Review Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in Epcot
Authentically charming. Capturing the pure essence of the feel and flavors of the heart of Italy, Tutto Gusto is a very welcome addition to Epcot’s Word Showcase. Entering the dimly lit, quaint, cozy wine cellar is a welcome treat to the senses. Although nothing is glaringly ornate or overpowering here, the grotto-like wine cellar is as it should be and offers a flair of the pure and almost simple yet grand pleasures of Italian food and wine. There is a very welcome tranquility and we found it to be an intimate, romantic and peacefully blissful stop on our tour around the lagoon.
While one might think wine is the highlight (and it may be), it is not the only draw. The food is magnificent and not merey an accompaniment to the incredible display and selection of vino. During the day, Tutto Gusto offers an abbreviated menu and both it and the servers recommend certain pairings of food with wine to accent and withdraw the subtle flavors in each. In this way, the food and wine compliment one another as if in a perfect harmony where neither component is overpowering or outshining the other,
Our sever, Marianna, was lovely and set the relaxed and casual pace of the meal which was greatly appreciated.
Of course we had to start with a wine and chose the Batasiolo Barberesco,Piemonte. Its rich, robust and almost spicy flavor was gorgeous and then almost mellowed by a lingering sweetness. A very lovely choice by two people who are not very educated in wines.
We shared the Bruschetti di Capri, toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and basil. Bravo to the chefs for this spectacular version of this dish. Fresh, heavenly bread was laced with a warm drizzle of the finest olive oil (the key to this appetizer) and ripe, plump tomatoes. The seasoning was spectacular. A very authentic version of a well-known and traditional dish.
My companion ordered the cannelloni, fresh pasta tubes stuffed with a blend of ricotta and veal covered in a tomato-based sauce. Amazing. The pasta itself was cooked to a perfect texture and the fresh ricotta was milky and marvelous. The sauce was one of the best I have tasted with a lovely basil fragrance and not so thick or heavy to mask the taste of the pasta. Someone in the kitchen truly has a passion for Italian cuisine.
I ordered the carciofi and fontina panini, an artichoke and cheese finger sandwich served with a petite wedge of cesar salad. It may sound simple, and it was, but the beauty in this selection was the incredible fusion of flavors in something so basic and void of any sauces or dips. Again, the bread was so fresh and crusty and the artichoke and cheese had just the right melding of flavors and could stand on their own.
Because I am a huge fan of hazelnut, we had to share the torta di nocciole cortemilia, a hazelnt polenta cake with nutella and cream. It was not overly sweet and instead was rich in cocoa and hazelnut flavors. It was divine.
The portions at Tutto Gusto are small in comparison to other restaurants as they are compliments to the wines, and each glass of wine can be paired with a different sample of food. I found this lovely as it gave us the opportunity to try a variety of the cellar’s offerings. I honestly could find not one thing lacking or amiss at Tutto Gusto and eagerly look forward to a return visit. And I happily relayed this sentiment to Dan, the manager, when he visited our table to ask about our experience. He received a cascade of compliments from us.
Disney is world-famous for being able to transport its visitors to another world, real or make-believe. And they truly have estabished a restaurant which gives a glimpse into the purest flavors and charming appeal of Italy. Perfect food and perfect ambience. This reviewer gives Tutto Gusto a round of bravos.
FOOD: Pure and earthy, the wine cellar offers an array of the basic but magnificent flavors of Italy. Meats, cheeses and vegetables typical to the country are highlighted. Because the dishes are not as Americanized and commercial as one usually finds the food in other Italian restaurants here in the US, be prepared for something less familiar than what you may expect but much more traditional and authentic. The restaurant offers more of a “bar”menu during the day but not offers the full Tutto Italia restaurant menu for dinner.
ATMOSPHERE: Cozy and inviting, a great escape from the summer heat and crowds. The wine cellar occupies what used to be part of the lobby of the larger restaurant and has been transformed into a stone grotto-like oasis.
SERVICE: Relaxed yet attentive. The servers were warm and welcoming and set a casual and slow pace to the meal which was greatly appreciated.
TIPS: The wine cellar does not take reservations so plan accordingly. Get creative with times you visit. Tutto Gusto is not very large and gets packed quickly. Go early in the day when they open or late in the evening when the crowds are beginning to gather for Illuminations. Avoid traditional “happy hour” times or early dinner hours (between 4-6pm). This is definitely will appeal more to adults than children, who most probably will not be too charmed by the tranquility nor the unfamiliar foods.
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