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Boston Area

Less than stellar experience at Trattoria Toscana....but I'll probably go back anyway

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Restaurants & Bars 12

Less than stellar experience at Trattoria Toscana....but I'll probably go back anyway

bella_sarda | Dec 1, 2006 06:34 PM

Went here with my BF for a light meal after an evening at the MFA. I ordered the bruschetta al pomodoro as an appetizer, and the passato di verdure soup. BF ordered the ribollita toscana soup.

The bruschetta was poorly executed: bread had an unpleasantly bitter, charred edge but still did not seem properly toasted. The chopped tomato topping was cold and nearly flavorless, except for the bits of basil. Possibly my bad for ordering fresh tomatoes at this time of year, but then why keep it on the menu? Overall this struck me as a mediocre home cook's rendition of this basic dish.

My soup was not exactly bad, but I can't say it was good either. It was a very thick puree, thicker than I like soup to be, as in more the consistency of a sauce, and the flavor was wholly unremarkable. No complexity, nor any purity or sublime simplicity. Only an indistinct, salty/muddiness. I couldn't even detect which vegetables were in the puree, besides tomato, carrot, onion, and possibly squash.

The ribollita was a bit better, but also very thick, more like a bean and veggie stew, and overly oily. Again the dominant flavors were oil and salt (and I am not a salophobe at all!). The vegetable flavors did not stand out at all, and there was no bright acidity to counter the richness (which would have been welcome--e.g. in the form of a hit of fresh parsley or lemon juice).

Again, the dishes struck me as amateurish, and not even in a charming, rustic way. I am frankly quite shocked given all the reviews saying that everything at TT is great.

However, seeing as we ordered such a limited number of items, I would definitely go back and give it a second chance. Also on the positive side, the service was extremely friendly and efficient, and the atmosphere was quite nice in an unassuming way. I really want to like this place!!!

Has anyone had these soups and have a different opinion? What are the real stars on the menu?

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