Toscana Italian Chophouse & Wine Bar
Pastas that are handmade. Steaks that are dry aged. Desserts that are irresistible. And atmosphere that is unforgettable. For a truly special meal, you simply must experience Toscana Italian Chophouse.
Located in historic Market Square in Downtown Portsmouth New Hampshire, Toscana Italian Chophouse & Wine Bar is a restaurant where everything is first class. From the food, to the service, to the dining room itself.
It’s the latest creation from restaurateur Joe Faro, who built artisan Italian destinations Tuscan Market and Tuscan Kitchen. Here at Toscana, he’s opened an Italian inspired chophouse, marrying high end steaks with house made pastas. And according to General Manager Christopher LaBella, that true Italian hospitality is evidenced here from the second customers sit down.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “What sets a restaurant apart to me is, when you sit down and you first get that basket of bread, it’s going to tell you how the rest of your experience is going to be. So we start you off with first pressed Sicilian olive oil, as well as three different types of bread. And then our menu, you’re going to find everything from 28-day dry aged steaks, to mushroom ravioli, our famous Bolognese, lobster ravioli, one of the best burgers around. It really has something for everyone.”
And it’s all enjoyed in an absolutely stunning setting. Because the restaurant is housed inside the recently restored 1804 New Hampshire National Bank building.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “This was a bank before it was Toscana Chophouse and a really great build out, we found these amazing copper windowsills that nobody knew was here. We have all the exposed brick, we have these amazing vault doors, these big murals done by a local artist. I think you walk through this door and you definitely feel transported, like you’re leaving Portsmouth, you know, you’re here, but for some reason, just this ambiance takes you to a different place.”
Appetizers at Toscana include buttery soft San Daniele Prosciutto served with 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano, mixed olives, and truffle honey, seared sushi-grade Tuna with Lemon Aioli, and a giant shareable-sized Meatball.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “It’s a blend of beef and pork, and we do our burracata which is basically a soft cheese that goes in burrata if you’re familiar with that, and a little fried basil leaf, and our pomodoro sauce. They’re are about the size of a softball. So this is definitely a shareable item that hits a lot of tables, at Toscana.”
Another very popular app here is the crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, Mozzarella en Carozza.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “Mozzarella en Carozza is everybody’s favorite mozzarella stick when it comes down to it. We’re talking about hand stretched mozzarella that is hand breaded and fried. Comes with a pesto trio, sun dried tomato pesto, arugula pesto, and basil pesto all on the plate. Whether you’re two or 72, you’re gonna love the dish.”
You’re also gonna love the pastas at Toscana; like Veal Cannelloni with truffle fonduta, and luxurious Lobster Ravioli with cherry tomatoes and sauteed shrimp, in a white wine butter sauce.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “All of our pasta starts with double zero flour so that’s the finest grain of flour that you’re gonna find. It’s all imported directly from Italy. So it just gives us unbelievable stretch the dough where it’s not too much of a bite, not too chewy, and you’re really just highlighting the lobster mix within the ravioli.”
When it comes to steaks here, you really can’t go wrong, because whatever cut you order will be grilled to perfection over live fire.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “All of our steaks go to the wood fired grill. So this is a charbroil wood fired grill, gets really hot. We’re using a wood and charcoal blend that just is gonna sear the outside, lock in all those flavors, and give it that wood smoke flavor that everybody loves.”
If you’re looking for a little luxury, order the 12-ounce Wagyu Flat Iron.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “It’s an A-7 Wagyu. Comes from California. So we’re just talking about one of the most decadent steaks on our menu, just full of flavor, it’s a flat iron, so just a really great cut every single time.”
There’s a 10-ounce Barrel Cut Filet Mignon if you want a steak on the lighter side, or you can go all in and order the Tomahawk — a true showstopper.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “We list the tomahawk at 36 ounces, I would say it’s just a tad bit more than that, and this is a long bone, so this is almost like a Delmonico style. This is dry aged for 28 days in our dry ager in house, hits that wood fire grill, and it’s just an awesome item for you to enjoy by yourself or to share with a guest.”
Of course you’re going to want some sides to share too; like Grilled Asparagus and Lemon, Black Truffle Mascarpone Gnocchi, or Prosciutto Mac and Cheese.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “It’s one of those comfort foods that we all know and love done in a little bit of an elevated way makes it just that much more fun.”
Rounding out the menu at Toscana are options like Chilean Sea Bass atop Butternut Squash Risotto, a Mixed Grill platter with Tenderloin Steak Tips, Lemon Rosemary Chicken, and Sweet Fennel Sausage, and a mouthwatering Pork Chop Milanese.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “Definitely a very classic Italian dish. A heritage pork chop that’s pounded out super thin, it’s done with a parmesan bread crumb, and it’s just dressed with an arugula and tomato salad. So you get that awesome bite of the pork chop, the crunch, and that freshness from the arugula salad, and it’s just a great bite.”
To finish your meal here, the Hazelnut Creme Brulee is a delicious twist on the classic dessert, and the house made Cinnamon Sugar Zeppoli are an interactive treat, perfect for sharing.
Christopher LaBella – GM, Toscana Italian Chophouse: “The Italian style of dining is having a bunch of plates on the table and everybody passing them around. So whether it’s having a couple steaks in the middle and sides surrounding them, or sharing pastas as a mid-course, or a bunch of appetizers, you know, we want you to feel at home when you’re in any of our restaurants, and definitely in Toscana Chophouse, where we’re passing plates, we’re getting excited about this, we’re trying a little bit of everything, and we definitely bring that here.”