It's a rare thing to find two great cuisines blended in such a way that compliment each other. This place is truly a find. Obvious devotion, care and original creativity make this a worthy destination.The simplicity and authentic ingredients of tuscan cuisine with the patience and adherence to process that authentic barbeque demands.
And the results? Let me enumerate:
1) The pulled pork and "Dad's butt sauce". I think I know good pulled pulled pork and theirs is actually great; moist, fork tender, no grissle, bits of crisp in with the tender meat and a balanced, not overpowering smoke flavor. They obviously use great meat. But it sings with their butt sauce creation. It's a vinegar base, but in deference to the way tuscany respects its meat, it's in the background and doesn't come close to overpowering with spice or acidity. Purely complimentary to deliciously moist applewood smoked pulled pork.
2) They have chicken wings on the menu as an appetizer. These are not like anything you've experienced, a brilliant blend of ability and deference to local tastes that has created something entirely new. Not drowned in an overpowering sauce but smoked with crispy skin (how did they do that?) with a sort of glaze that is subtly spiced with aromatics (not super sweet or vinegary), that lets a crispy, juicy chicken wing fly all on its own.
3) Another appetizer... called the "dragon turd" is an exemplary triumph of fusing culinary styles and imagination. Imagine a jalepeno, then stuff it with the local "cinta sinese" sausage from pigs that feed in the local forests and just a bit of local fig. Then smoke the jalepeno. Subtle smoke/spice from the jalepeno combines with the savory of the sausage with just a touch of sweet fig. mmmmmm. OK it doesn't look incredibly appetizing on the plate (thus the name I believe), but "get over it" and you'll love it!
4) The brisket.... I'm picky about brisket; the least bit dry, the smoke out of balance or just tough and I set it aside. Here again we combine two culinary techniques, that produce something totally new. Take a beautifully executed brisket, with a lovely smoke ring evident, then slice it thin, nearly like prosciutto. You may not think this would make a huge difference, but it does. We consumed ours instantly with just a fork and no adornment or offered sauce. It was too moist and delicious by itself with just the right level of sweet fruitwood smoke. Such a simple thing, but ingenious to combine techniques this way.
5) So we hesitantly tried their "apple pie" and again were surprised by the subtle ways cuisines were combined. "Pies" as americans know them just don't exist in Italy; the closest is a 'torta' which generally has a thick crust with a spreading of jam over the top. Good for sure, but not a pie and we feared getting an apple torta. Instead what arrived was again a creative combination borrowing from the best of both worlds. Taking the traditional american-style apple pie filling but instead of a heavy typical american crust, they used a 'sfoglia' crust. A flaky pastry dough used for their version of croissants as well as 'pizza sfoglia' which are delicious little pizzas using traditional toppings often served in pastry shops as a quick snack. Really, the best of both worlds. A great apple pie filling with a truly light and fluffy crust that lets the fruit shine through while adding a wonderful consistency in the mouth. Oh... and it comes ala mode with a locally produced gelato... but vanilla flavored. Another example of combining cuisines... the wonderful consistency of gelato with the flavor of vanilla which you don't normally find in a gelateria.
A final note: The small but carefully thought out beer selection of fine hefe-weiss, marzen paulaner and a bavarian On Tap!
So can you combine traditional barbeque and tuscan cuisine? Assolutamente SI!
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