It's rare I dish out 1 star reviews but I Toscano is worthy of one.
We visited I Toscana because my father-in-law recommended the restaurant after his stay in Florence last year.
I can only think they must have changed the chef/cook since then and that a table of 15 or so in the restaurant with us affected the food quality. They were busy and under-staffed.
Rose wine was only available by the bottle and there was no wine list available. The waiter pointed to several reds on a table behind us when asked about a list but of course this doesn't answer any questions with regards to white wine.
We had a glass of white and a beer. The wine was decent, the beer was tepid.
After reading through the small menu and not knowing what a lot of it was we decided on a mixed appetiser platter for starter (€18) and a beef stew and veal steak. I had to request my steak was cooked medium-rare as I wasn't asked. The waiter wasn't interested in answering any questions we had about the mystery dishes listed.
To our surprise our €18 euro mixed platter was not a small selection of the other starters available, which sounded good, but a plate of ham and cheese accompanied by 3 pieces of burnt toast and a pot of chicken liver pate (I had to ask what it was) which looked, and tasted like something a cat had thrown up.
We made the best of it and requested some more toast (when I could eventually catch the polite waitress' attention) but that too was charcoaled around the edges.
Our mains were even worse.
The beef stew arrived 15 minutes or so after the cheese and ham but it was literally inedible. The meat had a consistency of what I can only describe as spongy. It didn't fall apart like a good stew that had been cooked for hours, nor was it tough, it was like cutting tofu. The sauce it came in too was bland and the two pieces of white and purple lettuce on the side had wilted and gone brown.
My steak was also disappointing. The fact it was served on a board with a sprig of lettuce and carrot was underwhelming but acceptable but the way it was cooked and tasted was not. Well seasoned in parts and tasteless in others, it was burnt around the edges and simply cooked towards the bone. Upon cutting it open I discovered it was not medium-rare, nor was it medium, or even well done, but white. I have never had a steak like it and it tasted like a pork chop. I can only presume it was microwaved to high heaven and then chucked on the griddle for a few minutes after because there was no sign of blood, red meat or even a pink line. It was white.
After researching 'white veal' I've read that the meat is white because the calf is fed a formula based milk for it's diet.
Anyway, I ate the best parts of the steak and my girlfriend left her 'stew'. The waiter collected our plates after a nod of the head to his question 'Finished?' and that was that.
The total bill was €56, a shocking amount to pay for such poor quality food.
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