I feel like it's going to be a chowhound-packed evening at Trattoria Toscana tonight - as soon as I got the tickets to El Bulli, I thought - nobody will be out late on a Thursday in winter. Then I saw this thread...
Oh, and I always get the meat dishes there - I had the best lamb shank I've ever eaten there, and the pork chop is right up there, too.
Love Trattoria Toscana. I think you'll find it to be a sweet, warm and comforting place with consistent, quality food.
Things I've enjoyed in the past:
Pappardelle with wild boar
Mushroom risotto (yum)
Rigatoni with sausage and mascarpone
Gnocchi with gorgonzola
Oh, and a third vote for the ribollita. Good cold-weather fare.
My husband usually has a steak with gorgonzola sauce.
Looking forward to your report. Have fun.
Tough to go wrong on a fairly short menu, but some recent standouts: passato or ribollita or pappa al pomodoro (all wonderful, rich soups); crostini misti (I especially love the chicken liver one); burrata (it's superb imported stuff, and a bargain, a whole one for $10).
Then a couple of half-orders of primi (I'm partial to the carrettiera and the risotto and the spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chilies, and rigatoni alla norcina if it's back on yet). For secondi, the tripe and/or beef liver and/or tagliatta. Some grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes (lovely crunch to those) for contorni.
Plenty of modest, nice-priced wines by the bottle, though the liter carafes of house wine aren't a bad deal, either. Good desserts, too: last one I remember vividly was a panna cotta, perfectly poised between creamy and gelatinous.
Lovely, sweet service, too. And Kociaj is a real trattoria chef/owner, cooks pretty much every dish by himself every single night it's open. Get a gander at the simple, tiny open kitchen out of which he produces everything, maybe while on your way to one of the quirkier bathrooms in town downstairs. One of my all-time faves in Boston, certainly the closest anyone around here comes to the modest, straightforward pleasures of traditional Tuscan cuisine.