Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon

Italian Regional Food and Wine Pairing Luncheon

Held in Tutto Gusto, the Italy Pavilion’s wine bar, this wine pairing event will showcase five courses — two of which will feature truffles this year — paired with a variety of regional Italian wines.

Where: Tutto Gusto, Italy Pavilion
When: Select Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12:00-2:30PM

  • September 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30
  • October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28 and 31
  • November 2, 4, 7, 9, 11

Price: $99.00 plus tax, gratuity included, Epcot admission required

 

 

Paula, Hunter and I attended the Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon on Wednesday, November 2.  After checking in for our lunch at the desk for Tutto Italia, we were one of first groups to be seated at a table set for 6 inside the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar…

Yes, six of 36 glasses were just for me…one water glass and five for wine (one for each course)!

Also on our table were some olives and olive oil…

 

And a platter of breadsticks and tasty focaccia bread…

 

We were soon joined at our table by another party of 3 that were very nice.  I have to say here that I’ve always had good luck with the random tablemates that I have had at all of the special dining events I’ve attended at Disney World.

Now on to the first course that was served…

Insalata d’Astice – Lobster salad with caviar dressing

This was very good!  I really enjoyed the pieces of fresh lobster.  This was my first experience with caviar I believe.  As an accompaniment to the lobster it was fine, but caviar is not something that I would want to eat alone.  Our salad course was paired with a dry prosecco wine that paired very well with the lobster.

Because of his seafood allergy, Hunter’s lobster salad was replaced by this one…

– Photo by Hunter –

At the bottom of this salad was cantaloupe, then arugula with a dressing that Hunter said was very good.  But the best part of this salad was the slices of delicious prosciutto on top.

Then came our pasta course…

Risotto al Prosecco – Creamy Arborio Rice, Prosecco, and White Truffles

And a closer shot…

 

Now this doesn’t look like much in my photos, but trust me…this was fantastic!!!  This was one of those dishes that made you want to forget your table manners and lick your plate clean.  We had been told that the white truffles in this dish had cost them a crazy amount of money.  For the earlier dates (September) that this luncheon was held, these truffles were very hard to get and cost them something like $4000 or $5000 a pound to fly in.  While Italian white truffles are a little easier to get in October and November (and therefore not quite as expensive), they were still a delicacy…one which I appreciated much more than the caviar from the first course.

Next came the main course…

Filetto di Manzo – Beef Tenderloin with mashed potatoes, porcini mushrooms (and a black truffle, I think)

A little closer look…

 

Another fantastic course!  Everything on this plate was delicious…with the possible exception of the decorative greens, which I didn’t eat.  But that was the only thing I left uneaten on this plate.   :laughing:

 

Now on to the cheese course…

 

 

Another winner!  Much better than the cheese plate we had been served at the French lunch we attended a few days earlier.  Instead of the one cheese that was served for the French cheese course, this one had three…gorgonzola, piccolo, and moliterno (a black truffle pecorino cheese).  All of them were good.

And that just leaves the dessert.  But this wasn’t just dessert, it was a work of art…

 

This was listed on the menu as La Stufa (the stove) and that’s exactly what it looked like…

 

The presentation of this tiramisu dessert was incredible!!  Every intricate detail was edible, including the pans sitting on the stove’s top and their contents…

 

I took about a 100 photos of this dessert before I finally had the nerve to touch it…it just looked too incredible to eat.  But I did eventually have a few bites of the tiramisu, as well as some of the the white chocolate stove door and the entire caramel-filled chocolate pot.  It was all delicious!  I wish I could have eaten more but after the previous four wonderful courses, I just couldn’t manage it.

And so our spectacular Italian lunch ended with a toast…

Cin cin!

…nearly three hours after it had begun.  What an incredible three hours!!!  I can’t say enough good things about this lunch.  The two Italian Regional lunches that I’ve had here previously were both very good, but with this one they really hit it out of the park…and Epcot is a really big park! ;)  All five courses plus wine pairings were delicious…there was not a single weak link.  From start to finish it was a wonderful meal, highlighted by lobster, caviar, white truffles, filet mignon, and a jaw-dropping dessert!  They set the bar unbelievably high this year.  I can’t imagine that they could possibly top it next year, but I am very much looking forward to seeing them try. ;)

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