By Cathryn Gagnon and her Dining Divas
This month the Dining Divas experienced Toscana Restaurant and Wine Bar at 3891 Dougall Avenue, in Windsor. When making the reservation, the restaurant was completely booked, but they were able to accommodate us in the redesigned bar area. I actually prefer to sit in the bar area at restaurants; the energetic atmosphere is abuzz, making it a fun setting.
Although it’s a fair size, Toscana is always full. The new bar area now seats about 20, and puts diners face to face with the sushi chef. Stylish round booths surround the comfy bar stools. Our favorite way, for my husband Ed and I to enjoy Toscana, is to reserve a bar stool and share a few of our favorite starters, paired with a bottle of wine.
Myself and one of the other Divas pre-ordered the Beef Carpaccio. It was removed from the menu, but the Chef will gladly prepare it when requested. The server immediately mentioned that our two special orders were being prepared.
Every Diva ordered a starter, not a common practice for all of us, but when you visit Toscana, the excitement and anticipation of tantalizing your taste buds wins you over.
- CALAMARI – grilled whole, with cumin, orange zest, beluga lentils.
- PORTABELLA MUSHROOM TOWER 13- portabella, grilled vegetables, goat cheese, roasted tomato.
- FARRO salad – asparagus, tomato, walnuts, dried cranberries, arugula, Persian lime olive oil, cranberry balsamic.
- BEEF CARPACCHIO – tender, thinly sliced, triple A beef, arugula, pine nuts, shaved parmesan, olive oil drizzle.
My other favorite starters:
- SMOKED SALMON ROSTI – Yukon potato pancake, smoked salmon, crème fraîche, chives, capers.
- DUCK CONFIT LETTUCE WRAPS – kohlrabi, peanuts, cilantro, hoisin-sherry soy sauce.
- DIABLO RIOJA CEVICHE – big eye tuna, hamachi, octopus, pico de gallo, mixed peppers, habanero drizzle, onion, cilantro, cucumber, lime.
I’ll have to wait and enjoy these on my next visit with Ed.
- WILD MUSHROOM AGNOLOTTI – parmesan cream, truffle oil, enoki garnish.
- VEAL LIMONE – fresh grilled artichoke, capers, lemon, white wine, jus.
- RISOTTO – brown butter, sweet peas, basil pesto.
Our taste buds jumped for joy, as the Divas enjoyed every bite of their dinners. Every plate was licked clean.
With our tummies totally satisfied, there was no room for dessert this visit. The Dining Divas rate Toscana a 9 out of 10, and look forward to our next visit.
Next month the Divas will be visiting Mezzo Ristorante and Lounge