It’s time once again to look in on one of my favorite “hidden” spots in Epcot — Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar!
Tutto Gusto, located on the left as you travel through the Italy Pavilion toward Via Napoli at the back, hasn’t been open for very long. But in the short span of three years, Tutto Gusto has become a part of the fabric of World Showcase.
With its commitment to offering small plates that feature authentic Italian cuisine, Tutto Gusto has continued to be a DFB favorite. But you know me — I’m never content to continue recommending a spot unless I know for sure that it still deserves to be recommended!
So, in the name of research, a friend and I headed there to grab a light dinner during a recent visit to Walt Disney World. We tried some new things and revisited some favorites. Let’s check it out.
Although the sign for Tutto Gusto is perched high and prominent, it’s still sort of easy to miss it if you aren’t looking for it. You may mistake it for another entrance to neighboring Tutto Italia, if you notice it at all.
The entrance sits back a little, but Cast Members are usually flanking the door, and you’ll also notice the menus posted outside. Pay attention and you’ll find it.
Walk in and (after your eyes adjust to the darkened area) you’ll notice that the bar is front and center, serving as the small venue’s main feature.
Wine is king here, but you’ll also find an increasingly interesting array of Italian craft beers. Tutto Gusto also offers a full liquor bar. Check out the Italian-inspired cocktail menu, or order your favorite. Whatever you’re looking for, they can make it.
Because this is a wine bar, however, much of the real estate is given over to vino. Amuse yourself as you wait by checking out the ever-changing variety of Italian wines that are available by the glass or bottle.
But Tutto Gusto has more to offer than just beverages. From the get go, I prized this spot for their amazing array of small plates. There’s a display of some of the offerings to whet your appetite.
As is usually the case when you’re dining anywhere in the Disney universe, be sure to look up! The details of a spot usually include some really cool lighting, and Gusto is no exception.
You will find that Tutto Gusto can reach capacity rather easily — hence those Cast Members stationed at the doors. There isn’t a ton of seating here, but what you do find is rustic, cozy, and fairly comfortable. It is a little “close”, however, so if you prize privacy or personal space, you may want to look at the couch options.
Speaking of…you’ll find more comfy seating flanking the fireplace, another nice focal point in the small space.
Tables and stools here are low and well padded. It’s a great place to relax and catch up with friends, or to just take a breather from the bright sunshine.
And it truly is a beautiful location. Personally, I think they hit the themeing out of the park. Don’t you love the brick ceiling?
Having shown you around, I’m ready to get down to the serious business of enjoying myself here. Let’s check out the menu.
The first order of business for me (well, after we decided on drinks!) was to see what was new, what was gone, and what was different. The Gusto Plates on the left side are small plates that are meant for sharing, and they were pretty much exactly the same as our last visit.
We definitely saw some differences on the right side, though. We’ll talk through those in just a minute.
To begin — when in Rome, right? Or at least, when in an Italian wine bar…well, you should order some wine! And so, we decided to check out The Grand Tour Flight.
This flight offers maximum variety and is a lot more than the flights you normally encounter. Twice the size, in fact. When you order The Grand Tour, you’ll enjoy 6 2-ounce pours. Not too much for one person, but I’d definitely pace myself if I were ordering this one alone.
Consider though — if you and your friend (or partner or spouse, etc.) don’t mind sharing glasses, this is a fantastic way to sample a broad range of Italian wines. As the menu card says, this flight is more than a tasting. It takes you on a journey, and you’re likely to learn a thing or two.
But as I mentioned before, if wine isn’t your thing, there’s still room for you at the Tutto Gusto table. Craft beer lovers should absolutely pencil in a stop either here or at Via Napoli when visiting Epcot. You’ll find lots of craft beers, plus some familiar favorites. The selection here changes frequently, so be sure to inquire about it.
Cocktails are interesting, too. You’ll find lots that feature Italian Spirits. Bitters like Campari and Cynar are particularly popular.
It was time to turn our attention to the food we had ordered. We began our tour of Italy with the L’Apina Gusto Plate. The menu indicates that the cheese selections are from Northern Italy, which borders Switzerland — one of my favorite places in the world! The fontina and La Tur were amazing.
Next, we moved onto a selection of two Panini. It is important here to discuss the definition of panini versus what we have come to regard as panini in the U.S. These are “small bread sandwiches” — and they are small — containing different combinations. They are not served warm. You can choose a platter with one or two, and they’re served with a small (but rich) Caesar Salad Wedge.
We opted to go with one panini I’d had before — the Fontina and Salametto — and it was just as delicious this time. But we also tried a new-to-us choice, the Carciofi (Artichoke) and Fontina. The creamy, strong flavor of the Fontina was luxurious against the bright flavor of the marinated Artichoke. This was a winner, and a great vegetarian option.
“But AJ, that’s three helpings of Fontina you’ve had so far.”
I was sorely disappointed to see that one of the best dishes I’d ever experienced at Disney — the Cannelloni — was off the menu. Gone! How, how does the chef sleep at night, having made this decision??
But we picked ourselves up and moved on, and decided to give two new dishes a try. We started with the Ravioli di Ricotta. The Cheese Ravioli is served with a Parmesan Cream Sauce containing Chicken and Prosciutto. The salty, creamy combo was awesome.
There was also a new Cavatappi option to savor, so we ordered the Cavatappi Ragu d’Agnello. While there was nothing that really made this dish stand out, I appreciated the well balanced sauce, and the addition of Lamb brought a little more flavor to the party than a ragu made with beef.
We decided that we wanted a little sweet ending. I went with the Tiramisu. Very traditional in presentation, I enjoyed the rich Mascarpone filling in this one. This was a teensy tiny portion, FYI, but it was meant to be, and the price wasn’t significant.
We also opted for Cheesecake. It was nothing particularly interesting, but offered a pleasant enough sweet note to end the meal on. The Macerated Strawberries were a nice touch.
And then we chatted, and lingered, and kept nibbling at the eats even though we were both full, and decided that this was yet another terrific Tutto Gusto experience.
Because, well, it was. I usually have very good experiences at Tutto Gusto.
Now, in line with the rest of the Italy Pavilion eateries, Tutto Gusto is a bit pricey. Don’t think that you’re going to dine here, enjoy small plates, and save yourself a buck or two. Your cost will likely compete with other sit down options. And they don’t accept the Disney Dining Plan, so keep that in mind. Also, service can be a bit slow and/or inattentive. Which is often what I encounter everywhere at the Italy pavilion, so that’s just par for the course.
In spite of these drawbacks, Tutto is a winner in my book. When I visit Walt Disney World, the trips tend to be packed full and somewhat hectic. But scheduling a stop here reminds me to take a few minutes to relax and enjoy.
Now it’s your turn! Do you love Tutto Gusto as much as I do? Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts!