A Walt Disney World Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 11-14-2013
When I heard that Italy in Epcot would be acquiring a new Italian wine bar called Tutto Gusto, I was intrigued.
I figured it would be some time before we'd be trying Tutto Gusto out, as our plans for our most recent trip to Walt Disney World were packed. However, plans were meant to be changed at the last minute -- not usually something I adhere to, but when there's the option of spending a wonderful couple of hours with some friends from the PassPorter message boards, we weren't about to turn that offer down.
Epcot - Tutto Gusto
Sometimes the best nights are the completely unplanned night, like this fun evening with great friends at Tutto Gusto.
So it was as part of a group of eight of us that we headed into Tutto Gusto. The first impression you get as soon as you walk in is that you are literally entering a wine cellar, even though it's not underground. It's a clever illusion, partially achieved by the fact that there’s no natural lighting, but also enhanced by the fact that if you look closely at some of the walls, it looks as if the bricks from the cellar are jutting through.
You may have a choice of sitting at the bar or a table, and we were lucky enough to snag a corner table. We had a superb server, who had a good knowledge of everything Tutto Gusto offers.
Understandably, a lot of people probably come here for the wine, and you'll certainly be spoilt for choice. One look at the array on display behind the bar confirms that for you. We know a little about wine, but not a huge amount, but fortunately here you don't need to have an expansive knowledge. We both went for the wine flights, and here the menu guides you through everything you need to know. For those of you (and I confess I was amongst you before we ate there!) who think a wine flight is just a tasting, try again ... the menu told us that "it should take you on a journey, either to a specific part of the world or a place where memories are made."
Now I have a fairly sweet tooth when it comes to wine, so my attention was immediately drawn to the sweet dessert flight, and the second I read that it came with a mini tiramisu, that was it-- I was sold! I was already familiar with Moscato d'Asti, but I'd never come across the other two wines in the flight, Verduzzo or Fior d'Arancio, before this night. All of them were very enjoyable, complimented beautifully by the tiramisu.
As well as allowing you to try wines you think you’ll enjoy, you can also take the wine flights as an opportunity to sample things you wouldn’t otherwise, and that’s what my husband decided to do. He surprised me by getting a wine flight that included red wine, as he doesn’t usually drink them. Ok, so he didn’t particularly enjoy them, but at least he got to give them a go.
The other beauty about Tutto Gusto is that it’s not all about the wine, although obviously that is a large part of it. They also have a food menu of their own, plus you can even order items from Tutto Italia next door. I opted for the things you could only get at Tutto Gusto, as I wanted to try something new. I opted for the L’Alpina, a platter of cheese from Piemonte, near Switzerland, and it was just what I needed, especially as we’d had a large lunch only a few hours earlier. Once again, the menu’s descriptions were perfect, providing just the amount of information I needed to make my decision.
The platter I chose was one of the Gusto Plates, designed for two or more people, but if you want a fulfilling large snack, they can easily serve one. Other options on the menu when we were there included La Siciliana, a platter of mozzarella, sausages and eggplant salad, La Mailala, ham, salami, and sausages, and La Serenissima, made up of cheese, white asparagus, and a selection of seafood, including shrimp, squid, and octopus.
Via Napoli Outside
There’s also a selection of pasta on the menu, with different sauces, such as tomato or shrimp or lamb ragu or sausage ragu. Paninis are also on the menu, including options like Parma ham or mozzarella and tomato. And, if you don’t fancy the sweet dessert wine flight, tiramisu is on the menu, along with cannoli and a hazelnut polenta cake.
Now if I was visiting a wine cellar at Disney for the first time, the one thing I’d be concerned about is the noise levels, and here I have to confess I really can’t help with that. The simple truth is we were a big group, and we were making a few bit of noise ourselves, so it was hard to judge. I suspect, when it’s busy, it is a fairly noisy place, particularly in the evenings, but maybe we’ll have to go back again just the two of us to make a more fair assessment of that.
Tutto Gusto is certainly somewhere I’d happily return to, if I wanted a lighter meal, and to enjoy some good wine. It's the perfect place to take the weight off your feet for a couple of hours, and during the warmer times of the year, escape the oppressive heat outside. I thought it was a lovely, and long overdue, addition to World Showcase. It’s nice to start seeing a few more places where you can go and enjoy a nice drink, and good company, and perhaps sample a few light items to eat.
Updated 11-14-2013 - Article #1026
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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