else wasn't going to satisfy my cravings.

I also believe that you can't compare apples to oranges. I think there are four types of pizza and it's unfair to compare different types and proclaim one better than the other when the pizza makers are going for different products.
Abby's Four Main Pizza Types:
American - basically your delivery chains like Pizza Hut, Dominos, Little Ceasars, etc.
NYC - The NY style thin crust that you can buy by the slice at countless places in the Northeast.
Chicago - Chicago Deep Dish
Italian - my personal favorite. Thin crust, crushed tomatoes (not sauce), fresh mozzerella, and MUST come from a wood or coal fired oven.

So Via Napoli falls in to the Italian category. I read that one the developers even studied at Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples in order to make the best replication of true Napoli style pizza. So my expectations were high, as were my hopes. It's hard to find a place that makes Italian style pizza, so knowing I could possibly get it four hours away in WDW, where I go 2-3 times per year was really making me excited.
So....after my treastie on pizza here...what did I think?
Drumroll please......

Abby doesn't have to go across the Atlantic to satisfy her Italian Pizza cravings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If Da Michele's pies are 10, I'm giving VN an 8. The crust was thin, tasted 85% the same as Da Michele's, the crushed tomatoes were light and had that special bright flavor summer flavor, and the cheese was fresh mozzerella, sprinkled lightly over the pizza, not drowning the entire thing. Finished off with some torn fresh basil and we have a pretty authentic product. Surprising for WDW and Epcot, where I don't expect authenticity in the ethnic foods. My only critique would be that the crust wasn't quite as crisped as it should be. I knew something was a bit off, and it wasn't until I came home and did some reading here on the boards that I realized the doneness was the slight issue I had.

Apparently most of the customers have been complaining about the black charring on the crust, so they haven't been cooking the pizza quite as well done as it should be. I think a few more minutes in the oven would have moved this pizza to a 9. But now I know for next time to ask for it well done!

So for any poor reviews of VN, I think the issue is expectations, not the product itself. Most people probably have never had, nor are they aware of what Italian style pizza is. So they are comparing VN to something else like a NYC style slice, and as I said, I think that's an unfair apples to oranges issue.

Which makes me slightly worried about VN's success in Disney. Authentic doesn't usually bring in the crowds at Disney, people seem to want the Americanized versions of things. However, the restaurant was busy when I went, and from all reports I've read, it seems to have been this way since they opened around 10 months ago.

Do yourself a favor and get some pizza from VN on your next visit!

Grade: A
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:48 AM   #27
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I love the pizza at VN too! I agree with your pizza categories. Whenever anyone asks me for a recommendation of a local pizza place I always have to ask what kind of pizza they like, since there are three different places I would send them to depending on the answer. Personally I like Italian and NY the best.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:12 PM   #28
It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out as a big Boma eater
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Todd is following over my shoulder as I read all the dining reviews and he is driving me nuts...You made sure to get us in to VN for Oct right Nic??? But of course!

We have sat in that same seat that you are sitting in twice now
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:46 PM   #29
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Yay on getting into VN without an ADR!

Lol at the comment about the cute waiters!

Your drink does look good - am glad you enjoyed it.

I was nervous for VN when reading on and hearing about your pizza experiences. I'm very happy to read that you can now have Italian pizza at Disney
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:41 PM   #30
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I was getting nervous as I read about your pizza experiences, wondering how VN would compare! I'm glad to hear that it was good! Glad that we have our first ADR there on our next trip. Can't wait to read more. A solo trip would be so fun!
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