I was wondering how to write this review as I drove from Prosser, WA back to Portland today. Do I compare a small town Italian-themed restaurant to other Italian restaurants in Portland, San Francisco or Seattle? Or, do I think about the restaurant on its own merits? I decided to do the latter, since not all restaurants should be the same and I need to look at a place like Tuscany as a restaurant in a town where people are really happy it's there.
For someone from a large city, Prosser has very few restaurants for dinner that will wow or impress you. This is not criticism since Prosser is a farming community and there isn't enough year-round business from tourists to keep something really high end alive all year. With a lot of mexican, pizza and bar restaurants in town, Tuscany seems to be pulling in locals which is good.
The service at Tuscany was amazing, better than some of the trendy places in Portland that we've been to. Our server was a local girl, born and raised in Prosser and really knew what she was doing. Between her, the 2nd server and the owner/manager, they kept things moving and no one felt left out or ignored. Very impressive.
Now, on to the food. How do I say this without sounding like I'm being critical? The Italian-inspired food we ate reminded me of the food we ate in California growing up. "Eye"-talian food. Except for the breadsticks, which were undercooked and doughy, the food was tasty and fun to eat. An antipasto plate included slices of ham, salami, kalamata olives plus what looked like slivers of a very mild cheddar and a mild white cheese, with some bread and olive oil/herbs/balsamic.
Salads were next, iceberg lettuce, chopped, with a thick lemon salad dressing and shredded mozzarella cheese. All tasty, but something I haven't seen since I was a kid. Entrees included a chicken alfredo on fettucine (good but needed salt) and "Scampi di Gambero" which translates roughly to "prawns of shrimp" but included 4 large prawns, butterflied and sauteed, spaghetti and a picatta sauce.
For dessert we had a really interesting gelato of raspberries, chocolate, roasted chipotle from a local gelato purveyor, quite yummy.
We left the restaurant happy but also sort of in awe of the time capsule that is Prosser, with its quaint downtown, old-style buildings and its one Italian restaurant, that put into the proper context, is very good.
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