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Tuscana Pizzeria is a new joint venture between the Subway India Franchisee's Vipin Sachdev and the (former) Executive chef at 601, Park- Chef Willy. Hosted at a prime location at Wallace Gardens bordering Egmore and Nungambakkam in Chennai in an already happening food scene comprising of Subway, Mocha, Casa Picola, Coffee Day, a new Mexican restaurant called Texas Fiesta and Cascade (to name just a few), this new outlet could give a few restaurants a run for their money.
The decor is simple, elegant and impressive, although once seated you will definitely wish that the next table was slightly far away. The small outdoor seating near the wood fire ovens too give you a similar feeling. On weekends, getting a seat without reservation has obscene waiting times and this does speak something about the restaurant. It also emits a 'I am expensive' stamp to it and the menu will confirm it for you.
3 of us headed out and were lucky to enter in at 645 PM, and lucky to get seated immediately on a Friday evening. From 715 PM, the place was packed. Our orders were simple, a BBQ chicken pizza, a classic mozzarella pizza, a chicken lasagna and one Tiramisu to finish it off. The pizzas arrive in quick time - classical thin crust pizza, each priced over Rs 450. Touted to be an upmarket Italian joint, I must say that the pizzas do not live up to what it is made out to be. Yes, they are thin crust, but the pizza sauce base used is far from either authentic or tasty. Portion of chicken used is not impressive at all and other than the olive oil and herbs on the table, there is nothing much in the pizza. They are so thin that someone with an average appetite can eat about 1.5 of those pizzas and still save space for a drink and dessert. Paying so much, I would expect to have a better pizza base and more meat on the pizza or at least a better tasting pizza.
But the lasagna and the tiramisu emit an entirely different picture all together! The lasagna was definitely one of the best I have ever had among my travel experiences world wide and definitely the best in Chennai, hands down. The layering of the sheets was perfect, the amount of meat inside perfect and the quantity and serving of the sauces brilliant. It was a complete package and at Rs 510 a piece, it is small, but then the taste is so good that you would not mind paying so much, unlike the pizzas. The tiramisu that we had was again a great dish - perfect flavor and strength of coffee and great mix of cream layered to perfection. While I cannot say that this is the best tiramisu, this is definitely up there!!!
Service was prompt and attentive and I had no complaints, but then we went early and ordered early. Ambiance is upmarket and acceptable except for the closeness to the next table, but this is Chennai Central and space is hard to find.
I would like to go back and try a lot more of the dishes, but it is too expensive for a casual outing. If they work on their pizzas, this place is set to do very well, but you will find a lot of negative reviews as almost everyone is upset with the pizzas that they do not try other stuff here - a perfectly valid argument to give negative reviews in a food scene like Chennai with not too many authentic joints, pizzas do hold a key place in the Italian food scene here.
Two pizzas, a lasagna and one tiramisu cost us Rs 1950, which is definitely expensive!
Food - 6/10 (overall, but lasagna and tiramisu 9/10)
Tuscana Pizzeria is located in Wallace Gardens,(in the old Levis showroom), on the road connecting Khader Nawaz Khan road and Wallace Gardens.