As a recent transplant to Orlando from Southern California, I truly feel like a stranger in a strange land, so it’s a delight to have this common thread of Disney shared between the coasts. Far away from my home parks of the Disneyland Resort, I’m beginning to explore Walt Disney World — starting with Disney Springs. While I love and miss Disneyland Park, DCA and Downtown Disney dearly, it’s really thrilling to have a host of new places to explore, eat at and (hopefully) enjoy!
I was recently at Disney Springs and couldn’t help but notice the signs for Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar on the walkways above and surrounding it. It needs the signage because it really is a bit of a hideaway. If you don’t know it’s there you could easily walk right past the steps leading down (as I would have), but there are these handy signs guiding your way.
Another nice feature common across most of the dining establishments in Disney Springs is that most of them have a large menu board outside, giving you the chance to check out the menu to see if the selection and prices pique your interest enough to wander further in.
There isn’t a clear view of the restaurant close up; across the water feature in front you get an idea of how it’s situated under/beside the bridge close to STK.
Through the archways you walk into a darkened doorway, then through a short tunnel to get to the hostess stand. I requested the bar top and was led straight in. My first impression is that you feel as though you’re walking into an old Italian brick structure. The brick and crumbling plaster walls gave it an authentic, aged look. There was pleasant soft Italian music playing in the background; I recognized only one song: “Que Sera Sera.” It was all enjoyable and added to the pleasant melodic atmosphere. I appreciated that the music was present but not at all too loud. One could easily carry on a conversation without having to speak above a normal volume.
My server/bartender was Stefano from Italy. He was fantastico! I was surprised to see it so quiet on a Saturday at noon, but Stefano said it would pick up and could get pretty crazy later in the evenings on the weekends. As you can see from the photos, I had almost the whole place to myself. It made for quick and great service and some good photo opportunities.
While seated at the bar I looked over the drink menu, the cocktail section aptly titled “Giggle Water.” I cautiously decided to try the Hazelnut Old Fashioned. I do like an old fashion so figured when in Rome… (or Italy). I thought the drink was just okay. The presentation was spot on; it had a nice very over-sized cube of ice finished with a blueberry and lemon peel. I finished it, but I wouldn’t order it again. I didn’t think the hazelnut was a positive flavor tone and the Frangelico frankly gave it too much sweetness. I didn’t hate it, but just didn’t love it.
There were a lot of delicious looking options on the menu. My first pick probably would have been the Salumi e Formaggio — which was fine meats, cheeses and olives — but it was a large sharing platter with a per person charge and a minimum of two people. Sounds like a fine reason to come back! I instead opted for the Frutti di Mare. I really try to watch my carb intake and pick healthier options, so this fit the bill. The Frutti di Mare was basically a chilled seafood salad, very reminiscent of a ceviche.
While waiting I enjoyed the ambiance and music some more. There were large bowls of fruit along the bar and mason jars filled with edible flowers and rosemary.
Before I knew it my food arrived. Great presentation and wow, it looked super fresh. It was full of shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels and fresh greens, some olives and celery; all tossed in a light vinaigrette. I was a little disappointed that there were also sliced, cooked and cooled fingerling potatoes. It probably was a nice addition for most but it wasn’t listed on the menu as a component of the dish and I was going for a low-carb option. They were very easy to pick out, but that was really my only criticism of the meal. Overall it was tasty, fresh and all the seafood was cooked perfectly — nothing was rubbery and a squeeze of the lemon gave it a nice punch.
At the end the bill was $35 (before tip), so not the cheapest option for a cocktail and a meal. I think this is a case where you get what you pay for. While I didn’t LOVE my cocktail, that was really more of a personal preference. The food was delicious, fresh and I walked away pleasantly full and satisfied. The atmosphere was relaxing, and incredibly enjoyable with friendly service. This first experience was a fantastic singular start to my exploration of the dining options of Disney Springs!