Café Toscano Accommodates All
By Leah Weinstein/
On a Friday evening, Café Toscano
in Jericho glows with elegant lighting and the start of the
weekend adds to the buzz. Couples and groups are scattered
throughout two dining rooms separated by the main entrance.
In the room to the right, patrons are seated at the bar having
their before- or after-dinner drink, while a saxophone player
fills the air with a smooth groove. To the left, tables for
four and booths for two are filled in a room with the brighter
décor and more formal tone.
With years of restaurant experience, Thomas Sexton, executive
chef and co-owner, opened Café Toscano on Jericho Turnpike
He and his sister, Katherine, also a co-owner, played upon
two different vibes and one great menu.
By providing customers with an elegant place to have a relaxed
meal, they hit the nail on the head. The bar room has an upbeat,
yet sophisticated style while the other is
a straightforward, dining room.
Café Toscano holds a hip happy hour from 4:30 –
7 p.m. at the bar Monday through Friday. The bar is also open
until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday for a late night drink
Whether you are looking for a salad, pizza, pasta, chicken,
meat or fish, there is something for everyone in this Italian
Italian antipasti such as Mozzarella Caprese ($10) includes
fresh mozzarella, tomato, grilled eggplant and roasted peppers
topped with red onion and drizzled with pesto is a light and
satisfying meal-starter. Toscano covers a range of antipasti
from fried zucchini ($9) to beef carpaccio ($13).
While most people choose a traditional marinara sauce for
the Cozzl Nero ($15- serves two), an oversized crock of Black
Canadian Mussels served in a choice of sauces, our waiter
recommended the Oriental sauce, a coconut milk broth that
was light, sweet and complemented the mussels quite well.
The Gamberi e Pancetta ($14) strays the most from the ordinary
fried delights, with Italian bacon wrapped around shrimp,
served over mesculine salad, mandarin orange, red onion and
crispy pancetta croutons.
The salad option (Insalate) that immediately stood out was
the Rubiola E Pera ($13). It had sliced Chianti poached pear,
with Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and a Chianti pear vinaigrette
dressing atop mixed field greens. The pear, cheese and nut
combination was delectable.
Other salads available are Caesar ($9), Tre Colori ($9) and
the Formaggio Caprina e Albicocco ($13), which includes roasted
peppers, pignoli nuts, dried apricot and goat cheese with
a white balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
All salads are available with chicken ($4), beef ($5) shrimp
($5) or salmon ($6), which would turn a pre-dinner salad into
a great lunch.
The “pizzettes” come in 12 different varieties,
but one of the best parts about Toscano is that you could
order it however you like and they’ll gladly prepare
The Margherita ($11) is the simple option with “San
Marsano” plum tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. The
Aromatico ($14.50) includes a field of vegetables, from Portobello
mushrooms to artichokes, tomatoes and asparagus, with mozzarella,
grated Locatelli cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
The Broccoli Rabe and Salsiccia ($15) is the most expensive
with broccoli rabe and sausage with mozzarella and diced cherry
Once again, Toscano stands out for accommodating customers
with their whole-wheat linguini that can be substituted in
any pasta dish. It isn’t offered on the menu but just
ask your waiter. Ours told us that they have a few dishes
that aren’t on the menu that people frequently request.
The Linguine Pescatore ($25) comes with a Brazilian lobster
tail, shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels and clams in a fra
Another dish that stands out is the Paglia e Fieno ($17),
an egg and spinach fettuccine, sautéed with veal strips,
shiitake mushrooms and roasted peppers in a brown Madeira
wine sauce topped with marscapone cheese.
The Aqua Pazza ($22) is a Sea bass dish, tossed with sun-dried
tomatoes, capers and calamata olives in a Chardonnay wine
sauce. The waiter let us know that the menu was slightly deceiving
since the sauce is actually red, but it complemented the capers
and olives better anyway.
Pollo Portofino ($19) is a chicken breast layered with warm
proscuitto and mozzarella topped with artichoke hearts in
a white wine and lemon butter sauce that allows the flavor
of the other ingredients to come through.
For true meat lovers, the Filet Mignon ($32) is a Gorgonzola-crusted
12 oz. filet in a Borolo Chianti wine sauce.
For dessert, waiters brought a tray of samples, which were
hard to choose from, although it was almost impossible to
leave the table without finishing the peanut butter and chocolate–chocolate
End the meal with an excellent Italian cappuccino.
At a prime location right off the Long Island Expressway,
this Italian restaurant had to appeal to a neighborhood that
already has plenty of great options. Add another to your list
and check out Café Toscano.
Café Toscano offers a lot more just a place to eat
good food. It can hold private weekend parties and offers
off-premise catering as well. Customers can call ahead for
take-out during business hours and they now offer delivery
during lunch hours ($30 minimum) Monday through Friday from
11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sexton is also co-owner of another Café Toscano located
Most recently, he became the co-owner of Spuntino, a new restaurant
in Dix Hills located at Old Country Road in the Pathmark shopping
399 Jericho Turnpike
Jericho NY 11753
Atmosphere: Upscale, cool and casual
Price Range: Inexpensive to moderate
Cuisine: Italian –American
Monday through Thursday
11:30 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
12 p.m. – 10 p.m.