Italy Review: 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival
No country is more well-known for it’s cuisine-prowess, than Italy. And Italy holds a special place in my heart, after-all my wife is Italian and I live there half the year. So I am very familiar with the Italian Cuisine. Which makes me nervous as anything when I eat Italian outside Italy. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the time it’s still very good, but when you’re used to Italian Food in Italy it’s tough eating it elsewhere. Therefore I wasn’t sure what to find this year in the Italy kiosk at Food and Wine. Let’s see what they are cooking up this year…
The Kiosk is normal, nothing too crazy. However it is positioned nicely close to the water, close to the mini-Venice, so you get some nice ambiance…
- Pennete alla Parmigiana: Baked Ziti and Chicken Parmigiana, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese – $6.25, DDP Snack Eligible *Ziggy Recommended
- Spezzatino alla Toscana con Polenta: Tuscan-style Stew with Carrots, Mushrooms and Crispy Polenta – $6.25, DDP Snack Eligible
- Cannoli al Cioccolato: Chocolate-covered Cannoli filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate and Candied Fruit – $4.25, Vegetarian, DDP Snack Eligible *Ziggy Recommended
- Moretti Lager – $5.50
- Moretti La Rossa Double Malt Beer – $5.50
- Pinot Grigio, Placido – $6.75
- Chianti, Placido – $6.75
- Prosecco, Fantinel Borgo – $9.00
- Corbinello Spumante Dolce Rose, Montegrande – $8.00
- Fior d’Arancio Moscato Spumante, Montegrande – $8.00
- Frozen Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila – $10.00 *Ziggy Recommended
Let me say that unlike most of the options at Food and Wine, the Italian dishes aren’t created on the spot, they are created in another kitchen then kept in warmers here. For that reason it’s impossible for a pasta dish to be fantastic after it’s been sitting around for a while.
That being said, for what it is, it was better than I was expecting. First I had the Pennete alla Parmigiana: Baked Ziti and Chicken Parmigiana, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese.
I have to say I’m always a sucker for a Chicken Parm, and I found this to be a decent version. There was a decent size piece of chicken inside, and it was very moist inside, not dry, and breaded very nicely. It came with Pennete (small Penne) in a tomato sauce, which for being made for thousands of people I thought the sauce was quite good also. I hate when chicken parm only has a little cheese sprinkled over it, but this was great because the entire dish was covered in mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, which I love!! Again, don’t expect the best Chicken Parm you’ve ever eaten but the price/quantity is good and it’s a good option for picky eaters that don’t want something more exotic.
There’s also the Spezzatino alla Toscana con Polenta: Tuscan-style Stew with Carrots, Mushrooms and Crispy Polenta. I don’t get the name of this dish because polenta isn’t a Tuscan dish, but it’s a dish that’s more common to the north of Italy in Bergamo, Brescia or in the Lake and Mountain districts…so I’m not sure why they gave it this name. The dish itself is ok. The meat is decent quality and the broth is flavorful enough, but for $6.25 they don’t give you enough meat imo. Also polenta prepared like this isn’t very good, very hard and tough.
Look at all that cheesy, buttery goodness…..mmmmmmmm.
Ok, so if you can’t make it to Italy and you are in the mood for polenta you can check out the Greenhouse Guru kiosk at Food and Wine, and they have an awesome Polenta served with Duck Confit…excellent!
Lastly on the menu there’s The Cannoli al Cioccolato. This was excellent. It was in a shell completely covered in Chocolate and packed with a sweet ricotta filling and two candied fruit at each end. I had just had a cannoli at the boardwalk bakery and it was terrible, so this was a pleasant surprise. It might be the best cannoli on Disney property. The only negative is it’s small and I wanted like 6 of them, but as for flavor it hits right on the money and is one of my Top 15 Things you Must Try at Food and Wine this year!
Booth Summary and Grade:
People love the Italy kiosk and it is always jam-packed with people. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, the Pennete alla Parmigiana was a good value for money, and the Cannoli was excellent! I would skip the Tuscan Stew with Polenta next time. It’s not the best Italian food you will find in Epcot, if you are really in the mood for a great Italian meal I suggest heading over to Via Napoli or Tutto Gusto instead. But if you are craving something Italian and quick or have picky eaters it gets the job done.
If you have to get just one thing: Cannoli al Cioccolato
Take a look at all of my 2016 Epcot Food and Wine articles. I have the Top 15 Things You Must Try this year at Food and Wine, and also a complete Index of the Food and Wine Menus and other Helpful Info. I want you to be able to have the best info on the Festival so you don’t waste your time and you have the best time possible!
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I want to know what you think my review of Italy at the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. What are your favorites? What keeps you coming back again and again? What would you like to see next year? Let us know in the comments section below! 🙂