Review: Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

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.

Atmosphere

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.

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

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.

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

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.

Gusto Bar

Gusto Bar

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.

Gusto Bar

Gusto Bar

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.

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

Wine Fridge

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.

Antipasti Showcase at Tutto Gusto

Antipasti Showcase at Tutto Gusto

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.

Wine Bottle Lighting

Wine Bottle Lighting

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.

Gusto Table

Gusto Table

Speaking of…you’ll find more comfy seating flanking the fireplace, another nice focal point in the small space.

Gusto Fireplace Area

Gusto Fireplace Area

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.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

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?

Tutto Gusto Seating

Tutto Gusto Seating

Having shown you around, I’m ready to get down to the serious business of enjoying myself here. Let’s check out the menu.

Eats

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.

Tutto Gusto Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Tutto Gusto Menu — Click to Enlarge

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.

The Grand Tour -- Click to Enlarge

The Grand Tour — Click to Enlarge

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.

The Grand Tour Description Up Close -- Click to Enlarge

The Grand Tour Description Up Close — Click to Enlarge

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.

The Grand Tour Wine Flight

The Grand Tour Wine Flight

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.

L'Alpina Gusto Plate

L’Alpina Gusto Plate — Fontina Valdostana, La Tur, Gorgonzola Cremificato

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.”

Yep.

Panini --

Panini — Carciofi and Fontina, Fontina and Salametto

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.

Ravioli di Ricotta

Ravioli di Ricotta

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.

Cavatappi Ragu d'Agnello

Cavatappi Ragu d’Agnello

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.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

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.

Cheesecake

Cheesecake

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.

Overall

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!

Comments

  1. Keith says

    Tutto Gusto remains one of the best spots in EPCOT along with La Cava and Spice Road. Interesting comment about the servers….we have always found the servers at Tutto Gusto to be among the most friendly and accomodating of any on property.

  2. Pat says

    Love Tutto Gusto – my only wish is that La Cava had as much seating while still retaining the warmth. When looking at the left side of the menu, the dishes meant for two can also be customized to what you would like to try. You don’t have to order the combinations that are on the menu. We mixed and matched from several of the different plates and they priced it accordingly.

  3. Brian says

    AJ,

    Do we need to start a campaign to get the Cannelloni back on the menu? Seriously, it’s one of the best dishes I’ve ever had at any Italian restaurant!

  4. John says

    This has been, quite possibly, my favorite place in Epcot since the first time I went here, a couple weeks after it opened. Consistently excellent and fun service, a terrific wine list, good food, and a great spot to drop in and cool down. The manager that runs this place and Tutto Italia, Benito, is also a huge favorite – just a wonderful and gracious host who always has time to chat about the wine and make your visit a special one. Along with Carl the bartender in England, he’s one of Epcot’s true all-stars.

    As for the cost at Tutto, they do accept Tables in Wonderland, so for TiW members, the cost is actually quite reasonable. You can get a great bottle of wine here for a much more reasonable price than buying the cheap table wines they sell by the glass at the shops or carts in Italy. I see the lack of participation in the Dining Plan as a big plus, as it actually keeps the crowds at Tutto Gusto somewhat reasonable – you can often find a table with little or no wait.

    All in all, Tutto Gusto (along with Spice Road Table and La Cava de Tequila) are just great options to spend some time relaxing in Epcot.

  5. Galloping Gourmond says

    I’ve seen mixed reviews of them lately, but lately they seem to be on the upswing. That’s good. Happy to see some good Italian in the parks finally.

  6. Mark says

    Yes, I agree a very enjoyable place, but a word of warning. We popped in for a snack and our waiter said he would take care of us. The bill was $90 for snacks and a wine flight for two. Do not trust your waiter to take care of you. Take advantage, yes. Care, no.

  7. Eileen says

    We did the lunch food and wine pairing during the food and wine festival
    It was one of the best meals we ever had

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