Restaurant Name: Toscana Italian Grill & Bar
Location: 515 South St, Lafayette, IN (map it)
Phone: (765) 423-1000
Review: I am having trouble mustering enough enthusiasm to write this review. I think I’ll just start by saying how very disappointed I was in my visit to Toscana. I’d heard that it had replaced Sarge Oaks at the Holiday Inn Select downtown and was really excited to try it out.
When my party arrived, the restaurant was pretty empty and we were seated immediately. The restaurant was lovely in appearance, and I had high hopes for dinner. I was excited about the drink special, $5 pomegranate martinis, and I can honestly say that was the highlight of dinner.
We perused the menu and made our choices. One appetizer sounded so good our table ordered two of them to share among five people. It was a tomato and Gorgonzola dip served with bread. I had really high hopes, but was horribly disappointed. What appeared at our table were dishes that appeared to be filled with seasoned tomato paste, topped with crumbled Gorgonzola. I am not someone who is all that particular about my food – I’ve been known to clean my plate even if I don’t like something, but I really couldn’t eat this. And neither could the rest of my table.
I ordered Ravioli and chose the Caesar salad to go with it. My salad arrived with the appetizer, and it was almost all completely iceberg lettuce with a few croutons, liberally coated throughout with Caesar dressing. Every piece of lettuce was covered with dressing. I like dressing on my salad, but it’s not an absolute necessity that every inch of it be covered.
When my dinner arrived, I was sad to see what appeared to be the same thick tomato paste on top. I pushed off most of that and ate the raviolis, which were nothing special. However, for the price of $13.00, I could have bought a package of ravioli and a jar of Prego and served the whole table – and it would have tasted better and saved us all a lot of money.
The rest of my dining companions had pizza, and while none were as disappointed as I was with my meal, no one was excited about their meal either. One friend ordered a pesto pizza, and the crust was so soggy that she couldn’t even pick up her slices. She had to eat it with a fork, which is a shame because it was actually the best tasting pizza at the table.
As for service, I don’t have any complaints. Our waiter was friendly and fairly attentive, even if he didn’t get our jokes. The music being played during our dining was a little retro. I like retro, but we’re talking early 80’s songs including, but not limited to, “Island’s in the Stream” by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, some early Madonna, and even “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister. Not exactly what you’d expect at a fine Italian eatery.
My advice: Skip this one; you can get a better meal at the Olive Garden.
Kid friendly: Yes. They had high chairs and the tables were covered with white paper and there were crayons on the table.
Methods of payment: Cash or credit.