Phone: 044 48533200, +91 6369241274
Address: 11, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 12 Noon – 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,200
Cuisines: Italian, Continental
Facilities: Outdoor Seating, Table booking recommended, Indoor Seating
Toscano, Nungambakkam, Chennai: Decor
Trattoria style decor, a little bit of velvet, some leather, and some sunshine greet me as I walk into Toscano for the first time. And I see most of the tables are occupied by lunchers keeping the restaurant busy on a Tuesday afternoon.
Looks like Chennai loves its cheeses and olive oil; pastas and pizzas; breads and risottos. I notice all of this as I watch the food go by from my vantage perch. There’s a lively bar with shiny glasses and fresh juices being made to order. A colorful mural covers the separator wall: an attractive end to the greenery laden beginning of Toscano. Dark, freshly polished, gleaming wood adds panache.
Then I see my green Basil Orange arrive at my table in a jar. An unmistakable light-green froth on top, and a dark green sprig of fresh basil. The best part is that it really tastes good. Both basil and orange have unmistakable flavors, yet when blended and put in that jar, they taste better together.
Toscano, Nungambakkam, Chennai: Food
Nothing can keep me away from a bread basket, especially when I can sniff the freshness — baked every single morning on this very premise. So, I make a go for the lavash, focaccia and piadina, happily smearing them all with the accompanying olive butter and basil pesto, in turns. The Burrata & Proscioutto Di Parma tell me to stop stuffing my face with bread, because here was finely sliced Parma ham and creamy Burrata coated with a fine dusting of pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. The walnuts, ham and melon, along-with rocket leaves make all the difference to the Burrata. Agreed, it is just assembling all the ready ingredients into one platter, but even that needs technique and skill.
What needs even more talent, skill and restraint is the Linguine in Truffle Sauce. Have it before it goes off the menu, especially if you like the unmistakable, acquired taste of truffle along with butter. The taste of mushrooms, red onion crunch, parmesan, green olives, chives and staples salt and pepper. This is strong one, and will stay in my memory for a long time to come.
Looking slightly like a conical leaning tower on the plate in its almond tuile cup, the Chocolate Kahlua Mousse is something else. Rich, it has the added dominance of coffee from the Kahlua. Do have it with the tuile and a dot of vanilla bean anglaise to get the full effect: quite irresistible.
Plus & Minus:
After cutting its teeth in Bengaluru and being accepted there, the next step is Chennai.
I also learnt that they make all their sauces in-house, along with the breads. Dips are made fresh every morning. Two days a week they have a live band playing.