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Aug 31, 2006 02:49 AM

Trattoria Toscana charms again

Partly inspired by a recent Chowhound post, the memory of Trattoria Toscana's fegato bruschetta made the prospect of another visit here especially tantalizing. It did not disappoint on a recent evening, rendering another fine example of the soulful (to use Limster's apt adjective), dead-authentic evocation of Tuscan cuisine and hospitality practiced here. That fegato was perfect -- light yet rich, with that luscious fatty mouthfeel that properly-done liver delivers. The fresh tomato version was equally simple and fresh and just right, in no small part due to really high-quality Tuscan bread with exactly the right amount of charring. Good summer tomatoes didn't hurt, either.

We also got the ever-reliable rigatoni Norcina (a creamy/rich sweet-sausage sauce) and my first try of their eggplant parmigiana, which I don't imagine is very Tuscan but showed superb technique: airy and ungreasy, not oversauced, allowing the vegetable flavor to shine through, and benefiting from a pretty little snowfall of carefully grated, fine cheese on top. A summer variant on their bomba dessert was lovely: white instead of dark chocolate hard coating, mango and passionfruit and lemon sorbet instead of vanilla and cherry ice cream layers inside. Very nice.

The usual casual, friendly service, with the chef/owner as ever seeming to find a little time to spend with every table, clearly interested in making sure everyone was enjoying themselves rather than attention/praise-seeking the way some of his peers do: such a genuine, nice guy. They really make it easy for you to want to come back here again and again.

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  1. I've only been a few times, but I always recommend it to friends and always want to go back. It's a shame, though, that parking is not easy. Some people give up and go to a parking friendly place. Too bad.

    1. I have yet to make it here, but we have tentative plans with last-minute friends for dinner for 6 on Friday. How is TT about walk-ins, or same-day reservations for a party of that size ?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        There are only around 20 seats in the whole place. I've walked in on a Saturday night at 8 and had no problem getting a table for 2. They take walk-ins, but I'm not sure how long the wait would be (and there's no place to wait). You may want to call that day to see if they have room.

        1. re: Rubee

          Rubee, I regularly take a party of 10-12 there for lunch by reservation. They just put tables together up to the front window that makes for great family-style dining for us.

          1. re: Rubee

            On my first visit, there was a party of maybe 12 people along one side of the dining room, all chatting with the chef in Italian. I have often seen groups of six and eight in there. I don't believe they take reservations for dinner, but maybe they would for a six.

          2. You've got the fact that it's Labor Day weekend going for you, maybe it won't be as busy. It's not the first place I'd think of for a party of that size. It's a small cozy-sort of place, I'm not even sure if they have tables that will accomodate six. They are fine with walk-ins, but there's really no where for you to wait if they are full, so your best bet would be to see if you could get a rez. Otherwise head there some other time when it's just the two of you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: twentyoystahs

              Thanks everyone for the detailed info. Ha - looks like I should just get the two of us over there sometime soon and check it out four ourselves (what am I waiting for?)

            2. TRY IT!! I've gone in with 6 for dinner...on the early side but not a problem. Whoever posted about lunch....lunch is never crowded so not an issue.

              While there is not a place to wait in the restaurant, there is a rose garden to stroll through in the Fens just across (I think) Park Ave. Once in the park, look to the left for the garden. Great way to kill half an hour.