One of the newest restaurants to open at Disney Springs in Orlando is Enzo’s Hideaway, an Italian-inspired speakeasy that’s part of a new four restaurant complex operated by the Patina Restaurant Group, which also owns Morimoto Asia.
The four restaurants in this group include:
- Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante – a family style, Italian trattoria set inside a 1930’s airline terminal that has been transformed into a two-story eatery that serves up traditional Sicilian dishes.
- Pizza Ponte – a quick service pizza parlor that offers MTO sandwiches, pastries, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice, and Italian beer and wine.
- The Edison – an expansive restaurant designed to look like a 1920’s electric company that’s broken out into different themes areas. Besides offering up food and drink, The Edison has a variety of live entertainment that gives the place a unique vibe. (Be sure to check out my review of The Edison.)
- And then there’s today’s topic of conversation, Enzo’s Hideaway.
The story of Enzo’s is unique. While constructing Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo happened to discover a tunnel underneath the building that was once used by rum runners during prohibition. He decided to turn it into a bar that serves prohibition-era cocktails and Roman-style dishes.
Enzo’s Hideaway is accessed through a tunnel and once inside you see graffiti-lined walls (be sure to stop and read), industrial style lighting, red leather booths, a large communal table, and of course… a bar!
The first time I visited Enzo’s Hideaway was during the first month it was open. I walked in, pulled up a chair at the bar, told the bartender I was going to have dinner and drinks and was told “you can’t eat at the bar, it’s for drinks only. If you want to eat, you have to sit at the communal table.”
My posterior was off the barstool quicker than you can spell my last name.
I left thinking to myself, “who came up with such a ridiculous policy like that?”
After speaking to several people about the joint over the next couple weeks, I found out that someone finally realized that not allowing food to be served at the bar was indeed a stupid decision.
So it was off to Disney Springs and down into the bowels of the rum runners tunnel to see what Enzo’s Hideaway had to offer.
The dinner menu is chock full of Italian classics! Starters include a charcuterie board ($17) with a selection of Italian meats and cheeses, meatballs ($15), Frutti di Mare ($20), soup and salad.
No Italian restaurant is complete without a selection of pasta, and the specialty of the house is Nonna’s Pasta (Rigatoni, short rib, meatball and sausage with a Besciamella sauce – $28). Other pasta dishes include a Bucatini alla Carbonara ($24), Mezze Rigatoni ($25), Lasagna ($24) and more.
Not in the mood for pasta? The menu also has chicken, seafood and steak dishes.
Let’s talk about drinks first, as this is a speakeasy after all. They offer full bar service with a vintage rum menu, sangria by the pitcher, “Giggle Water” which are specially crafted cocktails, martinis, as well as wine and beer.
I’ve partaken in the Dirty Martini (Stoli Elit, Carpano dry, Filthy olive wash, Filthy gorgonzola stuffed olive – $16) and The Scottish Connection (Ardbeg 10 year scotch, Antica Formula, Angostura, Luxardo Maraschino – $14) and both drinks were excellent.
Next up is the food, so let’s discuss starters. The first is the Polpettine (classic meatballs, soft polenta – $15). The two meatballs were very good and the creamy three cheese sauce that they were served in was absolutely delicious.
The second was the Caprese salad (heirloom cherry tomatoes, imported bufala mozzarella – $15). This was served with a piece of homemade bread and the presentation felt like this appetizer was brought in from Ikea – assemble yourself. A cup of sliced tomatoes was on one side, the mozzarella on a plate on the other and the bread separating the two.
If you wanted to turn this into a version of bruschetta by combining everything you could, but it was cumbersome to do. The mozzarella was what one would expect and the tomatoes were pretty bland.
For such a simple dish, this could be improved.
On to the entrees.
On my first visit, I asked for a recommendation and was told that the lasagna (layered pasta, meat ragu, béchamel sauce, mozzarella – $24) was the way to go. So I went. The lasagna came out baked in its own dish and looked amazing.
The flavor was there, the béchamel sauce was a nice departure from just using a red or meat sauce, but there was one problem. The lasagna was refrigerator cold. While the dish and outer inch of the lasagna were hot, the majority of it was not heated all the way through. I didn’t mention anything until after I finished, as frankly, I kind of like cold pasta and didn’t want to complain. However, I did alert the bartender to let him know that if this is how this particular dish is coming out of the kitchen, others may be sending it back.
On my second visit, I went with the Bistecca Pizzaiola (grilled sirloin steak topped with tomato, capers, oregano, chile, seasonal vegetables and parmesan fingerling potatoes – $34). When I say this was probably one of the best steaks I’ve had in a while, I’m being honest.
The steak was cooked medium rare, had excellent flavor and a nice outer char from the grill. The tomato, caper, chile mix on top of the steak gave it an added level of flavor and it was simply delicious.
Both times I’ve eaten at Enzo’s Hideaway, the service has been fantastic, the food and drinks great and the atmosphere fun and unique.
If you have the Tables in Wonderland card from Disney, it’s accepted at all the restaurants operated by Patina and gives you 20% off your food and drink.
While many of the dining options at Disney Springs are so-so, Enzo’s Hideaway is truly a hidden gem… that is if you can find it!
UPDATE: May 17, 2018: A few changes have been made to the menu at Enzo’s. Some prices have gone up, a chicken parm, eggplant parm, and a chicken saltimbocca entree have been added as well as some other additions. I decided to give the chicken saltimbocca a try and it was delicious. A large portion of prosciutto wrapped chicken breast served with broccolini and onions in a light brown sauce. A winner!