after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Tosca Cafe hits some high notes (and some low ones)

leave a comment »

t says:  Let’s just come out and say it: Tosca Cafe is a weird place.  There’s no way to sugar-coat it.  A North Beach staple, it’s been around a while – and when you walk in, you feel it immediately.  I could have sworn that I walked into another decade (80’s?  Early 90’s?).  Be that as it may, there’s supposed to be some real talent behind the scenes, pulling the strings (April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman).  So what was the food like?  It varied …


So we ordered some charcuterie, which had cuts ranging from a delectable speck to a mortadella that hit me almost as something from a deli counter in Jersey (i.e. bland and not exactly “artisanal”).  The cheese selection had the requisite soft, semi-soft, and blue.  But where was the love?  Where was the excitement?  For “innovative and fresh Italian cuisine”, these were “fine”, but more like a plane on autopilot than an exciting airshow.  



The mains held more promise.  The grilled polenta with marscapone and mushrooms (foreground) was spot-on in terms of flavor.  It was bold and beautiful and balanced, with good textures.  Very nice.  The Brussels in the background were a bit more steamed than roasted, but at the very least offered a vegetal counterpoint to the pasta and cheese fest on my plate.  g’s bucatini was also nicely done – her one word review was “classic” (which is pretty high praise – she’s Italian like whoa).  No pictures because I was trying not to draw attention to myself.

I have no pictures of the desserts.  Tiramisu was a notch above what I like to call “the usual Tiramisu” (like the kind you might get at something like the Olive Garden – if the Olive Garden serves Tiramisu).  It wasn’t as good as the one that some old, frail Italian grandmother slaved over, but for a dessert that could be made ahead of time and sliced on demand, it was well put together.  I think we also had some cannolis on the table, but I don’t believe I tried any.

So I’m not sure if the new ownership has truly innovated anything on the menu (or if they did, I dread what it used to look like), but the end result was “pretty good”.  We’re glad we checked it out, but I think we’re off to bigger/badder/better places – after all, this is SF.  (We heard that Cotogna is pretty darn good – that might be our next Italian destination).

Written by afterdinnersneeze

27 April 2016 at 12:18am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: