Tutto Italia is one of two restaurants in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. And one of 3,675 Italian restaurants property-wide.
It sits adjacent to Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, which serves its own dedicated menu, in addition to the full Tutto Italia menu. Via Napoli, the second sit-down restaurant that’s situated in the back of the Pavilion, is Italy’s more boisterous cousin. It specializes in pizza, but other entrees are available too. Both restaurants are operated by Patina Restaurant Group, which also runs Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway in Disney Springs, in addition to The Edison and Morimoto Asia. Current menus for Via Napoli and Tutto Gusto, among other happenings, are available in the general Italy update here.
Tutto Italia is not exactly “fine dining,” but it’s one of the more refined restaurants at Epcot.
There’s a few different dining spaces, including a covered, outdoor terrace, along with a side room just inside the entrance. I prefer the main dining room, which “feels” surprisingly intimate given the size. The chandeliers add an understated elegance and the artwork around the room creates an atmosphere that’s a little more light and playful.
Unlike a lot of Epcot restaurants that have gone to just one menu served all day, Tutto Italia continues to serve a less expensive lunch:
That Chicken Fettuccine “Lunch Special” is going to have to be awfully good to be worth a thirty-dollar ask. Several of the same entrees as dinner are otherwise served at slightly lower prices. For example, the Salmone is $27 at lunch and $31 at dinner, while the Spaghetti is $22 for lunch and $25 for dinner. The Insalate and Panini selections are exclusive to lunch and cost quite a bit less than your average dinner entree.
Eleven appetizers are available with prices ranging from $9 for the Pasta and Bean Soup all the way up to the $32 Platter that Serves Two.
In the past, I’ve ordered what is now the $20 “Prosciutto Di Parma – Parma Ham, Schiacciata Toscano, Dried Figs.” Parma ham is known for its silky smoothness with much of its subtle, succulent flavor hidden in the fat that surrounds the rose colored flesh. Italia’s Parma is creamy, complex, and delicate, if not a bit too salty. This is best shared among two or more people as it is filling and there isn’t a lot of variety in flavor since it’s “literally” a plate of meat. Don’t skip trying the toast with creamy ricotta and dried figs either – they’re a great accompaniment.
Also from a past visit, here’s a look at the $17 “Caesar Salad – Romaine, Olive Crostini, Pomodorini, Shaved Parmesan.” I’d skip this one if I were you. It’s swimming in dressing and while the cheese is flavorful, there’s nothing here that commands $17.
This time around, Erin and I shared the $32 “Antipasto Misto – Chefs selection of various appetizers and specialties, a generous platter served family-style.” It’s quite a bit more food than I think the picture indicates.
Here’s my first plate with about a sixth of what’s on the platter, if that.
I thought it was a really nice way to start the meal, though I would recommend sharing it among three or perhaps four people. A couple big hunks of the same parmesan that’s served with the $17 Caesar are hiding underneath the prosciutto on the left. There’s also two kinds of salami and a couple balls of mozzarella – all appropriately meaty and cheesy. The sweet peppers and artichoke hearts offered a nice contrast. I was a little hesitant on the Eggplant Caponata, but the sweet and sour flavors played really nicely together, particularly when paired with the Farro Salad to help cut the intensity of the spices. Add some buttery, garlicky Sauteed Mushrooms, a little Sweet Fig, and some briny Olives and you have a great assortment of flavors that are surprisingly refreshing. A nice starter that’s going to cost about $11/person when shared three ways.
Cocktails and beer, which I think can best be described as stupid-expensive, are available. Unfortunately, I’ve become accustomed to paying $15+ for drinks at Disney Springs, but the high quality ingredients and careful attention to detail typically help lessen the blow. Plus, if you’re anywhere near the bar area, you can watch the bartenders freshly prepare and shake the drinks. Other than the high prices, none of that is available here.
For the sake of the review, I ordered a $16 “Italian Margarita – Limoncello, Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice.” It arrived in the form of a hideous neon green liquid along with an unadvertised sugar rim. The ingredient list is promising, but it was full of sugar and sour mix with virtually no alcohol whatsoever. If this blog post was an opera, we would be at the very sad interlude.
Much smarter than I, Erin went with a $13 “Rossini – Prosecco, Strawberry Purée.” It was exactly what you’d want – mostly wine with a natural, fruity strawberry flavor. It’s still $4 overpriced.
Bread is complimentary – Focaccia and Wheat. The former is not as fresh as you’d probably like – I’m looking for a little bit of crispiness from the exterior and a nice chewy interior with a little bit of olive oil and rosemary. You could almost wring the oil out of the bread and come away with enough for dipping, yet somehow it’s still incredibly dry, and it’s more spongy than anything. It’s not the end of the world, but it could be so much better.
As always, be careful with the olives – they have large, hard pits inside. The flavor is mildly sweet with a firm texture.
These days, you’ll also be served a package of what I think are pretty unremarkable, very thin breadsticks.
Wines with the highest markups are advertised front and center on the table. A 1.5 liter bottle of that Mezzacorona will run you 10 bucks at the store, so you’re paying 700%+ here for them to pop a 750ml bottle.
The full cocktail list. Please don’t get me started on Moretti.
The Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia is pretty good.
15 selections comprise the entree list.
In addition to “The Best of Italy.”
I’ve tried a number of things over the years, including this $27/$28 “Fettuccine Campagnole – Arugula and Basil Pesto, Spinach, Burrata Cheese.” The price point is rough for a vegetarian pasta dish, but it’s prepared fresh with a keen eye for detail.
What was the $35 “Risotto Gamberi E Aragosta – Arborio Rice, Shrimp, and Lobster” has been stepped back a bit, now with Clams and Mussels in place of Lobster and served for $4 less. That might be a shame because the lobster version was really good.
This time around, I took them up on their advertised special with the $32 “Pollo alla Parmigiana con Spaghetti alla Chitarra.” While I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you that it’s a basic move, the Chicken Parmesan is easy to compare among restaurants and offers quite a bit of insight into what the kitchen is producing with the opportunity to try the pasta, meat, sauce, and cheese in one sublime dish. As usual, it was an overwhelming portion. The chicken breast was pounded relatively thin with a nice crispy crust served underneath the sauce, which probably could have been a little more hearty and robust. But there’s more melted cheese than it probably looks in the picture, making for a creamy, crispy, decadent bite with a little bit of tang from the cheese sprinkled on top. It’s also very shareable – I took at least half home for lunch the following day.
The spaghetti was incredibly fresh too, though potentially overcooked and I would have again liked a little more heartiness to the sauce. But it was a welcome counterpoint to the crispy chicken.
Far less basic, Erin went with the $30 “Sogliola – Parmesan-crusted Sole, Potatoes, Artichokes, Green Asparagus, Sweet and Spicy Vinaigrette.” This was a bit of a disappointment – the fish didn’t hold up very well to all of the butter and sauce, making for a soggy bite by the time it was served. Any nuance from the fish is easily overwhelmed with everything going on, making the dish surprisingly one-note. On the plus side, the asparagus underneath the fish was prepared well. But I’m not sure where the sweet and spicy component is – it overwhelmingly tasted like butter, garlic, and herbs.
Given the portion sizes, it’s hard to imagine being hungry for dessert, but here it is.
I’d suggest sharing an appetizer and entree here or you’re going to be overwhelmed with food.
Overall, Tutto Italia is a pleasant experience with some of the finer service that you’ll experience at Epcot. Servers are omnipresent but rarely overbearing and seem to genuinely care that your meal be a memorable one. Being a theme park restaurant, the atmosphere is laid back, but it still “feels” like you’re transported to somewhere special where time moves a little slower and there’s an opportunity to savor all the elements of the dishes. I don’t think I would return to the fish. It was still good, but there’s a lot on the menu that sounds interesting. If you’re sticking to the items available for lunch and dinner, then I’d suggest spending the extra couple bucks to enjoy an evening meal. It’s a very nice, relaxing experience. For a less expensive meal, take a look at the lunch-exclusive options.
We’ll move on to the United States.