Saturday, February 27, 2010

Toscano Ristorante - Bordentown, NJ

What better reason to head to Bordentown tonight than to enjoy some of the great restaurants in that great little town. You've heard me say it before, and I will say it again, Bordentown City, NJ is a great little place, and it certainly has a special place in my heart. If you've never stopped in the historic downtown off of Farnsworth Avenue, I highly recommend you take a drive over, and stop in one of the restaurants for a nice lunch, and browse some of the neat little shops. You just never know what kind of treasures you might find.

We arrived in Bordentown City around 7PM tonight, and figured we'd try to grab a seat at the bar at Toscano. If you want to dine in the dining room at Toscano on the weekend, I highly recommend that you call early in the week to make a reservation. Toscano has a good following, and it is really hard to get a reservation on a Friday or Saturday night.

We however love sitting at the bar, and tonight was no different. When we arrived, there wasn't an open table in the restaurant, and not an open seat at the bar. That said, we bellied up to the one open round bar table in a corner, and I headed to the bar for a couple glasses of wine.

Tonight's wine of choice was a Centine, but I forget what producer it is from. Two glasses came out, as well as two single serving carafe's. This is an affordable Super Tuscan blend, that I am assuming is sangiovese based, with some cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and who knows what else. At $7.50 a glass, this is decent by restaurant standards, and we enjoy it. If I had to guess, we can probably pick this up for about $15 a bottle, and it would make a decent house wine.

As we finished out first half glass, two ladies from the bar were seated at our table, and tonight was our lucky night. We grabbed up two stools at the bar, asked for some menu's, and got ready to order some dinner.

The portions at Toscano are always pretty large, so we typically order a soup or salad course, and appetizer, and split one of the huge entrees. Tonight, the seafood bisque was very tempting, but we instead opted to order a Caesar salad, that was plenty large for the both of us. The salad came out with a nice creamy dressing, and good crispy romaine, with nice slices of roasted red pepper, crouton, and parm. A few twists of fresh ground pepper, and this salad was a treat.
Next out was one of my favorite appetizers, the Pane Toscano, which is a thick crusted loaf of bread stuffed with mozzarella cheese and caramelized vidalia onion, and topped with more vidalia onion, roasted garlic cloves, and Romano cheese. This is then baked to a golden brown, and absolute heaven by my standards. This is a dish that I enjoy visit after visit, and I really need to figure out how to make this one at home.

The bread was nice and crusty, the onions and garlic added great flavors and elements, and the stuffed mozzarella was heavenly! This is such a treat, and I have never been disappointed by this dish. This could easily fill me up for lunch, and it is just a joy to eat, but don't forget the breath mints!

As our entree tonight, we settled on the chicken Parmesan, which I don't think we have ever had at Toscano now that I sit here thinking about it. As with their other dishes, the portion came our HUGE with two large chicken breasts, pounded thin, but not too thin. Zelda and I each grabbed on, and noticed the nice golden brown crust, with tender, juicy chicken on the inside.

The top was smothered in a nice melted mozzarella, and the sauce had a really nice spice to it. Accompanying the entree was a nice side of penne pasta, with the same sauce. There is definitely something about the sauce that we like. It is not your typical marinara, but a marinara on steroids, with a bit of spiciness that really gives it a nice edge. This was perfect, and we loved it. Needless to say, we both could not finish our portions of the chicken, verifying the reason we love to sit at the bar, split a soup or salad and appetizer, then splitting an entree. It is just too much food for the both of us, but I am definitely not complaining.

All in all, a great night for comfort foods in "The Little City with A Lot of Charm," with great food, great service, and a decent house vino. Keep up the good work at Toscano! We love stopping in from time to time! Cheers! -F. Scott

Toscano Ristorante

136 Farnsworth Avenue
Bordentown, NJ 08505
Phone: (609)291-0291

PS: I am sorry to say that I forgot to bring the Blackberry tonight, so there are no pictures. Stay tuned for a picture of the Pane Toscano in the future!

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