Monday, November 5, 2012

Toscano - Beacon Hill Italian

The past two years I have run the Tufts 10k as a challenge and as motivation to keep running throughout the year (since a 10k is not something I can just "wing!")  The race is always the Monday of Columbus Day weekend, so the Sunday before I choose to have a throwback to my high school field hockey days and have myself a little pasta party.  Not in the mood to cook and not wanting to travel far, Nick and I took our chances and walked into Toscano and somehow managed to grab two seats at the bar.  I can say that you generally need reservations to get a table, but this must have been our lucky night!

We took our seats and decided to order a couple glasses of wine.  Their glasses, however, are actually quartinos: 250ml, or a third of a bottle.  These are definitely a solid pour!  The quartinos range from about $8 to $15 - a lower price point compared to most restaurants, especially given the amount of wine you receive.

Shortly after our wine was served, the bartender brought us a delicious variety of bread, including a hearty Italian and focaccia.  Toscano's provides some of the most delicious balsamic vinegar for dipping - I think we asked for an extra helping of bread just to taste more of the vinegar!

For an appetizer, we split the Polpettini Fiorentina - veal, beef and pork meatballs served Florentine style.  The kitchen actually split the order for us, so we each got a lovely serving of two meatballs, which were moist and so flavorful.  The meat was tender and the sauce provided a nice backdrop (and another vehicle to help the bread get into our mouths faster!).  With table-side presentation of Parmesan cheese, this was an excellent first dish.

Polpettini Fiorentina
Since this was my pasta party, Nick and I both went with pasta dishes.  I had the Tagliatelle Porcini, delicious homemade pasta served with sautéed mushrooms.  As with most Tuscan dishes, the sauce is only secondary here, so there was only a light oil that coated the pasta dish, creating a nice light dish.  The fresh pasta was amazing, cooked to the perfect al dente and loaded with mushrooms.  I throughly enjoyed this dish.

Tagliatelle Porcini
Nick had the Tagliatelle Gamberi, which was pasta tossed with chopped shrimp, tomato, white wine and red chili.  Again, this dish was light and fresh.  This dish is so well done, with just the right amount of heat from the chili in each bite.  I will say that if you are extra nice, Toscano has been known to send you home with some of their red chili!

Tagliatelle Gamberi
We finished our night with some cappuccino, which was the perfect cap to the pasta party.  No offense to my high school friends, but this definitely was the nicest pasta party I have been to!

This dinner reminded me that pasta itself is delicious - you don't always need tons of sauce when the ingredients are fresh and the plates are well balanced.  Toscano is a great Beacon Hill destination, offering the quality North End food many in Boston crave without the North End crowds.  Toscano will be opening a second location in Harvard Square soon, so there will be more to enjoy!

Ristorante Toscano on Urbanspoon


  1. Love Toscano!! We just went here on Saturday and had a great meal (though were seated next to the loudest party ever). Your meal looks as fantastic as ours was!

  2. I'm bummed to miss the Tufts 10K this year. I am excited for Toscano to open in Harvard Square!

  3. I love how you get so much wine for only $8-$15!

  4. Oh, nice to know they're opening in Harvard Square! Both pasta dishes look amazing.

  5. Hey, I played field hockey in high school too!! I've never been to Toscano, but those pastas look amazing!


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