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“I wanted to love it, but ...”
Review of Toscana - CLOSED

Toscana
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 16 May 2013

Friends had given us such a glowing report of Toscana that we were excited to try it. The building looks attractive from the outside and the welcome from the owner was warm and made us feel like family. I heard from others what a nice guy he is and I can confirm that he is a natural host. The table service, on the other hand, was "average" - even a little cold. Not as warm as the welcome from the owner.

The restaurant was extremely busy and from everything I've been told it is obviously very popular. All of which made our disappointing dining experience a bit of a puzzle. All the ingredients for a great night seemed to be there, and the restaurant describes itself as "fine Italian dining" but in fact, nothing we ordered could have been described as particularly memorable.

Among the various appetizers that were ordered by our party, the capasente rosso (pan seared sea scallops) were beautifully cooked, with a perfect sear. They were paired with a potato pancake and a barolo wine sauce. Of all the dishes served, this was probably the best. In contrast, the signature Antipasto Toscana was simply lackluster - I have had a far better selection of cheeses and meats at other Italian restaurants in the area.

One of the specials on the night we visited was salmon served with a mango sauce. This pairing was possibly over-sold by the waiter because when it arrived, the dish suffered from the current fad of under-saucing ... you know, when there is a smear of sauce painted on the plate and there is barely enough to accompany a couple of bites. I do wish if the chef insists on painting a picture that they would also provide an accompanying little bowl of sauce so that we could finish the job for them! However, the saucing wasn't the main problem - the main issue was the fish itself. On the first bite, the two people (including myself) who ordered this special, thought the fish was exceptionally soft, and we both equated this with being beautifully cooked. But after a couple of bites, we felt that the texture was too much like a pate - there was no flaky fish texture; almost like it had been marinated way too long - although why it would have been marinated at all would have been a mystery. So if it was marinated, why was it so unreasonably soft? Mushy even?

So neither of us finished the fish - it just became more unpleasant as it got cooler; also placing the fish on top of greens was not very clever. The hot fish continued to wilt the greens and the texture was very limp.

Desserts were also disappointing - the "creme" in the creme brulee was beautiful, but the dish was spoiled by too deep a pile of sugar on top that was, in turn, not caramelized sufficiently.

Given that every other restaurant in the north-east is Italian (or at least, American-Italian), then you really have to stand out to be successful. Given that there are a lot of very mediocre restaurants who seem to default to American-Italian themes, then the better ones are pounced upon with relish. Toscana is certainly better than average and obviously has its fans. Perhaps we were just unlucky ... it was a very busy (and noisy) night. However, when you are very busy, it is exactly the time to step up and not leave a poor impression with the customer.

Once again, there was so much going for Toscana - its reputation preceded our visit; the premises look good and the owner is a real gentleman who obviously cares deeply about his establishment and strives for excellence. However, in an establishment that describes itslef as "fine Italian dining", you have an expectation of fine dining! Restrospectively, looking at some of the pictures of the menu items on the restaurant's website, some of the dishes really do look a bit plain - and that was the impression I got on the night.

A disappointing meal, especially considering how eye-wateringly expensive it is if you have three courses and a couple of glasses of house wine.

I so wanted to love it, but I just couldn't. It was ok, but not wonderful.

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2  Thank CastawayKnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (56)
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48 - 52 of 56 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2013

We really have enjoyed this restaurant since it has been under new management.The quality of the dishes and the execution just spot on!We were there one night and ordered a salad and it came with a cucumber encased around the salad.Just beautifully done and delicious.All the food is beautifully plated and well seasoned.The desserts that are made at the restaurant are delicious but the other ones substandard.I would run to this lovely restaurant in town.And by the way the service is also first rate.

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1  Thank Susie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2013

Finally a restaurant that understands and embraces the essence of fine dining and extraordinary service! From the moment you arrive at Toscana you are embark on a true, one-of-a-kind dining experience. Casually elegant, the decor is inviting and intimate with just the right touch of beautiful tuscan design. The wait staff is extremely attentive, very knowledgeable and uber efficient. The appetizers were extraordinary - we inhaled the clamari salad, nantucket scallops and ceasar salad (wrapped in cucumber). Our meals were, for the most part, wonderful. Two in our party ordered off the menu items which were "not a problem" and perfectly prepared. Only one dish, the parchment baked sole was below par as it was bland and lacked any savory flavor or seasoning. Desserts were exquisite - I highly recommend the Creme Brulle or Chocolate Torte which were both to die for.

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Thank InsightMarketing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2013 via mobile

Took my wife here for Valentine's day and could not have made a better choice. The service was perfect, the food was delicious and the wine was excellent. The owner Giovanni treats you like an old friend the first time he meets you. Can't say enough!

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Thank Rpeck22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

Just moved to Ridgefield. Decided to try Toscana, since during the blizzard we are yet to get all of our stuff from our move an d have nothing to cook with! We consider ourselves foodies and Toscana did not disappoint! Family run and owned, from the waiters to the water boys, to the owner, we were made to feel like we were family. The wine was outstanding and all the courses, and even desert were excellent. We are usually not easily impressed but we must say this will be our go-to place when looking to dine in Ridgefield. We could tell that the pastas, meat, and fish are local - (NYC) we are told, and tasted very fresh, even on a Sunday. The pasta with crab and truffle oil, as well as my prime Ribeye was excellent. Service was excellent and we never had to ask for refills. The owner formally owned a top-rated Italian restaurant in Greenwich and the chef who was brought from there delivered. We will certainly be back.

Thank carlp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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