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Another great meal at Trattoria Toscana

t
twentyoystahs Sep 14, 2006 08:20 PM

Walk into this restaurant and you instantly feel transported to Italy; everything from the decor, service, and food seems authentically Italian. I arrived last night at around 6pm to find my friend relaxing at a windowside table, enjoying a glass of chianti and some complimentary grilled bread with thinly sliced salami. While she was waiting for me one of the cooks (or perhaps the owner) poured her some wine and gave her this little treat.
We each ordered pastas...both incredibly delicious and the pasta shining with real al dente consistency. I got a ziti, tomato, pancetta and red hot pepper dish; hers was rigatoni w/ marscapone and sausage...I thought it might be an all cream sauce but instead was more like a pasta in the pink. A rich and mellow dish, but I actually preferred mine (for once), it had a tad more intensity and kick. But again, each dish was delicious.
We also shared a green salad with tiny little mozzerella balls and cute little cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper w/olive oil. Tomatoes bursting with seasonal flavor.
Our waitress was extremely competent and friendly.
My only (very minor) quibble: they served us the salad and then waited for us to finish it before bringing out the entrees. I realize in some cases this is the proper thing to do, but a few different servers attempted to take it away as it was still somewhat uneaten, both times we said we wanted to keep it. I noticed tables around us all getting their food, when in fact we had ordered before all of them. Finally, after the 2nd attempt, and us mentioning again that we wanted to keep the salad, the server said "Is it ok to bring out your main courses?" Yes, absolutely, we said, realizing then that that was the reason for the delay. A minor miscommunication and really nothing to quibble about --it was more that my mouth was watering as I watched all these delicious looking dishes floating by me and I reallly was just inpatient ;)

Anyway, this officially is my go-to restaurant for authentic Italian.
The pasta is so good I haven't yet tried any of the meat dishes. In due time, in due time.

  1. l
    Love to Eat Sep 15, 2006 03:13 AM

    We went there last night for the first time. My pasta was awsome - it was the farfalle with truffle oil and grated mozzarella. My husband's gnocchi in pesto but mine was better - he agreed. We started with the salmon and olive bruscetta, salmon was better! Proscuitto with salad was good too. No tiramisu though :(
    We will be back to try more pasta!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Love to Eat
      t
      twentyoystahs Sep 15, 2006 02:20 PM

      You know, the first time I went there I tried the gnocchi and was not blown away. It was ok, but really nothing extraordinary, which surprised me. Interesting to hear your pasta dish was better than your husband's gnocchi too, as I was thinking of trying it again.
      We also had that salmon w/olive bruscetta app, forgot abt that! It was good too!

      1. re: twentyoystahs
        StriperGuy Sep 15, 2006 05:09 PM

        Had the Gnocchi the other night and it was WEAK. No taste of garlic, cheese, or pinenuts in the pesto. Basically pureed basil in olive oil.

        My dining partner's pasta with salt cod was superb as was my Tuscan soup and the salad.

        1. re: StriperGuy
          b
          bella_sarda Sep 15, 2006 09:48 PM

          Have not tried the gnocchi at this place, but I find in general that it is very hard to get good gnocchi at restaurants. The dough should be made from scratch on the same day and the gnocchi cooked immediately before serving. There are also some tricks in getting the ratio or potato to flour and water just right. Best gnocchi I had was in Venice last summer. They didn't even have the characteristic gnocchi shape, they were just perfect little cylinders, light and springy!

          1. re: bella_sarda
            StriperGuy Sep 16, 2006 02:46 AM

            Grotto's gnocchi is exactly as you described.

    2. Luther Sep 15, 2006 11:59 AM

      I had an antipasto plate there once that contained one of the best salumi I've ever had- it had a distinct cinnamony flavor to it. Anybody know what this might be?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Luther
        t
        Taralli Sep 15, 2006 02:07 PM

        It might have been in the prosciutto - the last time I got it at Mt. Auburn Star, I was surprised at the light cinnamon essence.

        1. re: Taralli
          Luther Sep 15, 2006 02:58 PM

          This was actually something ground (with bits of fat mixed in), not a prosciutto.

      2. a
        adams_jo Sep 15, 2006 03:00 PM

        Twentyoystahs....sounds like you had the caratiera. That pasta sounds so simple but is the best. All are good on the menu but that one has a kick and consistency that is outstanding. TT is a class operation.

        1. t
          twentyoystahs Sep 15, 2006 03:54 PM

          Yep, carratiera, that's what i had. You are right. REALLY simple, but REALLY good. That's basically the essence of Italian food anyway.

          And that proscuitto/salumi --that's what we were given too, on that little amuse bouche the chef brought out to us. It was sliced really thinly so at first glance I thought it was prosciutto, but then saw those bits of fat mixed it which made it look (and taste) more like a salumi....was really good.

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