Tosca Cafe 3.0 [San Francisco, North Beach]

I went back to Tosca Cafe for dinner for the first time in a few years. The 102 year old Tosca had changed hands once again back in 2019 amid sexual harassment allegations on one of the former owners. The new owners include chef Nancy Oakes of Boulevard. They reopened in March 2020 for takeout in the midst of the pandemic lockdown and just recently reopened for dine-in service in May.

The interior was apparently heavily remodeled but it looks a lot like I remember it looking from before, which is good. This is what I had for dinner. I kind of ordered what I had last time!

GRILLED ARTICHOKES ($15)
lemon, ‘nduja, breadcrumbs
From the antipasti section. Pretty good - well cooked artichoke hearts with breadcrumbs, actually more like little crunchy croutons. And with some crumbled 'nduja which is a spreadable Calabrian sausage.

HOUSE-MADE FOCACCIA ($7)
garlic, parmesan, herb oil
This iteration of focaccia was kind of like a very airy and fluffy garlic toast. Healthy amount of oil and crispy on the exterior. I saved some for the spaghetti.

"SPAGHETTI” AND MEATBALLS ($25)
spicy tomato sauce, basil, parmesan
I don’t know why spaghetti is in quotes and I forgot to ask. Anyway it tasted like spaghetti. Quite nice and al dente. Good thick tomato sauce which I mopped up with a bit of extra focaccia, and a healthy covering of parmesan cheese. There were five medium sized meatballs which were meaty and tender. A good plate of spaghetti and meatballs if a bit expensive.

HOUSE CAPPUCCINO ($16)
bourbon, cognac, chocolate, steamed milk
I had a house “cappuccino” for dessert. I’ve forgotten how it tasted last time so can’t compare. Like before, the cappuccino doesn’t have any coffee. There was a layer of chocolate at the bottom. I was given a spoon to mix it up. This was a nice end to the meal - hot, boozy, and sweet.

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