We are inside the coolest new restaurant to open north of Boston in a long time. It’s a place called Toscana Forno, and they specialize in three things wood-fired pizza, homemade pasta and incredible craft cocktails. This place is special for so many reasons. First of all, it is just big and impressive. There’s a big bar. The bartenders are absolutely skilled in mixology. They know what they’re doing. The centerpiece is this big, beautiful wood-fired oven that was custom made for this restaurant, and they are turning out some incredible food here.
Now you may be familiar with Toscana because they have another restaurant in Peabody as well Toscana Ristorante. The people behind this place are the Perrina family. They have been in the restaurant business their entire lives. They know what people want, they know how to make great Italian food, and they are always here to make sure every customer is happy.
Angelo Perrina: “So this is our newest Toscana concept…. We specialize in homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, craft cocktails, homemade desserts, all the best things that you can expect from Toscana with a special twist.”
Pizza is definitely the number one star attraction here at Toscana Forno, and it’s easy to see why. To achieve such pizza perfection, it takes the ultimate high quality ingredients, lots of skill by the people making it and of course you need to have the right oven and boy did they have the right oven. This thing is a beast.
“We searched high and low, far and wide to find this oven. And we found the perfect oven, right out of Naples, Italy. So it’s got a rotating deck, it’s wood fired to get up to 900 degrees, it really is a centerpiece of the restaurant. And it’s something that we’re really proud of.”
Margherita pizza is the pizza by which all Italian pizzerias should be judged. It’s traditional. It’s classic. It’s perfect. And the execution here is exceptional. The dough is so light. Not only can I eat a whole pizza, I can eat three or four.
Now I’ve had a million pizzas in my life, but I have never had a pizza quite like this. Here at Toscana Forno. They call it the Pizza Ripieno. So what is it exactly? Well, it’s part pizza, part calzone, all on one plate. I would start grabbing a slice of the pizza itself as an appetizer. And then for the main course, move in and slice into that calzone side. Wow, that’s a pizza and a meal all literally rolled into one.
To start any good Italian meal, you gotta get some antipasto and let me tell you right now, this is the ultimate antipasto. In fact, they call it the antipasto alla grande because this baby is super Grande. A giant board full of all your favorite Italian treats. But the number one star attraction is literally draped over the top, the Prosciutto di Parma and it’s all about how it sliced. You got to get this baby sliced so thin. You can literally almost see through it. Look at this. I’ll turn the flashlight on my phone. Yeah, it’s sliced pretty thin. The prosciutto was thin. I am not. But I am I happy boy.
Now let’s talk about pasta. All the noodles are made right here in house so you know you’re going to be getting it fresh and you know it’s going to be cooked perfectly al dente. So many passes to choose from. I think the number one pasta dish you gotta get is the gnocchi. And trust me, I have never seen a pasta dish like this anywhere else The gnocchi itself is incredible. These little light potato dumplings that are super delicate and super fluffy. What makes this this what makes this dish so special, though, is that it is served inside a bread bowl. The pasta is good and the bowl that it comes in might be even better.
“It’s a carb bomb. You know, like, you gotta be ready either to run a marathon the next day or take a nap one of the two.”
Fellow lasagna lovers out there. Toscana Forno might be your new favorite restaurant because they are crushing the lasagna game. This is a 10 layer lasagna. So it’s stacked with beautiful sheets of fresh pasta that gets layered with a nice hearty bolognese sauce. Also some béchamel also some ricotta cheese, it’s put into a cast iron skillet. And here’s the key. They cooked the whole thing in that wood-fired oven. That is an extremely luscious layered lasagna boom.
When it comes to dessert, the one you gotta get is definitely the brownie sundae. You’ve probably had a brownie sundae, but you’ve never had one quite like this. The brownie is super dense, super fudgey and it’s cooked in that wood=fired oven so it comes steaming hot out of the oven. They throw on some beautifully creamy gelato. Every bite hot, cold, sweet, chocolatey, rich, insanely good.
Let’s talk about cocktails because drinks are definitely not an afterthought. Whether you’re coming in for dinner or for brunch, you know what’s fun, getting yourself not just one cocktail, get an entire cocktail tree. I mean, you bring this baby out, every head in the restaurant turns around, everyone at your table gets their own drink, everybody celebrates. It’s just a good time.
“You’re guaranteed to have great food, great service, a great cocktail, and at an affordable price. So you’re gonna love every second of it. When you get here, from the minute you walk in to the minute you go home.”
Whether you’re coming with the family or you’re coming with a date, you’re coming for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. This is the place to come for pizza, pasta, cocktails, and just an awesome time.