It’s a mall world

The Tuscan Tomato burger, with sweet potato fries, is large and delicious.

The Tuscan Tomato burger, with sweet potato fries, is large and delicious.


The Tuscan Tomato is open Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

I don’t tend to spend a lot of time at the malls, especially the Summit since it’s too fancy for me—what can I say; I’m from Carson City. However, on a recent weekend, I met my friend Brooke for a movie at the Summit and afterward we decided to grab something to eat. We strolled over to the Tuscan Tomato, which is conveniently located right next door to the theater. The Tuscan Tomato, which opened in April, occupies a small space with dramatic red walls that contrast nicely with the high ceilings and exposed rafters. The look was a little bare, but I saw some art resting against the wall, so it appears they’re still decorating. While sparse, the place feels upscale. The friendly waiter who greeted us immediately made us feel very welcome.

The menu features items ranging from meatball sandwiches to butternut squash raviolis. Brooke and I were having a hard time deciding what to have, made more difficult by our waiter’s great descriptions of the menu. We decided to start with a bottle of Peirano Immortal Zin ($26). Now, I can’t blame the Tuscan Tomato for this, but I wasn’t crazy about this wine. It’s from Lodi, which I didn’t realize when we ordered it, and to me, Lodi wine has a certain “taste” that reminds me of burnt raisins. But it wasn’t terrible, so down the hatch it went.

For entrées, we finally decided on the prawn salad ($14) for me and the Tuscan Tomato burger ($15) for Brooke. When our food arrived, I was quite pleased by the presentation. Three large prawns—these things looked like they had been hitting the juice—sat atop a bed of lettuce but the best part was the prawns were wrapped in capellini then quick-fried so they had a nice layer of light crunch. The lettuce tasted very fresh and had an amazing hoisin dressing with a great soy flavor. This went well with the tiny slices of oranges, while the cucumbers added a nice crunch.

Brooke’s burger was large and delicious, piled with caramelized onions, smoked cheddar cheese and a fire-roasted tomato that made this burger come alive. Good thing Brooke is generous, and this burger was large because I ended up gobbling down quite a few bites—not to mention helping myself to the large pile of sweet potato fries that were coated with a light layer of brown sugar and salt. We also decided to have a little dessert, and went with the panna cotta ($7), which was black cherry flavor, with a drizzle of caramel surrounded by grilled white peaches. The panna cotta was light and creamy with a subtle black cherry flavor. The grilled peaches were wonderful, but the caramel, while excellent, overwhelmed the dish.

Service fell off a little bit toward the end of the meal as the place started to fill up but our waiter remained personable every time he came by. When he brought the bill, he included two little lemon cookies that I actually enjoyed more that the panna cotta. I hope Tuscan Tomato becomes more of a destination restaurant for people instead of an afterthought while at the mall. The prices are a little steep here, but I have to say, I did really enjoy my meal, not to mention half of Brooke’s.