If somehow this is the first time you read of my praises for Toscano’s exceptional food and their impressive wine list, then I will elucidate that it still stands as my most favorite Italian restaurant in the city. Dotted along Bengaluru’s Soho precint like Lavelle Road, Jayanagar, Whitefield and Rajajinagar, Toscano is aglow with soul food and an unmistakable Italian pizzeria vibe inspired by chef and owner extraordinaire Gautham’s vision of offering a fine dining experience within a casual and intimate atmosphere and a friendly price range.
You can’t have missed the deep green interiors and the pristine table whites of Toscano that instantly evokes feelings of standing on a pavemented road in a quaint Italian town, being drenched in the rain and finally entering one of those dimly (albeit romantically) lit Trattorias with the soulful tunes of the piano emanating from it. Once you’ve walked past the wine bar, the black and white photographs on the wall and the blackboard with ‘Today’s Specials’ chalkpieced on it, you face your biggest challenge yet: What to order.
I’d like to familiarize you with the executive lunch menu that sits quite well with me- in terms of how much and how well I would eat for the price that I’m paying.
No, the executive lunch menu is not a watered down version of the original menu. Priced at Rs.695 for a 2 course meal and Rs.775 for a 3 course meal per person, you get to choose from a wide-ranging variety of salads, pastas, risottos, seafood, poultry and meat- ending with a sinful dessert (chocolate Kahlua mousse anyone?)
Here’s what I divulged in-
- The Piadina pizza bread- hand pulled dough, stone baked pizza, crunchy burnt crusts, olives, sundried tomatoes and pesto. And that’s an entire sentence with all of my favorite things. It is light, crunchy and perfect to start your meal with.
- The Caprese Classic- I’m all for the cheese and acidic pairing. So a plate of buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and honeydew melon with the nuttiness of walnut accompanied with figs awakens your tastebuds.
- Chicken de Toscano- It’s their classic dish and there are reasons why. The poultry, fish and seafood section of their menu is a great steal for the executive lunch price you will be paying. With a creamy stuffed chicken breast (spinach, sage and ricotta) and a sauce that complements rather than overpowers, this dish is hearty if I had to best describe it. It sits on a pillow of ratatouille vegetables and roasted potatoes.
- Warm apple crumble- The last and the most exciting bit of my meal. I know that Toscano plants a picture of that delishh swirly Kahlua mousse in our minds but it’s the warm apple crumble that does it for me. The pie is flaky and once the spoons cuts through the surface you are greeted with raisins- not too much yet not too little. Once again it’s the marriage of the warm and cold, and of the soft and the crumbly. Hence, please note my reactions upon savouring this dessert.
Of course, there are a few other favorites that I go for regularly, like the Goat cheese salad, Gamberi pizza and the Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. But for me, the biggest challenge is choosing from the exhaustive wine list. But feel free to ask your waiter to fix you a nice glass of wine based on your preferences and they do a mighty good job at it, which only means that they are well versed in the menu and this for me is a very impressive quality of a restaurant. I’m also going to add a few more adjectives like courteous and attentive.
The next most impressive thing is the consistency- from one Toscano outlet to another, from one day to another and from one time of the day to another, the taste, quality and quantity remain untarnished.
My personal favorite is the Orion Mall outlet with outdoor seating and great views of the lake. Although, it isn’t entirely recommended if you do not want to be watched while gulping down your lunch. The atmosphere is cosy and private indoors. The UB City address makes it a luxurious experience and it is perfect for candle-lit date nights. If you find yourself craving for a nice coffee on a breezy evening, park yourself on one of their high chairs and enjoy their espresso as I always do. Some dessert with it wouldn’t be such a bad idea either.