I was thrilled to read the earlier posts on the Tuscan Grill. I've been meaning to go there for a long time and I was inspired to snag a late reservation for New Year's Eve.
Since we called to make our reservation on New Year's Eve we landed a late reservation- 10 p.m. and learned they were serving a pre fixe 4 course dinner. Fortunately everyone had enough $$ to spring for it. When we arrived they were running behind, which was mostly fine except that they were slammed and there wasn't much room for us to cram around the bar and wait for the table. We waited about 20 minutes and when we were seated the manager brought over champagne for all. Very nice and much appreciated.
Since we were the last party of the evening they had 86-ed several items on the 4 course menu. Fortunately all in our party eat everything so no one was dissapointed by the substitutions.
I started with a lamb's lettuce and crimini mushroom salad. I didn't know lamb's lettuce is Boston lettuce. This is my fave so I was happy. The salad was amazing, lots of fresh lettuce with razor thin slices of crimini and parm tossed in a lovely lemon vinaigrette. I'm still craving another serving. It was perfect.
Then I moved on to next course- pasta! I selected cannelloni stuffed with beef short ribs and figs. This is the most hearty pasta I've ever had. On it's own this pasta would have been similar to beef stew in taste. The texture and sweetness of the figs really made it interesting. I enjoyed this unusual combo.
Now we move on to the entree. I had wanted the lamb but they ran out and were substituting a rib eye. This was not bad news for me, since I am slave to a good steak. Now I like my steak on the rare side so I can get a little dissapointed when I ask for medium rare and I get medium well. Even though it was nearly midnight the folks in the kitchen were still on their game, my steak was absolutely perfect.... like butter. The steak was served with seared spinach and polenta. The polenta was amazing. I make polenta often and mine has never come out like this. It was just so smooth and creamy. I'm not sure what kind of cheese they use, it wasn't overpowering. I've got to figure out how to do this at home.
I could go on and on about my dessert but I cannot remember what it was called. It was a light lemon dessert with a cheese cake / ice cream/ gellatto texture. It was served with a mint leaf garnish and a berry coulis. I have to have this again. It was amazing.
Clearly I love this place! The service was wonderful, the wine list was great, even though it's not extensive, and the food was prepared perfectly. It was nearly 1 a.m. when we left and the servers, manager, and cooks were all friendly and accommodating.
I look forward to sampling the regular menu sometime soon.