As you step into an average restaurant, you dart your eyes across the room and notice one of the most disturbing sights that you could possibly see in a restaurant. The waiters and waitress’ are doing absolutely NOTHING. One waiter has parked himself in the corner of the restaurant with his glowing phone nearly glued to his eyes. One of the restaurants many waitress’ seems to be taking what appears to be a nap. Finally you notice a group of waiters and waitress’ that seem to be hovering around the kitchen, looking for a snack to eat from the numerous flaming pots and pans.
This is not the case at Toni’s Tuscan Table (2889 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605, http://www.tonistuscantable.com).
Toni’s Tuscan Table is located in the Ash Creek Section of Bridgeport next to another favorite of ours, the Walrus + Carpenter. The one waitress at Toni’s Tuscan Table, who is also Toni (the owner), could possibly be the kindest, most caring waitress we have ever had. She communicated with the customers, while serving at the same time. She truly got to know the diners in a personal way, just as though we were members of her family. In addition to treating her customers well, she also offered to create any Italian dish that you would like.
Toni’s Tuscan Table is a relatively small restaurant only open Wednesday through Saturday. During the day, Toni’s Tuscan Table is a coffee bar called Dish. The restaurant has 4 communal tables, and a G-d’s eye view of the busy kitchen. The restaurant’s interior is quaint and warm. The light is low and allows you to relax after a long day.
After speaking to Toni, and getting a sense of what to get from the menu, we began ordering. To start we ordered two types of balls (meat and rice). Toni’s Tuscan Table is known by many, particularly for their fantastic Rice Balls.
The Rice Balls consist of warm, perfectly cooked rice, and a melted, white cheese. This creation is formed into a ball and deep fried.
The result is fabulous and is definitely a must try if you choose to come. Side note: my younger brother had three!
The second type of ball that we ordered was a Meat Ball. The Meat Ball was tender and succulent on the inside and crisp and toothsome on the outside.
The ball was covered in a bright, vibrant red peppers mixture and topped with a shred of mozzarella cheese.
Our final appetizer was a Goat Cheese and Beet Salad. The salad contained two slabs of moist, tangy goat cheese, as well as two slices of vibrant, deep purple, sweet beet slices.
The goat cheese and beets were served on a bed of dark green arugula leafs, with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and honey.
As the time to make our decision about main courses rolled around, we began mapping out our feast. First we ordered a beautiful pasta dish, with tender ridged rigatoni, garlicky boiled broccoli rabe, a heavy helping of warm, melted butter, and several fresh shrimp piled on top.
Next, we obtained one of my favorite Italian Dishes: Chicken Scarpariello. The Chicken Scarpariello was a huge dish, containing delectable, aromatic herb roasted chicken, an abundance of sizzling spicy peppers, butter-soaked soft potatoes, and slices of crisp, snappy sausage.
The dish was absolutely dynamite and would be on the top of my list of Scarpariello’s.
After we had dined on our first chicken dish, we were brought a large plate of Chicken Parmesan, served over a pile of perfectly cooked pasta (to sop up the excess sauce and cheese).
The chicken was succulent and juicy, and the crunchy, crumbly breaded outside made the dish that much more enjoyable. In addition, the chicken was topped with a slab of gooey melted mozzarella and a steaming hot tomato sauce.
The final dish of our entree extravaganza was a Gluten Free Cod Puttanesca Pasta. The ingredients to the extravagant dish are typical of Southern Italian cuisine: freshly sliced tomatoes, shimmering olive oil, tangy, somewhat sour olives, pickle-like capers and spicy garlic.
The pasta was ordered gluten-free by my Mother, and was described as “delicious”. In addition to the common ingredients in the Puttanesca, the dish also contained, dry, flaky cod hidden under the pasta.
For dessert we ordered one of the best desserts I have ever ingested while on this earth: A warm, sweet Homemade Donut served underneath a hefty scoop of chilling, refreshing vanilla ice cream, and a pile of warm, carmel filled bananas foster and roasted pecans.
The dessert was a perfect way to finish off the dinner, and was a great image to have in my mind as I left the restaurant.
Overall the food, service, atmosphere, and value were all absolutely fantastic, and I would recommend it to ANYONE in need of a great spot for a night out. Side note: you can bring your own wine for a small corkage fee, which my parents enjoyed.
I would rate it ZZZZX- 4 1/4 Z’s- Awesome!