TOSCANA Italian Restaurant at The Sherwood has never been shy to innovate, but sometimes tradition and authenticity are called for, as TOSCANA’s Executive Sous Chef Kevin Hsu reminds us with his recent showcasing of popular Western classics. This summer, TOSCANA invites you to rediscover its array of home-made sausages, lobster pasta made with Boston Lobster flown in fresh to Taiwan, and thick steaks of delicious smoked USDA Prime ribeye. Innovation is saved for dessert, in the form of the truffle ice-cream ball with mascarpone cheese, a novel fusion of swe et and savory (and a hint of tart) that will intrigue and delight your palette.
Previously when offering such Italian and Spanish classics as Milano, Genovese, and chorizo-style salamis, TOSCANA imported them straight from their home markets. But Chef Hsu noticed that for many local diners who didn’t drink red wine with dinner, the cold cuts were too salty and dry (the word salami actually derives from the Latin word for salt). In order to meet his customers’ tastes, Chef Hsu now makes his own Milano, Genovese, and chorizo salamis, prepared right here in the kitchens and drying rooms of the TOSCANA.
Using the best pork sourced in Taiwan, along with local and imported herbs and spices, vinegar, and wine, these sausages take from between 45 and 60 days to properly ferment and dry. The results are full-flavored sausages that TOSCANA cuts in thicker slices to preserve the moisture. The cold cut platter comes complete with Chef Hsu’s own pickled garlic bulbs, as well as a variety of imported hams and other cold cuts, olives, and capers – just the thing for a hot summer day in Taipei.
Homemade Tagliolini with Boston Lobster
For the Homemade Lobster Tagliolini, live Boston Lobster are flown in direct from Canada and served within three days of delivery. Cooked with only the simplest of ingredients – garlic, chili, tomato, and its own juices – and served on a plate of soft handmade egg noodles, the lobster pasta is fresh and bright. The lobster meat is tender and juicy, and tastes so fresh you can practically see the lobster boats returning to port. The accompanying sauce is rich, creamy, and just a bit tart.
Barolo Barrel Smoked Dry-aged U.S. Prime Rib Eye Steak
The smoky flavor of TOSCANA’s ribeye steak will transport you to your own mountain campfire. These thick cuts of USDA Prime Ribeye steaks are first dry-aged by TOSCANA for 21 days to concentrate the flavor and ensure that the meat is tender and consistent. The meat is then smoked over open charcoal fires made from the wood of Barolo Wine barrels, imparting a subtle flavor of Italian red wine to the meat. The steaks are then slow-roasted to perfection over coals that can reach as high as 800-1000 degrees – so hot the meat doesn’t even need to be turned. The result is a wonderful slightly charred crust that surrounds a perfectly tender and delicious interior. The dish comes with horseradish, mustard, and mustard-seed dips on the side, all wonderful, but with meat this good, a little sea salt and fresh roasted garlic cloves are all you really need.
Homemade Black Truffle Ice Cream
TOSCANA’s truffle ice cream ball uses imported Italian truffles that are pressed for their oil, which is mixed into rich, velvety vanilla ice-cream for a sublime smooth flavor. The ice cream is rolled within a thick, sweet chocolate crust covered in truffle flakes. Mascarpone cheese adds creaminess and a savory surprise to the sweet concoction. This fusion of sweet ice cream and savory truffles and cheese makes for the perfect end to a delightful meal.