01 April 2008

Tutto Vino


Tutto Vino is an intimate wine bar tucked in a small shopping center in golftastic Dublin. They feature a great assortment of tapas and entrees that are made to be served alongside a varied selection of wines by the glass and by the bottle.

This wine bistro is going by a different name now. It used to be known as the Wine Shoppe Bistro, but after Bob Monica sold his ownership stake to Raj Hora, Hora renamed it Tutto Vino. The menu is similar to the Wine Shoppe Bistro.

The menu is a French/Italian/Mediterranean hybrid that centers around tapas. The small plates can be eaten as a meal by one, or (better yet) passed around and shared, allowing everybody to try a little bit of everything.

The wine and cheese plate is customizable. Diners select from a range of olives and cheeses which are then accompanied by fruit, nuts and flatbread. The olives and cheese can also be ordered individually. I tried a five-county cheddar that represents the five major cheese producing areas of Britain stacked one on top of another. I also tried a Canadian white cheddar alongside kalamata olives, a classic Greek black olive with a great flavor and a perfect salt cure.

The mushroom tart was also great. It consisted of a cornmeal crust stuffed with portobello and porcini mushrooms, Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheese, caramelized onions, red peppers and bread crumbs. The presentation was a little plain, but the taste was special.

The hummus (pictured above) was also a surprise. It was served with flatbread, cucumbers and grapes. The hummus was mild and well made.

The Florentine strudel was the winner of the night. The strudel consisted of mushrooms, spinach, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts and four cheeses baked in a flaky pastry shell. It was akin to Spanakopita with a few more bells and whistles, and it was great.

The desserts also looked good. The Gravel Road Jeni's ice cream was delicious as ever, featuring smoked almonds inside a caramel ice cream with caramelized sugar, butter and sea salt.

The wine flights are another great value. You can sample five wines of your choice for about $17. I sampled a Lobster Key Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a white and red Bordeaux (names unknown), the Quarterback (a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) and the grand champion Orin Swift's The Prisoner, a lush, jammy red made from grape varietals including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono. The grapes create a spicy blueberry wine with deep color that is more than the sum of the parts from which it's made. Tutto Vino also features a retail wine shop, and bottles can be bought retail and served in the restaurant for a small mark-up.

The service was a little spotty while I was at Tutto Vino. The server was friendly and capable. She was just stretched a little thin. It seemed like she definitely needed help. I'll chalk it up to a staffing oversight.

Tutto Vino is as good as it was in its previous incarnation. It's a great place to share food and wine with friends. Stop in, and check out the pictures below.




Tutto Vino

3 comments:

Mike/Megan said...

Went last night based on your comments and had a great dinner. Agree that the hummus was nice to see on the menu but could have used a bit more flavor. The strudel was incredible as well as the Mediterranean pizza. We also enjoyed the selection of seasonal micro-brews on tap (I know it's a wine bar but it was nice NOT to see bud and miller). Thanks for the great find!

deraj1013 said...

Glad you enjoyed it.

Pete said...

I've been to Tutto Vino a handful of times this year, and I've always enjoyed myself. The wine selection is fantastic, and the bartender is friendly and extremely knowledgeable. The serving staff is pleasant and capable, and the food is some of the best I've had. The only aspect I found off-putting was the tendency of the General Manager to sit at the bar whilst using a laptop. I've been in the restaurant business for 25 years and found this strange and highly unprofessional. Aside from that, Tutto Vino is an absolute success, in my mind.