HINGHAM – The grill fires up prime steaks and seafood. The wood burning oven fires pizzas around 900 degrees. Housemade pastas are plated to perfection. No, this isn’t Tuscany. It’s Tosca.
Located just off of Hingham Harbor, Tosca is a big, rustic restaurant with low lighting, exposed brick walls, mahogany beams, and lofty ceilings.
“When a customer walks in for the first time, they’re really taken back at the beauty of the design,” observed General Manager Chris Sugrue. “You have the high ceilings, the open theatre feel. You really get a sense of energy in things that you just don’t find outside downtown Boston.”
The regional Italian menu is prepared from an open kitchen where chefs like Brian Hennebury mix and mingle with the crowd.
“People love to sit there and watch us do what we do. We’re literally just feet away so it’s pretty easy to interact with us.”
While Chef Brian is behind the line, Sugrue is out front making sure all of Tosca’s customers feel at home.
“Whether it’s a Tuesday night out for a quick pizza and a glass of wine, or a very special anniversary dinner on a weekend evening, we have everything to offer and people should feel comfortable coming in and dining the way that they like to dine.”
So Phantom dined the way he likes to dine – and tried it all to find THE PERFECT MEAL.
Tosca offers some of the crispiest pizzas on the South Shore – all fired-up in a wood burning oven and served piping hot. There’s the classic Margherita – topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. The Fig & Proscuitto pizza is a sweet and savory combination that’s spiked with gorgonzola, but the pie that’s true perfection is the ultra-fragrant Fennel Sausage pizza.
“We roast Italian sausage with fresh fennel and fennel seeds until it’s really caramelized,” described Hennebury. “Then we crumble that and we have a toasted garlic cream sauce that we put on there, crumbled fennel sausage some sliced red onions and then we drizzle it with Vincotto which is sort of like a reduced grape syrup.”
Since this is an Italian restaurant, you can be sure there are plenty of housemade pastas to choose from, like Cape Cod Clams served over fresh spaghetti in a creamy basil pesto. The meatballs are better than your moms and served with cavatelli in a San Marzano Tomato sauce. The Wild Boar Bolognese is like no meat sauce you’ve ever tasted. Served over cavatappi pasta, this unusual take on the classic sauce has quite a following.
“It’s a very mild flavored Bolognese, so people really shouldn’t be thrown off by the term ‘boar’,” explained Sugrue.
“It’s just got a more depth of flavor to it than a regular Bolognese. It gets that nutty flavor that boar has that nothing else really has,” said Hennebury. “We couldn’t even possible think about taking it off the menu. It’s one of our signature dishes.”
The ‘Butcher’s Reserve’ section of Tosca’s menu offers steaks and chops with a selection of sides like spicy broccoli rabe and truffled parmesan potato ‘tots’. There’s luscious Colorado lamb, cooked to your liking and served with your choice of sauce; or the perfectly charred Wild Boar, served on the bone for extra flavor. But the 16 ounce sirloin is the must order on this menu. This prime cut of meat is good on its own, but it’s made even more luxurious thanks to a topping of truffle butter. This beauty is just as good, if not better, than any downtown steakhouse.
“I would definitely rate any steak we have with anything in Boston,” Hennebury said.
While donuts are typically a breakfast treat, at Tosca, they’re served for dessert. The apple fritter donuts are a great ending to any meal – tossed in cinnamon and sugar and served alongside a small cup of chocolate sauce for dipping.
A Fennel Sausage Pizza. Wild Boar Bolognese. A 16 ounce sirloin with truffle butter. And the Apple Fritters make for the PERFECT MEAL at Tosca.
You can find Tosca at 14 North Street in Hingham, and online at toscahingham.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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