Little Italy in San Francisco can be quite the tourist trap when it comes to restaurants.
Tosca Café has been around for decades but a few years ago the restaurant was acquired by chef April Bloomfield, who has various restaurants in New York City, and revamped the restaurant and menu. The food is simple, delicious, Italian inspired cuisine all set in a cozy atmosphere.
This could have been amazing but it was the weakest dish of the meal. Honestly the fried squash could have been anything because it literally had no flavor. The fried sage leaves were overly salty, basically inedible.
The bar panino was all of my favorite ingredients together in one delicious bite. Crusty buttery bread with melted truffle cheese and slices of sweet yet salty prosciutto. Heaven.
Tommy knows someone that works in the kitchen and they were nice enough to send us this festive winter salad with roasted squash, juicy crisp pears, and creamy La Tur cheese that has a slight sweetness to it.
Puntarelle is an Italian winter chicory that I absolutely adore and I rarely see it on menus here in California. The crunchy freshness of the puntarelle with the warm succulent pieces of Dungeness crab was divine. Highly recommend this salad.
An intensely flavored veal sugo covered these pasta shells. Such a comforting homey dish.
The spaghetti alla chitarra was a modern rendition of carbonara and I was happily surprised that the sauce was creamy and nicely emulsified. The bacon added that nice meaty saltiness and the lemon cut through the richness of the dish.
Another gift from the kitchen, pillowy yet crunchy homemade focaccia. So good.
We typically like to get a green vegetable side dish and this was basically a type of bok choy.
We didn’t order any of the fish or meat entreés since they are on the bigger side but I’ve heard their roasted chicken for two in fantastic.
Of course we had to order tiramisu and their modern version was quite good. The lady fingers were the perfect consistency, not too soggy but still soft enough, with airy cream in-between the layers. I love earl grey ice cream and this didn’t disappoint.
For some reason I had lower expectations for Tosca Café but the majority of the food we ate we loved! Everything was fresh and well seasoned and the atmosphere was charming so my rating is a 7.5-8/10.