New Italian Restaurant: Tuscany Opens [REVIEW]
Out of the three notable Italian Restaurants in the Lake area, two of them are less than authentic chains, which is why new eatery Tuscany which opened its doors this week is so refreshing. Located in the space formerly occupied by Cedar’s on 3905 Ryan St, Lake Charles, La. 70605 and opened Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuscany serves an affordable menu filled with Italian classics (and more innovative fare) in a relaxed and casual setting.
The restaurants décor which is understated finds most of the restaurant’s empty spaces festooned with Italian wine bottles, the tables each sit four (though they are plentiful enough to allow for larger parties) and feature red vinyl chairs. There is a beautiful bar in the front of the restaurant, though it doesn’t seem to offer anything in the form of alcohol, as it was not stocked and the menu made no mention of cocktails.
Three others and I started our meal with an appetizer of Stuffed Mushrooms in a spicy marinara sauce. The mushrooms were served with a baffling garnish of a halved lemon placed cut-side down in a pool of marinara sauce, the result of which didn’t look overtly appetizing. I needn’t have worried because the mushrooms which were filled with spinach and cheeses were actually very tasty.
My companions ordered the Chicken Diana, Chicken Marsala, and Chicken Piccata. The Chicken Diana which featured breast of chicken, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and garlic sautéed in Sherry wine and tomato-cream sauce served over angel hair; was really delicious. The Chicken Piccata; sautéed chicken breasts with butter, lemon, capers, and white wine sauce over spaghetti, was light and refreshing, but had a strong citrus overtone. The Chicken Marsala; sautéed chicken breast with mushrooms in Marsala wine sauce over spaghetti, was among the best I’ve ever had, though its sauce was a little runny.
I had the Combo Dish, which featured their lasagna, manicotti and baked ziti. I believe it’s best to judge any restaurant on what that particular type of food is known for; in this case marinara sauce. These three dishes piled on the sauce, which was thick with tons of tomato chunks, and shows that the cooks clearly know what they’re doing. Though the dish was kind of disheartening as the three items were served in the same dish and slathered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese before being baked, leaving a homogenous blend of noodles, cheese, and sauce, which made it so that I couldn’t precisely distinguish which dish I was eating at any given time; which is not to say that it wasn’t still good.
The service was attentive, friendly and fast. And with its extensive menu which offers over a dozen each of pasta, chicken, and seafood entrees there’s reason enough to come back to see what else the kitchen offers. All of the dishes lie in the $8.50 to $16.95 range, and many of them are offered in lunch portions starting at $5.95.