Winter Restaurant Week came to a close yesterday, here in the Boston area. A couple of my friends have raved about Toscano over the last year, so we went there. Our menu was:
Foley Smoked Salmon – Crostini – Lemon – Caperberries
Double Smoked Bacon – Tomato Cream – Herbs
Sautéed Porcini Mushrooms – Herbs
Pasta e Fagioli
Puree of White Bean Soup – Tubettini Pasta
Romaine Hearts – Focaccia Croutons – Classic Dressing
Local Fresh Burrata – Beefsteak Tomatoes – Basil
Jumbo Lump Crabmeat – Tomato – Shellfish Stock
Oven Roasted Chicken Breast -Pomodoro Sauce – Fresh Mozzarella – Oregano – Patate al Forno
Sautéed Veal Scaloppini – White Wine – Lemon – Parsley – Patate al Forno
Bistecca alla Griglia
Wood Grilled Sirloin of Beef – Patate al Forno
Gamberoni al Moscato
Sautéed Shrimp – Leeks – Moscato Wine – Patate al Forno
Grilled North Atlantic Salmon – Asparagus – Mustard Sauce
Toscano House Specialty “Budino Style”
Torta di Mirtilli
Blueberry – White Chocolate Tart
Gelato e Sorbeto
The tagliatelle? I loved it. The pasta had a nice bite to it, and it wasn’t too oily. The mushroom flavor was very good. It wasn’t an immediate “wow” for one of my table companions. But the more she ate, the happier she was with her dish. For half of my table, the favorite starter was the rigatoni. I tried a bite of it. The bacon flavor is without question the dominant flavor. It was very delicious as long as you like your bacon, and maybe I’ll order it next time. Then again, I love tagliatelle and mushrooms, so I’m hard press to say which of the two I’d pick if I had to. One of the diners had the white bean soup, and she was happy with it. It had a much more delicate flavor than I was expecting. I’m not sure I’ll ever order it in the future, but I highly suspect that it’s because I’m pro-pasta at Toscano.
To some degree, I feel like I should have tried the shrimp dish. Going in, I decided that I should order food that I’m unlikely to make at home. If I’m honest with you though, I don’t eat a lot of shrimp to begin with. I like it alright, but I don’t naturally gravitate to it. I could have had the salmon. I love salmon, and I love asparagus. However, I’ve been eating fish all week. So I ordered the sirloin. It was very good. Part of me wishes I had ordered something else though, going back to the idea that I should order things I was unlikely to try making at home. Having said that, I think I liked the sirloin better than the veal scaloppini which I did get to steal a bite of. One other person agreed with this sentiment, but one person thought that the scaloppini was really good once dressed with the lemon juice. (I had tasted it before the lemon was squeezed over the plate, so perhaps my thoughts on the matter are unfair.) When all is said and done, I think I should have ordered the chicken. It was quite good and it is very much something I’m unlikely to cook at home.
The desserts though… I think this is when the whole table swooned. Half of the table got tiramisu, while the other half had the blueberry white chocolate tart.
I had the tart. I generally dislike tiramisu, but I tried a bite. I like Toscano’s version. The chocolate flavor was not overwhelmed by the coffee flavor. The coffee flavor was very subtle! I could have eaten the whole thing. As for the tart, I thought it was a little sweet at first. I knew it was going to be sweet from the white chocolate, but I figured that a nice restaurant wouldn’t make it a sugar bomb. With each bite, I liked the dessert more and more. The cookie-like crust was seriously addictive. The blueberries were perfectly ripe. I was slightly heartbroken when I had finished my plate.
… Ok, I was very heartbroken when I had finished my plate. I think I’ll have to go back soon for another round of dessert and pasta! (^_^)
Toscano has two locations: Beacon Hill and Harvard Square. Overall impression of the atmosphere? Comfortable and very little noise. Even when the restaurant was fairly full, my table had no trouble talking to each other and hearing each other without yelling. It’s upscale but it’s not stuffy or intimidating. Give it a go if you’re ever around!