Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tutto Gelato Cafe

The iconic Tutto Gelato stand on High Street migrated toward another end of town on Chestnut Ridge Road, where it now serves "cafe" items like breakfast, pastries, paninis, pizza cones, salads and soups in addition to their signature gelato. They also have a coffee and espresso bar. Wild Mountain Bakery now occupies that building.

According to their About page, Tutto Gelato "started with the dream of bringing Italy back to Morgantown after a trip abroad in 2003. By 2007, that dream had become a reality, and Tutto Gelato opened on High Street offering gelato, coffee, and an espresso bar. Four years later the small "gelato stand" has become a full-fledged cafe."

I've blogged about the gelato before, so I wanted to focus on their new line of food items at this new location. Right beside Kegler's in the Suburban Plaza, Tutto Gelato has improved their chances for folks driving to them, but it probably cut down on the foot traffic. While the other location didn't have a dining area, this location has a gorgeous one. When you walk in, it's cool, clean, modern and sophisticated. The space is a good size, with seating for a couple dozen people and photos from Italy on the wall and polished fixtures. The atmosphere is relaxing.

The gelato case is on display as soon as you walk in. I bypassed it (momentarily) to gaze at the menu behind the counter. There's something called a pizza cone that I'm dying to try, but with the option of doing a "Duetta" - 1/2 and 1/2, it was hard to deny trying two items instead of just one. So with the 1/2 and 1/2 deal, you can get either half a panini, salad ("insalata"), soup ("zuppa"), or the second to smallest gelato ("bambino"). I went with half a panini and half a salad - the Milano and Pomodoro. They all have cutesy Italian names like that. If I got a Bambino gelato with the meal, it was only $2.50 instead of the usual $3. So, sign me up.
Piccolo (1 scoop)                                        $2.25
Bambino (2 scoops)                                    $3.00
Medio (3 scoops)                                        $3.75
Generoso (4 scoops)                                   $4.50
Side note: Monday was actually Medioso Monday, where there's a special on getting that size.


All the paninis are made to order, so it took a little bit of time before they came out. But before I knew it, I had a gorgeous presentation of a sandwich, salad and a side of cookie. The sandwich and salad are both pretty small. For $7, I suppose that's what you get. But so small that I was actually still hungry when I finished. With that being said, they both were pretty good. I liked my "adult grilled cheese" sandwich. That being the Milano, which is a combo of provolone, fontina, and pecorino romano cheeses. It was pretty tasty; I only wish I got a full sandwich instead of half. The cheese was melty and had a little bit of a kick in some bites.

The salad - the Pomodoro - was their tomato, mozzarella, salad on a bed of spinach and arugula with balsamic vinaigrette. I do like that they placed the vinaigrette on the side. I wish there had been more tomatoes, and I wish the mozzarella was more fresh. But it wasn't bad. The red onions gave it some more sweet flavor, and the balsamic topped it off.

You get a side when you order, and they have things like an apple, a veggie cup, a fruit cup, chips, a cookie, etc. So I said cookie, and it ended up being Oatmeal Raisin. Which I'm totally cool with. I was hoping for the fresh, bakery taste. It was a little hard. But sweet and still made me feel warm inside, so I ate it. If I was grading on food alone, I'd probably say this was right down the middle of the road, but with the gelato ...

Gelato is Italy's version of ice cream, and these little shops are everywhere. When I went, I had gelato just about every day. Per their website, gelato contains less butterfat than ice cream's typical 18 and 26%. With the lower butterfat, gelato is less solidly frozen than ice cream and melts in your mouth quicker. Gelato is denser than ice cream.  Air is added to ice cream, doubling its quantity but lowering the quality.  Much less air is added to gelato which leads to a higher quality dessert with a richer, creamier taste. Last but not least, gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream.  Gelato is served 10-15 degrees warmer than ice cream.  With the combination of lower butterfat and lower temperatures, gelato's flavor is enhanced as it melts in your mouth.

Remember that extra $2.50? I walked up to the case when I was finished with my sandwich and looked over the options - mango, blood orange, strawberry, chocolate, lime. The bambino is two scoops, which means I can get two different flavors, so I went with the stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chips/shavings) and cherry chocolate chip. It's surprisingly a huge amount. Maybe the flat spoon makes you eat slower - I don't know.

I had a strawberry/kiwi one once that was delicious. My two flavors this trip weren't bad. The chips are more like frozen shavings in the gelato. Not thick little dollops, so it gives you a different texture. I enjoy the creaminess, while containing iciness at the same time. I think I like the fruitier flavors a little better - it's that nice, refreshing, cool feeling after a meal that just rounds it out. But it's gelato, and you can't really go wrong with any of the flavors.

For $11, I got to try a good bit here. I'm happy with that. Next time, I'll be trying some other options, though.

Tutto Gelato Cafe
755 Chestnut Ridge Road
Suburban Plaza, Suncrest
Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: (304) 291.2444 Fax: (304) 241.1666
tuttogelato@gmail.com
Monday - Saturday 7 am - 9 pm, Sunday 9 am - 9 pm

Grade: B
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