Friday is Yoga Day and al fresco at Tosca in Kenilworth

Thanks to the holiday weekend my company did close a little earlier this afternoon. This afforded me the opportunity to take a brief afternoon nap. Unfortunately 15 minutes into it a telemarketer called and woke me up.
Anyhow, after my little nap I was pretty relaxed. And then having a Power Yoga session immediately thereafter, got me into an even better mood. One purpose of yoga is to focus your mind, to remove all the clutter that is happening in your brain all the time and put you into a state of relaxation. If you are already relaxed when you start your Yoga session, getting into this state is even easier. Maybe that was one of the reasons why tonight some of the postures that I struggled with before felt much easier. In particular, with some of balancing postures I was able to last a lot longer. The full version of the
tree pose (vrksasana) was not a problem at all.
Motivated by my unexpected improvements and totally relaxed for the weekend, I was in the mood for a fancy dinner. A few weeks ago I drove through Kenilworth and saw the newly renovated
Tosca, that looks like a somewhat eclectic Italian mansion in Florence. I'm sure some people think it is a little overdone, but I actually like the style. What I liked in particular was the tables they had on the sidewalk to enjoy the warm weather, dining al fresco.
So I went back there this Friday. Getting a table outside wasn't a problem. For some reason most people sat inside. (I just don't get it). The service was friendly, attentive and competent although at times a bit edgy. The menu offers innovative Italian fare at reasonable prices. Maybe for Kenilworth a bit on the high side. But then quality is really good.
Unfortunately, for the wine they only no half bottles (and I was by myself) and a very limited "by the glass" selection. One gripe that I have with restaurants here is that they often don't put the wine-by-the-glass on the wine list, so you don't know what is. And when you ask, they often only tell you "red or white" and if you are lucky the varietal. If you ask for more (like the producer, country, vintage) it usually gets complicated. At Tosca they at least knew the varietals. Just put it on the list and you may actually sell more wine by the glass.
So instead of a glass of wine, I had a Martini. At least there you can specify the vodka. After I order, they brought a nice selection of breads. I was impressed. Not the basic Italian bread that you often get. At Tosca, they had a real tasty artisan type Italian bread, a tasty moist whole wheat type bread and then some type of flat bread. All very good. In addition to the good bread they give you a small plate with some olives and Parmesan cheese. That is what I call a good start into a very enjoyable dinner.
As an app I selected the Tricolore Salad which came in a Parmesan cheese basket. The combination of the fresh greens, the vinaigrette type dressing and the grilled Parmesan was pretty cool. My main dish was the pasta special. Spinach tagliatelle with mushrooms and lamb sausage based on a recommendation of the waiter. When I ordered I asked a few questions, and the waiter seemingly understood my reasoning and decision making process and he insisted that I try the special instead of my original selection. And he was right. This was one of the best pasta dishes I had in a while. A refined combination of flavors. Innovative but comfortable. Full-bodied but not overwhelming.
I skipped the desert which they show you on a desert tray. They all looked good, but they didn't have my two favorites: Tiramisu and Crème brûlée. Still the cappuccino was certainly above average and it comes with a fairly large selection of biscotti.
Overall, Tosca is certainly worth exploring more. They seemingly trying hard to make this a special place and to have the customer enjoy the time there and leave with a pleasant feeling. A always there is some room for improvement:

1) More wine by the class and list them on the wine list so I know what I get.
2) A sheet of glass on the table on top of the cloth. I now why they are doing it, I still find eating on table cloth just adds are certainly stylishness to the meal.
3) The cocktail olives in the martini were a bit bland. OK, if I have to criticize these type of minutiae, that means it is difficult to find real important things to criticize.

With a sense of a satisfaction that comes from a really good meal I'm

Signing Off - The Westfield Blogger

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Westfield Blogger,

I couldn't agree with you more. The idea of "Wine by the glass" deserves a lot more attention. On the one hand I expect knowledgable wait staff when I carefully select a bottle of wine that fits my food and mood, but somehow when I buy only a glass my only questions should be "Red or White"? That doesn't make sense to me.