Experiencing fine Italian cuisine doesn’t require a trek to Tuscany. Instead, take a drive through Affton on Gravois Road where a few short blocks north of MacKenzie Road you’ll find .
“We’ve been here for five years,” said Alban Ziu, who owns and oversees the operation with his cousin Chef Tika (Kostandin) Ceko, who served as chef at the legendary Dominic’s on the Hill before opening Trattoria Toscana. Together, Ziu and Chef Tika have created a fine dining experience best described as a casual white tablecloth operation with understated elegance.
Trattoria Toscana’s main dining room is long and narrow yet comfortable. A small bar allows for one to enjoy a drink before dinner or wait for a table. Service is professional and helpful, especially when ordering. For example, servers informed guests of off-the-menu items as the Sicilian Style Tilapia, a lighter version of its Tilapia Florentina.
Italian and St Louis Italian-American dishes are emphasized and feature classic preparations for everything from appetizers to desserts. Counted among the appetizers is the house specialty Melezane Imbottite, thinly sliced eggplant that rolled and stuffed with a seasoned ricotta cheese and served with tomato sauce.
“This time of year, the Caprese Salad (fresh tomato and mozzarella cheese) is a customer favorite,” said Ziu, who noted that chef uses seasonal, fresh ingredients.
Entrées vary and include an impressive list of veal dishes as Veal Milanese and Veal Saltimbocca. Shrimp Scampi and Linguine Tuttomare to Chicken Al Vino Bianco and Beef Tenderloin Toscana, a dish of lightly breaded beef medallions topped with mushrooms, mozzarella and a white wine sauce, are examples of the menu’s diversity. Finish your meal with something sweet—slice of ricotta cream filled Cassata Cake is server recommended.
Lunch and dinner are moderately priced. Lunch entrées range from $10 to $13, dinner $14 to $26. Reservations are accepted. Trattoria Toscana is located at 9416 Gravois Rd. Call 314-631-4321 or click http://www.trattoriatoscanastl.com/ for more information.