I’ve sure you’ve seen a ton of posts on various Disney fan sites reviewing Epcot’s newest addition called Tutto Gusto, a wine bar located in the Italy Pavilion. This week I want to take a bit of a different spin on this new fabulous watering hole and restaurant. It’s obvious Disney decided to open Tutto Gusto based on the success of La Cava del Tequila, so how do the two compare? I’ll take a look at these two establishments, both of which are well worth a visit for anyone looking for a relaxing drink and perhaps a bite to eat during a crazy day of park touring.
I think Disney learned from Cava’s space constraints and built Tutto Gusto to be much larger. It is located off of Tutto Italia Ristorante, with which it shares some services. It feels as though the space has been specially built to accomodate the wine bar, even though the building existed before. On the other hand, Cava del Tequila was retrofitted into an existing store that had closed. The concept of a bar in the pavilion was an experiment, so they worked with what they had. Despite their size differences, both bars are cozy and intimate. It isn’t hard for Cava to achieve this feeling since it is so tiny, but Tutto Gusto accomplishes this with small seating areas such as a group of couches surrounding a fireplace.
These seating areas are just part of the decor at Tutto Gusto. The design here is very cool; it really feels like a wine cellar with its stone, brick and stucco finishes, gorgeous bar with lighting made of wine bottles, and cove ceilings. There are plenty of tables set up throughout the space where guests can drink, dine, and enjoy themselves. Cava del Tequila is furnished with rich wooden furniture, as well as warm Mexican inspired colors. Pictures on the wall depict the tequila making process, and any of the cast members here will be happy to explain it all to guests. Both spaces are warm, inviting, and really quite detailed and beautiful for guests who opt to linger and enjoy the settings.
Now that we’ve discussed the decor at both of these establishments, lets discuss the menus. The Tutto Gusto food menu is more extensive than the one at Cava del Tequila, so Tutto Gusto wins the prize in that category. Not only is there a separate menu of yummy options including meats and cheeses along with other appetizers, entrees and desserts, but guests may also order from the full menu at Tutto Italia. Once word gets out about the food offerings here, the waits may be long since you’ll be able to get a table service meal without an ADR. Perhaps if this model works well for Tutto Gusto, Cava will expand its menu, but for now you are fairly limited in your food choices at Cava. Don’t forget to get your free chips if you follow Cava on Twitter!
And now for the main event: drinks! Obviously Tutto Gusto focuses on wine with an extensive wine list by the bottle and glass. It also boasts a decent beer selection, as well as several cocktails. I opted for cocktails both times I visited Tutto Gusto, and they were both delicious. I’ll have to go for some wine and appetizers on my next trip. At Cava the star of the show is tequila and margaritas. I love (really, really love) the margaritas served here. In addition, there is a vast menu of creative and delicious concoctions featuring tequila (after all, it is La Cava del Tequila). There are constant new additions, and I’m always eager to try the latest creations. If you aren’t into margaritas, you can always get a flight of tequila or even a beer.
So how do these two bars stack up for service? Granted, we were there the first weekend of operation at Tutto Gusto, so the cast members were still learning the ropes, but the service was not as good here. The server our first trip here was friendly and fun, but the one we had during our second visit left a lot to be desired. She forgot to bring some drinks, she complained when we asked to split the bill, and she was incredibly slow despite the restaurant being mostly empty. Conversely, I’ve always had amazing service at Cava del Tequila. The servers will explain any drink or tequila to the guests, and they are always speedy, friendly, and overall wonderful. They never rush guests even when they are busy; I’ve never had an unpleasant experience at Cava.
So now that we’ve gone through all of these points, which is my favorite bar in World Showcase? As much as I loved my time spent in Tutto Gusto (where I intend to return many times), I have to admit I still remain loyal to Cava del Tequila. I’m not sure if it’s the service, the drinks, or the decor, but Cava just feels like home to me. I hope the trend of building country specific bars spreads through World Showcase in the coming years. We’ll see if any of them can knock the original out of first place for me. As for now, if you are looking for me in Epcot, try looking in Cava del Tequila first.
How about you? How do you think these two bars compare and which is your favorite? Let me hear your opinions in the comments!
A special thanks goes to Betsy Bates for providing all of the photos for this post.