Filed under: Dining
On Tuesday, the new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar opened, along with the freshly renovated Tutto Italia, in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion in World Showcase. I headed out there to see the new bar, as well as report on any changes in the main restaurant.
First, our group of 10 headed over to Tutto Italia for lunch (it is also open for dinner). We were there right at the 11:30 a.m. opening time and were seated right away. The interior of the restaurant looks very much the same as before, but with a slightly different seating configuration. The only major difference is that the back seating area was closed to make room for new bathrooms, since the wine cellar took the location of the former bathrooms.
As soon as we sat down we were brought water, along with bread service and some mushroom topped toasted bread. Perusing the menu, I was a bit nervous. I had never been impressed with Tutto Italia in my previous visits, and the prices were pretty high, even for Disney. I settled on the Spaghetti and Meatballs despite its 19 dollar price tag, and my boyfriend chose the lasagna. Several others at our table made the same choices, although one chose the Caprese Panini and another who has dietary restrictions chose a salad and a side of white asparagus. The children’s entrees were also very expensive. They were 10 dollars and did not include an appetizer and dessert like at many Disney restaurants. Since I have a 1- and a 3-year-old, I often look for foods they can eat themselves, that are not too messy. On the Tutto Italia menu, the only children’s dish without red sauce was mozzarella sticks, so I ordered that for them to split.
While we waited for entrees, several of us enjoyed wine and bellinis as well as the appetizers they had provided when we sat down. The breads were delicious; the olive oil was nothing fancy, but I enjoyed it. The mushrooms seemed mostly unappetizing, but they provided a nice alternative for the vegan/gluten-free diner who was with us.
One thing I found a bit odd was that there were constantly waiters hovering over us. They stood against the wall near our table and just stared, waiting for us to need something. While that meant that the service was good, it was a bit uncomfortable to feel so watched over.
The caprese Panini and Salad came to the table very quickly, although no other meals appeared. We inquired as to why only two people had been served and were told that the restaurant has two kitchens, so cold items come from a separate place. Now, I understand the potential need for two kitchens, but do not understand why they did not wait on the cold meals until the hot ones were ready.
Eventually we all got our food, and I have to say, I was very impressed. The sauce was divine, the meatballs were perfect, and the portion was just right. I honestly thought I would be upset about paying 19 dollars for a plate of spaghetti, but really, it was worth it. It seemed that my fellow diners all felt the same way about their dishes. Everyone was full and satisfied, and no one complained about the hefty price tag. My only problem was with the children’s meal, which delivered a little food for a lot of money. Overall, I will for sure return to Tutto Italia, but probably on a date night, or with a group of adult friends, but not with my kids.
After lunch we headed right next door to the Tutto Gusto Wine Bar. First impressions were that it is beautiful! It has several gorgeous light fixtures and lots of art work. There was even a cozy seating area with couches and stools next to a fire. While it was a bit warm for a fire, our group settled on the couches anyway.
The wine list was huge! There were so many options that we did not know what to choose. I asked the waitress for a recommendation of something sparkling, while another friend had me randomly pick a red. Neither of us was disappointed.
Although you can order off of the full Tutto Italia menu, Tutto Gusto also has its own separate menu. Among all of us, we ordered a couple of desserts, a chef’s selection, another sandwich…really a variety of offerings. Once again, no one was disappointed. The chef’s selection dishes were easy to share, and there was more than enough for us all to try different things. The Torta di Nocciole Cortemilia dessert was to die for…really, once again, no one was disappointed.
Honestly, I plan on spending a ton of time at Tutto Gusto. The atmosphere was relaxed and inviting, the food and drink were delicious, and there was plenty of space for us to all hang out and talk and have a great time. The only criticism I have is that it was a tad warm, although we did decide to sit by the fire, so that was our own fault, and in the dark “cellar,” the light that flooded in every time the front door was open was very distracting. But those were small things that I can let go in order to enjoy the amazing bar.
There are also discounts available at both Tutto Italia and Tutto Gusto. Along with Tables in Wonderland, they both offer Annual Pass discounts (only at lunch during weekdays) and Disney Vacation Club discounts. Both DVC and AP get 10% off.
What about you? Are you planning to visit the new Wine Cellar? What are your thoughts on Tutto Italia? Let us know with a comment.