That's Italian!

October 2011
Written By: 
Mary Jo Rogers
Photographs by: 
Jonathan Boncek

Serving up authentic cuisine in an intimate setting



If whitewashed walls, crystal chandeliers and a view of the Mediterranean are your idea of dining in heaven, then Toscana Italian Bistro is just the place for you. Candlelight, white linens and silver table settings combine to complete an atmosphere that can only be described as hip and even a bit sexy.  

Italians are known for their passion and Chef Vinnie Malasi is no exception. He was born in Albania, but grew up in Bologna, Italy, where he trained with the best chefs. Vinnie has two loves: soccer and fresh food. He and his family came to the US in 1998, and at age 21 he opened his first restaurant, Villa Tuscana in North Myrtle Beach, which his father and brother now run.

To say that Vinnie loves fresh food is an understatement. Toscana specializes in Northern Italian cuisine and the foundation for many dishes is the traditional San Marzano sauce. This tomato-based red sauce is made fresh daily and used in many of the traditional pasta dishes such as the Tortellini alla Pomodora, lasagna and Spaghetti Bolognese. Another house-made favorite is the Tuscan Creamy Tomato Prosciutto Sauce, which is the base for Lobster Ravioli and Penne alla Vodka. These sauces are combined with the best meats, seafood, cheeses, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts to make an almost unlimited number of combinations, all of which are served on home-made pasta.

If pasta is not your first love, then try one of the seafood specials. The Sway Filet Florentine is a mild, meaty white fish served over linguini and steamed spinach. Another specialty is the Grouper Mediterranean, a combination of artichoke hearts, olives, garlic, fresh tomato, capers and sun-dried tomatoes served over angel hair pasta.   

Meat lovers need not despair. The pork Osso Bucco and veal chops are so tender and delicious they could even make George Clooney commit for life.  

Finally, if you are looking to fully engage in the experience, try the crème brulee or indulge in the tiramisu, finish with a cappuccino and you’ll be hooked for life. 

Toscana Italian Bistro
4209 N. Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 712-2699
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 4-11:30 p.m. Saturday