Ristorante Tosca—A Rich Dining Experience
That Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

There are some restaurants where, walking in, you just know you are about to enjoy a wonderful dining experience. Tosca is one of those restaurants. And, surprise! An evening out at Ristorante Tosca does not have to cost a fortune. Nightly, from 5:30 p.m. To 7 p.m., Tosca offers a “Dine at Dusk” three-course meal for $38. And to make you feel even better, Tosca donates 10 percent of your “Dine at Dusk” meal to Food & Friends, a non-profit that delivers meals to the needy.

Tosca is a favorite for large groups and D.C.’s movers and shakers. There are semi-private rooms off to one side that nicely accommodate these gatherings. If you plan a more intimate evening, don’t worry. Tables towards the rear of the restaurant offer more privacy. There’s an old world elegance to Tosca that is missing in so many other restaurants these days. The soothing colors, the dim lighting, and comfortable seating turns the evening into something special. No wonder then that the president and the first lady enjoyed a date night at Tosca.

You may pay less for your meal if you dine early, but your service will not suffer. The wait staff at Tosca is professional—knowledgeable about the menu and wine list and helpful if you need some guidance. The pacing of our meal was perfect. We neither felt rushed nor neglected. After ordering our drinks, we were given enough time to enjoy them while looking over the pre-theater menu as well as the full dinner one.

We opted for the “Dine at Dusk” menu. The choices were just too good, not only did this pre-theater menu include several pastas, a strength of Executive Chef Massimo Fabbri, but also a grilled branzino and a pork tenderloin.

For our first course, we decided to try two of the pastas, the pasta alla chitarra with tomato sauce and cherry tomatoes. The whole wheat spaghetti had just enough bite to hold up to the robust sauce. The cherry tomatoes added texture to the dish. A generous sprinkling of freshly grated cheese was the perfect addition.

Our second pasta was the ravioli stuffed with veal, spinach, and prosciutto, served in a butter sauce with sage and mortadella added for good measure. The stuffed pasta literally melted in the mouth. A rich, savory dish that was remarkably light.

Alongside our pastas, we enjoyed a salad of mixed organic greens with a light dress of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Our main courses—the branzino and the pork tenderloin—did not disappoint. The sea bass, perfectly grilled, was served with sauteed spinach, pine nuts and raisins, one of our favorite combinations. The raisins adedd sweetness, a counter point to the bitter greens, and the toasted pine nuts some crunch. The pork tenderloin, in a wild mushroom crust and a red wine sauce, came with a Tuscan style bean salad and braised escarole. The pork, cooked with just a tinge of pink, was juicy and tender.

For dessert, we opted for something cool and light, an assortment of gelati and sorbetti.

We relaxed over espresso, planning our return trip to Tosca.

Ristorante Tosca
1112 F Street NW

About Charlene Giannetti (915 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her new book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "19 Daniel Highway," focusing on the opioid crisis that will be filmed in 2019. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.