Ventura Restaurant Recommendation: Tutti’s Off Main

On Friday night, my husband Bobby and I went out for a date night in Downtown Ventura. For our romantic dinner location, we choose Tutti’s Off Main, a quaint, off-the-beaten-path restaurant probably mostly only known about by locals. Not only is it off Main Street (on Palm), it is also kind of hidden around a corner, so you really have to look for it. Once you find it though, it’s lovely and worth the search. The main dining room is elegant and comfortable with beautiful stone and woodwork and lots of floor to ceiling windows. It has a modern and open and airy feel. There is also an outdoor patio, which is dog-friendly and popular for lunch and weekend brunches.

We were impressed by the personable staff at Tutti’s. We were first greeted and seated by the Bar Manager Scott, who got us started on a bottle of wine. The great service continued with our food server and busboy, and a brief interaction with the owner (who also informed us that his wife is the chef).

We ordered a fabulous bottle of red wine (recommended by Scott) called Cirque Du Vin, Paso Robles 2007. It was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Syrah, and Petite Verdot. The bottle was beautifully designed with a colorful jester sitting on a barrel surrounded by grapes and vines.

We enjoyed herbed focaccia dipped in oil and balsamic vinegar as we deliberated over the extensive menu. We were told “Tutti” means “everything” in Italian and that Tutti’s menu offers a little bit of everything. We decided on a mixed seafood appetizer (from the specials menu), which included mussels, clams and shrimp in a delicious broth.

For my entrée, I ordered (also from the specials menu), filet mignon, which came with scalloped potatoes and mixed grilled vegetables. My husband ordered the Seafood Cioppino (with sautéed scallops, shrimp, salmon, and mussels).

Also on the specials menu was a roasted chicken ravioli that the waiter said was amazing. The regular menu includes a variety of soups and salads, numerous small plates (such as zucchini patties, goat cheese stuffed roasted bell pepper, roasted quail stuffed with black figs); several types of pizzas from their wood burning oven; and big plates including grilled rib eye steak, braised lamb shank, grilled organic thick cut pork chop, ½ rotisserie chicken, spit roasted Cornish game hen, grilled ahi tuna, and seafood risotto.

As we ate, we enjoyed live music from talented guitarist/vocalist Christopher Wooley (http://www.chriswooley.com/). He plays an endless repertoire of songs from such artists as James Taylor, Goo Goo Dolls, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band, Don Henley, Eagles, Beatles, Keith Urban, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Tom Petty, Train, U2, Van Morrison, even Michael Buble, and many more. Patrons are encouraged to make requests from a list of songs he has printed on fliers.

We were more than pleased with our experience at Tutti’s and will definitely be visiting again soon. We look forward to trying out the Sunday brunch, which we were told is kid and dog friendly (which is great, because we have one of each of those).

Tutti’s is located at 34 North Palm Avenue in Ventura. Check their website for directions. Call (805) 643-0880 or visit http://tuttisoffmain.com/

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