Properly paying homage to the cuisine at Tosca in Miami Beach would be a challenge for any writer, as words can hardly do justice to what quickly turned into an infallible dining retreat. From the first bite to the last, their newly released "Everyday is Valentine’s Day" tasting menu offered eight courses of meticulously planned and freshly prepared foods. Each course was accompanied by seemingly perfect wine pairings and champagne.
A self-proclaimed romance fanatic, I immediately fell in love with the calm and inviting vibe at Tosca. While the overall ambiance surely encompasses amour, complete with candlelit pathways and vintage black and white photos surrounding the dining area, it still makes a fantastic place for non-lovers to dine and not feel out of place. An invitingly open floor plan allows guests to enjoy an candlelit meal inside or outside under the stars.
Photos Courtesy of Marissa Foglia
As the smoothly-clad DJ played upbeat instrumentals (think chic elevator music meets must-haves for your ipod playlist), a beautiful dish of the house caprese was served. Creamy buffalo mozzarella from Puglia with Heirloom tomato slices and basil were succulent and flavorful. The fettuccine with mascarpone cheese was also prepared for us at the table, tossed in a parmesan wheel and topped with fresh black Perigord truffle. The server took care to melt the cheese with a handy kitchen torch, while a creamy mascarpone was added prior to the noodles being tossed. The light flavor was borderline addictive.
The main course was comprised of a Mediterranean Branzino, served whole and sliced delicately. The fresh fish melted from the first bite to the last, accompanied with a tender wild mushroom casserole. Tosca's Prime Tenderloin is served on a rustic wood board with exotic sea salts. With its juicy inside and perfectly seared edges, the beef did not disappoint. However, what stole the show during this course was the Yukon Golden mashed potatoes—fluffy, buttery and quite frankly the best I've ever had.
Since each course is portioned to leave you feeling satisfied but not overstuffed, I welcomed the chocolate mousse with vintage Valrhona Gran Couva chocolate and crunchy pearls, which left my taste buds in a culinary trance; with a sip of some Moroccan mint tea the meal was complete. One of the best things about Tosca, aside from the impeccable service and food, is that passersby would never know what was tucked behind its doors. It is easily one of the best hidden gems in Miami Beach and an absolute must for locals and visitors alike.
The Tasting Menu is available for $75 per person, excluding pairings. If you are feeling extra adventurous (and hungry), there is also an 11-course tasting menu as well, which includes a few additional savory bites for $295 per person.