It’s Saturday night. Date night. Leichhardt’s humming; and under new stewardship from hospitality star Darran Smith, who’s delighted at Hemmesphere, Icebergs and Glass Brasserie, Tuscany finally hums too!
It’s packed with local couples - the rescue/renovate brigade - lured in by reasonable (under $30) mains and a tasteful décor tweak.
Not bogged down by minor details, like an existing name, the tighter, more accessible menu also offers dishes from the wider Mediterranean. Delve into classic Confit Duck Leg with Savoy Cabbage and Orange Reduction ($28.50) or...
...buttery Chicken Liver Parfait ($18.50) that succeeds despite underwhelming bread.
Dish of the night is the flavour-packed Buffalo Mozzarella with Heirloom Tomatoes ($18.50) smoked in Earl Grey tea. It’s notched up to truly sublime by a flashy date-night drop, the 2008 Flowers Sonoma Chardonnay ($95), though you can drink well here for under forty bucks.
All the entrees eat well, and help you stay on the lighter side of stuffed to the gills.
If I were to have a second favourite, it'd be this indulgent plate of perfectly ripe Fig Salad with Proscuitto, Ricotta, Walnuts and Mint ($18.50). Though it's hard to make a bad fig dish right now...
In terms of pasta, wait for woolly weather to descend, then try the Braised Beef Rib with Sautéed Gnocchi ($29.50).
Which is not to say the other pastas are uninspiring... the Rigatoni with Broccoli, Anchovy, Speck, Chilli, Garlic, White Wine and Pecorino ($15.50/$22.50) on the left only wanted for a slightly more liberal hand with the chilli.
And if your creamy White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake ($12.50) isn’t captivating enough, as it lands the neighbouring Zoo Bar Saturday night crowd descends in an entertaining promenade of colour blocking and strappy heels.
Perhaps this is just what Leichhardt’s been gagging for?
55 Norton Street, Leichhardt
Ph: (02) 9568 2220