Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trattoria Tosca – Minneapolis, MN

Today was a day of celebration! EyeHeartPizza got a job offer!

I told her we’d go out for dinner to celebrate. From the time I agreed to that, I also got some interesting bit of luck fall into my lap via the wonderful and lovely Trash. So it was time to doubly celebrate. So someplace nice, I was thinking. I had walked past Trattoria Tosca at one point this week and thought I’d like to try it. I made it happen.

This place is much bigger than it looks like from the outside. It goes back pretty far and is full of tables (not crowded or anything), and for additional seating, they do have a number of tables out on the sidewalk. Our waitress, Marilyn, made sure we were well taken care of. They have a pretty good wine list for a moderate-sized restaurant. I got a glass of Malbec and got a nice dry Riesling for EyeHeartPizza. The wine was fantastic. Really fantastic, and not in small glasses, either.

The restaurant is operated by the Turtle Bread Company, so the bread they provided at each table is exquisite. EyeHeartPizza hadn’t eaten all day, so she ate the whole bowl of bread on her own. And then a second bowl. The restaurant menu had appetizers, first and second courses, and side dishes. I read some things about the menu online before we got here tonight and it said they provide only a small sampling of meats on the second course section – generally one of each style, so you’re not going to find a wide variety here, but you WILL find the right dish. Tonight’s menu had salmon, chicken, and ribeye (and of course one plate for vegetarians).

We decided to go with a shared first course – the Bucatini, which is a hollow long skinny noodle. Marilyn told us it traps the flavor inside. It’s got a red plum tomato sauce on it and it’s got garlic, rosemary, breadcrumbs, and chili pepper flakes in it, so it’s got some serious zing to it. My lips were pretty tingly after this dish. It was great though.

EyeHeartPizza got the salmon. She said it was the biggest piece of salmon she’d ever seen. I don’t eat a lot of fish, so I couldn’t help with the comparison, but it looked pretty substantial. It came with some mussels on the side. She’d never had them before, so she grabbed one and ate the meat out of it. She made a hilarious face right as I said, “I know a lot of people don’t like mussels.” And then she spit it out. Not like a normal person into a napkin or her hand or even onto her plate. She spit it back into the shell. Classy. AND hilarious!

I ended up getting the Ribeye – it was either that or the chicken. I’m glad I went with the steak. It was fabulously juicy and had a great char (without burnt) flavor on the outside pieces. Just a tiny bit of fat on the outside of this piece of meat. It was served with tiny potatoes, and what appeared to be some sort of odd-shaped long skinny bean. The balsamic reduction was very sweet and went with the steak very well. I loved every bite of this Ribeye.

We were both too full to even think about getting dessert, which was good since the bill came in higher than I thought it might. The place isn’t cheap, but it’s really good. And Marilyn was a fantastic server, so ask for her.

Top 5 things about Trattoria Tosca
1. Ribeye Steak
2. Bucatini
3. Ambience is fantastic for any occasion
4. Fantastic Malbec
5. Marilyn was a super server

Bottom 5 things
1. Watching someone spit out a mussel back into the shell is pretty disturbing
2. It is a tad pricey (we spent over a hundred)
3. The menu isn’t huge – but thankfully, you’ll be able to find something for everyone
4. They were out of the original wine I suggested for EyeHeartPizza
5. Small table filled up quickly with plates and silverware


1 comment:

Jaci said...

thanks a lot for making me sound like the biggest pig ever.
"she ate all the bread in the whole building, spit up her food, and ate until she was blue in the face".

that's what i read. jerk!