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“Any reputable pizzeria will have better food and service”
Review of Toscana

Toscana
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Ranked #24 of 102 Restaurants in Ridgefield
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
1,534 reviews
685 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 952 helpful votes
“Any reputable pizzeria will have better food and service”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Several people I know mentioned this relatively new Italian place in Ridgefiled, thus we went to check it out, anticipating the best. It turned out to be the worst. We walked in for lunch at 12:45. The white linen tablecloths and the frescoes on the walls looked attractive, but there was not a single soul to meet us. Not anybody sitting at the tables either. This was not a good sign but we persisted. We turned around and entered the bar where finally we found somebody who agreed to seat us, somewhat reluctantly.
It took a long time to get menus, but they eventually materialized, followed by the wine list we requested. The second bad sign was the wine menu, containing erroneous info. One example: I love Sella & Mosca’s Vermentino di Sardegna, a crispy white wine from the island of Sardinia. It was figuring on the menu as wine from Friuly, a good wine region, but in the North of Italy, definitely, far away from Sardinia. We decided to order just glasses of Prosecco Mionnetto, which seemed a safe choice, given the circumstances.
The waiter insisted on telling us about the specials and I picked up the grilled branzino (no matter how strange/erroneous the pronunciation of the waiter was, my thinking being, what could possibly go wrong with grilled bass?). Penne a la vodka was the other dish we ordered and they both showed up promptly. Way too promptly for something that is supposed to have been cooked from scratch. Immediately upon delivery the waiter arrived to ask if “everything was OK”. But wait, that was not the worst part: the fish tasted watery and mushy, like something that’s been cooked in the microwave from frozen state. It was dumped atop some kind of salad consisting of greens, tomatoes and large slices of red onions, the whole thing smothered in a non-identifiable heavy reddish sweetened dressing which made it completely uneatable. The pasta was grossly overcooked and we soon asked for a check. The waiter wanted to pack the stuff we left on the table but we declined, if we did not eat it there, what made him thing we would eat it at home? Huge disappointment, another place we are never going back to.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amosphere and Fine Dining”
Reviewed January 30, 2014

Clearly one of Fairfield County's finest restaurants; pricey but worth it. There really are two fine options to choose from - you can sit at a table with a table cloth and dine grandly, or sit at the bar and have a reasonably priced gourmet pizza and a salad or calamari, with some wine.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
258 reviews
164 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“a perfect birthday dinner!”
Reviewed September 11, 2013

It was the "She's" treat for my birthday, so I picked Toscana. We both loved it! It's a bit pricey, but you'd expect that as it's that kind of place. It was easy to get in on a Monday night and the staff was superb! We had apps and split a entree'. Everything was cooked excellent and very tasty! It was a memorable birthday dinner!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Shefra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Noisy but nice”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

I have only been to Toscana once. First impression was good (outdoors), but upon entering, the second impression was that of a cafeteria. Decor was very nice, but I couldn't get over the cafeteria feel of one large room which made the dining rather noisy. Our meal was very nice and the service, good ...especially considering we were a group of 12, but it is doubtful I'd return ...there are too many other places to choose from with better ambiance.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Charlotte T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Fairfield, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
484 reviews
217 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“I wanted to love it, but ...”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Friends had given us such a glowing report of Toscana that we were excited to try it. The building looks attractive from the outside and the welcome from the owner was warm and made us feel like family. I heard from others what a nice guy he is and I can confirm that he is a natural host. The table service, on the other hand, was "average" - even a little cold. Not as warm as the welcome from the owner.

The restaurant was extremely busy and from everything I've been told it is obviously very popular. All of which made our disappointing dining experience a bit of a puzzle. All the ingredients for a great night seemed to be there, and the restaurant describes itself as "fine Italian dining" but in fact, nothing we ordered could have been described as particularly memorable.

Among the various appetizers that were ordered by our party, the capasente rosso (pan seared sea scallops) were beautifully cooked, with a perfect sear. They were paired with a potato pancake and a barolo wine sauce. Of all the dishes served, this was probably the best. In contrast, the signature Antipasto Toscana was simply lackluster - I have had a far better selection of cheeses and meats at other Italian restaurants in the area.

One of the specials on the night we visited was salmon served with a mango sauce. This pairing was possibly over-sold by the waiter because when it arrived, the dish suffered from the current fad of under-saucing ... you know, when there is a smear of sauce painted on the plate and there is barely enough to accompany a couple of bites. I do wish if the chef insists on painting a picture that they would also provide an accompanying little bowl of sauce so that we could finish the job for them! However, the saucing wasn't the main problem - the main issue was the fish itself. On the first bite, the two people (including myself) who ordered this special, thought the fish was exceptionally soft, and we both equated this with being beautifully cooked. But after a couple of bites, we felt that the texture was too much like a pate - there was no flaky fish texture; almost like it had been marinated way too long - although why it would have been marinated at all would have been a mystery. So if it was marinated, why was it so unreasonably soft? Mushy even?

So neither of us finished the fish - it just became more unpleasant as it got cooler; also placing the fish on top of greens was not very clever. The hot fish continued to wilt the greens and the texture was very limp.

Desserts were also disappointing - the "creme" in the creme brulee was beautiful, but the dish was spoiled by too deep a pile of sugar on top that was, in turn, not caramelized sufficiently.

Given that every other restaurant in the north-east is Italian (or at least, American-Italian), then you really have to stand out to be successful. Given that there are a lot of very mediocre restaurants who seem to default to American-Italian themes, then the better ones are pounced upon with relish. Toscana is certainly better than average and obviously has its fans. Perhaps we were just unlucky ... it was a very busy (and noisy) night. However, when you are very busy, it is exactly the time to step up and not leave a poor impression with the customer.

Once again, there was so much going for Toscana - its reputation preceded our visit; the premises look good and the owner is a real gentleman who obviously cares deeply about his establishment and strives for excellence. However, in an establishment that describes itslef as "fine Italian dining", you have an expectation of fine dining! Restrospectively, looking at some of the pictures of the menu items on the restaurant's website, some of the dishes really do look a bit plain - and that was the impression I got on the night.

A disappointing meal, especially considering how eye-wateringly expensive it is if you have three courses and a couple of glasses of house wine.

I so wanted to love it, but I just couldn't. It was ok, but not wonderful.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank CastawayKnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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