boti eats | tutto
Tutto opened to what most people would consider a rocky start. They struggled to hit the high expectations of the customer and got hit with some rather disastrous reviews from big names (if you know you know). And off the back of that, the team at Tutto decided it was imperative things change. And change they did.
The venue itself is absolutely stunning. Situated in an old bank of soft pink brick, it is grand and elegant. The place glows like something from a Christmas movie set in New York. Warm and inviting, with a tremendous sense of expectation. The interior could be straight out of the series Mad Men, with art deco lighting and fittings and pastel blue walls with mahogany panelling. Boldly coloured artworks add flares of vibrance to the surroundings and, despite what some others have said, the lighting is pretty spot on. It’s a beautiful space.
We start the meal with a perfectly mixed Negroni and an excellent Martini. Both drinks that we feel nicely match the ambience of what Tutto is trying to be. The drinks menu is well stocked with a great selection of classics and cocktails with a twist, the wine list is extensive and has a great array from around Italy.
The first round of food arrives and, even at first appearance, everything is gorgeous. Soft, spongy focaccia and peppery olive oil; bone marrow with gremolata, parmesan and crostini; luscious lasagna crocchetta with dipping marinara – all were great. We’d heard bad things about the deep fried lasagne but, happily, couldn’t fault it. It was rich and moist, with a great layering of tomato sauce and bechamel. And the bone marrow was spot on and pleasingly indulgent.
Next up was the beef carpaccio with pickled walnut, truffle and parmesan. It was everything you’d hope for: delicate layers of wafer-thin beef combined with the classic combination of truffle and cheese, with a lovely sharpness added by the walnut. A really good dish.
Then came burrata, black fig, autumn caponata, pine nuts and basil. This wasn’t the strongest dish of the night, but you can’t really go wrong with a good creamy burrata and nice garnish.
The seared tuna, radish, green beans and orange was only ok, though, as the tuna felt a little lost with the strong citrus hit of the dressing. But it was a nice and fresh complement to the other two plates and the colours of the dish popped.
After this spread of great small plates we opted to try a couple of their pasta dishes: the tagliatelle cacio e pepe and black truffle and the pappardelle, Chianti slow-braised beef shin and onion pangritata. The first was nice, with the black truffle giving it a buttery and rich flavour. We felt it could have used a lot more black pepper to give it some more punch, but overall it was very tasty.
But the beef shin pappardelle was very good: deep intense flavour where the sauce had been perfectly reduced and emulsified with the fat of the beef shin. It was glossy and sweet with the Chianti, with a nice bite to the pasta and satisfying crunches from the pangritata. Very satisfying and well rounded as a dish.
To finish we moved to the bar (we took way too long enjoying our meal at the table) and ordered a couple more excellent cocktails and their now famous chocolate desserts. Both of which were knockout, elegantly designed and utterly delicious.
Overall, Tutto went above and beyond expectation. If there were issues, they seem to be solved (at least when we ate there) and they seem to have taken into account all the feedback they received and grown to become a great restaurant.
Apart from a few small preferences with dishes, we couldn’t fault the food. The service was friendly and attentive (perhaps even a little over-zealous at times) and the ambiance of the space was great. Kinks have been ironed, issues overcome and now comes the time when we’re sure Tutto will solidify itself as a staple on the Brighton food scene. And we’re not the only ones to think so, either – it made its way into the 2023 Michelin guide. Tutto is not cheap, but quality never is, so if you’re looking for a treat or a special meal out, this is a solid contender.
20 – 22 Marlborough Place, Brighton BN1 1UB
By Jack Southan
Photo credits: David Charbitt (interior and exterior images); Jack Southan (all other images)