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Foods from Tuscan Grill


2009 Jan 24
There are no signs above the door anymore. I guess they closed. I didn't even have a chance to try it out.

2008 Oct 19
Heard a rumour this weekend that the Tuscan Grill in Barrhaven has recently closed... will try to swing by there later on this week and confirm.

2008 Jun 29
Went here last night with some friends as a group of 4. Supposedly it has been open for 2 years now and I was surprised that there was no post on the site yet. There certainly are not many mid range or upscale restaurants in Barrhaven, but this is a nice addition.

Typical for the area, it is located in a big mall complex which detracts a little from the ambiance. It is beside the cinema, but that actually worked in our favour last night as we also took in a movie after dinner. The decor is nice and a bit reminiscent of the Tuscan region. Also typical for the area, it filled at 7pm and we closed the joint at 10pm (we had arrived at 7pm). Not a good spot for later night eating as 'Barrhaveners' mainly seem to turn into pumpkins at 10pm. It was a holiday weekend and the server said the numbers were down a bit as expected, so perhaps it would normally be a bit busier later into the eve.

Service was a bit off compared to what our friends had experienced in the 3 previous visits, but we found out after that one of the staff had just had a baby a bit early (congratulations!) So I definitely understood a slightly longer wait and some mix ups in the orders, and we were not in a big rush.

Now onto the food - 3 of us had the caprese salad. It was nice with real buffalo cheese and fresh basil. The tomatoes could have been more flavorful, but that is a curse of Ottawa I think. The balsamic reduction was wonderful and I could have used more. Had it been slightly less thick (it was almost soft taffy consistency) it would have been perfect and I could get more on every bite. One had the soup of the day which was a beef vegetable which he said he thoroughly enjoyed.

For mains my husband had the special - milk fed veal chop. He usually always orders this if on the menu and this was one of the best we have ever had. The meat was extremely tender and tasted like it had been infused with flavour. I recognized the garlic and shallots but could not place the other herbs. We thought it had been marinated all night to get so much flavour but the chef, who stopped by our table during the night, said it was very fresh and never frozen, and only braised in the sauce. All I can say is wow, it was great.

2 of us had the bison ( Bistecca di Bisonte con salsa di funghi porcini, spugnole e bacche di ginepro - Grilled Bison Strip Loin, medley of morel and porcini mushrooms in a Juniper berry essence, grilled asparagus and roasted herbed baby potatoes) which was good. My only complaint was that I could have used more sauce again. The fourth had the chicken ( Supremes del Polo - Chicken Supremes roasted slowly with sage and Parma ham under the skin, wrapped w/ Proscuitto, served w/ roasted baby potatoes, market vegetables) which is supposedly one of their best regular dishes. I did not try it but my friend raved about it.

The dessert list is small but tasty. 2 of us shared the (rather large portion) creme brulle. Not the best I have had but good. A bit grainy. The other 2 shared the tiramisu which again was good, not great. Too much cream. Unfortunately the espresso machine was not working and had to have regular brewed coffee which was OK.

A couple other comments. The portions are smaller which we actually like so that you can have 3 courses and not be overfilled. But I suspect some will find them too small. Also the wine list is a bit overpriced. Most are 3 times the LCBO list cost whereas other restaurants generally are 2-2.5 times. They do not allow BYOW nor recorking to take home.

All in all a good experience. Bill came to about $400 before tip, with 2 bottles of wine ($70 each)which is a bit steep for this type of restaurant. But the food was very good and I would come back again...just watch the wine prices.