Naples Ristorante e Bar is a table-service restaurant in Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney. The restaurant serves Italian food and sits right next to its counter-service, Napolini Pizzeria. There’s a mix of outdoor and indoor seating at Naples, as well as a full service bar outside hence the ‘e Bar’ in the name. Naples does offer Magic Key (Annual Pass) and DVC discount to those eligible. In this post, we’ll review Naples Ristorante e Bar’s food, atmosphere and value.
Having tried most of the food that both Disneyland Parks have to offer, moving on to Downtown Disney seems like the natural progression. You know, in the name of research and hunger! Downtown Disney isn’t our favorite place to hang. There are a few shops that I like and the food I have tried has been hit and miss so far. It’s not surprising that the area is in a state of flux, as Disney tries to upgrade and change to make Downtown Disney more inviting. For now, the district feels a little stale especially relative to the much larger Disney Springs in Walt Disney World.
Maybe a reason for that staleness is that half of the table-service restaurants, including Naples Ristorante, in Downtown Disney are owned by the same group, the Pantina Restaurant Group. Along with that, the group owns two other counter-service spots and a bar in the district. If Pantina Restaurant Group sounds familiar, you may also be aware of their work in Disney World with nine different restaurants including Via Napoli (and all the other restaurants in Epcot’s Italian Pavilion), Space 220 and Morimoto Asia.
To the group’s credit, some of these restaurants are very good. Space 220 has been met with rave reviews and Via Napoli has been a fan favorite for some time. Pantina Restaurant Group has shown themselves to be able to provide a wealth of different environments and quality cuisine to go along with it. The group is far different from Landry’s in that most of their restaurants are prettier than they are kitschy and serve much better food.
It’s hard to tell if all of these restaurants being owned by the same group lends itself to the staleness in Downtown Disney or if it’s just because of the somewhat bland architecture and imagination in the area. We aren’t privy to know the restrictions Disney puts on these different restaurants but it is notable that the most interesting place to eat, in our estimation, is Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen which isn’t owned by Disney or Pantina.
That long winded side road to say that Naples Ristorante e Bar’s environment is nice but nothing unique. It feels like a restaurant at an outdoor mall, which is exactly what it is. There is both outdoor and indoor seating, with the full service bar being outside. The architecture and design is modern with plenty of natural light when sitting inside.
When we dined there, Naples wasn’t seating anyone upstairs but it was very beautiful up there. I liked the lighting fixtures and the checkered floor. I’m not sure if it was closed due to staffing issues or just not needing it on that certain day, if it is open I think that would be my preference on where to sit. Downstairs is also interesting with big windows, a checkered floor and open kitchens to look inside. There’s also a few interesting art installations above the kitchens, which gives the dining room some character.
As for the outside seating, there’s plenty of shade thanks to generous use of umbrellas. The area isn’t extremely loud unless you’re in Downtown Disney at an especially busy time. I enjoyed people watching from our table close to the main walkway of the district. The bar also looks impressive and sitting outside, in the shade, on a sunny Californian day is always pleasant. There’s not really a theme to the restaurant but it’s a nice place to sit and have a meal.
Moving on to the food, here’s a look at the menu. After trying Napolini’s pizza and enjoying it but not loving it, we were eager to try the pasta from this place. The pizza here did look good and getting a large one to share would be an affordable way to enjoy a table-service meal at Disneyland. Nothing out here was outrageously priced, with our pasta dishes under 30 dollars. It wasn’t a great value but not overly expensive either.
They do have a few specialty drinks at the restaurant and we tried a Raspberry Italian Soda. It had been many years since I had an Italian Soda and this was good but I don’t think it was anything unique. At nearly $8, this isn’t worth the price. I am intrigued by the chocolate flavor though!
We started the meal with an order of Focaccia Bread. The bread was baked well and had a nice salty flavor that paired well with the oil it was served with. This wasn’t the best Focaccia I’ve had but it was tasty and was a nice addition to the pasta dishes.
I ordered the Penne Pasta which is served with chicken, broccoli, chili flakes and a Parmesan cheese sauce. I tend to think that these dishes are great but can get a little rich but this iteration was a little lighter. The chili flakes added a little bit of depth to the dish and everything was cooked well. I thought the chicken and sauce could have used a little more flavor but overall it was a good entrée that was filling and delicious. I don’t know if I’d get it again at $26 but I wasn’t disappointed.
Melissa went with the Pollo all Parmigiana which is served with breaded chicken, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, and spaghetti with marinara. Unlike some Chicken Parmesan dishes, the serving size here was actually manageable and the dish was the clear winner of everything we tried. The breaded chicken had a great texture with some crunch while being juicy and full of flavor. The pasta and marinara paired well with the dish and we both really enjoyed the entrée. This was $28, which is a little steep but in line with most Disney dishes. Overall, we really liked the Pollo alla Parmigiana.
Naples Ristorante e Bar is a good restaurant but not much more than that. The atmosphere is nice, the food is solid, the value is okay but there’s nothing that stands out about any of it. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend Naples, but if you’re looking for an easy place to relax and get some quality food while other options don’t have availability, then this is a fine choice.
Overall Rating – 7.5/10
Have you tried Naples Ristorante e Bar? Let us know your thoughts, along with any questions you might have, in the comments! Planning a trip to Disneyland Resort? Check out our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Restaurant Reviews
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