Skip to Content

REVIEW: Italy – 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival food

All the Food…

Italy is back again for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017.  Italy is a special booth to me because as many of you know, my wife is Italian and we spend many months there throughout the year.  So let’s just say that we are familiar with Italian food! ?.  That being said, it’s not always easy to find authentic Italian food like in Italy, so it will be interesting to see how the booth does this year.  Andiamo a mangiare di brutto (let’s go eat a ton) in my Italy Review: 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival….

Italy Booth:

I’m not sure why Hops and Barley has to be different, why can’t we just call this the America Booth again??

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Italy Booth

Italy Booth

 

Italy Menu:

Italy has changed up its menu quite a bit from last year.  First they changed out Pennete alla Pamigiana last year to Penne w/ Vodka Sauce and Shrimp.  Kept the Spezzatino but this year it’s a beef style stew with creamy cheesy polenta instead of the crispy one.  Then they also added a whole new item this year: Crispy Calamari w/ pomodoro sauce.  The only thing that’s exactly the same is the Chocolate Cannoli.  

I can’t wait to see how they compare to the food back in Italy…

2016 Menu:

Italy Review: 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Italy Menu 2016

Here is this year’s menu 2017:

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Italy Menu 2017

Italy Menu 2017

Food:

  • Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce – $8.00, DDP Snack Credit  *Ziggy Recommended
  • Spezzatino con Polenta: Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta – $7.50, DDP Snack Credit  *Ziggy Recommended
  • Absolut Penne with Vodka Sauce with Shrimp – $7.00, DDP Snack Eligible  *Ziggy Recommended
  • Cannoli al Cioccolato: Chocolate-covered Cannoli filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate and Candied Fruit – $4.25, DDP Snack Credit 

Beverages:

  • Pinot Grigio – $7.00
  • Chianti – $7.00
  • Prosecco – $9.00
  • Corbinello – $9.00
  • Moscato -$9.00
  • Frozen Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila -$10.00  *Ziggy Recommended
  • Moretti Lager Beer -$5.50
  • Moretti La Rossa Double Malt Beer -$5.50

We noticed that this is one of the highest-priced menus at Food and Wine this year, with no savory item coming in less than $7.00, so we’ll keep and eye out to see if they are worth the high price!

Menu Review:

Might as well start out with the Spezzatino con Polenta: Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta, as this is a typical dish from our area of Italy.  I’m very particular with my polenta and I hate it when it’s hard and not creamy.  When I took my first bite of this my worry was instantly relieved.  This is really, really good and something most Americans don’t immediately associate with Italian cooking, however it’s huge were we are.  It’s a giant portion, very filling.  The stew is awesome, very savory and perfectly salted, lots of good beef in there too.  That polenta is just great though, super cheesy and smooth.  Not an ideal dish for hot weather, but if you get it an evening in late Oct or Nov you’ll love it!

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Spezzatino con polenta

Spezzatino con Polenta: Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta

 

My family are crazy for calamari, so we got the Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce to share.  Big mistake.  Should have kept it for myself.  This was the second amazing dish in a row.  Pretty good size portion of calamari, small rings, which are my favorite part!  The breading is what makes this amazing though.  In Italian we call it: “pastella” which is only flour and water, and seasonings of course.  That way when you fry it, it’s super light and crispy, not a heavy breading which I don’t like at all.  The calamari wasn’t chewy, very tender!  The sauce is a simple tomato sauce, but not Ragu from a jar, actually fresh tasting, and went really well with the calamari.  Overall we loved it!

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Crispy Calamari

Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

 

Last up of the 3 savory items: Absolut Penne with Vodka Sauce with Shrimp.  One amazing dish after the next here!  Penne was perfectly cooked al dente, which is often not the case when cooking for this many people.  The vodka sauce was unreal, real fresh, sweet tasting tomatoes, and the sauce was creamy and cheesy too.  Three shrimp included which were good too, and the portion of pasta is abundant!  Much better than the pasta dish last year!  I love a good pasta dish, I could eat it every day, and this was pretty great!

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Absolut Penne with Vodka Sauce with Shrimp

Absolut Penne with Vodka Sauce with Shrimp

 

Could Italy make the clean sweep with the Cannoli al Cioccolato: Chocolate-covered Cannoli filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate and Candied Fruit?  I’m sorry to say…not so much here.  I love cannoli, but they have to taste authentic, and this just doesn’t.  The shell is not a classic cannoli shell, but it’s denser and more like a cookie.  Didn’t taste fresh, but frozen too.  I also prefer cannoli without chocolate, so that was a negative for me.  The filling was still pretty good, creamy.  It’s also really small, I could fit like 3 in the palm of my hand.  I think the shell must be different from last year because I remember liking it a lot more than this time.  Oh well you can’t win them all.

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Chocolate Cannoli

Chocolate Cannoli up close

 

Booth Summary and Grade:

Italy for me was absolutely amazing this year, much improved over last year and a strong contender for #1 Epcot Food and Wine Booth this year!  I thought there were a nice variety of dishes that represented Italian cooking pretty diversely, not just the usual items associated with it.  All three savory items are incredible: Penne w/ Vodka Sauce and Shrimp, Spezzatino with Creamy Polenta and the Crispy Calamari.  Italy is an absolute Must-Try this year, don’t skip over it!

If you have to get just one thing: Penne, Spezzatino and Calamari!

Grade:  9.5

Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Chocolate Cannoli

Chocolate Cannoli in St. Mark’s Square

Take a look at all of my 2017 Epcot Food and Wine articles.  I have a 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Info Guide with a complete Index of the Food and Wine Menus, The Top NEW Items for 2017, Top Food and Wine Booths and more…I want you to be able to have the best info on the Festival so you have a great time and don’t waste your time!

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think of my Italy Review 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  Which was your favorite item?  Where does it rand on your list of 2017 Food and Wine booths?  Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to Walt Disney World, and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

REVIEW: Islands of the Caribbean - 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival
← Previous
Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Stops Serving Breakfast
Next →