416-597-8839 | $21-23 primi, $24-30 secondi
Guess I’m on a bit of Italian streak recently, but seeing as there’s so many in this city can you really blame me. Was looking for somewhere in the entertainment district, that wasn’t sitting on King across from Lightbox, and wasn’t doing Winterlicious. Tutti’s just one block up on Adelaide near Spadina, so that fit the bill for me and a couple friends on a Friday night.
Photo Credit: blogTO
I wouldn’t call the menu here classic Italian, as there are some less traditional additions to some of the menu, but the Tuscan theme is still apparent. There’s a healthy selection of apps, salads and mains, so there should be something for everyone on the menu. And if you want black truffles, you’ll find them all over the menu in various dishes.
We started with the porchetta on crostini with caramelized onions, tuna sauce, and arugula (above). Coming in three large crostini, this is great for sharing between three people. I liked the dish, the pork was the major flavour – as you’d hope – but the tuna sauce I found too subtle. I ordered it for the seafood-pork combo, but I couldn’t have picked it out without knowing it was there. In any case, a delicious starter all the same.
For the mains, we ordered two pastas and a stuffed rabbit leg dish. One was a pappardelle (above), the other maltagliata. The pappardelle with braised beef brisket, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil was great. Found the beef to be tender and generously portioned (think a really beefy ragu) and the noodles to be a nice al dente.
The maltagliata (above) included stewed veal shank with porcini, a gremolata, and bone marrow. Perfect pasta and great protein were again present here, although bone marrow was difficult to pick out and overall the dish may have been a bit salty (this is admittedly a very subjective point).
The stuffed rabbit leg disappointed me a bit. I was expecting the leg meat to be more tender, but found it to be a little dense and rubbery. It wasn’t chewy per se, but my butter knife had difficulty performing with the protein resting on the bed of well-prepared cannollini beans, cipollini onions and parsnips. The leg was also wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with a half sweet, half savoury mix that I couldn’t quite pick out.
For dessert, I went simple and ordered the tiramisu. I liked the crispy lady finger on top that added some texture, but generally I was disappointed here too. Flavour-wise I liked it, although I prefer my tiramisu with bolder coffee taste. I also thought it was quite heavy for a dish that I consider best when it achieves both lightness and moist. Couldn’t finish it after the larger portions (not complaining) from previous courses.
Service and Ambience
Inside, the place is actually quite a bit larger than it looks on first approach. The space is pretty cozy despite the size due to the rounded tavern-like ceiling. There’s a nice bar on the left when you walk in as well.
Photo Credit: Food Network Canada
From a service perspective, everything came out quickly on a reasonably busy night, so thumbs up there. Our main server was polite and attentive, but I don’t think I’d say friendly or inviting.
Hard to say. I was only slightly underwhelmed by 2/3 of my dishes, so I can’t say it’s awesome, but I also don’t want to be too critical. The rest of the menu looks promising, the portion sizes justify the price, and my friends enjoyed their food for the most part. I’d probably stop in again if I were in the neighbourhood.
Posted by: Jacob, Visited Jan 27, 2012