Epcot Vacay: Coral Reef and Tutto Gusto

To read our Epcot: Vacay for a Day Report, click here. Now let’s get to the eating portion of our fun day at Epcot.

Coral Reef Lunch

As we exited from Nemo, I happened to look over to my right where I saw the sign for the Coral Reef restaurant. I had never eaten there, so I suggested we give it a try.

We were the first table seated right in front of the glass of the aquarium.

Our friendly server was very attentive and efficient. And after enjoying some hot rolls, we were served our delicious looking entrees.


Kathy: Grilled Mahi Mahi – with Laughing Bird Shrimp, Hearts of Palm, Jasmine Rice, Cilantro, and a Coconut-Lime Sauce

Rich: Seared Rainbow Trout – with warm salad of white beans, arugula, tomatoes, crispy bacon, aged balsamic vinegar and brown butter

Wine: MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir

The atmosphere is wonderful in this restaurant, especially for animal lovers like me. It was great to watch all the fish, and even a huge turtle, swim by us as we enjoyed lunch.

But don’t be fooled — it’s not all about the aquarium. The food here is incredible too. Kathy’s mahi mahi and shrimp was beautiful prepared, and the coconut-lime sauce gave it wonderful Asian flare.

My trout was some of the best I’ve ever had, and I love trout. The beans, bacon, and vinegar/butter sauce added a terrific smoky flavor that was perfect with the fish.

Service was great and when the waiter asked if we wanted to taste the wine before pouring a glass, we told him that wasn’t necessary – we’d met Kate MacMurray several times and had even been to a fabulous winemaker’s dinner under the stars in the Redwood Trees on MacMurray Ranch.

We held off from ordering dessert since we wanted to save that for when we were in World Showcase.

This was an incredible experience, and one we were glad we took the time to do even though it wasn’t in our original plans.


Tutto Gusto Wine Bar

We entered World Showcase and headed straight for one of our favorite pavilions, Mexico. We intended to have some tequila at La Cava del Tequila, but because we had stopped for lunch, we arrived at 12:30. All the tables were filled, and the bar was packed with patrons. We were not surprised — you have to arrive at noon opening to get a table.

So, after riding the Grand Fiesta Tour, we decided to head to one of our other favorite pavilions, Italy, where we found the new Tutto Gusto Wine Bar.

The atmosphere in this getaway is lovely — dark, cozy, with tables, couches, and a bar surrounded by walls of wine.

We found a table in the corner where we could have our privacy. The Italian server was very friendly and welcoming.

After looking over the menu we decided on the following:

Chef’s Selection of Four: Prosciutto di Parma, Salametto, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Fior di Latte

Wine: Italian Spumante Rose

Dessert: Cannoli – crisp pastry, sweet ricotta, chocolate, candied orange

The chef’s selections were yummy. The Fior di Latte (fresh mozzarella) was absolutely heavenly. The fresh salametto also knocked our socks off. Everything was so good.

The rose bubbly was sweet, and Kathy was craving some real dessert, so we ordered the cannoli as well. The cannoli was amazing, and definitely the best we’ve had. The balance of sweetness in the ricotta filling was perfect.

This cozy wine bar is a great respite from the rest of World Showcase and is certainly a place we will visit again. It’s a fantastic addition to our favorite WDW park.

About Rich Eckardt

Byzantine Catholic Convert. Knight of Columbus. Celebrant of the Divine Office.