I had to write about my experience a couple of weeks ago at Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park. This gem of a shop is owned by Angelo and run by he and his children. They have a wonderful selection of packaged Italian imported goods, italian wines, and a deli section where they sell the best italian meats and cheeses, and their in-store made breads. They will make any of their selection into a sandwich for you (very good and generous creations). A wonderful loose olive selection, and they make their own antipasti - try their grilled/maarinated mushrooms and their sundried tomatoes in evoo - delicious!!
I walked into the shop about 20 minutes before closing, looking for a vin santo to accompany biscotti I was bringing to a dinner party. I glanced at the wine section but did not see it and so went to the deli section to pick up a few things and ask for help with the wine. When my turn came at the deli counter, I ordered (over ordered is more accurate) and asked where I could find the vin santo. The woman behind the counter (one of Angelo's daughter's) said to a man talking with another customer, "Hey pappa, where's the vin santo?" The man came over to me with a sparkle in his eye, took my arm and led me to the wine section where he believed the vin santo to be. When he couldn't find it, he called back to the deli, "Where's your brother? He moved everything around again!" The brother came out from the back of the store and said, "I moved it to the front, unless we sold the last one this morning." What followed was an animated conversation in which it was determined that the last bottle had been sold. Angelo then proceeded to recommend alternatives to me. He suggested a moscato d'asti which I summarily turned down, thinking it would be to sweet. He told me that this one was different and I joked, "So close up early and we'll all enjoy a bottle." Well, he did! He called to another of his children at the front register to lock up the store and he opened up a bottle of the moscato which I, the five other remaining customers, and his family all shared. It was the warmest chowing experience I've ever had, and needless to say, they have a customer for life.
The muscato was extraordinary, and I bought an extra bottle to give as a gift to my piedmontese friends. As I was paying at the register, one of Angelo's sons came over and gave me a piece of chocolate to go with the sip of wine I still had left in my cup.
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