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Here's how to enjoy a restaurant quality Italian dinner at home

Tutoni's now offers pasta by the pound to take home and enjoy later.

Tutoni's now offers pasta by the pound to take home and enjoy later.

Italians are famous for big meals that bring friends and family around the dinner table. Instead of reaching for a dried box of spaghetti the next time you host dinner, take a note from your Nonna’s cookbook and serve a restaurant quality Italian dinner at home.

This meal isn’t your ordinary weeknight dinner. Instead, it’s a meal prepared and served with love. So, grab a bottle of wine, call your favorite people and pull out the china – we’re going to show you how to impress your guests with a homemade Italian dinner.

Set the atmosphere

It might be tempting to sit on the couch with a big bowl of pasta and stuff yourself with carbs until you fall asleep. But if your Nonna were watching, what would she say? A homemade pasta meal can take a regular weeknight dinner and turn it into something extraordinary.

Set the table, light a candle and bring out the nice plates and silverware. Put on some Italian music that sets the tone for casual elegance mixed with fun. We suggest Franco Coggiola, Nino Rota or even the classic songs of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Don’t eat alone

Pasta is delicious on its own, but it’s especially enjoyable when you share it with people you love. There’s nothing quite like sitting around the kitchen table with friends and family to put the comfort in comfort food. So, grab a bottle of wine and pull out the welcome mat: it’s time for dinner.

Select the sides

You really don’t need much to go along with a great bowl of homemade pasta. Because pasta is typically a comfort food, look for a side dish that’s refreshing and light.

A fresh spinach salad with a citrus-based vinaigrette makes a great start to an Italian dinner at home.

You might also want to serve crusty, fresh bread to go along with your meal. There’s no need to waste a drop of the sauce on your plate. Use the bread to mop up leftover tomato sauce or dip it in a small plate of extra virgin olive oil.

Choose your sauce

The type of sauce you choose can depend on a lot of things – including the type of pasta you might be using. Long and skinny pastas, such as spaghetti and linguine go well with a light seafood sauce or oil-based sauce. Shells or tubular pastas, such as penne or rigatoni, are tasty with a heavy cream or meat sauce.

Use Tutoni’s Signature Housemade Pasta

A fresh pasta can make all the difference when it comes to serving an Italian dinner at home. Next time you dine at Tutoni’s in York, Pa., take home a pound of our homemade pasta to eat at your own dinner table. Our pasta has a tender bite that you won’t find in store bought, dried pastas – and it’s made with care by the very chefs who create our farm-to-table inspired restaurant dishes.

Follow the basic principles of pasta cooking

There are two main things you want to keep in mind when making pasta at home. First, make sure you salt the boiling water to properly season your meal. Second, cook the pasta until it’s al dente. The best way to tell if your pasta is al dente is to taste it. It should have enough chew or bite without sticking to your teeth.

Visit Tutoni’s

Once you’ve mastered the art of an Italian dinner at home, we hope you’ll visit us when you need a break from the heat of the kitchen. Schedule your dinner reservation with us today or step into the TT Bar for one of our scratch made cocktails.  

10 tips to get the most out of wine tastings

Tutoni's self-serve wine system offers the perfect chance to test our your wine-tasting skills.

Tutoni's self-serve wine system offers the perfect chance to test our your wine-tasting skills.

When you think of great wine you might imagine the vineyards of California or the exotic grapes of Western Europe. While a trip to these faraway lands might seem impossible, tasting these wines is easier than you think.

“Wine can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Toni Calderone, co-owner of Tutoni’s Italian restaurant in York, Pa. 

A good bottle of wine is best enjoyed with a good meal and good friends, she says. And Tutoni’s now makes wine tasting that much easier with its self-serve wine system, featured in the upstairs TT Bar.

If you want to get the most out of the self-serve wine system or any York, Pa., winery, we’ve got several tips that will have you sipping like a pro in no time.

1. Properly hold the glass

There is a right way and wrong way to hold your glass. Keep your hand on the stem. Holding the bowl can heat transfer the heat of your hand to the wine.

2. Start with the lightest

If you’re tasting multiple wines, think light to heavy or light to dark. Start with the lightest, crisper whites and work your way down to the robust reds.

3. Keep your palate fresh

While starting light means your taste buds aren’t overwhelmed with a heavier wine, sipping water between tastings also helps keep your palate fresh. Feel free to nibble on the little oyster crackers you often see at wineries to help cleanse your palate between tastings.

4. Look at the wine

Tilt the glass slightly and look at the wine while holding it up to the light. Red wines tend to vary in color, from a bright, raspberry-color for younger wines, to a dark, brick-like color for older wine. White wines can be anywhere from a pale green to a deep golden color. Older white wines tend to be golden, as do those that were aged in oak barrels.

5. Master the swirl

Be careful not to spill any drops when you start to swirl your wine. Swirling helps oxygen get to the wine. Firmly hold the stem on a flat surface, and swirl it about 10 to 20 times. As the wine coats the side of the glass, it releases vapors and gives off a tantalizing bouquet of fragrance.

6. Give it a sniff

Wine glasses curve slightly inward to help guide the smell toward your nose. Once you’ve swirled the wine, you can do two different things:

·         Take a few quick sniffs from the top of the glass;  

·         or inhale a long sniff from deeper into the glass.

7. Sip and taste

Here comes the moment you’ve been waiting for: the taste. Let the wine spread across the tongue – front to back and side to side – before swallowing.

8. What’s with the spit?

You don’t have to spit your wine out, unless you plan to taste a lot of wines and don’t want to become too tipsy. Whether or not you spit out the wine, be sure to take note of the finish, also called the after taste.

9. It’s not all about price

Don’t let the cost of the wine predetermine whether you think it’s good. Plenty of wines can be exceptional and only cost $20 a bottle. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be curious about a $200 bottle of wine.

10. Try Tutoni’s self-serve wine system

The best way to know what you like and don’t like about wines is to taste and taste again. Tutoni’s new self-serve wine system lets you do just that. As one of three restaurants in Pennsylvania to have this system, Tutoni’s allows you to taste wines by the ounce or by a whole glass. Now you can sample that $200 bottle without the guilt of a huge splurge.

Want to taste for yourself? Visit the TT Bar and try out your new wine tasting skills.

5 tips to get the most out of tapas

Tapas on Top at Tutoni’s showcases our culinary team’s talents one small bite at a time. Here’s a guide to having the best tapas experience.

Think of tapas as an awesome opportunity to forget about dining etiquette in the traditional sense. Best enjoyed in a flurry of passing plates, double-dipping and sometimes eating with your fingers, tapas serves up an alternative, yet just as delicious, form of fine dining.

The Tapas on Top experience at Tutoni’s in York, Pa., takes your taste buds on a culinary adventure – one small bite at a time.

The latest addition at Tutoni’s showcases our culinary team’s talents while giving you the chance to experience new flavors and exceptional ingredients with the company of good friends.

While it's a popular tradition in countries around the world and can be found in big city restaurants in the United States, tapas is just starting to catch on in other places.

Our tapas dinner guide will navigate your first small-plate experience so you leave dreaming about the new dishes you can try next time you visit our downtown York restaurant.  

1.   Just how hungry are you?

Tapas, by definition, are small savory dishes. And there are a few different ways that you could enjoy them.

If you’re just in the mood for tickling your taste buds without stuffing your stomach, grab an after-work glass of wine or scratch drink at the TT Bar upstairs and enjoy a tapas plate or two during cocktail hour.

If you're hungry for more, head to Tapas on Top for dinner. You might end up ordering three to four plates per person, depending on how hungry you are, as you enjoy our culinary team's delectable creations.

2. Go with good company

Small plates like tapas are best enjoyed shared with others.

So whether you’re on a date with your main squeeze or out with a group of friends or co-workers, order a few plates of tapas to pass around.

Eating tapas in good company at Tutoni’s gives you the opportunity to try more bites and dishes you might never have ordered for yourself.

3.  Let the server be your tour guide

Don’t be afraid to admit that you have no idea what to do when ordering at a tapas restaurant.

If this is your first tapas dinner, let your server know you’re new to tapas. You could even let her know how hungry you’re feeling, how much you might want to spend and what you hope to get out of the experience.

Your server knows the house specialties, what to recommend based on other foods you might like and how you can fully appreciate our York, Pa., tapas restaurant.

4. Try new things

Here’s maybe the best piece of advice about how to order tapas:

For each dish you order that’s familiar and comfortable, order one that dares your palate to be adventurous.

A delicately constructed cheese plate might be scrumptious and comfortable, but the duck heart tacos might just be your new favorite food.

You won’t know until you try it. So get both.

5. Come back for more

The great thing about tapas is trying new things each time you visit (and maybe also ordering that plate you got last time you’ve been craving all week).

You probably won’t get to taste everything on the menu in one sitting, so we invite you to come back again and try the seasonal offerings our York, Pa., Italian restaurant is known for.

We can’t wait to showcase all the dishes we’ve been creating for our Tapas on Top menu. Make your reservation with us tonight!

Get attached to Tutoni's scratch cocktails

Tutoni's is raising the bar when it comes to cocktail hour. Following its same high standard for creating locally sourced and artfully prepared dishes that bring a taste of the big city to a York, Pa. restaurant., Tutoni's is now pouring that same care and quality at its new upstairs bar.

Whether you prefer the herbal undertones of a Gin and Tonic or the classic hint of molasses in an Old Fashioned, Tutoni’s scratch cocktail menu is elevating the Prohibition-era drinks that are making a comeback.

Join us at Tapas on Top — one of the latest offerings you’ll find for York, Pa., bars. Ours is set in the cozy, rustic atmosphere our second floor offers. Order a tantalizing bite from our tapas menu or sit back and let the bartender walk you through how simple changes, like craft soda, homemade bitters and infused liquors can transport you from your bar stool to a new cocktail experience.

Elevating the classics

It’s not about changing the classic drinks you’ve come to love, it's about making them better. Bar manager Bryan Busch sipped and sampled and created a lineup of scratch cocktails that celebrate the Prohibition-era drinks that have returned to the York, Pa., bar scene without taking away what people love most about these classics.

The Tutoni’s Old Fashioned looks like the classic Bourbon beverage many people consider a bar staple, but the addition of homemade orange bitters takes this drink from the same-old cocktail your grandfather ordered and elevated it to a truly original scratch cocktail.

Fresh twists on other classic cocktails also allow Tutoni’s to keep in line with the seasons. That’s why the Clover Club — a classic Pennsylvania cocktail typically served with raspberry syrup —will sport a red, cranberry syrup in the winter months when raspberries aren’t available in the region.

Tutoni’s is also bringing back another Prohibition-style tradition: cocktail hour punch. Grab a seat at the bar and let the bartender slide you a glass of Tutoni’s Cocktail Hour Punch, a rotating, seasonal and daily changing selection of a classic bar punch brought back to life. If you really like the punch, you can even order a punch bowl for your dinner table at the main restaurant downstairs. Served in vintage glasses, Tutoni’s punch proudly resurrects a classic era of cocktails at its York, Pa., bar.

 

All in the name

There’s a whole story behind each of the original cocktails that are crafted behind the bar at Tutoni’s.

The King George — a three-day thyme-infused bourbon cocktail featuring orange cordial, grapefruit juice, Carpano Antica and aromatic —is named after the building Tutoni’s calls home, which according to York County legend was once a brothel called The King George.

If you’re looking for something a little less risqué, try the Smoked Cherie, named after York’s very own Cherie Anne, who is better known for selling freshly brewed teas at 48 W. Philadelphia St., in York. Combining Montelobos, lemon, egg white and a cold smoked tea syrup, this cocktail offers a subtle flavor that will remind you of childhood campfires.

New to Pennsylvania, sample the unique taste of Barr Hill Gin, a Vermont-sourced liquor previously not available to bars in York, Pa. This liquor – made with juniper berries and real Vermont honey – is featured in The B. Your palate will dabble over the sweetness of gin and tart lemon brought down a notch with the addition of black pepper-infused honey.

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Cheers!

Let Tutoni's quench your thirst with one of our craftfully prepared scratch cocktails.

Even the simpler bar drinks, such as the Cranberry Vodka and Rum and Coke, are elevated with freshly squeezed juices and craft sodas poured right from the bottle.

You’ll never be able to look at your favorite cocktails the same way.

 

 

Guest Book Highlights: July 2015

As anyone who's visited Tutoni's knows, we leave a small guest book for our visitors to sign when they leave.  Here's some of our favorite comments from the month of July! (Be sure to check back to see if the comments from your last visit made it up!)

7/10 “Sarah is a pleasure.  We enjoy every meal we have here.” –Melissa & David

7/11 “This place is amazing : ) The food was so good. Thank you for catering to my dietary restrictions! We will definitely be back!” –Kaley & Zack

7/20 “A wonderful delight to have such an exceptional restaurant in York. Cheers!” –Michael & Tony

7/22 “First time here and absolutely loved it! Thank you for a wonderful dining experience! -Nick F.

 7/26 “Best Italian I’ve had since my Italian Grandmother Rose. Yum!!!” – Kim Carlo Snyder

7/30 “A lovely evening! Delicious!” – Brian & Susan Wood

We are extremely excited to have had signatures from patrons who live in Arizona, Colorado, and even Quebec! We look forward to recapping next month’s signatures, stay tuned.


Guest book highlights: November 2014

As anyone who's visited Tutoni's knows, we leave a small guest book for our visitors to sign when they leave.  Here's some of our favorite comments from the month of November! (Check back at the end of next month to see if your December comments made it up!)

11/4 "Earl David Reed comedian/radio personality THIS PLACE...AWESOME!"

11/6 "Delicious food and wonderful service!"
11/6 "And beautiful ladies (Trout)"

11/7 "Best meal ever! Wonderful atmosphere & service Cara (?) Cusina & Steve, Carin, Emily, Adam Kohlbus"

11/11 "Happy anniversary Matthew xoxo-me"

11/22 "Har haft en mydut (?) trevlig. 50-års födelsedagsmiddag men min syster, svåger och man. Mydut god mat i trevlig miljö. [Illegible signature]" (Swedish: Have had a pleasant 50th birthday dinner with my sister, brother, and husband. Good food in pleasant surroundings.)

11/22 "David & Nikki — Had a wonderful Saturday evening out — Duck Breast & Lobster Ravioli are both excellent! Very appreciative of House-Made pastas! Thank you for a beautiful evening!"

11/25 "Jenn & Jack Pfautz stopped by for dessert while on our tour of #ILoveYorkCity!"

GuestBookNov14

Wine of the month: Villa Cafaggio Vendemmia Cortaccio

Let's talk about Villa Cafaggio Vendemmia Cortaccio 2006. At $33 (retailed locally), this may look like a bottle that's out of your price range, but trust me when I tell you that it's a great wine for the value.

This wine is a super Tuscan. I paired a glass of this perfect, deep plum-colored wine with our goat cheese manicotti for a perfectly orchestrated symphony in my mouth. The wine was a big bass drum as it played along with the beautiful, delicate string section of the entrée. The wine let you know it was there, but it was a perfect pairing to the creamy texture of the dish, still allowing it to offer that pop of flavor from the local goat cheese stuffing inside of the homemade pasta.

I want you to think of a full figured brunette woman, in a dark orchid-colored velvet dress, eating chocolate covered cherries with dirt under her fingernails when you think of this wine. Why? Because this wine is big, it's bold and it's sexy. It has a smooth finish that reminds you of cherries and chocolates. It also does what exactly what a Tuscan should do: balances elegance with earthiness in a way that makes you appreciate the ground from which it came.

Bring this bottle in and the corkage fee is on me!

Cheers,
Toni

Caputo Brothers Creamery

Chef Scott welcomes Rynn Caputo of Caputo Brothers Creamery to the restaurant where she shares with our servers and kitchen staff the art of stretching fresh mozzarella before it's served. Caputo Brothers in Spring Grove, PA is Tutoni's source for fresh ricotta and mozzarella- all part of our farm fresh philosophy. 

Introduction to our wine blog...

Coming soon...

Toni Calderone of Tutoni's in Downtown York, PA will teach you how to choose the perfect wine to accommodate your meal. She'll discuss available Pennsylvania State Store wines and how to select the ideal bottle for your wine pairing.