Restaurant Review: Tutti Mangia

As a Southern California native, I feel that good Italian
food is hard to come by. We do a lot of things well here
(have you tried a burrito east of the Colorado River?), but
Italian cuisine is rarely one of those things. Somewhat
perplexingly, there are at least four Italian restaurants in the
Claremont Village.  Trusting that the odds of finding a good
one were in my favor, I decided to try out Tutti Mangia.
First, a disclaimer: Tutti Mangia is pricey.  By “pricey” I
mean that it’s the type of place you would ask your parents
to take you to when they visit; it’s worthy of your post-
graduation party; for students with part-time jobs on cam-
pus, it is the type of place that could (if paying for two) eat
up—no pun intended—half of that bi-monthly paycheck.
I’m not saying you should avoid Tutti Mangia—quite the
opposite, in fact—but, if you and your roommate are
interested in going off campus to eat and are on a budget,
I would point you in a different direction.
That being said, Tutti Mangia’s food is molto buon. To
start, I split an order of bruschetta with my dinner date;
instead of the typical tomato-basil-balsamic topping, the
bruschetta appetizer comes with three different and unique
toppings. Pickier eaters will be satisfied with the tomato
and gorgonzola pairing, while more adventurous diners
can choose between the grilled eggplant and goat cheese
or roasted pepper and Serrano ham combination.  Each
of the three toppings has a sweeter ingredient paired with
a salty and tangy ingredient, yet each topping is different
enough to keep your palette tingling.
For the main course, I ordered the papparadelle, a wide and flat pasta covered in a beef ragu and lightly dusted with
parmigiana reggiano.  If you read “ragu” and immediately thought of the sauce you find in a jar, banish the thought.
A ragu, as found in this dish, has more meat than vegetable. There is just enough tomato to lightly coat and flavor
the pasta, but the beef is the true star.  The sauce, though heavy, was well-balanced by the amount of papparadelle, an
excellent choice of noodle for such a meaty sauce.  My dinner date ordered the tortellacci, filled with butternut squash
and ricotta salata—a mild, creamy cheese—in a sauce of browned butter and sage.  The tortellacci tasted like fall: the
squash and sage immediately evoke feelings of warmth, and the browned butter and ricotta make the dish luxurious.
There are many things I didn’t get to experience at Tutti Mangia. Their menu includes a variety of salads and other
appetizers, heavier protein-based main courses and a dessert menu. If you are of drinking age, they have a wine list
and a martini menu, and their staff is very helpful in selecting a drink to pair with your meal.  All in all, dinner at
Tutti Mangia was a delicious and delightful experience—I even had enough food left over for lunch the next day.
If cost is a concern, I would seek higher ground; but the next time your parents are in town and are offering to take
you out for a meal, take solace in the wallets of others and head to Tutti Mangia. For a listing of Tutti Mangia’s
hours and menu, log onto
www.tuttimangia.com
PHOTOS BY MARGOT BUERMANN

tutti mangia 003

As a Southern California native, I feel that good Italian food is hard to come by. We do a lot of things well here (have you tried a burrito east of the Colorado River?), but Italian cuisine is rarely one of those things. Somewhat perplexingly, there are at least four Italian restaurants in the Claremont Village.  Trusting that the odds of finding a good one were in my favor, I decided to try out Tutti Mangia.

First, a disclaimer: Tutti Mangia is pricey.  By “pricey” I mean that it’s the type of place you would ask your parents to take you to when they visit; it’s worthy of your post-graduation party; for students with part-time jobs on campus, it is the type of place that could (if paying for two) eat up—no pun intended—half of that bi-monthly paycheck.  I’m not saying you should avoid Tutti Mangia—quite the opposite, in fact—but, if you and your roommate are interested in going off campus to eat and are on a budget, I would point you in a different direction.

That being said, Tutti Mangia’s food is molto buon. To start, I split an order of bruschetta with my dinner date; instead of the typical tomato-basil-balsamic topping, the bruschetta appetizer comes with three different and unique toppings. Pickier eaters will be satisfied with the tomato and gorgonzola pairing, while more adventurous diners can choose between the grilled eggplant and goat cheese or roasted pepper and Serrano ham combination. Each of the three toppings has a sweeter ingredient paired with a salty and tangy ingredient, yet each topping is different enough to keep your palette tingling.

For the main course, I ordered the papparadelle, a wide and flat pasta covered in a beef ragu and lightly dusted with parmigiana reggiano.  If you read “ragu” and immediately thought of the sauce you find in a jar, banish the thought.  A ragu, as found in this dish, has more meat than vegetable. There is just enough tomato to lightly coat and flavor the pasta, but the beef is the true star.  The sauce, though heavy, was well-balanced by the amount of papparadelle, an excellent choice of noodle for such a meaty sauce.  My dinner date ordered the tortellacci, filled with butternut squash and ricotta salata—a mild, creamy cheese—in a sauce of browned butter and sage.  The tortellacci tasted like fall: the squash and sage immediately evoke feelings of warmth, and the browned butter and ricotta make the dish luxurious.

There are many things I didn’t get to experience at Tutti Mangia. Their menu includes a variety of salads and other appetizers, heavier protein-based main courses and a dessert menu. If you are of drinking age, they have a wine list and a martini menu, and their staff is very helpful in selecting a drink to pair with your meal.  All in all, dinner at Tutti Mangia was a delicious and delightful experience—I even had enough food left over for lunch the next day.

If cost is a concern, I would seek higher ground; but the next time your parents are in town and are offering to take you out for a meal, take solace in the wallets of others and head to Tutti Mangia.

For a listing of Tutti Mangia’s hours and menu, log onto www.tuttimangia.com