Tuscan Steak - Review
My wife and I had a gift certificate to Tuscan Steak and I have heard so much about the place that we had to give it a try.
When we walked in the door we were greeted by 4 hostesses. All of them were pretty, but they seemed to make decisions by committee. We had an 8:30 reservation and were seated closer to 9pm even though we noticed empty tables scattered throughout during our wait. In the interim they had us wait at the bar. The bar staff was very friendly and attentive, but I just don't like being sent to the bar because the restaurant can't keep the reservation/wants to make some extra $$$. The drinks were expensive as would be expected at the beach.
At around 9pm we sat down and our order was taken. The wait staff was very friendly, but it seemed we had two waiters. We had one waiter take our order and the rest of the night another waiter tended to our table.
The waiter explained to us that it is a 'family style' restaurant and that the portions are large enough to feed two people. With this in mind, we each ordered one dish thinking that would be plenty, but they pushed appetizers and side dishes even after we had made our order.
I ordered the NY Strip with a parmesan crust and my wife ordered the creamy gnocchi. We also ordered the smoked onion mashed potato as a side after a bit of arm-twisting from the waiter.
The NY strip was cooked medium-rare just like I asked which is uncommon nowadays. The steak itself was very good. The parmesan crust was a real nice touch and made the steak all the more tasty. The gnocchi was not quite as good as we had expected. The smoked onion mashed was unique and very good.
A couple of notes: Tuscan seems to get very crowded which brings the noise level up and it brings the heat. It was very warm in the restaurant, especially after a drink or two.
Tuscan is near the corner of Washington Ave. and 5th St. in South Beach.
The maneuver of forcing you to the bar for half an hour even when you have reservations is typical of this place and really annoys me, as is the pushiness on ordering. The food is good but I don't find it good enough to overcome the attitude.
Well the most egregious example is making you wait at the bar for half an hour after your reservation time, in which case you will inevitably order at least one drink (and probably just as inevitably, a $12+ martini) you'd likely not otherwise have. The pushing of the side dishes is just a matter of style. Some places - for instance most steakhouses - might ask if you want any side dishes but it's not exactly a hard sell. At Tuscan, it comes off more along the lines of "And are you having the biggie fries and an apple pie with that too?" No, I've never ordered anything I didn't want either, but it sort of diminishes the dining experience a bit when you're reminded of a fast-food drive thru.