Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Everything made from scratch at the Tuscan Kitchen in Salem

Our normal routine on weekends tends to be breakfast in the morning, an afternoon snack and then dinner. Every once and awhile for whatever reason our morning gets messed up and we end up skipping breakfast and search for a decent place for lunch.

After a recent two day heavy snow storm, we were suffering from cabin fever after being cooped up in the house. The snow finally ended and we ventured out heading south and since we hadn't eaten breakfast we were both starving and knew that we needed to find a place to eat but the big question was where. As we neared Salem my wife had already pulled up the menu for Tuscan Kitchen and no surprise that it turned out to be our destination.

Due to the weather, there were only a few cars in the parking lot when we arrived. Great! I thought, all the attention will be on us. When you enter the restaurant, you notice how large the space is with its high ceilings, dark wood tables, and an open kitchen concept. There are two additional spaces: one downstairs and another upstairs that appeared to me to be bars and function space.

Our waitress checked in and dropped off some off their homemade bread.

A scrumptious sourdough with a crusty outer layer along with olive oil for dipping.

She reviewed the menu and went over the specials. To their credit everything is made from scratch and you can pick from salads, pizza and Panini's for lunch. She suggested that we order their meatball pizza and seemed to be steering me away from the Panini's. In the end I didn't listen which was no surprise to my wife and I ordered one of their Panini's.

This was filled with prosciutto, roasted red peppers on their in-house made cibatta bread. In hind sight I should have ordered something else. The peppers gave it a little bit of a sweet flavor that was not my favorite and there was too much bread. They might want to consider adding a few other sandwich options such as a meatball Panini. I am surprised that it is not on the menu given our waitresses comments about how wonderful the meatballs are. It came with hand cut parmesan fries and I finished all of those, delicious.

My wife's choice was their white pizza with chicken, spinach, Crucolo cheese, and a balsamic glaze.

She couldn’t believe how big the lunch portion was and the pizza also was served with a side salad and she chose a Cesar. Both the salad and the pizza were delicious.

Owner Joe Farro, Chief Food Taster has gone along with the food trend of comfort foods that have been kicked up a notch and his pizzas are certainly more than standard fair. I'm just not sure if I'm on board with this, give me a regular meatball or pepperoni and I'm all set but for those who are looking for this newer style you will not be disappointed

And for dessert their Lava Cake:

Served with toasted almond gelato it had a warm chocolate center and was a perfect ending to our lunch.

Over all we were left with a great first impression of the Tuscan Kitchen. And although I would like to see more sandwich options owner Farro should be credited for his everything from scratch mentality.
Tuscan Kitchen on Urbanspoon