Grub Guide: taste of Toscana

Michelle Townsend

Despite the fact there are so many restaurants in Dublin’s city centre to choose from, it can still be hard to select the right one to fit the occasion you wish to celebrate. However, Italian restaurant Toscana covers all bases and is the ideal spot to pick for birthdays, date nights, or a catch up with friends. If you’re looking for a good meal and a good time, this lavish restaurant could be exactly what you are looking for.

Location: 8/10

Located on Dame Street, Toscana is easily accessible by public transport services such as Dublin Bus and the Luas or on foot if you happen to be walking around the city centre beforehand. It’s also a short walk from Grafton Street and O’Connell Street, making it the perfect spot if you wish to hit the shops beforehand or even go for a drink afterwards. Dame Street is always busy which adds to the bustling atmosphere, so be sure to book a table beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Venue: 9/10

The interior of Toscana is absolute gorgeous and really sets the scene for your meal. The walls are painted dark red, chandeliers hang from the ceiling and the polished oak furniture is complete with dimly lit candles. This definitely adds to the experience of your meal, be it a romantic setting with your partner or warm and cosy vibes with your family or friends. I found this sense of cosiness allowed me to really sit back, relax and enjoy my meal. Comfort is key and paired with lavish decor, Toscana certainly hits the mark with this aspect.

Food: 10/10

The food is delicious, albeit quite filling and the extensive menu suits everyone’s food preferences. If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, this is definitely the restaurant for you as there’s a wide range of indulgent pizzas and pasta dishes to choose from. I had the spaghetti and meatballs and even though this isn’t exactly a unique dish to see on any menu, I have yet to find one better than Toscana’s. The pizza looked fantastic too. If you’re not a fan of traditional Italian dishes don’t worry – there is a wide choice of steak, chicken and fish dishes as well as vegetarian options too meaning all preferences are covered.

The desserts and starters are nothing short of perfect either, again with a wide variety to cater everyone’s tastes. I tried the “suppli” (think fancy mozzarella sticks stuffed with rice) which I thought was divine and the profiteroles for dessert went down a treat too.

Toscana have a variety of menus to choose from, meaning depending on when you decide to go, various dishes will be on offer. They have midweek deals, early bird options, lunch menus, group specials and dinner for two offers which again attests to the fact Toscana cover all tastes for all occasions.

Service & Atmosphere: 9/10

Due to the high quality of food and the stunningly decorated interior, it is fair to say that Toscana is quite a fancy restaurant. This fancy atmosphere can only be heightened by the excellent service provided by the waiting staff, who go above and beyond to help give you an authentic Italian dining experience. The waiting staff are hands-on to ensure each dish is satisfactory but in a helpful manner, not at all intrusive. They’re also more than happy to help with recommendations and my waiter actually convinced me to try suppli as a starter as opposed to the safe option of garlic bread. They’re quite quick to clear away empty dishes too, something which if not done promptly, I find to be quite annoying when I’m out for food.

Value for money: 8/10

Although Toscana isn’t earth-shatteringly expensive, the prices are not what would be considered particularly student-friendly either. If you’re looking to have a two or three course meal, expect to spend between €30 and €40. That being said, the fact it’s a little bit more expensive than other restaurants makes Toscana the ideal place to splash out and treat yourself for a special occasion. You can also guarantee that it is money well spent on exquisite food and fabulous service, which makes it completely justifiable.

Overall, I would give Toscana a 4/5 rating. The location, venue, food and service all blend really well together in order to give customers an excellent impression of a classic Italian dining experience. I have been to Toscana more than once and it’s because of the amazing attention to detail and the enjoyable time I have that I’m happy to go again. It does fall short when it comes to price, but if you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate an occasion of any kind, this restaurant will give you an unforgettable experience.

Michelle Townsend

Image credit: Yelp