Restaurants have not been a prime focus of this blog, something I look forward to changing this year. One of the best dining experiences I had in a long while was at Toscano in Bangalore. They have several branches in the city and offer both new world and old world authentic Italian cuisine. I have been craving authentic Italian cuisine for a while, which isn’t very easy to get in India despite the fact that a fair number of Italian chefs and chefs trained in Italy are working in the metropolitan cities. The tastes often get localized , which is fine for the target market however not so much if you are craving a real Italian dining experience. Thankfully, I managed to have just that in Toscano.
The decor was classic old world Italian, will transport you to a classy New York Italian restaurant. The ambience and music were classical and the staff were very welcoming. They attended us promptly, though the restaurant wasn’t very crowded given we arrived a bit early for lunch. However , it fills up pretty fast on a weekday which reflects the customer’s confidence and love for the food. There was the option of going for a lunch special buffet, however we went for the a-la-carte. The server was highly knowledgable regarding the menu and answered our queries satisfactorily.
To start with , we had the sangria along with the salmon tartare antipasti. The smoked salmon tartare consisted of smoked salmon, mixed with capers , onions and served with greens and a crispy apple slice. My only complaint was the quantity is a bit less , however taste wise it was spot on. High quality imported salmon with a perfectly complimenting flavor of capers and not overpowering onions made the dish perfect. The sangria was made with a merlot, refreshing and not too sweet. Crisp granny smith apples imparted a nice touch of acidity to the sangria , overall a great start to the meal.
For the main course my friend ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese. The spaghetti bolognese at Toscano is made with a chicken ragu, as opposed to the traditional and more common red meat based ragu. The chef was very accommodating and on our request made a red meat based ragout, with beef and lamb mince. Kudos to the Toscano team for being extra accommodating for something that wasn’t on the menu, and while we were willing to pay anything extra they didn’t charge us either! The spaghetti was perfectly al-dente , classic ragout with shaved parmesan cheese on top. This dish is as classic as it gets executed perfectly.
I went for the riskier option of the grilled pepper steak. Unfortunately, most of the steaks I have had in India are not cooked to a proper temperature as the tradition of eating meat tends to revolve around well done meat, hence I tend to avoid it. However, at Toscano the server assured me they would cook it to a perfect medium rare temperature and they sure didn’t disappoint . The steak was melting in the mouth, very tender and served with caramelized onions , grilled vegetables and warm potato salad. I would go back to Toscano just for the steak again! My only criticism of the steak was it was a bit too thin, a thicker cut would be preferable.
We ended the meal with a lovely cup of Cappuccino, with some nice coffee art as shown below. The plating in every dish was spot on and aesthetically very pleasing. Overall it ended up being a great experience and one I would recommend for anyone visiting Bangalore.