Located in the original Bank of America (née Bank of Italy) building on the corner of Broadway and Columbus, this café/bar/restaurant opened just last month as a nicer alternative. It is a refreshing change from many of the North Beach Italian cafés and restaurants: they use particularly high quality ingredients for the neighborhood, and thus the portions don’t try to hide the more modest ingredient quality in gluttonous volumes of food. Most importantly: the espresso is pretty good too.
In Italian, its name means “it’s all here” — though it’s pre-opening working title was Campo dei Fiori, a neighborhood in old Rome. At the door you’ll be greeted by what looks like a typical Broadway strip club bouncer, but once inside you’ll notice the beautiful mural that connects the two floors of dining — plus a flat-screen TV for airing DVD movies and soccer matches. (I can only hope that unlike a nearby café started years ago by one of its owners, Steps of Rome, the staff here give their Italian soccer enthusiasm more than lip-service to impress the tourists.)
Using a three-group La Spaziale at a long bar on the first floor, they serve espresso with a dark brown, textured crema. While the crema isn’t very thick, it has its own ‘microfoam’ of sorts. Served properly short, it is also potent — with a richer, syrupy body and a pungent flavor. Served in Miscela d’Oro-logo ACF cups — with amateur latte art on milk-based drinks. One of the better espresso examples you’ll find in North Beach. And as you find more often in North Beach, È Tutto Qua is also open quite late for those emergency espresso fixes.
I’ve curiously noticed a recent trend where a number of area Italian restaurants have switched from Illy‘s more northern Italian roasts (Trieste) to the southern Italian roasts of Miscela d’Oro (Sicily). Not that I dislike Illy, but Miscela d’Oro has carved out a more distinctive flavor profile for itself in the marketplace. In part, this is due to Illy’s ubiquity, but a number of coffee buyers at these restaurants have also stated how they have preferred the flavor of Miscela d’Oro for themselves. Even if both brands suffer from freshness problems here due to importing from Italy.
Read the review of È Tutto Qua.
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