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“Come for the starters, end somewhere else” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Toscana Cafe

Toscana Cafe
Ranked #578 of 3,188 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: F Street
Transit: One block from Union Station
Description: Toscana Cafe serves delicious, authentic home-style Italian meals with a gourmet touch in Washington, D.C.
Richmond
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Come for the starters, end somewhere else”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012 via mobile

We also came with the Living Social promo. When the cab pulled up, my heart sank. It truly was a tiny corner cafe, which I would associate more with sandwiches. But we were there, so why not? We were sat outside on the most uncomfortable seats. We were pleased to hear "prix fixe" allowed us the freedom to choose whatever we wanted from the menu. Then the wine came. Relief. Their house merlot was actually pretty good! Next, the salads. Remarkable! They were inventive and absolutely delicious! We were being wooed by this place. Things were looking up! How dare we judge a book by its cover? Then came the entrees. After much discussion, we've come to the conclusion that the chef simply does not know how to use herbs and seasonings. My husband had the ravioli, which despite the menu's description, had no goat cheese or ricotta in sight. There was, however, an OVERWHELMING punch in the face of fresh oregano. It was not pleasant at all. I got the lamb ragu pasta, which I could already smell from another table over. It smelled and tasted only of rosemary. One of the strongest herbs there is, rosemary has no place taking center stage in a dish! I certainly like rosemary, but I don't want my pasta dish to scream it. What the dish really needed was salt and some sugar. Other than the rosemary, it was very bland. So we are left confused. How did Toscana manage to incorporate these modern, delectable salads with these old world, under seasoned entrees? I doubt we will be back, but if we were locals I might give another entree a try just to see...

Helpful?
1 Thank RedkeliRichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    31
    27
    22
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice little place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012

As you can tell by our pictures the food is wonderful. I really enjoyed the veal. The location is just off of Union Station, so it nice to have quiet dinner after a day of touring. The server was very friendly and very concern that we had the best dinning experience. The place is small and busy so come early. I recommend the risotto balls. Only item I recommend to change is the carrot cake it was little dry,

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wkelly67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Needs improvement”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

We went there after buying a really good deal from Living Social.

The host led us through the inside, which was like a tiny corner store, to the outside seating area. Nothing fancy, but that was fine with us. The music they had playing was rap music with very explicit lyrics, which I found to be offensive and highly inappropriate. We asked our waiter, (who was nice, but with such a heavy Spanish accent that I could hardly understand him), to turn it off. After that, it was one nice Italian song, then back to the rap, then bachata music, then silence, then back to bachata. The owner/chef was actually outside sweeping the sidewalk at one point.
As far as the food, it was hit and miss. The bread was cold, stale and greasy with olive oil. The Caprese salad and arancini was mediocre. The gnocchi dish was overcooked and bland. The steak dish, other than the steak being paper thin and slightly overcooked, had a delicious white wine sauce that was wonderful. The dessert, tiramisu and ricotta cheesecake, were fantastic--no doubt the highlight of the meal.

In summary, this place has potential, but needs a lot of improvement.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaR1018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorktown Heights, New York
Level Contributor
74 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Fantastic homemade food in a convenient location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012

We tried out this restaurant on the recommendation of the Concierge at our hotel and ended up having dinner here 2 nights. All of the pasta is homemade and one night the special was ossobuco over truffle risotto which was fantastic. There aren't a lot of choices if you have kids who are picky eaters and the place is small but for us the food was fantastic!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TCento
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Nothing to write home about. Maybe I should have had the pasta...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

I selected this restaurant after receiving a living social deal for three courses and a bottle of wine for two for $49. A great deal.
The restaurant is in a quiet neighborhood behind union station. It's all outdoor covered seating. Several tables were picnic tables, though we had a normal two-person linen covered table. IT was pleasant to sit outside even thought it rained for a short time.
For our meals we had the antipasto which on the menu read, grilled vegetables, imported meats and cheese, except that the grilled veggies were more like burschetta with the exception of one plum tomato. My husband ordred the arancini - risotto balls. I didnt ask, and I should have, but I swear they were made with cheddar cheese and not mozzeralla which gave them a sharp taste. For Entrees, I ordered a chicken dish which was a tasty cutlet and a small side salad with a cream sauce also on the side. I wasnt sure if the sauce was for the salad (dressing) or the chicken... My husband had the veil which he said he enjoyed. The desserts were the highlight of our meal, as I understand they are homemade--carrott cake and tiramisu. After reading the reviews, i just didnt feel what other diners were experiencing. Maybe I should have ordered the pasta...
As a side note, if you order using the living social deal, know that there is a tax equal to the value of the meal. In our case it was $10.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mom22philly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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