What exactly does Tutto Bene mean? In Italian it means “Everything Good,” but I think instead it should be called “Everything Extremely Fantastic.” From start to finish, Tutto Bene provides an exemplary restaurant experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back or to recommend it to anyone. Established in 1991, restaurateur Tony Cerruto opened the restaurant, but it is now owned and operated by Smokey and Kelly Odom. From the Tutto Bene website:
Tutto Bene offers traditional southern Italian dishes and innovative daily specials prepared by Chef Negust Kaza. The wait staff at Tutto Bene‘s is recognized as the very best in the Caribbean. St. Croix’s premier Italian restaurant is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven nights a week. Tutto Bene is now located in the Boardwalk Building on Hospital Street in Gallows Bay.
The menu is a an incredible mix of simple Italian dishes with a local twist. For example, the Grilled Double Cut Pork Chop has a dry rub, Caribbean spice, and local fruit chutney. The ingredients used are from local farms when available and it shows. Here’s a small section of the menu, but you can view the rest of it on their website. One might look and think that the prices are a little high, but they are comparable to any big city restaurant and believe me, you won’t care about the prices after you taste the food.
|Antonori Santa Cristina wine and bread|
My server this particular evening was Hunter who was extremely polite and helpful. He was kind enough to guide me through the menu as well as answer all of my many questions. Hunter recommended the Antonori Santa Cristina wine, which was delicious with the hot, fresh bread and herbed dipping oil. The intimate feel of the restaurant with its comfortable lighting and soft music playing made me wish I wasn’t dining alone, but I pushed on.
|Three Tomato Salad|
To start my meal, I ordered the Three Tomato Salad consisting of three types of incredibly fresh tomatoes and equally fresh goat cheese and basil. The basil and vinaigrette played nicely against the backdrop of the three tomato varieties. With only a few pieces of goat cheese on the plate, it didn’t matter as the tomatoes were the star of this dish. The salad was so light and fresh that I could have skipped everything else and just had another plate of the same. Delish!
|Housemade Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Ravioli|
For my entree, I opted for the Housemade Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Ravioli. This dish was suggested to me by Vicki Locke of The Buccaneer and although there were quite a few non-meat options, I decided to go with her recommendation. The menu says that it is prepared with mango rum, sage, and brown butter sauce and was a winning dish in the Taste of St. Croix. Can’t go wrong when you see that right? In case you didn’t know, the Taste of St. Croix is one of the nights in the larger event, The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, which is named one of the Ten Best International Food and Wine Festivals by Forbes Travel. I can honestly say that these were the absolute best ravioli I have ever had anywhere. There were incredibly light and yet decadent all at the same time while also having an incredibly addictive quality that made me want lick the plate clean. Well, I didn’t do that, but if you don’t try this dish when you’re there, you’re absolutely crazy!
|Coconut Banana Rum Cake|
For dessert and yes, I made sure that there was going to be dessert, I ordered the Coconut Banana Rum Cake based on Hunter’s suggestion. He didn’t steer me wrong with the wine and so I trusted his judgment on dessert and he was absolutely right. What appears to be a nothing more than a simple bundt cake is so much more. Rich in taste and dusted with toasted coconut and laced with decadent rum, I literally pushed the cake across the table from me after I had a few bites to prevent me from eating the entire thing. Let’s just say eating at Tutto Bene could cause you to gain some serious weight if you choose to eat there on a regular basis. I don’t know how the locals avoid this place!
From the decor to the service and last, but certainly not least the food, this is a must visit stop when you visit St. Croix. You may not immediately think Italian food when you think of the US Virgin Islands, but if you want a memorable meal that is worth every penny you spend on it, then you absolutely must visit Tutto Bene!
Boardwalk Building Hospital Street
Gallows Bay, St. Croix US Virgin Islands 00820