Bar Toscana, Brentwood

I got a chance to check out the new Bar Toscana in Brentwood.  First read:  this place is fantastic.  The vibe was hip and cool with a beautiful crowd lounging and sipping signature cocktails to indie music.  The decor was modern with a “New York-y” feel.  A lot of attention has clearly gone into the details from the undulating bar shelves, well-thought out presentation of food, and the spectacular digital projection art by local artist Jennifer Steinkamp.  Illuminating one wall and the floors of the front window, the images of plants and seasons constantly shift and change.  The effect is mesmerizing.  Service was snappy and cheerful.  From the Italian tapas menu, we settled on the vegetarian choices which included an amazing Polentine which are small cubes of polenta that are then dipped into a cheese fondue with shaved black truffle.  The dish was warm, satisfying comfort food at its best.  We also loved the Stuzzichino Toscana that arrived as three small jars containing an earthy fava been puree, an artichoke spread, and a vibrantly flavored tomato jam.  Toasted bread sits alongside.  I love playing with different flavor combinations and this was a knockout.  We also enjoyed the Zuppa di Carciofi (pureed artichoke soup with Parmigiano crisps), Insalata di Zucca (a roasted pumpkin salad with grilled chanterelle mushrooms, frisee, and goat cheese), an Italian cheese plate (served on an olive wood board-a small detail I loved), and finally we finished with a Bonet Piemontese a luscious warm chocolate cake with amaretti and caramel sauce.  The quantity was just enough and the timing of the service allowed us to pick and graze luxuriously over lively conversation the entire evening.  Ever watchful Sauro and Roberto checked in with us a number of times to ensure that everything was perfect.  They can rest assured that it was. 

The bar

Polentine, Stuzzichino Toscana

 

digital art by Jennifer Steinkamp

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