Tutto Italia Ristorante: If you don’t know it already, you’ll quickly learn that I am all about the food when I visit Disney. I can be bribed to head on any ride, or venture off to any part of the park if there’s a promise of a snack at the end of the road. While I have my favorites down in Orlando, I also love trying new places. I’m hopeful that my experiences will help you choose where you’d like to grab a bite! This time, we head over to the Italy Pavilion in Epcot for a carb-filled dinner at Tutto Italia!
Let’s set the scene; it’s November 2018, the weather is unseasonably freezing and International Festival of the Holidays is in full swing. For our five-day trip, Ben (my fiancé) and I had four dinner reservations and this was the only one that posed any kind of challenge — at 180 days out, we could only get a reservation at 4:30pm. Because of the Festival and all of its treats, we didn’t mind the early dinner. We’d have plenty of snack options late into the evening (side note, though — even though we would be enjoying Extra Magic Hours at Epcot that night, the festival booths still closed at their normal time).
We arrived at Tutto Italia just before our scheduled reservation time and were seated immediately. The restaurant was quiet, with only a few other tables seated. It got busier during our meal, but was still pretty sparsely populated when we left around 6. (I’m still uncertain why we couldn’t get a reservation past 4:30pm, but moving on…)
Tutto Italia is a charming restaurant with enormous paintings and sparkling chandeliers. The dark wood and deep tones of the carpet helped the restaurant feel romantic and subdued in the middle of a bustling amusement park. Since it is an in-park restaurant, casual park attire was entirely acceptable. I appreciated that the holiday decor around the park bled into the restaurant in the form of large garlands and lush wreaths wrapped in red and gold ribbon and adorned with sparkling baubles. Windows all around the dining room have panes thrown open to look out on painted scenes that are meant to transport guests right into the streets of Venice.
Appetizers and Drinks
Our meal started with bread service that included two types of dinner rolls (wheat and white) as well as a soft multi-grain bread and a few thin, crispy breadsticks. Rather than being served with butter, the bread came with large green olives (they were not pitted, so don’t chomp down too hard!) and delicious olive oil.
The menu offers a variety of appetizers including soups and salads as well as both hot and cold plates ranging from $9 to $32. Ben and I both decided to get the Arucola e Mozzarella, an arugula salad with mozzarella, pomegranate seeds, Parma ham, and mustard vinaigrette for $18. The salad was absolutely delicious and the vinaigrette had just a bit of a kick (at least, it did to me, but I’m a wuss for anything spicy. Ben didn’t notice a kick at all). I love anything with cheese and I thought the tart pomegranate seeds were a perfect addition. As delicious as it was, $18 for a salad is pricy.
Other appetizers that caught my eye were the Arancini (shrimp and lobster fried risotto balls) and the Torino di Zucchine (Baked zucchini, pomodoro, mozzarella, and Parmesan). Next time, right? Looking back, I wish Ben and I had gotten different appetizers and shared!
To drink, Ben and I decided to share a pitcher of red sangria, which gave us about two and a half glasses each (and maybe a little extra in my glass when Ben went to the bathroom…shhhh). Because I suck, I forgot to write down how much the pitcher was and I can’t find the price online, but I swear it existed.
The Main Event
The entree portion of the menu is divided into two sections: Pasta “Tutto Italia” and Pesce e Carne (fish and meat). As a pasta-loving fiend, I knew I was getting something that would feel like a warm hug. I can’t deny that Pesce e Carne had a lot of variety, though – including shellfish, salmon, chicken, steak, veal, and pork dishes.
For my main dish, I picked the Tortellini Panna e Prosciutto (below, left) – a cheese tortellini dish with prosciutto and peas in a Parmesan cream sauce (did I mention that I LOVE cheese?). The dish was definitely, heavy, thick, and creamy. When it came out, I was surprised that it was smaller than I expected, but as I ate, I realized there was no way I’d still be hungry after finishing.
Ben chose the traditional Spaghetti (above, right), topped with beef, veal, and pork meatballs in a pomodoro sauce. After he ordered, I mocked his simple choice, but I ate my words…as I ate off his plate. My meal was good, sure — very good, actually. But his was SO much better! Why is it that somebody else’s food always looks so much better once it arrives? Ben kindly shared and I enjoyed a rich, thick sauce (with mercifully few tomato chunks – I’m not a big fan of squishy, cooked tomato pieces). The spaghetti was perfectly al dente and I was in heaven. Just roll me out of the park and right to bed.
There was no way I was leaving before dessert. Who are we kidding. While I was looking over the dessert menu, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that my eyes had turned into hearts. Everything looked delectable. I didn’t know how I was going to choose — from cannoli, to cheesecake, to tiramisu, to gelati…I couldn’t go wrong. Then, miracle among miracles, the dessert sampler popped off the menu.
Consisting of a mini portion of each of a cream puff, cheesecake with fresh strawberries, pistachio mousse, and tiramisu in an adorable little mug, this sampler was the perfect way to taste our way through the dessert menu. Since we were in “Italy,” Ben and I also each had a cappuccino with dinner. The frothy drink was a great way to put a pep in my step after a coma-inducing dinner, and it warmed me up before I headed back out into the elements!
I had a great time at Tutto Italia Ristorante. Not surprisingly, my favorite part of the meal was the dessert sampler. I love that I had the opportunity to taste four different desserts since Tutto Italia isn’t a local restaurant I can just pop by whenever I’d like. I still have some confusion over our difficulty with getting a dinnertime reservation, but things worked out. Since we’re having honesty hour here, I also have to mention that our two-person table was cramped with the pitcher of sangria, two wine glasses, two water glasses, side plates, and the various meal dishes as they came and went. Still, I’d go back without second thought. There are so many more things on the menu I’ve got to try!
With no scientific formula to this, I’d give Tutto Italia Ristorante 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Have you visited Tutto Italia Ristorante before? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please reach out with your comments or questions in the comments or on Instagram: @castleboundkim!
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