Let me first start by saying thank you to Chris Aversa for being a stud and taking his date to Toscano in Beacon Hill, otherwise I wouldn’t have known it was such a winner! Restaurant Week began Sunday night as did my 1st of 4 reservations I have this season. Aaaand we’re off!
Bread: Four small focaccia pieces and four rustic Italian loaf pieces were covered by a cloth napkin in a small basket, served with a bottle of EVOO. I didn’t try the focaccia but the Italian loaf was excellent. If it wasn’t for the 3 courses coming my way I would have had seconds.
Menu: Toscano provided 6 options each for Starters and Entrees and 4 options for dessert; this was a treat considering some restaurants only have 2-3 options per course. I really wanted to try the tomato bread soup and the Mediterranean Sea Bass but opted for the selections below. My dessert choice wasn’t an issue…
Caprese – imported bufala mozzarella, beefsteak tomatoes, basil
Three slices of fresh beefsteak tomatoes were each topped with a thick slice of buffalo mozzarella and sprinkled with slices of basil. Besides the lack of basil – I expect at least a full leaf per slice of mozz – it was a great start to the meal.
Orecchiette Vitello – ground veal, mushrooms, tomato
The four of us were pretty bummed there wasn’t a pasta option in the entrée section of the Restaurant Week menu. The regular menu had plenty to choose from, so in order to get our fix Benno ordered a full serving of the orecchiette for in between the 1st and 2nd course. The Bolognese/ragu type of sauce was great and the pasta was cooked just right; I enjoyed it so much I didn’t even notice the mushrooms!
Salome Asparagi – grilled atlantic salmon, asparagus, mustard sauce
A perfect portion of fish was served with 3 stalks of asparagus and a side of mustard sauce. I was surprised/happy the sauce wasn’t drizzled on b/c I love my mustard and was pleased I was able to dip each bite. The asparagus was cooked well, I just wish there were a couple more pieces.
Tiramisu – Toscano House Specialty “Budino Style”
We made sure to ask about this “Budino Style” before ordering and the waitress said it wasn’t a typical square piece of tiramisu with layers of lady fingers, mascarpone, etc. It was served in a martini glass and seemed as though a normal piece of tiramisu had been balled up into the size of a generous ice cream scoop. It was an unbelievable take on the traditional dessert, like a tiramisu ice cream pudding medley!
NOTE: Two apps I didn’t mention were the Polpettini Fiorentina(veal/beer/pork meatballs) and the Rigatoni Toscano (with double smoked bacon, tomato cream and herbs). I’m extremely picky about meatballs and these honestly tasted like the could have been from my Gram’s kitchen. The rigatoni dish tasted like bacon had been pureed into the sauce – I don’t like bacon and therefore I didn’t love the flavor but I respected that it was delicious and well created.
Bathroom: 2 separate unisex restrooms. I like the heavy wooden doors with their intricate designs/carvings and the sink’s faucet!
Service: Really excellent service. Our waitress was helpful in choosing wine and gave us a couple ordering options when we told her we were craving pasta. Each course was delivered to each of us at the same, plates were warm as they should be (trick I learned from Benno!), water glasses we refilled, and wine was poured as our glasses were emptying. They also fold the napkins into a little spiral design when you get up from your seat… top notch!
Overall: The atmosphere suggests “finer” dining with the white linens, pricey wine list, and stellar service. The Restaurant Week menu had plenty to offer, and their regular menu was almost overwhelming (in a good way) with Antipasti, Zuppa, Insalata, Pizza, Formaggi, Pasta, Risotto, Carni, and Contorni. Their pastas come in ½ portions which I love. Prices are moderate, but the meat entrees are as high as $36. I’ve seen worse!
The Perfect Bite: The pasta dishes definitely stole the show, but that tiramisu… oh Madonna mia! I have to give props when a chef can take a traditional preparation style and switch it up to make it taste even better.