Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar (Gaslamp)
Michael and I don’t get out to downtown as much as we used to but we did get the chance to try Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar on 5th Ave. the other day. It boasts one of the larger patios in downtown and looks great on a sunny San Diego day.
We sat inside on one corner of the restaurant. The other side opens up into a larger seating area.
Lunch had many different offerings but we took our server Cameron’s advice and went with a few of his favorites.
This was not one of his favorites, and we didn’t even order it but they were very gracious and gave us a sample of their kale soup. I believe it had sausage, carrots, kale, onions, and celery in it. Quite tasty! Michael thought it was a little on the salty side, but it was a nice way to start nonetheless.
We moved on to the Caesar salad and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella. Both were very light and not overly seasoned. The mozzarella came with a little side salad and balsamic was drizzled on top. Sometimes Caesar salads can get tossed with way too much dressing but this was not the case. The mozzarella pieces were fairly large and thick, which may be good or bad depending on how much you like mozzarella. For me I’d prefer slightly thinner cuts wrapped with the prosciutto but it was still enjoyable.
I ordered the blackened tuna wrap. The tuna itself tasted fresh and warm. They managed to sear it perfectly and the fontina cheese melted into the garlic aoli making an ooey gooey scrumptuous sauce. The pasta was not my favorite and tasted bland, especially after having a bite of the tuna. But the main attraction was a large portion so no need to waste space on the pasta.
[Michael here...] I ordered the chicken pasta and added scallops. The pasta was cooked well and the scallops were delicious. I only wished it were a touch saltier to enhance the flavors more. I was impressed that the scallops were full sized diver scallops and seemed very fresh.
To top everything off we got this carrot cake and chocolate hazelnut brownie. The portions weren’t large which was welcomed given the amount of food we just consumed. The carrot cake had a fruit, maybe pineapple component that wasn’t expected. I seemed to like it more than Michael. But I’m more fruity than he is! The brownie was more dense and I wished there was more chocolate flavor. Everything was prepared nicely and I think dinner would be a different experience. The owner, Sean stopped by and we chatted with him for a little on the history of the restaurant and what other projects he has on his plate. He went through a remodel in 2010 and has been making little tweaks here and there to cater to the local crowds as much as the convention crowds. It’s all about service for him and giving the customer the best experience possible. If you are in the area say hi to him and try his other restaurants Bite m.e or Cafe Lulu. He has another one coming in the old Red Light District space so stay tuned! Thanks again to Stephen over at Alt!
Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar
238 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101