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Review Tue Mar 11 2014
Despite the occasional Olive Garden and Red Lobster fix, I tend to avoid suburban restaurants. Suburbia doesn't necessarily exude elevated or exciting cuisine, but after a long hiking trip near the Des Plaines River, my hungry self decided to give Tuscany in Wheeling a shot.
Tuscany's normal menu consists of predictable pastas and pizzas, but their chef menu contains more "adventurous" options. My party and I began with prosciutto e stracchino (prosciutto, creamy Italian cheese, fig mostarda, fried bread), grigliata mista mare (grilled shrimp, calamari, octopus, marinated borlotti beans), and a burrata appetizer with pesto crostini and balsamic tomatoes. We split grilled duck breast and veal cheese ravioli for our main course, and a cannoli and pecan fruit tart for dessert.
While it ain't Spiaggia, Tuscany serves pretty tasty and fairly authentic food considering its demographic and cost structure. The restaurant caters to a wide spectrum of tastes--from the timid 9-year old to the fairly adventurous eater, Tuscany's expansive menu provides many options. I particularly enjoyed the spicy tomato sauce in our grilled seafood appetizer, and the tomatoes and basil greatly complemented the rich burrata. The prosciutto was fairly mild compared to saltier and porkier versions I've had in the past, and my grilled duck breast could have rendered some more.
Oddly enough, my favorite part of the meal was actually the roasted garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil sauce they mash table-side for your bread. The fresh tomato focaccia was a fantastic vehicle for this salty and savory dip.
I'm no Italia-phile, but Tuscany is a great option for a casual, decently-priced dinner, especially if you order off the chef menu. If you can find wild boar pappardelle and pear ravioli in the suburbs, you basically hit the jackpot.
550 S. Milwaukee Ave.
Wheeling, IL 60090