Housed in the Georgetown Square shopping complex (in what was at one time an Asian combination buffet), this extensive venue with seating for around 300 is worked by the Frank Murati family, which has run a comparable eatery in Arlington Heights known as Toscana going on eight years. A vast divider wall painting delineating Tuscany’s wine-developing wide open gives the eatery a warm vibe.
The menu at the Wood Dale area fundamentally reflects that of its lead eatery. Attempted and-genuine choices, for example, heated lasagna, made-in-house pizza, eggplant parmigiana and natively constructed spinach gnocchi and additionally a determination of veal, fish and chicken dishes are all spoken to – nothing you haven’t seen some time recently.
And if you don’t spot your favorite dish, chances are the kitchen will prepare it or put it in the queue as a future chef’s special.
From Toscani’s moderately priced wine list we enjoyed a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Fratelli, a well-balanced dry red with a soft, fruity bouquet.
Our dinner began with complimentary bread service (something more and more restaurants are forgoing) featuring a fine-textured tomato focaccia.
Unfortunately, I found the Shrimp de Jonghe appetizer, a Chicago specialty shared with a dining partner, off the mark. While the large shrimp couldn’t have been better, the sherry-laced bread crumbs in this casserole were a letdown: flattened into a gummy mass.
Stick with the other starters such as little neck clams or mussels sauteed in garlic and olive oil, calamari fritti or calamari Toscani (sauteed with crushed red pepper), or Italian sausage and peppers.
The menu also highlights a half-dozen thin-crust pizzas in either 10-, 14- or 16-inch pies. The Toscani Special is loaded up with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and green peppers; Piccante Murati’s combines roast beef and hot giardiniera.
On to the entrees, Alfredo sauce with mushrooms and strips of crispy chicken breast starred in the rigatoni Prato. The pasta was perfectly shaped for capturing the delicious creamy sauce.
Meanwhile, we also sampled another well-made traditional dish. Veal Florentina was prepared with prosciutto, spinach, mozzarella and sauteed mushrooms in a light sauce. Both entrees included a decent house salad.
Given the oversized portions, it’s not surprising that the waitstaff is proficient at boxing up leftovers. That’s a good strategy if you’re contemplating dessert. The usual suspects on an Italian dessert menu are at hand: tiramisu, cannoli and chocolate cake.
So is a heavenly salted caramel mousse cake, which I recommend to go along with a fresh-brewed cup of Lavazza coffee. The three-layered confection included a dense caramel cake base, salted-caramel mousse and a fudge topping. A perfect way to end a meal.