First a Little Pomp & Circumstance,then a Whole Lot of Disney Dining! COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by jabead, May 12, 2012.

  1. AeroKU

    AeroKU Mouseketeer

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    Hi jabead. I just started reading this Dining Review and enjoying it very much. I noticed you are in Central IL, as am I. Where are you specifically?
     
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  3. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Well, hello neighbor!!! :wave: I live just up the road from you, in the lovely little town of Lexington! :)
     
  4. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    Just one question from me....did you eat the whole thing? ;)
     
  5. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    :lmao: As soon as I posted that picture I thought of your comment to Linda, so I immediately added the disclaimer. Unfortunately, gooey and drippy don't work well with IPads. :rotfl:





    That is quite an honor coming from you, Master Linda! I feel smarter already. ;)
     
  6. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    I had a feeling someone would ask that question. :lmao: Truthfully, no I only ate half. But in my defense, I knew I needed to save room for our early lunch at Tutto Italia and then dinner at Bistro de Paris. Yeah, I can't believe we did Italian and French all in one day. :eek: PURE GLUTTONY...and yet so sinfully delicious! :rotfl:
     
  7. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    You're forgiven then, given the circumstances. I can't wait to hear about your Italian and French dining :thumbsup2
     
  8. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip DIS Veteran

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    What a great idea microwaving the cinnamon roll! Having a microwave seems like more than enough justification to stay in a villa over a regular deluxe resort room. :laughing:

    Can't wait to hear about Tutto (post-refurbishment) and Bistro!
     
  9. vettegirl

    vettegirl Dole Whip Queen

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    Those cinammon rolls from MK Bakery are one of the reasons we visit Disney Parks :lmao: Can't wait to hear about Tutto, I love that place.
     
  10. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Yes, I have to admit that I didn't touch the stove/oven in our villa once during the 11 days we were there, as I refuse to cook while on vacation. ;) But the microwave came in handy a few times...breakfast pastries are much better when they are warm. :thumbsup2




    Ahhhh yes, my Tutto Italia review. You might want to just skip over that one if you love the place. :rolleyes1 But please don't stay away long. :)
     
  11. Belle5

    Belle5 DIS Veteran

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    You make a VERY valid point!

    And, I am finally caught up on your reviews! Your bringing back lots of good memories for me and tempting me to try some new things!
     
  12. sunshineNJ

    sunshineNJ DIS Veteran

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    Loved your reviews!! What a GREAT trip with your daughters.:)
     
  13. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    BACKGROUND: My family had twice dined at Tutto Italia since it opened in 2007. The first time, the food was not very good (except for the lasagna) but the service was fine. The second time (March 2010), the food was a little better but the service was terrible. Consequently, we were in no great hurry to return. But then I heard that they would be re-opening with a new menu in early May, after undergoing a nearly 4 month long renovation. After much thought, I decided that this might be the best time to give Tutto Italia another try. During this “Grand Reopening ” time, they would surely want to put their very best foot forward, right???

    So please join us as we test my hypothesis at our….



    LUNCH AT TUTTO ITALIA


    [​IMG]



    Upon check-in for our 12:00 reservation, we were immediately taken to a booth in the main dining room of the restaurant. I was happy to be seated at a booth, as it seemed more private than the regular tables. We spent the next few minutes looking around to see what might have been changed during the renovations. Other than the replacement of some regular tables by booth-type seating, we did not notice any other significant changes. The paintings and murals remained on the walls, the chandeliers still hung from the ceiling, the chairs and regular tables seemed to be the same, and even the carpeting appeared to be unchanged (didn’t look to be brand new). However, since it has been more than two years since our last visit, we could very well be wrong. So I’ve included a few pictures that I took and perhaps those of you who have a better memory and/or have been to Tutto Italia more recently can either confirm or dispute our observations.


    [​IMG]



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    Something I did notice that I think might be new are the very large colored glass vases and flowers. These appeared to be Murano glass and I thought they were quite pretty.



    [​IMG]



    I have one more thing to tell you about before moving on to the food portion of our review. Hopefully it might tickle your funny bone just a bit. With only one exception that I recall, we have found that our servers at both of the current Italian restaurants (as well as the old Alfredo's) at Epcot have been young and shall we say, “easy on the eyes”. With this in mind, I think my girls stepped it up just a bit today from their normal park attire, hair, and make-up. So you can imagine their disappointment when we were immediately greeted by our service team…a white-haired elderly gentleman and the young girl he was training. Sorry girls, no “eye” candy for lunch today…better luck next time. (At least we still had lunch at Via Napoli to look forward to. ;))



    Okay, now let’s bring on the food. But first, here is Tutto Italia’s new lunch menu…


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    Tutto Italia's New Lunch Menu



    We were first brought glasses of water and their complimentary bread service, both of which we would have had to pay for if we were in an actual Italian restaurant...something which surprised us while dining in Italy.


    [​IMG]

    Soft (focaccia) and hard breadsticks, olive oil, and olives


    DD1 really liked the hard breadsticks, and DD2 and I prefered the soft ones. None of us really cared for their olive oil or the olives, as they had pits. It might just be me, but I find it uncomfortable (perhaps even a little gross) to have to spit out olive pits while dining at a nice restaurant. So if this is also an issue for you, then stay clear of these olives.



    DD1 and I started by ordering a cocktail, a Bellini for me and a Rossini for her, and both were rated as “Good”.


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    Rossini (Strawberry Puree and Prosecco) and Bellini (Peach Puree and Prosecco)




    We then chose this appetizer to share…



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Fiori di Zucca - Fried zucchini flowers with lemon and ricotta & parmesan cheeses


    If I were to rate these based on taste only, I would have given the fried zucchini a “Very Good” rating as they were quite tasty. But given their rather high price tag ($12, or $4 per piece) and lackluster presentation, I had to lower their rating to just “Good”. Although DD2 disliked these (so much so that she gave them her first and possibly only “Captain Hook” Bad rating), DD1 agreed with my assessment. So with two against one, the Fried Zucchini was given an overall rating of “Good”. Also, in case you were wondering, DD2 does not like either zucchini or anything lemon-flavored (the lemon flavor was not overwhelming but could be tasted), so I wasn’t at all surprised that she didn’t care for these.



    For her entrée, DD1 chose one of the three paninis listed on their new menu…



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Caprese Panini - Thick-cut tomato slices, basil, Fior di Latte mozzarella, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil



    Ever since our trip to Italy when she discovered her love for the combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil (aka the Caprese salad), she has jumped at the chance to have it again whenever the opportunity arises. Therefore, I was pretty sure that she would order this and would very much enjoy it. However, she actually didn’t like it as much as I thought she would and gave it only a “Good” rating. I think perhaps the tomatoes weren’t quite as ripe as she likes them and therefore lacked the delicious flavor of a fully-ripened, fresh tomato. Also I should note that we both really liked the "crisps" (not really sure what these are called) that were served with her panini. They kind of reminded me of the fried wonton strips that are sometimes served on Asian salads. Anyway, they were quite yummy and a nice change from the usual sides of potato chips or french fries that you get with sandwiches.



    As for me, I had my eye on another panini listed on the menu …the Salumiere, which included three kinds of Italian salami topped with provolone cheese and an olive spread. Doesn’t that sound good? Well, sadly that was not meant to be because DD2 asked if I would share the entrée which she had her heart set on. Knowing that we had a French dinner awaiting us that evening, the guilt won out over my desire to try something new and I agreed to share this pasta dish with her…




    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Lasagna alla Bolognese - Traditional preparation with Emilia-Romagna (a region in Northern Italy) beef sauce (aka Bolognese sauce), béchamel (a creamy white sauce), and parmesan cheese.



    I’m happy to report that we both really enjoyed this (just as we had on our previous visits) and gave it a rating of “Very Good”. Truth be told, it was so good that I probably could have eaten the entire thing myself, but I’m glad I didn't because that left me some room to try one of the desserts. And speaking of desserts, here is their new Dessert menu…



    [​IMG]



    After a little negotiation (as she wanted to again have Tiramisu since she had enjoyed it so much at Il Mulino), DD1 and I ordered this dessert to share…



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Torta di Nocciole “Cortemilia” – Hazelnut Polenta Cake, topped with Nutella and Piemonte Cream


    Doesn’t this look delicious? Well, the Nutella and sweet cream toppings were in fact pretty tasty, but not quite tasty enough to make up for the cake (and I believe they use that term loosely in this case) that lay underneath. The texture of this cake is actually more like a rather dry, dense brownie with nuts. So I guess if you like your "cake" dry and somewhat crunchy, then this is the dessert for you. But for us this was very disappointing, especially considering its rather high price of $12. Now to be fair, I should tell you that I have since seen some very favorable reviews of this dessert (including one by our very own Disboards Dining Reporter, DonaldDoleWhip), so I guess this goes to show that everyone’s tastes are different. With that in mind, my advice is that if you are curious about this unusual dessert then you should try it and decide for yourself if it is a magical “Tinkerbell” or a nasty “Captain Hook”. Oh, and FYI, this dessert is also available at the new Italian Wine Bar, Tutto Gusto.

    Tip from DonaldDoleWhip: Donald paid only $8 for this dessert at Tutto Gusto. But hey, I bet his didn't have that lovely design printed on the plate. :rolleyes: So now I'm thinking that I need to add a new Peter Pan character to my rating system just for this $12 dessert. Can anyone think of anyone worse than Captain Hook??? :lmao:



    Since nuts (of any kind) are on DD2’s long list of foods she doesn’t like, she did her own thing for dessert and ordered this…


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Chocolate Gelato



    And oddly enough, the girl who had previously never met a gelato she didn’t like was not really a fan of this one, giving it just an “Okay” rating. But considering the price of $9, I feel this gelato should have tasted better than just okay so I'm giving it the “Hook”.




    SO OUR OVERALL RATING FOR THIS MEAL: [​IMG] Good, but nothing special


    Although DD2 and I really like the lasagna here, I don't feel that that's enough to warrant a return visit to Tutto Italia anytime in the near future. Even though we had a similar "Good, but nothing special" experience for our first visit to Il Mulino, I would have to say that we are more likely to give it another try sometime (and order different entrees) if we are wanting Italian food than to return to Tutto Italia for a fourth time. Sorry Tutto Italia fans. :guilty:


    NEXT UP: Dinner at Bistro de Paris
     
  14. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi Barb. I've struggled with returning to Tutto post refurb. They removed my beloved canneloni (I've had the lasanga and agree it is very good) but I just think it is overpriced for what you get. None of the desserts tempt me and the appetizers are just ok. Now, that caprese panini (doesn't really look like a pannini but maybe not all panninis have grill marks??) does look very good! Those crisp things... hmmm... not so sure, seems a bit odd for Italian but what do I know. :confused3

    I didn't see anything new or fresh in the decor from your photos so maybe TT re-furbed the kitchen?? :confused:

    Fabulous photos as always!
     
  15. DonaldDoleWhip

    DonaldDoleWhip DIS Veteran

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    In Italian, "panino" means sandwich and isn't necessarily grilled. But in the USA, the word "panini" (plural form of panino, even though we use panini as a singular noun) has come to represent a grilled or toasted sandwich. In fact, I think the Tutto menu is somewhat misleading, since it says "add a house salad to any panini" (using "panini" in the singular form), when it really should say "panino" in order to make it clear that you're receiving a sandwich, not a panini. (I hope my high school Italian teachers would be proud right now :laughing:)

    Regarding Tutto, thanks for the detailed review (including lots of decor and food pics). I've also been on the fence about returning there, but frankly every time I look at the menu all I can think of is how overpriced it is. Sorry you didn't like the hazelnut polenta cake as much as I did! I didn't mind the dry and crunchy texture (in a strange way, I thought it made sense with the hazelnut flavor). But perhaps they should call it something besides "cake" so people don't expect a moist base. Also, at Tutto Gusto it only costs $8 :confused: (maybe they assume they can charge more for it at Tutto Italia since many people are paying there with dining credits).
     
  16. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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  17. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    I've got to admit that, as much as Tutto does appeal to me, I've always thought it to be in reliably overpriced for what you get. I know it's WDW but it just seems far too expensive. Via Napoli definitely seems to be the netters option for Italian dining.
     
  18. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    I just double-checked my receipt and I did in fact pay $12 for that dessert! :headache: But thanks for the tip about Tutto Gusto, Donald! It's too late for me but maybe it will save someone here those extra dollars, so I'll be sure to add the info to my review. :thumbsup2

    Oh, and when you are there next week, can you stop in at Tutto Italia and tell them that I want my $4 back? :rotfl:
     
  19. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Well hi there, Belle! :) Thanks for checking back in here...I was afraid I'd lost you. :laughing: But yeah, I'm still here slowly plugging away at my reviews. I only have about 15 more to go! :lmao: I still can't believe how quickly (and yet how well) you did yours. :thumbsup2





    Thanks for reading, sunshine! :) And yes, it was a great trip...one of my favorites. But don't tell my DH. ;)





    Yes, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that they hadn't made more changes to their dining room. I've never really liked their decor much. It doesn't really look like any of the restaurants that we went to in Italy...but it does look a little like one of the art museums we visited in Rome. :lmao:
     
  20. GoofySon'sMom

    GoofySon'sMom DIS Veteran

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    I had been stressing that I don't have Tutto scheduled for our August trip. We are heading back to Via Napoli instead. Your review is making me comfortable with my decision. Those zucchini flowers were one of the reasons I wanted to try it but that portion size is crazy! Even having the dining plan, I don't want to feel 'cheated' by the price.
     
  21. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the Tutto Review! I have to say it wasn't even on my Radar to start with and definitely isn't now! I have issues with paying so much for PASTA! Even I can make pasta at home and I am by no means a good cook! Via Nappoli however appeals to me because of the Pizza!! I love me a good Pizza! Still torn between Via and Le Cellier though... maybe I'll decide this month! :goodvibes :rotfl2:
     

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