Sipping and Sampling Italian Terroir at Tutto

Tutto in Yaletown describes itself as the Italian restaurant that is all things to all people. Their menu has options for lunch, happy hour, or a romantic dinner with sommelier chosen wine pairings.

Tutto table with menu view of dining room

Amusing and Appetizing

On my recent visit to Tutto, I enjoyed the experienced guidance of sommelier Axell. To start, we had a Lambrusco Salamino by Solco Paltrinieri. This sparkling Italian red is produced near Bologna. With a dark concentration, it is still light on its feet. It pairs with many things from sweet to savoury but in this case with the Amuse Bouche, a tomato bruschetta.

Tutto wine pairing

For the appetizer course, I got to try the Carpaccio. This classic dish is made with thinly sliced Waygu beef topped with capers and dots of aioli, which is then covered with a dusting of parmigiano, and finished with arugula. The Calamari at Tutto is served with a delicious, spicy puttanesca. It is not breaded and fried but grilled and served with a salad of pea shoots.

The wine pairing for this course was the Fattoria Le Pupille, 2021, Poggio Argentato. This Tuscan white is lively, crisp, and clean with light notes of fruit. Axell explained that while people often think of Tuscany for reds, the Fattoria Le Pupille is a lovely white blend from the region. Its spicy character pairs well with the carpaccio’s mustard aioli.

Pepper, Parmigiano, and Pasta

There are a number of mouthwatering pasta options to choose from on Tutto’s menu. The Casarecce comes in a creamy pork and fennel sausage ragu with freshly grated parmigiano. An excellent pasta counterpoint to the hearty and comforting ragu, is the Seafood Spaghetti. The spaghetti is a simple dish that builds its flavour almost entirely from the Humboldt squid, King prawns, and Manila clams used. The buttery, white wine sauce clings well to the noodles.

Tutto seafood spaghetti

Diverging from the Italian theme, the pasta was paired with a white French wine, the 2019 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateau La Nerthe. This Grenache blanc is a fuller, riper white. Chateau la Nerthe is a destination for red wine but also white. This white has flavours of black cherry and blackberry with pepper notes to its long finish. The pepper tied together both pasta dishes which were seasoned table-side with freshly ground black pepper.

Terra and Mare

Next, we feasted on some protein. The Venison is served with grilled asparagus, mushrooms, roast potatoes, and a red wine jus. One of the extra steps taken by restaurant kitchens to ensure delicious, plate scraping food is sauce making. A red wine jus like the one Tutto finishes their venison with can take two or more days to cook and reduce. The venison was perfectly cooked, moist, and tender.

Venison and red wine jus

Another seafood counterpoint to a heartier, meatier menu item is the Pan Roasted Halibut. It comes with balsamic glazed cipollini onions and roast potatoes, dressed with a tomato vinaigrette. The sauce is so delectable I wanted even more of it on the plate.

For this course, we shifted back to Italian wine with the Barbaresco from 2017, Nada Fiorenzo. On the bottle is the winery’s motto: “Il vino is tinge di luna, ogni giorno che passa” or “the wine is tinged with the moon, every day that passes.” Nada Fiorenzo is a boutique producer. They used to sell their grapes but then they started their own label. The Barbaresco pairs well with the halibut and the venison, picking up acidic notes in the tomato sauce and glazed balsamic onions, as well as the red wine jus.

Tutto’s Tiramisu and a Tuscan Digestivo

Tutto’s menu is made up of Italian classics made with local, West Coast ingredients. For dessert, they serve an absolute iconic Italian treat, Tiramisu. Tutto’s tiramisu comes in the tidiest slice. It is at once rich and light. For those who might not want to finish the meal with a coffee, tiramisu provides a similar flavour profile without the jolt of evening caffeine. Better than drinking a coffee with dessert is to have a glass of dessert wine. The last wine of the evening was a dessert wine from Tuscany. The Carobbio, vin Santo del chianti Classico, Occhio di Pernice. It has notes of dried grapes, chocolate, and pecan. It is sweet but also nutty and is pleasantly warming.

Tutto tiramisu

One of the best ways to sample new wines and learn more about a particular wine region is to enjoy a meal with wine pairings. Tutto offers well-guided wine pairings care of their expert sommeliers. Taste the terroir of Italy, and appreciate the dimension added to your food by a well chosen wine.


About Bronwyn Lewis 60 Articles
Bronwyn Lewis is a food writer for the Vancouver Guardian. She’s also a screenwriter and producer. Born and raised in Vancouver, Bronwyn lives in Mount Pleasant and you can follow all her food adventures on Instagram.