Chef Theo Schoenegger named as Executive Chef of new Italian concepts Maria & Enzo's Ristorante and Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar

Nov 29, 2017 in "Maria and Enzo's"

Patina Restaurant Group has today announced the appointment of Chef Theo Schoenegger as Executive Chef of its new Italian concepts Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante and Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar opening this winter at Disney Springs.

One of the most influential Italian chefs in New York history, Theo’s cooking at San Domenico and Palio set the standard for authentic Italian fine dining. A rare chef with versatility to do rustic, more casual food and also elegant, Michelin-level cuisine, Schoenegger is at the top of his game. Now with these new Disney restaurants, he will shift his focus to Sicilian and Roman cuisine.

Schoenegger comes to Orlando from Las Vegas where he most recently was Executive Chef at Sinatra, an Italian fine dining restaurant located at Wynn Las Vegas. There, he served a modern twist on classic Italian cooking, that included many of Frank Sinatra’s personal favorites. Schoenegger originally cooked these dishes for the legendary singer when living in New York, including spaghetti with clams and ossobuco.

Prior to his work in Las Vegas, Schoenegger spent four years at the helm of Patina Restaurant Group's signature location, Patina, located at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The four star restaurant allowed him to combine his Italian roots with traditional French technique and modern execution. There, he received rave reviews from the Los Angeles Times, received a Michelin star and a Relais & Châteaux rating (only two restaurants in Los Angeles have received this honor). While in California, he embraced cooking with wide-ranging ingredients while keeping dishes contemporary and innovative.

Schoenegger has traveled all over the U.S. cooking in various kitchens including Aquoria in Palm Beach and Rock Center Café in New York. In 1986, he was a young chef that had the opportunity of a lifetime. He moved from Italy to Midtown Manhattan to work for legendary restaurateur, Tony May, at Palio and at San Domenico, two of the premier Italian restaurants in the country. He showcased his passion for Italian cuisine and set the bar for future chefs who still use his recipes today.

Raised in San Candido, Italy, Schoenegger recounts working on his family's farm and cooking in the kitchen with his mother. Growing up in the mountains, his mother taught him about utilizing what they had locally and showcasing the natural flavors of the ingredients. To this day, he credits his mother as being the most influential cook of his entire career and feels he inherited her passion for food.

Schoenegger will now incorporate his knowledge and technique for Italian cuisine leading the culinary teams at Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar. The new restaurants will bring a casual elegance to Disney Springs with a blend of star ingredients embedded in elaborate, multipart compositions while keeping the simplicity they demand. Presentation and service will include varieties of amuse bouche upon being seated, a vast selection of fine Italian wines, table-side preparation and service. Guests will experience dishes like Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan), and handmade pastas such as Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) - served tableside. Other dishes will include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops.

Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar are slated to open during this winter. 

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Article Posted: Nov 29, 2017 / 12:04pm EDT
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TimeTripApr 30, 2018

Went here for dinner a few weeks back. We had the burrata salad, chicken parm and Busiate con Granchio (pasta/lump crab meat). The presentation felt very bare. In addition the chicken parm (intentionally) had the nub of a bone on it, which felt very, very strange. Overall we felt that the quality of the entrees was about as good as an olive garden. That's also ignoring the extra markup being at Disney Springs brings. We will not be dining there again, but will hopefully be trying the Hideaway soon.

flyerjabApr 01, 2018

Happy Easter! This isn’t big news or anything, but we had the Easter Sunday Brunch at Maria & Enzo’stoday. It was a phenomenal experience. Prices were $35 adult and $15 for kids. First time there and I thought that it was a beautiful location. I literally almost had everything in the buffet. They are considering doing a smaller version of this every Sunday. I just hope they keep this Easter brunch. Definitely the best buffet on property.

articosJan 13, 2018

Right.

EricsBiscuitJan 11, 2018

I like the interior! Nice and clean and elegant

jt04Jan 10, 2018

I thought Walt's plane would be in there somewhere. Oh well.

Texas84Jan 10, 2018

Right. I haven't seen the inside in person but when I saw these pictures I thought, I like it. It's just a feeling that doesn't require specifics. Now I will say, when I saw it from the outside last weekend I thought the Hideaway signage was a bit overdone and gaudy. Seems like it should be more 'secret' like the Morimoto hidden bar entrance. Just to be more fun. JMO, I'm not outraged about it.

Next Big ThingJan 07, 2018

Looks like the main dining room on a cruise ship.

Kman101Jan 07, 2018

It's not what I would have expected, but I think it's nice. But I can also see why people dislike it. I don't think Maria and Enzo's was necessary based on the other restaurants around and what's offered. Would have liked to have seen Walt's come to light instead. Oh well.

ThelazerJan 07, 2018

You know. If you think of it as a "Vegas night club" the layout and shape of the ballroom make sense. Put the DJ booth were the grand staircase is and you have a layout that you'll see in a few Vegas clubs. The odd 1st class lounge, starts to make sense as a side bar area. The high ceiling, the balancy area around it on the 2nd floor, all make sense. (granted, the color / finishes would change) But if you then think about it, as "it was going to be a nightclub, but... crap how can we ..... make into this avation themed thing.. that serves pasta... for no real reason..." then, it makes even MORE sense and if then assuem they were so far out of the box and had to borrow the sailor uniforms from the boat house.. then you've nailed it!

Magic FeatherJan 06, 2018

It is much better in person than in pictures as I have recently discovered, especially at night. Although, that first Class Lounge is still terrible.

disneyC97Jan 06, 2018

The area with the speckled floor looks really cheap. And no, I’m not a doom and gloom type. Agree with the poster above...a dorm dining hall.

danlb_2000Jan 06, 2018

I'm with you, I like it.

ChrisFLJan 05, 2018

I guess I'm in the minority but I like the style of the inside main area...it's bright and airy without being too overdone

TimeTripJan 05, 2018

Has the best spaghetti carbonara I've ever had... Their other entrees are quite good as well... https://www.enzos.com/